Mysore Trip Travelogue (Jan 2014)

I am a bit late in updating this here. We did a road trip after a long while. With the wife’s neck pain (well, the other pain – not me!), we have been mostly traveling by train and not really done any vacationing for a bit now. So we wanted to do something where we could go somewhere nearby and also somewhere where we can just go and ‘vegetate’ and relax.

Windflower Resorts

I had heard about this resort chain a while ago, and have heard that this is a great place. And there was a deal going on for their 3 days 2 nights package. The only catch here was that, you need to pay upfront the whole money. And there were cancellation penalties etc. But we had heard enough good things about the place that we decided to take the risk.

The time

We planned the trip right after New Years. We wanted quiet relaxation. So we had planned Jan 2/3/4. Nice and cool for Mysore. Mysore can get pretty hot in the summers.

The Onward Journey

The road is pretty good in terms of quality. From Koramangala, we started earlly around 530AM. Our intention was to head towards Hosur Road and take the Electronic City Ramp into the NICE road. Unfortunately because of the dark, we missed the entry ramp. We did realize this quickly though. So there was a bit of a delay here – about 20 minutes. But once on the NICE road, it was a breeze until Mysore Road exit. Worth the Rs.90 toll. The Mysore road exit takes you just past Kengeri. I was like Wow. That is sweet. No BSK. No Mysore Road junction. No Metro work progress. And No Kengeri. The rest of the journey is characterized by continuous random successions of these three incidents:

  • large speed bumps (good quality ones, but large)
  • small towns – 6-7 of them, in quick succession and all going through the town.
  • two-wheelers whenever you neared a town, which was everywhere.

So, basically, you would go dodging two wheelers to clearing a town to slowly inching up to a 100 kmph, and then you would site a bump, and slow down and back to dodging two wheelers ! This was how the journey was all through from Kengeri to entering Mysore.

Kamat Loka Ruchi was breakfast stop at 7AM. Steaming hot dosa/idlis/puris. It was not too crowded at 7AM. It can get pretty crowded as the day progresses.

Back on the road, we were on the outskirts of Mysore around 9ish. Our check-in time to the resort was 12 Noon. So we had decided to head to the zoo. This was planned. And so, I had already purchased entry tickets, parking permit, and the electric buggy tickets – all online. This was the nearest I came to Planning Nirvana. What more can you ask for. No standing in the ticket line after driving for 3 hours. The site advises you to take two copies print out of the tickets. When you enter, you show the two copies. One of them gets taken away and they stamp up the tickets for you on the other one.

We headed straight for the buggy ride. This is super convenient, especially if you are travelling with a kid. We have had bad experiences in Hyderabad Zoo, where my kid basically flat out refused to move unless carried – in the middle of the zoo, and we had to lug him everywhere. The buggy ride is a one hour guided tour of the zoo. The driver stops at all the main attractions so that you can get out, see the animals, take photos etc.

We found the mysore zoo to be one of the most clean and interesting zoos that we had visited. Wow. So many giraffes. Hippos. Rhinos. Cheetahs. Elephants. Yep. I was as excited as my 4 year old son.

zoo1  zoo2 zoo3

zoo4 zoo5 zoo6


It was still only 1030AM. We tried requesting to check-in into the resort – which is pretty close to the zoo. Unfortunately they did not have any early check-outs and the reception person said, they could get us in only at Noon. So we asked if there were anything else that we could see nearby. And we were informed about Karanji park


Unfortunately we did not take too many pictures here. Go here for some pictures.

Karanji park is basically a large lake, and a small lake front park. The lake is pretty big, and there is a boating facility. So we did that. And the park is a childrens park, which is very nicely maintained. So my kid had a blast for about an hour there.

We then returned back to the resort (which is about 5 min drive from Karanji park). And we were shown to our rooms.

The resort and the rooms

We loved the resort. Nice resortish feel when you get in itself. A large open open to air reception. Life size chess. A long artificial water body with artificial palms and coconut trees on both sides to give it a tropical feel. There are two rows of suites/rooms on both sides of the water body. The premium studios have a water front facing facade.There are a dozen ducks that keep wandering here and there – this provided quite a bit of amusement for my son. The screeching parakeet in the reception area is another attraction.

There is a small sit out and deck chairs facing the water. The rooms are well appointed. NIce wooden flooring. Big four poster bed. Wooden paneling. Nice luxury bathrooms.

resort8 resort6 resort7

resort5 resort4 resort3


The restaurant and the food

There is a central restaurant which you can walk to for food. The deal that I got gave me Rs. 1500 of resort credits that you could use, including food. Breakfast is free. Stick to the south Indian breakfast. The North Indian breakfast was terrible.

The regular a’la carte food (both in restaurant and room-service) was very good. The only drawback being it took forever for the food to come. It was so bad that after the second day, we ordered the starter from the room half hour earlier and then went in, so that we wouldnt need to wait. It was really that bad.Food quality was good though. And I would venture to say that, compared to some of the Bangalore restaurants, food is cheaper too. Stuff like hot/warm milk is available for room service 24 hours – this is info for families taking kids with them.


We did not want to travel too much. The second day, at the insistence of my son, who was in no mood to relax, we had to head out somewhere. So we went to the “Mall of Mysore”, a mall which had opened very recently. This is pretty close to the resort. Very typical mall. Nothing spectacular to see here. The next day, again, we had to head out, and this time we headed into town to the Cauvery Emporium, and bought our mandatory purchase of wooden key chains and agarbathi holder !



Return was an uneventful journey. We left around 10ish. Check out is 11AM. We had a hearty breakfast at the resort itself. So by the time we hit Ramanagara (Kamat Loka Ruchi) at 12 Noon, we were just about hungry. Had sumptuous North Karnataka Jollada Roti meal. We were back home by just before 5PM. And this was because of traffic closer home.

Good trip on the whole. Relaxing for the most part. Highly recommend Windflower. They are a tad bit expensive – so keep a look out for their deals on their website. They have deals like spring deal, winter deal, summer deal etc. I have heard good things about their other resorts in Bandipur, Coorg, Pondicherry, and Wayanad. Hope to visit them some time later.

Hope this travelogue has been useful to you. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments, I will try to answer them as best as I can.

Jungle Lodges Resort – Bannerghatta National Park

I had gone (with Family – wife and 3.5 year old) to the Jungle Lodges Resort inside Bannerghatta National Park. Every person I had asked about this said they had heard nice things about this place, but had never been there. So I wanted to be there and experience it first hand. Booking it was seamless – on the Internet —

Check-in was at 12 Noon. We had left from Koramangala around 10:15AM. We reached the Bannerghatta Zoo parking lot around 11:30AM. We had been asked to call the Park office once we reached there. You need to leave your cars here in the open parking lot. There is a security guy and the Park people try and organize such that all the Jungle Lodges folks park their cars together. I would still not leave any valuables in there – just to be careful. The Park office cheerfully informed us that pickup is on the way.


We then figured out that, it was going to be three families into a single jeep. We were all flummoxed as to how this was going to be managed. The driver guy simply said – “Women, children, and elderly inside the jeep. Others stand behind.” Problem solved.

The resort is about 5 km into the jungle away from the zoo. You can see a lot of Sambar, spotted deer, and Indian Gaur (looks like a bison, but its not).








The road winds its way into the forest, and the view from the jeep back is awesome. The wind in my hair is a great feeling. Another first. Never ridden standing in the back-deck of a jeep before.



And we hit the first check-post. This gate closes at 5:15PM and opens only in the morning. So no entry and exists possible between this time.


And after some more winding roads,


We hit the resort gates.


And yours truly getting out of the jeep deck.


The resort has 2 log huts. We stayed in one of them. They are made fully of wood and concrete. They are on a raised platform.


They have a split AC inside. Very well furnished inside.Comfortable bed. Chair and table. Very clean toilet. Nice tribal painting murals on the walls.



Each log hut (and most other rooms) come with a large sized hammock just outside it. Fantastic to laze around and relax.


Other than the two log huts, there are 10 swiss tents. These are similar sized rooms, but have canvas material for walls. We were told that the bathrooms (at the back) are concrete.


And other than these 12 individual rooms, there is a dormitory that can take 36 people.

So, back to the plan. We settled into the log hut, and were told that lunch is at 1:30PM. Within a few minutes a very courteous staff came and said, that there is a vehicle that got free now, and we can do the safari right away. It should take about 45 minutes and we should be back in the camp for lunch time. There are large enclosures for lions, tigers, elephants, and bears. Quite a few of these animals are roaming in their natural habitat. The safari vehicle is a steel fortified swaraj mazda. In all, a good safari with guaranteed sightings.







After lunch time, the jeep dropped us off at the butterfly park. We were asked to call the driver once we are done. The butterfly park is an unique concept. It is a one-time-must-go. It is a large dome, filled with flowers and butterflies. The doors have wind curtains so that the butterflies do not escape out. There were several signs of very colorful butterflies, but I saw only black ones everywhere.




After the butterfly park, we called for the driver, who picked us up and dropped us off at the zoo. The zoo is a different matter. While the safari had a special van for the jungle lodges folks, the zoo is the regular deal. It was defenitely too crowded for comfort, but then it was the weekend. Also, there was heavy littering etc which was pretty sad. But the son got a good view of the animals.




Then we came back to the log hut. Had Onion pakodas and Chai. Then dinner. With all the walking around, sleep came easily. There is an early morning trek planned in the morning. We skipped it. Breakfast opens at 830AM. We had breakfast around 9AM, and then packed slowly and were ready to check out around 10:15AM. The jeep then takes you back to the parking lot and drops you off at your car.

Food: The food here is very sub-standard. It is not to the point that it could give you a bad stomach ache. But it leaves much to be desired. But then, hey, you do not have any other choice. All the three meals are buffet meals in a hall called the Gol Ghar – a circular hall.

Price: Rs 3200 per person per night. Kids less than 5 years stay free. So our total came to around 6700/- all inclusive.

Tips: There are two large donation boxes (one at the food hall and the other in the reception). It is written in a couple of places that, instead of tipping individually, it is better to use the gratuity boxes.

Value for money: High. If you want to do the zoo/safari with your kid(s), it is a nice option to stay in the wilderness, while at it. Not too far from Bangalore city, so no planning required.

Staff: Extremely courteous staff. Kudos to them.

Comfort/Cleanliness: Fantastic. I would rate these guys very high compared to other similar places I have been to.

And lastly, my favourite pic – the poser: