For people who belong to the wild, it is important to stay in touch with the wilderness. As the city started creeping into the boys, we started to ride down to 'Ecoscape', a little hideaway tuck deep inside the jungl of Devala.
Ecoscape is about 300 Kms away from Bangalore, ahead of Mudumalai Forest near Devala town. After you cross the Mudumalai jungle bridge where the safari starts and you see a board that says left to Ooty, take the right and get to Devala through the twisty Bamboo jungle. Once you have crossed the small Devala town, you would see a volley ball ground on your right and you take the left opposite to that. Take the road in the middle amongst the three roads and the property awaits on the end of a 3.5 Km off road. You can trek your way or call the property for a Jeep, they charge about Rs. 500 one way.
If you are taking a bus, get down to Gudlur and take a local bus from there to Devala.
Ecoscape is situated in a 136 acre estate and is surrounded by the jungle. You are bound to feel lost in the jungle the moment you get there and the jungle will accept you sooner than you realise. The host is a very warm person and the level of hospitality offered by the local adhivasi people is brilliant. A general package at Ecoscape would include Bird watching, Trek into the Jungle and the mesmerizing waterfall treks. There is a lot more that the property could offer on demand, we heard of a few groups who came in only for 4 day long treks. We reached the property in the evening and the host walked us down to the waterfall, a little stream that refreshed us and got us ready for the evening. We spent our next morning doing bird watching where we found beautiful birds but we could only hear the Great Indian Hornbill. However, sight of a gaint Malabar squarrel jumping on the branches of huge trees was a great experience. We got back and had some yummy local breakfast served at the property, post which we did the most awaited 5 Waterfall Trek. Every stream that you witness has its own beauty. The trek is moderate with huge boulders, a few unstable and a few slippery but worth every challenge. One has to walk up through the stream to get to every waterfall and the fifth one will leave you speechless, especially the colorful butterflies that fly around you all the time. The entire trek could take you about 3.5 hours depending on your physical stamina and mobile phone battery :)
When at the property, spend a lot of time listening to the birds chirping, staring at the tall green woods, relish the local delicasies like Mango chutney, wild honey, and fruit jams.
If you are looking at a peaceful weekend gateway from bangalore, Chennai, or any of the cities in the south, this is your best bet. Nature and ecoscape wouldn't disappoint.
One could also contribute and help the local adhivasi people on the monetory front if you wish to.
Ecoscape can be reached at 'email@example.com' and 919818609995,09159947324.