By Monthish K.
Our visit to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve this Friday, the eleventh of January, was an awesome experience. We travelled by bus from the Keystone Campus, driving along winding roads and sharp turns, descending towards the plains of Mudumalai. The Tiger Reserve, although a part of the Nilgiris, lies at a much lower elevation. On our arrival, we first went to the Dottabetta peak, after which we went down the Frog hill which is near the town of Gudalur. From here, we saw beautiful forests and hills, and an especially peculiar hill called the Needle Rock. We were told that three rivers that flow towards Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu originated in these mountains. The town of Gudalur is also the place where all the three states merge.
Prior to this trip, I had visited Mudumalai three times with my family and friends, but then I had not observ ed or learnt about the beautiful landscape and the different types of trees like I did this time.. I especially noticed how the forests of Mudumalai were different from our forests. We were very happy to spot two wild elephants, which we were told was a rare sighting post three in the afternoon. I think we were very lucky! But in the moment, I was also a little scared because I think elephants are more dangerous than tigers. We then entered the Mudumalai elephant’s camp where we saw the Bettu Kurumba people giving the camp elephants a bath in the river. We also saw spotted Chitals (deer) and Langurs (monkeys) during our visit.. We then visited the Keystone field centre in Vazhaithottam and returned to Ooty via the Kalhatty road, which was a thrilling experience because of the thirty-six hair pin bends along the road. We then had dinner at Place to Bee, a slow food restaurant, which was a fun experience. Since I prefer my food to be spicy, I did not eat very well. On our way back to the Keystone Campus, we all danced in the bus and enjoyed a lot. We returned to the campus late that night.