Sloth bear - BR HIlls

Wilderness Escapade: The Definitive Travel Guide to BR Hills and K Gudi (2024)

Within this article, embark on a journey to explore the untamed beauty of K Gudi BR Hills and delve into the wilderness of Karnataka. Situated in the picturesque Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary, KGudi Wilderness Camp provides a distinctive retreat amidst nature’s embrace. This tranquil sanctuary, conveniently close to Bangalore, extends a warm invitation to adventure enthusiasts and wildlife admirers.

Delight in the excitement of discovering the unspoiled charm of BRT through captivating safaris, offering glimpses of elephants, gaurs, and an array of other species thriving in their natural surroundings.

One of the weekend retreats I cherish the most from Bangalore is BR Hills. I’ve visited BR Hills numerous times, and each visit has been delightful. My initial excursion to BR Hills holds a special place in my memories, as it was the best—I was fortunate enough to spot two leopards during that trip.

PIN for later reference – Travel Guide to K Gudi BR Hills

PIN for later reference - Travel Guide to K Gudi BR Hills
PIN for later reference – Travel Guide to K Gudi BR Hills

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About BR Hills

Situated in Karnataka, the Biligiriranga betta, BR Hills forms a picturesque hill range. This region is designated as the Biligiri Ranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, a safeguarded tiger reserve serving as a vital corridor between the Western and Eastern Ghats.

For an optimal experience, the recommended period to explore BR Hills is from October to March.

How to Get to BR Hills?

By Road

Located approximately 170 kilometres from Bangalore and 85 kilometres from Mysore, BR Hills is easily accessible by a scenic drive that typically takes around 4 hours. Optimal access to BR Hills is achieved by taking the route via Mysore Road.

Furthermore, K Gudi is conveniently situated a mere 20 kilometres away from BR Hills.

Driving - BR Hills
Road trip to K Gudi

By Public Transport

Regular bus services connect Bangalore to K Gudi (BR Hills). To reach K Gudi from Bangalore, one can take a train or bus to Mysore or Chamrajnagara and then transfer to a bus heading to BR Hills. Local buses operate between these destinations, providing convenient transportation.

  • Train tickets to Mysore or Chamrajnagara can be booked through the IRCTC website.
  • For information on specific buses connecting Mysore or Chamrajnagara to BR Hills, you should engage with the locals, who can guide you on the available options.

Where to Stay in BR Hills?

BR Hills offers environmentally conscious accommodation choices, enabling you to submerge yourself in a tranquil environment while keeping your ecological impact to a minimum. Revel in the rustic allure of the camps, enhanced by the welcoming hospitality of the staff.

As mentioned earlier, my visits to BR Hills have led me to stay at two distinct places, both of which have provided exceptional experiences.

Gorukana Resort

The Gorukana Eco Resort stands out as one of the most exceptional resorts I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Nestled amid the wilderness, the property and the staff exhibit absolute brilliance. Notably, the resort is dedicated to supporting the Soliga Tribal Community, with a significant portion of its staff belonging to the Soliga tribes.

Gorukana BR Hills
A cottage at Gorukana Resort

What sets the Gorukana Eco Resort apart is its commitment to hiring, training, and employing tribal individuals from the Soliga community. This unique aspect contributes significantly to the resort’s distinct charm and positive impact on the local community.

K Gudi Wilderness Camp by Jungle Lodges

I’ve had the pleasure of staying at various Jungle Lodges properties; without exception, each experience has been truly remarkable. The K Gudi Wilderness Camp by Jungle Lodges, situated at BR Hills, is no exception – it’s an excellent choice for accommodation. Their inclusive packages cover all three meals, and the culinary delights served at Jungle Lodges are genuinely delicious.

Opting for Jungle Lodges accommodations is advantageous, given that it operates under the governance of the Government of Karnataka. This affiliation simplifies access to various activities, including jeep safaris, making the overall experience more convenient and enjoyable.

Things To Do in BR Hills

Jeep Safari

It has been surprising to realize how little awareness exists outside India regarding the remarkable safaris available. Mentioning safaris often prompts assumptions about Africa, yet India boasts dense forests teeming with incredible wildlife and offers captivating jeep safaris.

For those with an affinity for exploring forests, delve into the travel guide to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.

BR Hills stands out for harbouring the largest population of Asian wild elephants. The forest is renowned for sightings of Indian Gaurs, giant flying squirrels, sloth bears, civet cats, and many other captivating species. A diverse range of mammals, including deer, civet cats, and wild dogs, accounts for 26 species.

Forest safaris are conducted twice daily, in the morning (6 AM to 8 AM) and late afternoon (4 PM to 6 PM), typically costing between INR 750 to INR 1000. For accurate pricing, it’s advisable to check with the resorts.

According to a 2017 survey, the area is home to 62 tigers. Unfortunately, my attempts to spot these majestic creatures have been unsuccessful thus far.

Sloth bear - BR HIlls
A sloth bear spotting during the Jeep safari

Bird Watching

BR Hills proves to be a fantastic location for observing vibrant and beautiful avian species. The area boasts a documented count of approximately 254 bird species, and during my visits, I had the pleasure of spotting numerous diverse birds.

Make sure to bring along a quality camera with zoom capabilities to capture the splendour of these remarkable bird species.

Water heron - BR Hills
A heron spotting during bird watching

Jungle Walks

The resorts organize brief jungle walks, providing an opportunity to stroll through the lush forests and gain insights into the local flora and fauna. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, visitors receive explanations about various plants and their benefits. You might even encounter some of the area’s wildlife during the walk if fortunate.

As per the Indian tourism website, the reserve is home to an impressive array of more than 800 plant species.

Tribal Music and Dance

The resorts organize evening entertainment featuring tribal performances, treating visitors to local music and dance. An enchanting evening unfolds with a campfire, where the dancers showcase their talents. It’s a captivating experience, and visitors are sometimes invited to join in the dancing festivities.

Biligiri RangaSwamy Temple (BRT)

Exploring the Biligiri Ranga Swamy Temple, devoted to Lord Venkateshwara, is an essential part of the BR Hills experience. At the highest peak, convenient access is available through a drive to the temple’s car parking.

The temple welcomes visitors daily from 7 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 6 PM.

Given the sacred ambience, it’s crucial to show respect to fellow devotees and dress modestly when visiting. Additionally, exercise caution around the resident monkeys, particularly if you have any food items with you.

Is BR Hills Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

BR Hills stands out as a secure destination, with both resorts providing a high level of safety, making it an ideal recommendation for solo female travellers. Nevertheless, it’s essential to exercise caution regarding wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and elephants in the area. It’s advisable not to venture out alone and prioritize safety measures, particularly during the night.

Closing Notes

BR Hills emerges as a captivating weekend escape from Bangalore. While it’s feasible to make the trip over the weekend, I highly recommend extending your stay for a few days to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and the lush forests. Undoubtedly, BR Hills holds a special place in my heart as one of the most memorable destinations in Karnataka.

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Wilderness Escapade: The Definitive Travel Guide to BR Hills and K Gudi (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Travel Guide to K Gudi BR Hills

    PIN for later reference - Travel guide to BR Hills
    PIN for later reference – Travel Guide to K Gudi BR Hills