Most of the places that I visit, seem to have one main agenda which is to get their guests to relax and enjoy the facilities as much as possible. That quite suits someone like me, with my hectic life in the city (which sounds more important than saying – I love to loll around 😀 )
At Jungle Hut too, they are very earnest about the ‘do nothing’ mantra and they are happy if their guests just lie back taking in the beauty of the hills or read books or stroll around the property or languidly float in the pool and of course constantly binge on the food that seems to flow in a steady stream.
However, being located deep in the forests of Mudumalai, those who are more enthusiastic, obviously also have many exciting jungle related activities to experience, the highlight being the Safari.
And sometimes those who have been very very good, might even witness the breathtaking arc of a full fledged rainbow poised daintily over the mountains, winging across the blue skies !!!
Things to do at the resort –
The resort as I said, is focused on being a safe and homely, family friendly space where children and adults alike, can be at ease.
One can experience the joys of just running free or walking around or climbing a tree or even a tree house if you will !!!
There are ducks and geese to run behind and many many deer to gaze at in wonder and fruits like cashew, jamun (Java plum) and Indian jujube (borams/ber) that entice.
There are indoor games like Carrom, table tennis, foosball, board games and even a verandah library where one can curl up on the comfortable couches with a book.
Occasionally there are treasure hunts set up for families and also a facility for friendly fishing in the little pond by the pool. Experiences that children will love and adults will be comfortable with, in the safety of a controlled environment.
The thickets of bamboo (they are called thick’ets for a reason :-D) produce their own staccato music all day long, as the breeze blows through their denseness and one can sit mesmerized on the charming porch, letting the sounds gently drum on their ear drums.
Then of course there is that very very blue swimming pool with the mountains in the backdrop, where one can seriously spend hours on end.
Well nature has pampered this place with all its bounty and those who want to be spoiled some more, can avail of the massages provided by the resident masseur and masseuse who have been trained by Thai experts and who really transport you to a higher level as they work their craft on you !!!
One can also pick up a mat and settle inside the little gazebo in the middle of the water body, via the rustic bridge that has been crafted by their in house carpenter. One can meditate or perform yoga or just curl up and sleep.
The bonfires of the nights, warm up both body and soul and also enable the roasting of potatoes 😀
Things to do in the surroundings –
Bird watching – Jungle Hut and its surroundings are a birder’s paradise and there are over 200 species of birds that can be found in the region.
Peacocks, Robins, Babblers, Bulbuls, Doves, Mynahs, Vultures, Hornbills etc are some of the birds that can be spotted in season. The Nilgiri thrush is one of the birds that can be found on the property. The several trees grown by the owners, make the place conducive for birds to nest in their ample branches and foliage.
People come from India and abroad in the birding season and this is one of the star attractions of this place.
Trekking – The hilly terrain is also a trekkers delight and the resort arranges for guides to accompany guests on treks of various degrees of complexity. Ranging from the nearby hillock with the serene Murugan temple perched on top, to the far steeper ranges behind the resort from where one can even view the town of Ooty in the distance, their able guides cajole and encourage and escort guests safely through the adventure.
Safaris – There are ‘Main road’ safaris where one can venture in their own vehicles or better still, arrange for the jeep and guide from the resort, who would be better equipped and more knowledgeable. There are also government run safaris that start from Theppekadu, 14 kms away. Again, one can get there in their own vehicle or have the resort fix up a jeep. These safaris are the only ones with permission to enter the core area of the jungle.
If needed, the resort assists the guests in undertaking both the main road and the government safari by driving them to the safari location, waiting for them and then ferrying them back to the resort at the end of the duration.
Elephant camp at Theppekadu – This is one of the star attractions of this place and tourists come in large numbers to view the elephant feeding that takes place twice a day. The keepers prepare the feed and manually place the huge ragi balls into the mouths of the elephants. This is an activity not to be missed, especially by children.
Hill stations of Ooty and Coonoor – One can do day trips to the nearby hill stations of Ooty (Udhagamandalam) and Coonoor that are known for the botanical gardens, waterfalls, lakes, tea gardens, exotic fruits, flowers and vegetables and also home made goodies like chocolates, jams, preserves etc. Ooty is around 30 km from Masinagudi and it takes an hour, via steep hair pin bends and scenic routes. Coonoor is another 25 km from Ooty, which is again another hour away. Be aware that the forest roads are closed from 10pm to 6am and one will need to return to the resort before that.
What I did –
I was urged by Anushri to just lie back and take it easy and simply enjoy the beauty of Jungle Hut (a girl after my own heart) but in the interests of presenting the potential traveller with as much information as possible, I had to reluctantly move myself and experience at least some of the action … a decision that paid richly when I undertook the trek.
Day 1 – On day 1, all I did was eat and stroll around the property with Shruti the charming and friendly manager, as my guide. I also spent some time chasing the Muscovy ducks with my camera, regardless of their bored and slightly irritated wattle eyed stares and disapproving quacks.
After they got rid of me by hiding away in some corner, I turned my attention to the lone goose that waddled away from me with plaintive honks as it got into the water, no doubt hoping that I could not follow it there.
In the evening I set my sights upon the hordes of herds of deer that magically appeared all over the place as if they owned it (which of course they actually did 😀 ) Mornings and evenings bring out the deer and they stroll around grazing along the pathways and parking lot. Unfortunately they are shy and kept moving away every time I tried getting near enough for a shot. A good zoom lens would do wonders.
At night however, they come very close to the cottages and their tell tale dung pellets, interspersed between freshly sprung mushrooms, indicate how near they have been.
Day 2 – Shiva the trekking guide was assigned to waking me up and ensuring that I climbed the temple hill. Not belonging to the trekking variety of humans, I usually do not undertake expeditions that are even the slightest bit tough. This hillock was small and not too steep but it was going to be my great achievement (yeah I have really small goals like that :-D) and hence I really wanted to do this.
I started out bleary eyed and nearly chickened out several times in the beginning but Shiva’s constant cajoling and encouragement kept me going. Of course the appearance of the most gorgeous and enormous rainbow infused in me a renewed excitement and incentive to get to the top and touch it !!!
Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I felt like singing the famous song (with my own twist) – ‘Somewhere Under the rainbow’.
The exhilaration of eventually making it within an hour’s climb (which according to Shiva, was better than many other guests that he had escorted) was totally worth the trauma. I stood triumphantly atop the peak gazing at the slope that I had conquered. Other tourists were taking the easy way out and arriving by jeep and I made sure to tell everyone that I was one up on them. Literally 😀
Shiva was not only a great guide, he also took some good pictures, even being comfortable with my DSLR camera.
On the way back we saw a herd of donkeys and since we do not get to see them in the city any more, I had to pose for a picture with them. Of course my husband later captioned it – a Bunch of Asses 😀
Well back at the resort I bragged about my climb up the ‘highest mountain ever’ and ignored the sniggers and whispers of ‘Oh it was such a tiny hillock’ 😀
A richly deserved breakfast was followed by a much needed massage and Chandrika the trained masseuse, worked her magic on my battered feet. And as I lay sprawled on the deck chair, with the blue sky and dark mountains in view, the lone goose honked its accompanying beat as Chandrika pressed, prodded and slapped my feet into a state of bliss.
After a heavy lunch, I experienced ‘larva’ at first sight, while I watched a butterfly walk !!!
Is a butterfly that walks called a ButterWalk ? This one was also probably getting over a big meal, for it seemed dazed and allowed us to hold it and click pictures too.
When I sent home the pic below, my son said he thought it looked like a bug sprouting banana chips. Yes everything looks like food to us !!!
In the evening they arranged a jeep to take me on the main road safari, en route the Theppekadu elephant camp. The driver Paul had scheduled the trip so as to be in time for the elephant feeding. On the way we spotted more spotted deer and several peacocks (the peacocks in my life, seem to forever attempt crossing roads).
We were also alerted by the deer that went into a state of panic, presumably at the presence of a leopard or tiger in the bushes. However, despite waiting hopefully for quite a while, we failed to see anything. Paul’s theory was that we had probably just missed witnessing a kill, where the predator had caught one of the deer and had dragged it into the thicket.
We reached the elephant camp right at feeding time and after buying the tickets I went in to join the several tourists who had gathered to watch the keepers perform their bi-daily task of inserting their hands deep into the mouths of the pachyderms in order to feed them their dose of ragi balls fortified with coconut, sugarcane, horsegram etc. Well the millet lover in me would have loved to take a bite 😀
Apart from the elephants, there are several wild boars, peacocks and langurs all living in strange harmony in the camp.
The return drive was not very fruitful and I got back to the resort in time for … yes you guessed right, another round of snacking on the goodies that they had prepared. And yes dinner followed too. By now you have probably got the drift 😀
A crackling bonfire had us sitting around in bonhomie and was a de’Lightful end to a fulfilling day.
Day 3 – On the third day I checked out of the resort at 9 am after breakfast. Leaving earlier will probably be conducive to sighting a few more animals but at that hour, all we saw was deer. Oh deer !!!
Read on to see what we ate.
For more pictures see My Facebook – Jungle Hut-Part 2-Activities
Booking and contact –
Jungle Hut is located at –
Nilgiris – 643223.
Tamil Nadu, India.
They can be contacted at their website Jungle Hut
and their Facebook Page – Jungle Hut, Masinagudi
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pl Note – This assignment has been carried out by me, in collaboration with Jungle Hut. The information in my narrative is based on the inputs that I received from the client and also from my personal experience.
June 21st-23rd, 2018