While my visit to Top Slip at the Anamalai Tiger reserve near Pollachi, Coimbatore, I got to see tree houses where man could stay and enjoy the wildlife tourism. The tree houses are houses exactly built not on top of trees but comprise of wood and wood related materials and built at an elevation in support of pillars and tree trunks. Other than tree houses, there is a bamboo hut and number of tiled roof houses to accommodate tourist, and while coming around we saw two foreigners leisurely taking rest by sitting at their bamboo hut portico.
The tree houses were surrounded by woods of teak and eucalyptus and since it was autumn the leaves were crushing down to wind and being afternoon, the silence and cool breeze carrying us through woods. We stayed at the Bison Lodge, opposite to the tree houses across the road to Parambikulam after failed seeking accommodation at glass house (due to some renovation work), on a hill top with meadows all around. The bison lodge is a cement roof house, situated at a T junction and very close to meadows with better chance of watching animals that come to feed on grasses.
The Bison Lodge is built in 1959 at the elevation of 744 meters above MSL - which was carved on a stone on the wall of the house, is a series of 5 suites with 2 beds at each. It was an experience stayed at this place and going through strange silence at night and uncertain noise to tremor, and to add fear, we brought our pet dog along with us (we would be the only pet owners in the world to bringing it to wild) because dogs are favorite prey of leopards. Waking up to dawn we find bison dung left at front of the house; making it clear their present and perhaps it may be the reason why the house is named after Bison due to their frequent visit and being close to meadow.
My first meeting with tree houses was at Pondicherry, when we visited to Chunnambar boat house on the road to Cuddalore in year 2000. Those tree houses were climbed only through rope ladders and they were little ones just for kid’s adventure and fun. I really want to be at Top Slip some other time with advance booking on glass house to have more such adventure thrillers. The only problem I think with tree houses are, they have narrow and steep steps which is hardly possible for someone to support me to stay.