Trip to Coorg – Kushalnagar, Dubare Elephant Camp, Cauvery Nisargadhama, Lama Camp, Golden Temple and Nagarhole National Park

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dubare camp
Elephant In dubare camp

This trip was little different, as a different feat was achieved. This is the first time we went on a night trip from office and we left Bangalore in the Dark of the night, 3 am to be precise. We hired a Qualis(video coach) for Rs 6.50/km. One of irony we faced while traveling on Mysore road was, most of petrol bunk do not work at night. Though people were sleeping there, they refused to refuel. Well, we did get to refuel but the number of petrol bunk working at night is few. On way you will get tea stalls or dhabas where you can have food or tea/coffee etc. On the way we also happen to see a 24 hours Coffee day. I will divide the article in terms of my itenary:

1. Dubare Elephant Camp: After traveling for around 5 and 1/2 hours we reached Dubare. Dubare Elephant camp is situated on the other side of river Cauvery and one has to cross the river on boat to reach there. It is wise to have a booking for day visit (Rs 600) there as we did. Btw, if you have booking, you can intimate the Jungle lodge people after you reach the other side of Cauvery and they will ferry you on their coracle for free.

At Dubare, you can experience elephant at its closest. You get to bath the gentle giants in river Cauvery, feed them with your own hands, an elephant ride, an interactive session on elephant where a forest official explains about elephant and answers questions if you have any. Also, part of the day visit package you have a coracle ride on Cauvery, have lunch at the Jungle lodges and enjoy the leisure facilities. If you would like to say there, you can contact Jungle lodges to book a cottage at Rs 1900/person for 24 hours.

River Cauvery
On the other side of Dubare Elephant camp besides Cauvery river

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2. Cauvery Nisargadhama: After occupying our cottage, which was near to Nisargadhama, we went to this spot. Nisargadhama is little way from Kushalnagar main town. An entry fee here is Rs 10/person. This place is criss – crossed by river Cauvery and one has to cross the river though you get a hanging bridge this time. Nisargadhama is a well-maintained bamboo forest along with deer park and elephant rides. Also, you get to take bath in Cauvery along that stretch during dry seasons. Lastly, you can see local artifacts at one store near the entrance.

mango moments - our cottage
Mango Moments, out cottage near Nisargadhama

Note: To book this cottage you may contact, Mr. Thimmiah at – 9407797062
Mr. Thimmiah, the owner of this cottage resides behind the cottage and he will be arranging food from outside. Do ask for pork if you eat pork as Coorg is famous for pork cuisines. A free camp fire is provided. For a couple it is Rs 2000/24 hours with meals. For more people he is charging Rs 500/person without food/24 hours.

Nisargadhama Hanging bridge on Cauvery at the entrance of Nisargadhama

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3. Lama Camp and Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery): After the Chinese captured Tibet in the 1950s, a large number of Tibetans crossed over to India along with their leader “His holiness the Dalai Lama”. In India they have been settled in few settlements and Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar is one of them. This is one of the best monasteries, you can find in India. Golden temple as it is popularly called is mostly wrapped in gold and the Buddha Idols are of gold. However, please do not get confused with the Golden temple of Amritsar. We visited the place at night and it was all glittering. The Lama camp is a university for Buddhist monks in Sarje. Lastly, besides the golden temple you will find market where you can buy local stuffs along with Tibetan things.


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4. Nagarhole: We started for Nagarhole National Park next day morning and it took around 2 and half hours to reach there from Kushalnagar via Priyapatna. It derives it name from KannadaNaga meaning snake and hole referring to streams. The area was an exclusive hunting reserve of the former rulers of Mysore.

It was set up in 1955 and is one of the best-managed parks in the country. This park is located to the northwest of Bandipur National Park. Its area stretches to 575 km². Kabini reservoir separates this park from Bandipur National Park. The climate is tropical; summer is hot and winter is pleasant. The park boasts a healthy Tiger-predator ratio. Tiger, Bison and Elephant are much denser here than in Bandipur.

Please note that if you go there on a day visit, either take food along with you or you need to have food at Kutta. There is no food there and if you decide to stay there, you can just expect simple vegetarian food at the Nagarhole tourist complex accommodations. We had our lunch at kutta and then headed for safari by late afternoon in our Qualis but as for luck our vehicle got stuck in mud and we had to walk back around 3 kms all the way in tiger country. Arguably one of the most thrilling moments but with a mix of fear. We could not go back as it was late (over 6 pm). We left for Bangalore on the jungle route via Hunsur. Some 12 kms comes inside the park and we got to see many deer’s, bison’s and amazingly a sloth bear came walking on the middle of the road but unfortunately could not click any pic.

Deers at Nagarhole National park

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Journey was quite good and we watched Mungaru Male on the way. Had dinner at a dhaba near Mandya. Reached Bangalore around 1 am. Yes, end to our illustrious journey.

Note: This is an old post.This trip was done in the first week of December, 2007.

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