Always take the scenic route!

Always take the scenic route!

Unforgettable journeys in the Western Ghats on KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation).

Misty rides, winding mountain roads, pristine rain forests, wildlife, grass lands, water falls, reservoirs, gorgeous valley views…

Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Kumily

Route: Chittar, Seethathodu, Angamuzhi, Kakkad Hydo Electric Project Area, Kakki Dam, Anathodu Dam, Pamba Dam, Gavi, Vallakadavu, Vandiperiyar
Travel Time: 04hrs 30mins
Districts: Pathanamthitta, Idukki
States: Kerala

KSRTC RNC 869 Ordinary Pathanamthitta - Gavi - Kumily (SWB - Short Wheel Base)

KSRTC RNC 869 Ordinary Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Kumily (SWB – Short Wheel Base)

A travel through nature… 

Pathanamthitta - Gavi - Kumily Route

Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Kumily Route

Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery

Route: Mettupalayam, Coonoor, Ooty, Gudalur, Pattavayal
Travel Time: 07hrs 15mins
Districts: Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Wayanad
States: Tamil Nadu, Kerala

KSRTC "Sulthan Of Nilgiris" RSK 645 Super Fast Coimbatore - Sulthan Bathery (Interstate Rider)

KSRTC  RSK 645 Super Fast Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery (Interstate Rider)

Sulthan Of Nilgiris…

Sulthan Bathery - Ooty - Coimbatore Route...

Sulthan Bathery – Ooty – Coimbatore Route

Udumelpet – Munnar

Route: Chinnar, Maraiyur, Eravikulam National Park
Travel Time: 03hrs 45mins
Districts: Tirupur, Idukki
States: Tamil Nadu, Kerala

KSRTC RAK 964 Town to Town Ordinary Udumalpet - Munnar (Interstate Rider)

KSRTC RAK 964 Town to Town Ordinary Udumalpet – Munnar (Interstate Rider)

Magical Munnar…

Udumalai - Maraiyur - Munnar Route

Udumalai – Maraiyur – Munnar Route

Erattupetta – Kattappana

Route: Vagamon, Kolahalamedu, Elappara, Upputhara
Travel Time: 03hrs
Districts: Kottayam, Idukki
States: Kerala

KSRTC RAE 59 Limited Stop Ordinary Erattupetta - Kattappana

KSRTC RAE 59 Limited Stop Ordinary Erattupetta – Kattappana

Vagamon Meadows…

Erattupetta - Vagamon - Kattappana Route

Erattupetta – Vagamon – Kattappana Route

Kattappana – Thodupuzha

Route: Vellayamkudi, Cheruthoni, Painavu, Kulamavu, Moolamattam
Travel Time: 03hrs 15mins
Districts: Idukki
States: Kerala

KSRTC RAC 710 Limited Stop Ordinary Kattappana - Thodupuzha

KSRTC RAC 710 Limited Stop Ordinary Kattappana – Thodupuzha

Irresistible Idukki…

Kattappana - Painavu - Thodupuzha Route

Kattappana – Painavu – Thodupuzha Route

Nilambur – Kakkadampoyil

Route: Akambadam
Travel Time: 01hrs 15mins
Districts: Malappuram, Kozhikode
States: Kerala

KSRTC RNC 956 Ordinary Nilambur - Thiruvambady (SWB - Short Wheel Base)

KSRTC RNC 956 Ordinary Nilambur – Thiruvambady (SWB – Short Wheel Base)

Western top of the Western Ghats… 

Nilambur - Kakkdampoyil Route

Nilambur – Kakkdampoyil Route

Kannur – Ooty

Route: Thalassery, Nedumpoyil, Thalappuzha, Mananthavady, Panamaram, Sulthan Bathery, Pattavayal, Gudalur
Travel Time: 08hrs 30mins
Districts: Kannur, Wayanad, Nilgiris
States: Kerala, Tamil Nadu

KSRTC RSC 974 Super Fast Kannur - Ooty (Interstate Rider)

KSRTC RSC 974 Super Fast Kannur – Ooty (Interstate Rider)

Wonderful Wayanad…

Kannur - Mananthavady - Sultha Bathery - Ooty Route

Kannur – Mananthavady – Sulthan Bathery – Ooty Route

Mannarkkad – Anaikatty

Route: Thenkara, Attapadi, Thavalam, Agaly, Sholaiyur
Travel Time: 02hrs 15mins
Districts: Palakkad
States: Kerala

KSRTC RNM 189 Ordinary Mannarkkad - Anaikatty

KSRTC RNM 189 Ordinary Mannarkkad – Anaikatty

Gateway to Silent valley…

Mannarkkad - Anaikatty Route

Mannarkkad – Anaikatty Route…

Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi

Route: Nedumangadu, Chullimanoor, Vithura, Kallar
Travel Time: 02hrs 40mins
Districts: Thiruvananthapuram
States: Kerala

KSRTC RSC 283 Ordinary Thiruvananthapuram - Ponmudi (SWB - Short Wheel Base)

KSRTC RSC 283 Ordinary Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi (SWB – Short Wheel Base)

A Walk in the Clouds…

Thiruvananthapuram - Ponmudi Route

Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi Route

Bangalore – Nilambur

Route: Mandya, Mysore, Gundalpet, Bandhipur, Mudumalai, Gudalur, Nadukani, Vazhikadavu
Travel Time: 07hrs 15mins
Districts: Bangaluru, Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Nilgiris, Malappuram
States: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

KSRTC RSC 698 Super Deluxe Bangalore - Kottayam (Interstate Rider)

KSRTC RSC 698 Super Deluxe Bangalore – Kottayam (Interstate Rider) ** On Bangalore – Nilambur Super Deluxe Schedule

A Night Safari…

RSC 698 Bangalore - Kottayam at Mysore Bus stand

RSC 698 Bangalore – Kottayam at Mysore Bus stand

An awesome night ride though Bandhipur and Mudumalai Tiger Reserves. There is a night traffic ban (21:00 – 06:00) on this road. But, this bus has a night pass. It passes through three forests ranges of there different states. Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu), Bandhipur National Park (Karnataka) and Amarambalam Reserve Forest (Kerela).

*Two buses each of KSRTC (Kerala), TNSTC (Tamil Nadu) and KSRTC (Karnataka) have night passes on Mudumalai, Bandhipur route .

Bangalore - Mysore - Nilambur Route

Bangalore – Mysore – Nilambur Route

 

Nilgiri Marten

Nilgiri Marten

Endemic to the Western Ghats, the Nilgiri Marten (Martes gwatkinsii) is a slender, agile carnivore with large paws and partially retractable claws. It is usually about 60 cm long from head to vent and has a tail that is about 40 cm long. It weighs about two kilograms.

Nilgiri Marten, which is the only species of marten found in Southern India.

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Nilgiri Marten, which is the only species of marten found in Southern India.  Nilgiri Martens can be found in the hills of Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats in southern India. feeds on birds, small mammals, and insects, such as cicadas.

They are active during the day and are mainly arboreal, although they do descend to the ground occasionally.

Conservation status : Vulnerable
Local Names
TamilMaranai 
MalayalamMarapatti, Karumvernku and Koduvalli.

Nilgiri flycatcher

Nilgiri flycatcher

Nilgiri flycatcher (Eumyias albicaudatus) is an endemic resident in the Western Ghats of southern India.

It occurs in evergreen hill forests and woodlands favoring forest edges, clearings, dense vegetation near streams, shade coffee and cardamom plantations and sholas, from 600 m to the summits. It found from southern Karnataka south in Kerala and western Tamil Nadu. [Audio] Nilgiri flycatcher’s Sound 

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The male is dark blue overall with a violet-blue forehead and dark lore.  Females are much duller, dark brown on upper parts  wings and face and dark grey below. Small whitish basal panels on tail are diagnostic, but very hard to see.

Hunts like other Flycatchers by making short aerial forays from the canopy. Breeds from February to June, building a cup-like nest of moss in a hole in a tree, a wall, among hanging roots or under a bridge.

The Leaf Monkey

The Leaf Monkey

The Nilgiri langur (Trachypithecus johnii) is a lutung found in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats in South India.

Its range also includes Kodagu in Karnataka, Kodayar Hills in Tamil Nadu and many other hilly areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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It has glossy black fur on its body and golden brown fur on its head. Females have a white patch of fur on the inner thigh. It lives in troops of five to 16 monkeys.

The favourite haunts of the Nilgiri Langur are the sholas, which are dense evergreen forests occupying the watercourses or folds in high elevation grasslands.

Primarily vegetarian, their diet comprises of leaves, flowers, buds, seeds, bark and stem of various plants. Preferring new leaves, it feeds on a variety of plants depending on the season.

Like the Common Langur, the whooping call of the Nilgiri Langur is very distinctive though quite different in its resonance. Normally the whooping call of one male elicits similar booming whoops from neighbouring males and soon the forest seems to echo with these calls. [Video] The whooping call of the Nilgiri Langur

Heard the laugh track of the Nilgiris?

Heard the laugh track of the Nilgiris?

The Nilgiris Laughing Thrush also called Black chinned Laughing Thrush (Strophocincla cachinnans) is an endangered endemic bird found only in and around Nilgiris.

A noisy bird with a distinctive laughing call and striking features. While walking in the Nilgiris, listen closely for the guffaw of the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and treasure it, for you’ll hear it nowhere else on earth… [Audio] The Nilgiris Laughing Thrush’s Laughing Call

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Nilgiri Laughing Thrush is a birds sized about 20cms. It has black chin, sharp black beak, white brows, reddish brown feathers. Male and female have similar in colorization.

The preferred spots are Shola forest with dense undergrowth and fringes. Also in wooded gardens, forest edge and patches of thick scrub. Though relatively easier to hear is pretty tough to spot.

Mainly feeds on invertebrates, nectar, flowers and fruits, mostly within three meters of the ground.

Breeding season from January to June during an year. The nests are being made from February to beginning of June. The nest is normally built using roots, dead leaves, small twigs, and lichen, neatly lined with very fine grass stems.

They normally have two eggs in greenish-blue with a few large and small brown spots and streaks.

The Nilgiris Laughing Thrush

The Flower of Blue Mountains

The Flower of Blue Mountains

Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) is a shrub that used to grow abundantly in the shola grasslands of Western Ghats in India.

The Nilgiris, which literally means the blue mountains, got its name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms gregariously once in 12 years. Besides the Western Ghats, Neelakurinji is seen in the Shevroys in the Eastern Ghats. It occurs at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 metres.

 

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Apart from Nilgris, Neelakurinji grow in grass lands of Eravikulam, hills between Klavarai in Tamil Nadu and Vattavada, near Munnar in Kerala during the season from August to December.

The plant is usually 30 to 60 cm high on the hills. They can, however, grow well beyond 180 cm under congenial conditions.

Kurinjimala Sanctuary protects the kurinji approximately 32 km² core habitat of the endangered Neelakurinji plant in Kottakamboor and Vattavada villages in Devakulam Taluk, Idukki district of Kerala.

War Gods

War Gods

The Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) also known as Great Indian Hornbill or Great Pied Hornbill, is one of the larger members of the hornbill family.

Their habitat is dense old growth forests in hilly regions.The distribution of the species is fragmented over its range in South and Southeast Asia. In South Asia they are found in a few forest areas in the Western Ghats and in the forests along the Himalayas. Their distribution extends into Thailand, Burma, Malaya and Sumatra.

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Largest Asian hornbill species with males larger than females. Males have more pronounced yellow casque than females. Both sexes black with some yellowish- whitish feathers. Back of casque reddish in females, black in males. Males have red iris with black skin surrounding, females white iris with pink or red skin surrounding.

Their calls & wing beats can be heard more than half a mile away.

Casque takes 4-5 years to develop. While casque looks heavy, it is actually light and hollow.

They love to bask in the sun.

Like all arboreal hornbills, female nests in tree cavity with wall made of mud, fruit pulp & poop. Hole big enough for female to fit into & once she’s in she walls herself up for 3 months, leaving narrow opening for male to feed her/brood.

Male defends territory. While walled up, female undergoes complete molt. When chicks & mom too big, mom breaks out with both parents feeding chicks.

Due to frugivorous diet, they’re very important seed dispersers.

Their impressive size and colour have made them important in many tribal cultures and rituals.