Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dubare, Karnataka

On the spur of the moment, I called the Jungle Lodge Resort and asked if they could accommodate us during the weekend. Well, in such a short notice, I did not expect the resort to have just one river-view cottage available. Some magic must have happened, or we were plain lucky!

On Saturday morning, we hopped on to our little car, and drove off. The weather was awesome; cloudy, and at times, drizzle. The landscape kept changing from urban to semi-urban to semi-rural to rural, as though it was a movie. Everything seemed to mesmerize us.

The route we took was: Bangalore - Kengeri - Bidadi - Ramanagaram - Channapatana - Maddur - Mandya - Srirangapatana - Hunsur - Periyapatana - Khusalnagar - Dubare. The journey was splendid. For breakfast, we stopped at one of the Cafe Coffee Day outlets at Maddur. Well, we broke our breakfast rule of having Thatte Idlis at Bidadi. There's always a next time to taste those soft and delicious idlis.

On our journey, we saw that the farmers were either setting the fields to sow paddy or were paddy-planting. The ibises, herons, and several other birds were enjoying the worms and insects that sprung out due to ploughing. A few fields grew sugarcane. Other fields cultivated tobacco. We stopped to stretch our legs and also to admire the serene scenery. For more details about tobacco cultivation, see Tobacco Plants and Flowers.

We hadn't seen Nisargadhama, and therefore, we stopped there. River Cauvery is the main reason for several places to flourish. Was fun to walk on the hanging bridge. Usually, people on one-day trips visit this place. But one can also stay at the cottages available. Some visitors were making a lot of noise, and seemed to be destroying the swings that hung from the trees. We had to ignore them, and move away. We saw the deer park; but elephant rides suspended. By the time we returned from the deer park, the security guards had shooed away the bunch of trouble-causing men. Peace graced the place again.

We reached the reached Dubare by noon. We parked our car at the parking lot allocated to the Jungle Lodge resort, and then hopped on to a boat that took us to the resort. We love this resort because of the excellent service. The friendly staff greeted us, and gave us a superb river-view cottage. We unpacked, freshened up, and attacked the lunch buffet. We sat facing the river, and relished our lunch. The food was homely and tasty. Oh, God, the dessert - Vermicelli Payasam - was delicious!

By 4:00 pm, tea was served, and we were ready for a jeep safari. Three jeeps got ready for us and other guests. The kids were hyper excited. Rules given to us was that we had to maintain silence during the safari. The rain had just stopped, and we hoped that rain wouldn't spoil our safari. Of course, the road would be a mess.

As we drove into the jungle, the guide explained that the jungle was man-made as well as natural. The jungle is covered with bamboo plants and teak trees. It's cute to see a variety of orchid plants clinging to the trees. We spotted a stag; it stood on the middle of the road. Saw us, and sprinted away. Later, we saw deer that ran across the road. We saw peasants and other birds.

We were one with nature, and suddenly, we were shaken by the trumpeting of an elephant. The guides stopped the jeeps, and... Silence. All of us listened carefully, and voila, again the elephant trumpeted. We saw the back of the elephant, and hoped that we could see the whole elephant. But the elephant moved deeper in to the jungle. After a few minutes, we heard the loudest noise every - the trumpeting of an adult elephant. That's when we realized that the elephant was with her baby!

When we returned, hot beverages and biscuits were awaiting us. We sipped tea, and then retired to our cottage. By 8:30 pm, the dinner buffet was ready. The aroma of food pulled us towards the dining area. The phulkas were soft and yummy. We could hear the river gurgle; seemed like it was narrating a story to us. I wonder how many stories she has, and how many people she has seen! After warming ourselves at the bonfire, we hit our sacks.

The next morning, we were up and ready by 6:00 am. Rain had showered during the night, and was drizzling in the morning. Letting the raindrops kiss us, sipping hot coffee, and watching the river were all marvelous experiences. The raindrops fall on the huge cobwebs, which were woven on the trees, and made webs visible to us. The delicate bamboo leaves tried hard to hold on to the raindrops, which were bubbly and wanted to jump off to explore their own world. The birds were shaking off the raindrops from their feathers. Oh, God, that was life!

We marched towards the elephant bathing area, and stood waiting for the elephants to majestically walk towards the river. This is supposed to be t-h-e main attraction of the resort. One by one the elephants came, carefully walked down the slopes, and went in to the water. The mammoths instructed the elephants to lay on one side so that they could scrub it. That's were all of us joined to help the mammoths. Of course, the elephants enjoyed the bath! It was fun to watch their trunks blowing out water or trying to catch the scent of human.

After the bath, the elephants moved to the feeding area. We can buy cucumbers, coconut, and other fruits and give it to the elephants. The elephants are fed dried grass, coconuts, bananas, and huge balls of ragi and horsegram. Because of rains, the elephant ride and coracle ride were cancelled.

Ah, time had come for us to depart, and return home. We bid goodbye to the staff and the place, and drove back to Bangalore. We reached Bangalore by 5:00 pm, and were we rejuvenated!