Located on the banks of the Cauvery River, Bheemeshwari Adventure and Nature Camp is 100 km from Bangalore and makes the perfect weekend getaway from city life.
This New Years Eve, if you want to escape the parties and bars overflowing with the exuberance of raucous rockers, head to Bheemeshwari Adventure and Nature Camp, run by Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd, in Karnataka. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery River, this wooded retreat about 100 km from Bengaluru, is the perfect place for a whiff of adventure and a relaxed vacation. We chose this rustic adventure camp for a day trip because it is quiet and relatively safe from tourists.
The camp is simple and utilitarian on the surface. There are accommodation facilities in the form of log cabins on stilts, sturdy tented cottages and rustic tents on one side while the beautiful Cauvery River flows on the other. The tents blend in wonderfully with the green of the unspoiled countryside. However, we found that ‘brutalizing’ was more of a euphemism when it came to tents, as they are furnished with more than enough furniture, toilets and tubs with hot running water. South Indian buffet meals are served at the Belvedere (Gol Ghar), a communal dining hut.
Some of us relaxed in the hammocks hanging between the trees around the camp. After a hearty meal, it was perfect to rest, lulled by the murmur of the river and the song of the birds. Endangered bonnet macaques and grizzled giant squirrels frolicked in the canopy of trees above our heads. Some climbed the nets that circled around like monkeys. It brought back childhood memories of climbing mango trees in the yard.
We found plenty of things to do in this dream destination. Most of them revolved around the ubiquitous Cauvery River which flows meandering through the varied terrain of Réserve faunique de Cauvery. Bird watching, bonfires, coracle rides, camping on the sandy banks of the river, hiking, ziplining, wildlife safaris, and bird watching are all part of the wilderness getaway. nature. The experience encompassed a vast web. Rafting, another popular adventure sport in Bheemeshwari, is only offered during the monsoon months. The Cauvery boasts of good, fun rapids and offers the chance to cross them for an adrenaline rush.
Descent of Cauvery in coracle
We move from one activity to another. We jumped aboard a coracle, the circular country boat, and drifted down the river. Just floating on the boat, absorbing the sights and sounds of the jungle, and watching myriad shapes of wild animals go by was an incredible experience. We’ve spotted winged creatures of all sizes and hues, especially kingfishers dotting the landscape. While enjoying the breathtaking view of the section of the gorges and its rich vegetation, we saw marsh crocodiles basking in the sun.
The Cauvery gushing over dangerous boulders, relaxing in lazy green expanses and deep sapphire pools between dry hills, was mesmerizing. Along the river we passed strange rock formations, small flocks of gray-headed fish eagles hovered over the river in search of prey, and troops of monkeys marched along the banks of the river. River. The grand finale of the coracle ride was a ride. When the boatman whirled the coracle, we screamed at the top of our lungs.
The Sangam Valley has an amazing variety of wildlife. The verdant forests around the river are sheltered by valleys and fed by small streams, creating a fascination all of its own. Due to the ideal habitat, it is home to some of the most fascinating winged creatures like the heron, ibis, cormorant, kites, eagles, owls and kingfisher, and animals like elephants. , deer, wild boars, monkeys, otters, flying squirrels, spotted deer, jackals, crocodiles and much more.
A spotted deer
As soon as we got back to the riverside after a coracle ride, the next stop on our program was fun fishing. The river guides were waiting with our fishing gear consisting of a rod and ragi (millet) paste bait. Sitting on one of the many rocks along the mighty river, we followed our guide’s instructions and patiently waited for the fish to bite the bait. Some came, and we pulled the rod, but none are big enough to get hooked. Although we all made an attempt, only our guide was successful when he did his first casting. Each of us took turns rocking the fish for a few seconds to take a photo. Fishing teaches you to be patient, we realized.
The thrill of the joy of fishing
After gulping down glasses of lime juice between bites of pakodas, we hopped in a jeep toward a hilltop watchtower. From the watchtower we had a magnificent view of the crystal clear waters of Cauvery winding majestically through the jungle. The only sounds one could hear were the gushing waters and the chirping of birds. Nature’s bounty kept us going.
On the way back, we watched the brilliant sunset over the ripples of the now crimson Cauvery. And as the sun slowly fades over the horizon, we bid farewell to Bheemeshwari and the wonderful world where time has stood still, where the sun, the river and the jungle soothe our senses and bring us closer to the greens and browns of nature.
Susheela Nair is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer and photographer, contributing articles, content and images to several publications, travel portals, guides, brochures and table books.