Tarik Per Tarik... Finally Rafting at Bheemeshwari

Some of us were waiting for 2 years, some decided at 10:00 pm a night before and some were worried about the excuse to be given at the office the next day. After multiple postponement, idea of rafting at sita nadi was dropped and we choose for rafting at Bheemeshwari through CARE adventure. We got into the bus at 8:30 am near Family Mart. Soon after settling down we started Dumb Charades and this time Som did not get a chance to act anything close to "36th Chamber of Shoalin Temple" ( On the way to Bandipur Som had given oscar performance as nobody else did not know the fact that a railway coach contained 72 seats).
From River Rafting
When we reached JLR at Bheemeshwari, we came to know from the Ozone guys that we wont be rafting at the scheduled time of 12:00 noon and we have to wait for atleast 1 hour. So we were offered volleyball or a little trek. We choose to roam around a bit then play a bit. We were excited when the rafts arrived at 1:30 pm. But then again we were offered to either raft in batches(we were 8 in number) or wait for the next shift. We decided for the next batch. By then all of us were very hungry and had lunch under tree shade with couple of monkeys dogs keeping a close eye on us!!. Then we rested on the social hammock(inspired by web2.0?) discussing the outsourcing chain of river rafting business. Som put great effort in making our stay on social hammock comfortable with all the swings.
At 3:30 rafts were back. We filled up the indemnity bonds and put on the buoyancy jackets and helmets. There was a photo session for the couples. We had a briefing on the equipment and usage by one of the navigators. We could not go in a single raft So we split into 2 groups 5 going in a small red raft, I, Maruthi and Raksha going in another raft with 3 girls from Delhi Public School.
From River Rafting
Vishnu was our navigator, it was his last day with Ozone also the last trip. That night he was leaving to Bhutan for weeklong expeditions. Once we got into the water various commands and the responses were explained. Most used being the "Forward teeem.. forward". It was fun all through. There was little bit of explanation by Vishnu, little bit of rafting, little bit of cheering, little bit of water splashing wars with the other rafts.. You will never feel tired! We did some swirling of the raft like the one they do it on a coracle. We also came up with our slogan "Yo babe Yo babe .." with tapping paddle on the raft then raising it. We managed to win the water splash war with neighboring raft, when Vishnu managed to drown their navigator Rajesh!!
After maneuvering through 3-4 small rapids, we came across a sharp turn. Our guide gave us instructions on how to balance during higher grade rapids and we were all set for the last 3 rapids with last but one being the biggest among all the rapids on the streach. First of them was called "Thats All" and it was really that all. Last but one was really good. That might be a rapid close to grade 2? One more rapid and it was all over.:( We had already reached Galibore and rafted for 8kms and for more than an hour!
While coming back to the base camp we were all standing in a open Jeep ( around 20 people) and stared grading the turns and comparing ourselves to the animals rescued by PETA. It was a long trip back to the base camp watching mountains growing bigger in between the trees flanking the road. We quickly changed the clothes and were on our way back at 6:30 PM and reached bangalore 10:00 pm.

River Rafting
Sep 25, 2006 - 11 Photos

For those who are planning for river rafting.
Place: Cauvery Fishing Camp at Bheemeshwari is around 110 km from Bangalore and you have to go via Kanakapura, Sathanur, Muthathi. The roads are motorable till Kanakapura and after that its narrow and not in good condition. There will also be animals both domestic as well as wild(monkeys) and slow driving is required.
Link to Road Map
Service: CARE offers river rafting from July to October on Cavery river. The distance covered is around 8km. They take care of transport as well as food. Rafting is managed by Ozone. After reaching the base camp I came to know that Ozone also offers river rafting. I guess Ozone gives priority to the people who booked through them directly, food is arranged through JLR and probably they do not take care of transport.
Facilities:Once you reach the base camp(JLR) there is no shop or restaurant around. JLR does not give any food unless you have paid atleast day visit charge i.e. Rs 650. There was not even a small tea shop near by. I guess they don't even sell water for others. We were asked to get water bottles at Sathnur itself.
Rafting & Alternatives: There are 5 rafts with 3 of capacity 7, one with 8 and one with 6. The capacity is including navigator. Before the rafting starts one of the navigator will explain safety and equipment usage.
The rapids were small ones. This is good for first timers. River Sita is supposed to offer more exciting rapids than Cauvery. Adreno offers river rafting on sita. They offer 8km and 14km rides. I have herd that preparation is more elaborate which includes mock falling out of the raft then getting back in etc. This is again seasonal. One river Kali the rafting facility is available through out the year based on when water is let out from the dam.

Bandipur Selected Photos

Took sometime to go through the photos and create a picasa web album. It did not turn up the way I was thinking. I guess it would be better if all the photos are visible on the blog. The upload takes a lot of time and 5 photos cane be uploaded at a time. Once uploaded picasa will give the html code to embed which is the link to albun. Next I would like to post a blog using Writely or Zoho writer

Sep 10, 2006 - 6 Photos

About Bandipur
How to reach: Bandipur is 220km from Bangalore. Can be reached through Mysore-> Nanjan Gud - Gundlupet. After Mysore, road conditions deteriorate.
Season: Just after the rain to March. The forest is deciduos so green coverage dcreases after January. Also Gaur and Elephant migrate to Kabini and Nagarhole in search of green food. But January and Febrauary are good months if you want to spot predators, Tiger and Leopard. Jan-Feb is the mating season for tigers and spotting chance increases and tigers will be moving around more in search of the mate. Spotting in pure luck. When I was there during last feb, tiger was spotted consecutively for 3 days before our visit but I was not lucky to see one. The JLR guyz even told that they have been spotting tiger or the leopard for the last one month. Bandipur also homes dhole(asiatic wild dog). Chittal herds(Spotted deer), Elephant herds and Sambar can be spotted very easilyy during 1 hour open Jeep Safari. In South India there are no Elephant safari as situation can get dangerous when wild elephants are spotted. There is elephant ride available and number of rides are limited based on the availability of green food to the elephants. So if you reach the spot after 9:00 AM there will be little chance of availability.
Stay: There are plenty of options including Jungle Lodges and Resorts which offers evening safari and morning nature walk along with package. Food and arrangements are good. In the night wild boars, chittal can be spootted inside the JLR compound.

From October 2nd - 8th is Wildlife week