We are in the first wildlife reserve are we have visited in Asia part of our trip. Its name is Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The reserve area, on the way between Ooty and Mysore, with a busy road passing through it, is not fenced and a natural living area of wild elephants, gazelles, monkeys, tigers and some tribes under protection, living in a primitive way compared to actual circumstances.
It is open for tourism with a reception, information center and several guesthouses in a small area. It is prohibited to walk out of the space around these buildings. Also with your own vehicle… This restriction is to avoid being hunted by wild animals and getting lost in the forest. It is also forbidden to get close to the local people around the place because nobody wants to spoil their way of living by modern citizens, especially by western tourists. So, the “wild” people are also under protection here. Just for a couple times in a day, the chance to observe wild life is given to us, modern human, with camouflage-buses following a certain way in “Wild Life Tour”.
We join one of them because of despair and inattention. As wild animals are afraid of the noisy buses, not only we it is not possible to observe wild life, but also it becomes an activity in which we feel ashamed because of disturbance we caused and questioned our species again.
This place is so quiet and calm that, we dream of staying for one night and observe the wild life around. After settling in a room we found luckily in one of the guesthouses, when we go out for a walk, at the other side of the river flowing next to the guesthouse, we see a herd of gazelles, a huge peacock, and a wild boar looking for food. We are that close to wild life. We pass to the other side as soon as we got the camera, and start observing the herd and taking photographs. They don’t run away, but they also don’t let us get closer. While trying to take photos of gazelles hiding in the forest very well thanks to their camouflage with our lousy lenses that cannot take distant photos, an officer calls us back to the other side of the river. It is forbidden to walk alone.
We go back to our pension lowly but joyous anyway, and keep watching them. In the scene we witness from the veranda; moneys jumping from one branch to another, the gazelle family looking for food, many we can’t recognize, our lonely boar and the peacock are in the same frame. Joining them, being one of them, desire of being in the wild fills our hearts.
Sezgin climbs up the trees for practice. He succeeds, but it is not clear if he will be able to find food or be the food. Our impulse of back to the wild disappears.
With the happiness of being that close to wild life even for two days, and with the concern of going back to the city, we reach Mysore. Immediately we realize that we don’t want to stay there and go to Gokarna. Even we came to Gokarna with the dream of going to the most virgin beach of 5, Paradise Beach, when we arrive Kudle Beach, closest one to the town, the energy of the land captures us and we cannot leave there for 10 days, where we came actually just for one or two days.