The sparkling blue waters of the Cauvery river wind through rocks and ravines and fall off the Deccan Plateau to form the twin falls of Barachukki and Gaganachukki. About 35 kms downstream is yet another set of falls called Mekedatu (Goat's Leap). Lying between these breathtaking cascades is Bhimeshwari. A perfect picnic spot. Where nature has created a natural habitat for the Mahseer fish and a variety of exciting animals.
Bhimeshwaari in Mandya district is an ideal place not only for wildlife but for a quiet holiday. The lush forest sheltered by steep valleys and scattered by little streams, invites large groups of animals and birds. You can see herds of elephants amongst the thick trees. Deer spring energetically in the air. Wild boars, monkeys, jackals, crocodiles, otters and even leopards live here. And of course, there are several species of birds: Heron, ibis, cormorant and kingfisher are but a few.
There is the exciting opportunity to fish. The banks of the River Cauvery provide enthusiastic anglers a chance to hone their skills at fishing.
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South West K.
Beasts of Nagarhole
And mind you, it's no ordinary fishing. Because the Cauvery abounds with Mahseer-the finest game fish (weighing 100 lbs) that can fight like a tiger! So don't forget to take your fishings rods. Because, it may be the catch of your life time.
The Fishing Camp here has comfortable tents equipped with all basic facilities like cots, mosquito nets, shower, toilet and a kitchen. Food is served in the "Gol-Ghar", the open air dining room.
As the sun gives way to the moon, and the bonfire is lit, the evening casts mysterious shadows. Unfolding another bout of surprise. Waiting to be discovered. The wild night life of Bhimeshwari.
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Mysterious and magical.
The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in the Chickmagalur and Shimoga District, is one of the most facinating sanctuaries. Sheltering some exquisite flora and fauna. The great Indian Gaur, barking deer, flying fox, mongoose, elephant, panther,macaque, babbler, barbet, bluejay, kingfisher, robin, weaver bird and Drongo have all made their home here. So the next time you're looking for a wild life retreat, don't forget to include Bhadra on your list.
Biligiri Rangana Hills
And if you're looking for a place that is calm and peaceful, the Biligirirangaswamy Temples, from which the hill derives its name, is the right place. The serene surroundings, the soft reverberations of the bells and the songs of the birds in the background at this complex are sure to rejuvenate your soul. You may also find the Soligas, native tribes of this range, singing a sprightly folk song or dancing to a brisk tune.
While on your visit, make sure you don't miss the Ratha festival, held during "Vaishaka" in the month of April.
As you penetrate deep into the forests through the well laid-out roads, you can almost here the silent conversations between the animals and the trees. They say that the flora and fauna here exist in perfect harmony. And it is because of this that the spot here was chosen as a centre for Project Tiger. And since then the tiger population has almost doubled.
Of course, there's a lot more to discover. Peafowl, partridges, quail, hornbill, giant squirrel, dhole ( wild dog), elephants, sambar and barking deer. An endless variety of wildlife flourish here. And the trees sheltering them are equally beautiful. Teak, rosewood, honne, mathi, bamboo and sandal. You can take a safari on elephant back to make your visit memorable.
Nagarhole National Park
The Nagarhole National Park. A perfect get-away for nature lovers.
Deriving its name from Kannada, "Naga" meaning snake and "hole" referring to streams, Nagarhole is a truly delightful spot, filled with wild living.
Rosewood, teak, sandal, silver oak : the deep, fresh aroma of these trees mingling with the sounds of the wildlife here. A perfect holiday retreat where wildlife is being preserved where once they were hunted by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore.
And if you'd like to tour Nagarhole in royal style, do it the "maharajah"way-on elephant-back! There is the option of jeeps and vans too.
Nagarhole is no ordinary place. Because enchantment never ends here. Four horned antelope, panther, warblers, hornbills, spotted, deer, moyse deer, pangolin, panther, gaur, giant flying squirrel.....
And if ever you get lost amongst them, there's no need to panic. The Jenu Kurubas (Honey-gatherers), the Betta Kurubas (Hill tribes) and the Hakki-Pikki (Bird trappers) inhabiting this park are always ready to help you. With a warm smile.
Kabini was once the hunting lodge of the erstwhile Mysore Maharajahs. The steep valleys with rich forests, spectacular pools and rapids provide an ideal opportunity to revive your adventurous spirits.
A view from the Kabini River Lodge proves to be absolutely breathtaking. Patches of bright blue pools hidden between the trees, the sun peeping through the thick forests and animals roaming free.
If you can brave the ferocious beauty, you could even take a walk through the forest. Breathe in the refreshing air, whistle with the wind and carry home timeless memories. Elephants playing catch. Leopards on the prowl. Antelopes jumping across bushes. Or may be even a tigress with her cubs. These are indeed pictures that you'll treasure for a lifetime.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.