Gundlupet: The year-end holiday season as part of Christmas and New Year is not only attracting tourists in large numbers to the cultural capital Mysuru but also to the nearby wildlife sanctuaries like Bandipur National Park.
After good rains this year, the lush green Bandipur forests with hills and winding road and a haven for varieties of wild animals is another major tourist attraction to the wildlife lovers.
The Bandipur National Park in Chamarajanagar district is about 15 km from Gundlupet taluk and daily tourists are making a beeline to the Park to see the animals in wilderness.
Every morning, hundreds of tourists come to go on a safari ride which begins at 7.30 am and ends at 9.30 am. Driving through the forest range in dead silence and with their eyes and ears open, the tourists usually spot deer, elephants, peacocks, bison and a rare wild boar or a pangolin.
Similarly for the safari in the evening which begins at 4.30 and ends at 6.30, hundreds gather before the ticket counter along with children and elders to experience the jungle ride.
The Forest Department is making all efforts to see that no tourist goes back disappointed as they keep up the safari ride timing, accommodating as many as possible in the two hour duration in the morning and evening.
One of the common sights for the tourists in the morning and evening is a herd of spotted deer crossing the road or grazing. The elephants behind thick bushes and near the trees protecting the calves are another beautiful sight to behold.
However, one must indeed be very lucky to spot a tiger and majority of the tourists rarely spot one. But because of the rains, the whole forest looks so green and clean that it is a worth a visit, said one of the tourists G.S. Ganeshprasad speaking to Star of Mysore.
Apart from the Bandipur National Park, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta close by is another attraction for the tourists who are flocking the hill shrine. The tourists feel blessed to have a darshan of Himavad Gopalaswamy atop the hill.
The other places of interest that attract the visitors are the nearby Madhumalai Forest apart from Bandipur National Park.