Saturday, May 9, 2009
An Idyllic Weekend Getaway
For miles on end, there was no sign of human inhabitation. A sparsely asphalted road tapered into a muddy track sprinkled with stones. Mobile phones went out of range. When I saw a rock with an arrow, a fish and “Galibore” etched on it, I was elated that my destination was just a few meters away! Tucked in the midst of a deciduous forest, on the banks of river Kaveri is the Galibore Fishing Camp. About 100Kms from Bangalore, this resort which flaunts its natural grandeur is an idyllic weekend getaway.
The main attraction at Galibore is angling (fishing) and the Mahaseer is the prized catch. The Mahaseer is a freshwater carp of the Cyprinid family and certain varieties could be over 5 feet long and weigh over 100 pounds! Hooking the Mahaseer is a challenge relished by fishing enthusiasts who come to Galibore from the world over. While tourists are quite happy with any variety of fish they manage to catch, seasoned anglers come prepared with tackles and other exclusive gear to hook the mighty Mahaseer. Since it is an endangered species, the Galibore Fishing Camp strictly adheres to ‘catch and release’ fishing policy. The fish are released into the water after clicking photographs and recording their weight.
Apart from joy fishing, the other interesting activities at Galibore include coracle rides, guided treks in the surrounding hills, rafting and kayaking in the river which cascades into level 2 and level 3 rapids. Sporting activities are organized by a team of enthusiastic and trained facilitators from ‘Outback Adventures’, a company which conducts adventure and outdoor sports activities.
There are twelve eco-friendly cottages which blend with the serenity of the camp. The tented cottages built on concrete platforms are rustic but comfortable. There are hammocks outside each tent for people who wish to laze around and infuse some freshness into their lungs. It’s the perfect setting for a siesta with the cool breeze caressing you. There is no electricity in the camp. While the kitchen is lit from batteries charged by solar power, old fashioned lanterns are the source of light in the other areas of the resort.
Delicious Indian food is served in a large open-to-sides gazebo beside the cottages. As the light fades away and the stars twinkle in the night sky, it’s time for the campfire and barbecue by the river side. At Galibore you can have a quiet moon light dinner with the rhapsody of a gushing river in the backdrop.
The tranquil ambiance, the soothing green cover of the hills and the exuberant river Kaveri makes Galibore a good retreat for conducting outdoor training programmes. The proximity of Galibore from Bangalore (and Mysore) makes it a good choice for the city dwellers to make a day trip to the camp. Visitors who want to enjoy an extended rendezvous with nature can spend a night or two there. In an attempt to hook the Mahaseer, anglers stay hooked to Galibore for several weeks. The coolness of the weather and the warmth of the resort staff and naturalists are sure to make your stay at Galibore a pleasant one.
From rafting and kayaking for those who would relish a rush of adrenaline, to nature walks and bird talks for the avian friends, Galibore has it all. If “doing nothing” is your idea of a good vacation then the hammocks under the canopy of the trees are most inviting.
If you are yearning to escape from the shackles of a busy work life, Galibore will mesmerize you with the bliss of being in nature’s company. As you travel away from the city, the din of the traffic will fade away. The sounds of nature amidst the sounds of silence will soothe your weary mind, body and soul. The freshness of the country air will rejuvenate your spirits. If you are in pursuit of a place to spend quality time with your family or friends, or just longing to getaway from Bangalore hit the road to Galibore. It is a road less traveled.
Drive on the Bangalore-Kanakpura road for about 55Kms. On reaching Kanakapura, take a diversion towards Sangam (the confluence of the Arkavathi and Kaveri rivers). About 100m before Sangam there is a signpost which directs you towards Galibore. A 9Km stretch on a battered track leads you to Galibore.
Galibore is run by the Jungle Lodges and Resorts, a venture of Karnataka Tourism.
Phone Numbers: 91 - 80- 25597021/24/25
The Kaveri is well fed during the monsoon months from June to August. After the monsoons, the swollen river cascades into gentle rapids making it suitable for rafting. August to February is a good time to visit Galibore. The angling season at Galibore starts mid December and continues till March-April. The weather is pleasant through out the year.
A torch is a must have. Odomos can be useful to keep the mosquitoes away. If you are on a day trip to Galibore, carry a set of clothes to change into after plunging into the river.
This article was published in The Deccan Herald on the 10th of May 2009. Below is the link to the online version of the article.