I always felt lucky living in Mysore as the choice of weekend getaways were innumerable. One such favorite getaway was to picnic at Cauvery Nisargadhama and also visit Namdroling Monastary and Harangi Dam. Now, Dubbare Elephant camp can also be added to the itinerary.
Cauvery Nisargadhama as the name suggests is an eco-tourism project undertaken by the forest department in 1988. It is a 35-acre island around which flows the sacred river Cauvery. It is situated in Kushalnagar, 35 Km from Madikeri town.
After parking the vehicles and buying entry tickets, we will have to cross an Indiana Jones style hanging bridge to access the island. The island has thick green cover. Huge trees and Bamboo bushes reach to the sky and give enough shade.
There are Machans/tree top watchtowers with ladders, Bamboo pergolas and swings. There is a small children play area with the usual seesaw, swings etc. For a price you can go boating, elephant and horse riding.
The presence of a deer, rabbit and peacock park on the island adds to the excitement for kids. A small opening in the thicket will take you to the riverside to wet yourselves. Be very careful, as the current in the river can be very strong. An Orchid garden exists at one corner of the island.
There are cottages on the island for people to stay and also a restaurant churns out some basic food. These cottages can be booked at the forest office at Madikeri. A shop on the island sells very good souvenir like bamboo vases, wall hangings, key chains, baskets etc.,
Type of Place – Island
Situated – Madikeri District
Distance – 95 kms from Mysore, 235 Km from Bangalore, 35 Km from Madikeri, 2 Km from Kushalnagar
Transport – Buses ply till Kushalnagar, Private vehicles
Facilities – Rest Room, Restaurant, Cottages
Entry Fee – Rs.10 per person