Just a day trip from Mysore, you can be up in the gorgeous B R Hills where there are 2,500 species of plants and tress along with tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and guar plus over 200 species of birds. BR Hills is named from Lord Biligiri Ranga. Bili means white and giri means hills in Kannda the Karnataka language.
Where to stay in BR Hills
The drive was stunning and the destination of Gorukana near K Gudi B R Hills was perfect. They are a nature resort (but it was very luxury/glamping style) that gives all their profits to an NGO called VGKK to help the Soliga tribals of BR Hills.
the view, a crazy huge ant hill, and my buddy for my BR hills time- let just call him Sher (tiger in Hindi)
Exploring K Gudi | B R Hills
Gorukana means “Web of Life” and is a tribute to the tribals in the area. We did a little safari into the hills and saw barking dear which I had missed back in Kabini. Still no leopard, but I was informed that for the first time in a long time a tiger had killed a tribal just 10 days before in the area- so they’re around.
Other than the jeep safari you can opt to do a nature trek with a naturalist- lots of tribals are employed as naturalists. Who better to show you the hills than the aboriginals?
a Soliga Tribal girl
Part of your stay at Gorukana includes interacting with the Tribals by touring their hamlets and seeing a cultural performance. On the way to the Soliga Village Hamlet, we stopped at a 1,000 year old Vishnu Temple called Biligiri Ranga Swamy Temple (also what BR Hills was named by).
There are two main hills points and at this temple were one pair of giant shoes, it’s said Vishnu went from one hill to the other in one step. You can’t take photos inside here. This is the only Vishnu temple other than the richest Tirupati temple where you can find Lord Vishnu standing. You’ll also see great viewpoints on the drive through the hills so stop for photos!
Glamping at Gorukana
The resort has an Ayurvedic center on the lake, great buffets for lunch and dinner, and seriously the coolest cabins ever. You can buy some of the products made by the tribals here, like the honey, on your way out.
best papad I’ve EVER had
I stayed in the “deer” Cottage, which was amazing, but it seems the tree house is the one people are raving about on TripAdvisor. Didn’t get a chance to peak in that one, but was completely happy with my cabin. It overlooked the lake and had a hammock outside.
The cottage was amazing with a really soft bed and a fluffy duvet so I actually didn’t get cold at night. There was a loft above the main room of the cottage where two more people could sleep. There was electricity, hot water, and toiletries in the bathroom.
It was very cold here in October so I recommend bringing warm clothing. The mosquitos were in full force so repellent was a must. Also, with the tents being far from where dinner is served I recommend a headlamp or flashlight- although the torch on my phone worked okay.
Bonus, there were 3 adorable puppies. It was so sad to learn that the monkeys kind of play around this area; they sometimes hurt the puppies and a few had died- but this is the wild and I guess that’s the cycle of life.
There was one little guy I wanted to take home. He had some kind of neurological problem so one eye was a bit off, and he walked sideways, or sometimes ran backwards (Sher, pictured below)! But he was a lover and had tiger stripes like a bad ass. I was so happy that the girl helping run the place was such a dog lover and took care of all these little puppies.
Practical Information for staying at Gorukana
Pricing: Cottages start at 3950 rs, Tree houses at 4550 rs, and Tent houses are 3450 rs. All meals are included along with a visit to the tribal hospital and school and a nature walk. You’ll also get to see a cultural performance from the tribals.
Location: Opp. Yarakanagadde colony, near VGKK hospital, B R Hills, Chamarajnagar District, Karnataka, 571441
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