Dubare is an Elephant training camp on the banks of the River Cauvery. Elephants for the spectacular Mysore Dussera festival are trained here. The most fun activities here are giving a bath to some of the trained elephants and then feeding them! I cannot think of many better ideas to spend the weekend than coming to Dubare Elephant Camp and interacting with Elephants.
Dubare Elephant Camp is easily accessible from Bangalore. Take the Bangalore-Mysore highway and reach Kushalnagar. Take a left turn 4km after Kushalnagar, towards Siddapura. About 15 kilometers on the Siddapura Main Road you will find a Dubare Camp board. Take a left turn at the board and reach the bank of River Cauvery. Cross the river by a boat and you would be at the Dubare Elephant Camp.
Jungle Lodges & Resorts Limited runs a resort at Dubare and is the best place to stay. Alternatively you can plan a day trip. Visit www.junglelodges.com for bookings.
Interacting with Elephants is obviously the highlight of Dubare Elephant camp. The camp is run by forest department and Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd. They provide trained naturalists who explain the history, ecology and behavior of Elephants to visitors.
Reach the River bank by 7am in the morning. Mahouts will bring in a few elephants for a bath in the river. Once the Mahout has put the elephants at ease in the river, you can walk thru the shallow waters and join in the scrubbing! You will wonder how the Elephant is so well behaved and is letting you give a bath. That is when it will get up and pour a trunk full of water all over the people around and have its revenge!
Now it is time to feed the Elephants. You can visit the kitchens and watch how the cooks make special balls made of finger millet or “Ragi” for the Elephants. The cooks then make several rounds to feed the elephants. You too can request the cooks and can deposit one of these balls into the waiting elephant’s open mouth!
Now that you have bathed and fed the elephants, it is time for some favors to be returned! Take a joy ride on these gentle giants and enjoy the elevated view.
Jeep Safari into the forests around Dubare Elephant camp is a must. The moist deciduous forest is home to several species of flora and fauna. Without too much effort, you should be able to spot Elephants, Bison, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Sāmbhar and Wild Dogs. The forests are also teeming with bird life and you will be able to spot Woodpeckers, Peacocks, Partridges and Kingfishers if you have a binocular.
A nature walk with the help of trained escorts into the jungle is another fascinating experience. It is best done at Dusk or Dawn where you have a chance of spotting some animals at the water hole.
Jungle Lodges & Resorts also organizes a Coracle ride across the River Cauvery. It’s a fun ride on the river where you can spot fearsome crocodiles and some exotic water birds.
Rafting on the River Cauvery is another exciting option at Dubare Elephant Camp. Depending on the water levels you can do an 8.5km or 12 km run.
I enjoyed the family hammock in the resort area. 8-10 people can climb on to these giant hammocks and have a ball!
While at Dubare Elephant Camp, you can also visit Cauvery Nisargadhama. It is an island on the river about 11 kms from Dubare. You can relax in the beautiful garden gazing at the colorful flowers. Boating and rides on Elephants are other options.
For a travelogue on the Scotland Of India, check Coorg- perfect weekend getaway.
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