Wild Planet Jungle Resort located in Devala, is on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Technically, the resort is in Kerala, and the resort is owned by a Keralite.
Minty Alert: First things first – Do NOT follow Google Maps to reach Wild Planet Jungle Resort. We followed Google Maps and ended up in a (dead end) farm land. Nobody in the area knew where/what is Wild Planet Jungle Resort. We had to call the resort and ask for clear directions and drove all the way uphill of 20+ kms to reach an interim landmark where the resort asked us to come (more on this later). We wasted nearly 3 hours in driving in wrong direction. Even Rajinikanth cannot reach this resort if he follows Google Maps.
How to reach
If you are driving from Bangalore, once you reach Gudalur, take the road that goes to Nadugani. Nadugani is about 22 kms from Gudalur and it can be reached with the help of Google Maps.
The resort has taken a dedicated parking lot in Nadugani – if you are driving from Bangalore, then this parking lot will be on the left-hand side.
Everyone must park their vehicle in this parking lot and hop onto the resort’s vehicle – typically a SUV. The fun starts from here. It is recommended to call the resort an hour before you reach the parking lot, so that they send you a vehicle to pick up.
Driving to the resort
Once you are inside the resort’s vehicle, you will start seeing greeneries on both sides. The distance from the parking lot to Wild Planet Jungle Resort is about 7 kms. Almost the entire stretch of this road will be bumpy. The first 3 km will be manageable. The last 4 kms do not have road and hence the drive will be EXTREMELY bumpy with heavily polluted air (because of the loose sand on ground). It takes an hour to reach the resort from this parking lot in Nadugani.
You will pass through many fenced plantation regions that are gated.
Minty Tip: A km before reaching the resort, you will be able to see the resort. Ask the driver to stop the car to take photos, it looks beautiful. It will be even better if you have a DSLR with good zoom lens of >200 mm.
In the resort
Once you reach the resort, you will pretty much feel like you are in a well maintained jungle, with only plants and trees all around you.
Once you spend sometime in the resort you will figure out that the resort is situated on the top of a hill. It will look like the top of a hill is cut horizontally and Wild Planet Jungle Resort is built there.
Hill Top Cottages, top category rooms in the resort, are located at the top of the hill (near to restaurant).
Minty Tip: For best room view experience, stay at hill top cottages.
There are two other room types – Valley View Cabins (below picture) and Jungle Log House. Valley View Cabins are located at the middle of the hill, and Jungle Log Houses are located at the bottom of the hill (near the lake).
All rooms have an extra foldable bed by default. It is a thought through decision by the resort management, because it is very difficult every time to move beds in/out of the rooms – given the fact that the rooms are spread across the hill (top to bottom).
The only issue we faced in the resort was – none of the rooms have AC. So, if you are travelling to the resort in summer, you might feel hot inside the room.
Lunch and dinner are always buffet. You will find many Kerala dishes in the buffet spread. Room service in the resort is top class, a true Keralite hospitality experience.
View from hill top cottage room is awesome. The entire tea plantation can be seen from the balcony of these rooms. Especially, the view is even better during early morning because of the fog that surrounds the plantation.
Below pictures are taken from the balcony of hill top cottages.
You can do a lot of activity in the resort. If you have senior citizens in your group or you are tired, then call for a transport vehicle to go around the resort. It is very difficult to climb the steep uphill while coming back to room.
The resort has got a large swimming pool that’s well maintained. Shower rooms are below the pool. If you are going to the pool, you should inform the reception about the return vehicle pickup time from pool (if you need a vehicle).
The resort also has a large natural lake. The previous night to our stay in the resort, a jeep (that belongs to resort) had fallen inside the lake, the general manager of the resort told us about this incident and how they struggled to take the jeep out in South Asia’s remotest resort. It is unimaginably tough!
You can do coracle ride in the lake. It is recommended to experience this coracle ride (see the bottom right in below picture) because of the location of the lake and its surroundings. This place feels serene by evening because of the dense trees around, birds chirping sound, and angled tea plantation. You will not hear anything except the sounds of nature.
The resort also arranges for an early morning trek, it is recommended that you take this walk, because you will be able to see the entire resort from an awesome viewpoint during the trek. The resort has fantastic photographic opportunities.
There are numerous board games and books kept in the reception area, along with a table tennis court and carom board. Best part is – you can take the board game / book to your room and return it later.
If you are planning to goto jungle safari while you are at Wild Planet Jungle Resort, it is practically impossible. The nearest safari is at Bandipur and it would take about 3 hours one-way to reach Bandipur. So, it is recommended to avoid planning for a jungle safari, and spend all your time in the resort itself.
To experience the best of what Wild Planet has in store, you have to stay for two nights.
The general manager of this resort is a nice person, when you have time you must have a chat with him to understand the practical challenges he faces in running such a remote and large resort successfully.