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Muthanga Wildlife Safari
After Molehole we entered Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Its all the same, all part of Nilgiri Biosphere region one is in Karnataka side other one in Kerala. The entire drive through the jungle was mind blowing! There are uncountable numbers of speed breakers on the road to stop speed junkies to run over the animals. Otherwise the road is fabulous; winding through the dense forest. Kerala is dry state now so carrying alcohol inside the state is prohibited. And there is excise dept check post to search incoming vehicles but my car was not stopped. The roads afterwards were also very good and we crossed Sulthan Bathery by 11.30. We had time in hand so instead of going directly to the home-stay, decided to visit Edekkal Cave. We followed the instructions of Gmaps and reached Edekkal around 12.30.
Day 2: We heard the safari in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary was worth going on. I was skeptical. Yet, we hired an auto to pick us up by 5:30 am and reached the ticket booth just as it opened for the day. Instinct guided me towards the left of the ticket room, which was already full with eager tourists hoping to be on the safari. The morning round of safari sees 40 jeeps go into the forest while the afternoon round sees 15 jeeps go into the forest. We were one of the lucky ones to be allotted a jeep after we agreed to share the ride with another family of 4 members. I much rather prefer exploring a forest on foot or on an elephant. From experience, jeeps safaris are unsuccessful in my opinion. The roar of the jeep is sure to scare away any animal that might have considered venturing into the path. This safari too was turning out to be one of disappointment - we saw some deers, more deers and some more deers! Suddenly, a flash of metallic blue and green caught our eye! A lone peacock had strutted out into the open. This splash of colour against a greenish yellow backdrop brought excitement to the safari. Soon, we also spotted a couple of peahens. These birds alone changed the status of the safari from boring to wow!