Peppered with dense foliage, verdant greenery and cascading waterfalls with viewpoints that would take your breath away, the entirety of South India is a dream that you can only soak in when you travel for days. Savouring the local flavours, understanding the culture and interacting with the people you meet along the way is what makes this journey wholesome and worth it.
And today, we are taking you to one such destination, untouched and unspoilt from the footprints of touristy crowds. We are talking about Masinagudi. An offbeat destination just 30 km from Ooty in Karnataka, this quaint place is ideal for nature and wildlife enthusiasts alike. And for people who want to soothe their harried minds and take a break. Located in the foothills of the Nilgiri Mountain range, Masinagudi is also home to an expansive array of animals, birds and plants. And if you are planning a trip to this hidden gem, we have rounded up a list of 7 things to do in and around Masingudi. A handy guide of all things that should be on your itinerary, if you will.
1. Explore the wilderness of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
Composed of hills and valleys that are broken only by the occasional streams and swamps, the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located just 10 km away from Masinagudi. A famous sanctuary, the entire forest is populated with the growth of teak, rosewood, laurel and bamboo trees. All of which provide ample cover for the animals you will find when on a jeep safari. From black leopards, sloth bears, hyaenas, jackals, and wild pigs to golden eagles, you are bound to spot one species at least.
With several observation towers installed strategically near salt licks and water holes, it becomes easier to spot animals (and birds) during the season.
2. Watch elephant feeding at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp
Another beautiful attraction located inside the Mudumalai Reserve, the Theppakadu Elephant Camp allows you to watch the daily routine and the life of these giant animals from a safe and comfortable distance. If you want to watch how they are fed, reach the camp before 9 AM as that is when the feeding starts.
In the evening, after 4:30 PM, people have also found the elephants walking around the main road hence giving you that illusion of being in your real-life documentary. If interacting with animals and their habitats from this close is on your list, don’t miss out on this elephant camp.
3. Soak in the view of clouds descending at Glenmorgan Viewpoint
Strong winds, long winding roads and a scenic drive are all worth it when you reach the stunningly beautiful Glenmorgan Viewpoint. Located at a distance of just 10 km (half an hour drive), this viewpoint is famous for offering the most surreal view. With the clouds forming the backdrop behind the forest, you can easily see parts of Moyar Valley, Mysore, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Pykara Power Plant. Spend some time in solitude here as you soak in the panoramic view right in front of you.
P.S: Plan your trip as you will need permits from TNEB or Forest Department to get to the viewpoint.
4. Hike to Needle Rock Viewpoint
Imagine a tower at the top of a hill that you can only reach by a 10-15 minute short hike. And the view in front of you is that of mist-covered mountains and a valley down below, making it seem almost akin to a painting.
What if we told you such a place exists 34 km from Masinagudi? The Needle Rock Viewpoint is famous among hikers and nature enthusiasts. The sheer thrill and exhilaration of hiking on the weekend to take in that final view are how you can spend your weekends here. Pack yourself a lunch basket and have a little picnic once you reach the top. And click those Insta-worthy photos of this beautiful spot near Masinagudi.
P.S: There is an entry fee of INR 20.
5. Moyar Waterfalls
A magnificent sight that is protected from large crowds, Moyar waterfalls is a lesser-known attraction frequented by the locals. Located inside the Mudumalai forest, the waterfall is accessible via safaris booked before your visit.
A calming and cascading sight, the Moyar waterfalls are breathtaking and soothe your senses as you sit and soak in their sight. Spend hours here, undisturbed by the noise of the city and focus on the melodious gushing of its water.
- written by Priya Chaudhary -