Map: From Bangalore take Kanakapura – Kollegal Highway, turn left at Halagur down to Muttathi road.
Distance: Approx 100 Kms from Bangalore
Road conditions: Better than Bangalore’s pathetic potholed roads
Best time to tent: August to February
Living Conditions: Fresh air with no trace of pollutants. Prone to high level of noise caused by roaring elephants, running river, chirping birds and windy trees.
Roof over head: Adventure types – choose tents (half furnished), lazy types choose log huts (fully furnished).
Climatic Conditions: Pleasant and a lot depends on the company you are with?
Warning: Do not carry or litter plastics! Highly eco friendly zone!
That’s for the introduction of Bheemeshwari. I had an opportunity to visit this place and it’s definitely one of the best place I’ve ever visited and I would highly recommend this as a must visit place, a perfect place for adventurous and people who love to laze.
Our trip started at 8:30 AM on a lazy Sunday morning in a comfy 8 seater Qualis with our Captain Raju – a calm, polite, short statured man in his mid 30’s, who drove us to Bheemeshwari and back to Bangalore. We stopped at a pit-stop at Kanakapura for breakfast and to pick up some beer/breezer for the night! (Drinks available at Bheemeshwari). On the way we ran through a few villages coming across silkworm weaving, huts, farms and not to forget the proverbial cattle on the road.
We reached Bheemeshwari around 11:30 AM and lazed around exploring nature’s beauty preserved by men who cared for nature and its glory. Later at 12:30 we checked in at our accommodation. The beauty of the place is indescribable and what’s more, no cell phone signals! Lunch time and we couldn’t resist the aroma of food served a few meters away. After a heavy savory lunch, we headed towards white water rafting signing Forms of non responsibility and assigning nominees 😉 After filling out the form, sat through a grueling session of safety, what to do, what not to do and what not to do in case of what to do. At last we got ready with the life jacket and paddle but the only caveat was, the raft had to be carried manually to the river, bare foot with no proper path and stepping on sharp rocks.
We enjoyed 8 kms of rafting with instructions ‘leader paddle’, ‘right paddle’, ‘stop’, left paddle’. Instructor was building his PR (Public Relation) skills with the team, I guess a part and important aspect of the job. He let us dive into the river and swim for a while. For most of us, this was the first time we experienced a dive in the middle of the river.
The 8 km stretch was tiring, scary, and adventurous and we were wanting for more. The team enforced co-ordination to raft as smoothly as possible. Initially, we were skeptical with the instructions as we were ‘testing the waters’. As we rafted? we gained confidence, cooperation and most important coordination and then there was no stopping us.
Finally, we got back to the log hut on an open jeep and coffee waiting just for us. Drenched in cold cold water and hot hot coffee… a perfect combination for the evening.
After the coffee break, we headed towards joy fishing. Joy-fishing??? One gets to fish sitting on the river banks on a perfect evening watching the sunset. Trying our hand at fishing, trying to throw the bait as far as possible, pulling the string often checking for fish.. but no luck. But… luck really didn’t run out. At last! We caught a fish in the presence of the fishing in charge person. Took the fish out, held it up for a photograph and set the fish back to its home ? water!
Back to the log hut to change and freshen up and we were ready for the camp fire with barbeque. Campfire, beer, barbeque, elephants trumpeting in the distance, the the river running through… and then a round of antakshari. An evening to remember.
Back to the log hut and more beer. Soon, I was showing off with my card tricks while people watched with open mouths and suspicious looks! Trying to figure out math out of logic. I thought the shop was closed and I hit the bed – dead tired. I was suddenly woken up and was dragged for a night walk. My curses must be echoing still with those people who woke me from my deep sleep!
6:30 AM – knock on the door, coffee – tea sir. Got a cuppa, on the hammock, enjoying and relishing every minute of nature.
7:30 AM trekking plans. I swear not to trek again in Bheemeshwari. The guide took us through pathed roads where jeeps frequent. It was more like a morning walk on Bangalore’s potholed roads.
Elephant ride… not my cuppa… skipped it! But not the breakfast. Healthy and heavy breakfast!
Coracle ride – another adventurous-lazy ride… Another opportunity to dive in the river 🙂
Back to log hut, freshen up and hit the road again.
End of a memorable, adventurous weekend getaway and well preserved nature – kudos to all the people at Bheemeshwari who maintained it so well.
Author: Sylvester DSouza- Bangalore