Picture1 – A Lotus pond on the way to Bheemeshwari
On an early morning of July we set off with a lot of enthusiasm to spend a day at Bheemeshwari fishing camp situated 100 kms from Bangalore. Monsoon rains had washed the countryside to display soothing views to the eyes weary of blinking screen, artificial lights and temperature.
Picture2 – Bheemeshwari
Down Kanakapura road we drove singing songs and exclaiming at beautiful unidentifiable birds. The winding roads led into hills covered with greenery and as we passed Muthaththi we caught the first glimpses of river Cauvery. Few minutes from there, the huge gates of Jungle lodges at Bheemeswari opened to a treasure trove of adventure and nature.
Picture3 – Trekking Route
Bheemeshwari fishing camp is spread on the banks of river Cauvery in between the splendid Shivanasamudra falls and Mekedatu. After a welcome drink you are given the option of going on a short or long trek along with a guide.
Picture4 – Dry River Bed and an interesting trunk of a tree
Picture5 – Trekking Route
While trekking there are opportunities to spot wild animals like deer, elephants, jackal, leopard etc.
Picture6 – Pied Crested Cuckoo
Picture7 – Bee Eater
This place is home to more than 200 species of birds. We spotted deer, grizzled squirrel, monkeys and birds like bee-eater, pied crested cuckoo, and kingfisher. Giant butterflies flutter around adding color and life.
Picture8 – Giant Butterfly
Back from trekking you can go for Ayurvedic treatments, or just laze on the hammocks looking up at the sky through the canopy of tamarind and rain trees or shop for a souvenir or clamber on a rope walkway or swing to your heart’s content.
After a buffet lunch, in the gazebo restaurant, the coracle rides start. While walking up to the river we saw many grizzled squirrels endemic to the Cauvery basin scurrying up the trees.
Picture9 – Grizzled Squirrel
Wild plants with flowers were spread on the sandy river beach.
Picture10 – Wild Flower
Picture12 – Crocodile
After the coracle ride, the other guests wandered back to the camp to play football, volleyball etc., but we stayed back and sat on the rocks with a crocodile for company a few rocks away. We marveled at our bravery and thanked Steve Irwin of Animal Planet for educating us on the behavior of crocodiles.
Picture13 – Cauvery River
As we sat soaking in the silence and beauty of the place we heard elephants trumpeting from the opposite bank. We sprang to our feet and 6 pairs of eyes scanned to catch a glimpse of the elephants but were greeted with silence interrupted by the gurgle of the river. After about 15 minutes, we were treated to a wildlife encounter deserving a standing ovation! On the opposite bank was a herd of 20 or more elephants comprising of male, female and baby elephants walking towards the river. They started drinking, spraying water on themselves and others and few started rolling in the water. This spectacular show ended after 15 minutes as the leader lead them back into the forests trumpeting their exit. The forest officials themselves were surprised and said we were lucky to have witnessed this, as it is very rare to come across such a big herd. I only wished that we had more powerful cameras.
Picture14 – Elephants on a water spree
For fishing enthusiasts this place offers one of the finest gaming fish, which is the Mahseer or The Large Headed One. The fishing season is from November to February. The Mahseer can weigh more than 100 Kgs and is known to be a great fighter and impressed one of the best adventurers of all times Jim Corbett. There are four types of Mahseer found in these waters; they are Silver, Gold, Black and Pink. To protect these fishes, “catch and release” is practiced. A local guide called “Gillie” accompanies the anglers in a coracle to assist in catching and releasing the fish. Fishing usually starts in the early morning until midday and again starts at 4 PM until dusk.
Picture15 – Log Huts
Nearby interesting places are Doddamakali, which is 8 Kms away and Galibore, which is 16 kms away from this place. Both these places are similar to Bheemeswari but the experiences differ.
Type of Place: Eco Tourism
Situated: Mandya District
Distance: 100 Kms from Bangalore, 80 Kms from Mysore
Transport: Well connected by road, Private Vehicles
Facilities: Boarding and Lodging by Jungle Lodges, Rest Rooms, and Restaurant. Jungle lodges maintain 8 luxurious log huts, 8 furnished tents and 2 cottages. Prior booking is a must for staying as well as a day trip.