‘E’ for Elephant.. If you are reading it then certainly you have gone through this in your childhood. If you ask someone to say any word ad lib, starting with ‘E’, most probably you will hear the word ‘Elephant’.
Since ages, in Indian society, elephant has been considered very sacred animal next only to cow. Indians even worship a deity, ‘Lord Ganesha’, whose face is of an elephant. Elephants had been mark of prosperity and strength for the kings and landlords. It had always been an inevitable part of their armies.
In our last trip to southern India, we got a chance to visit ‘Dubare Elephant Camp’ which is a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri in the Kodagu district, Karnataka. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department’s elephants, which has more than 150 elephants in various camps. Dubare Elephant camp was once a training site for elephants of the famous Mysore Dussehra procession, it now offers a unique adventure to visitors by let them have experience of living in coexistence with the trained elephants on-site. At present the elephants are being used for giving interaction activities with them to tourists.
Dubare Elephant Camp is almost 30 km from the town of Coorg. Once you reach the site, the camp can be reached by crossing river Kaveri. Diesel powered boats take you to the main camp and back for mere Rs. 20/- . There is also a separate entry ticket of Rs. 670/- for the camp.
Once you enter the main camp, you can find plenty of elephants all around. You can touch them, feed them, hug them, shoot them (with the camera of-course) or even have an opportunity to washing and scrubbing them. People enjoy the moment most when the elephant sprinkle water over them.
Best Time To Visit Dubare Elephant Camp:
The site is near the hill station of Coorg which enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year except in Monsoons when the rains may spoil your enjoyment of the camp to the fullest. However, once the monsoons season is over i.e. October to March is the perfect time to plan a visit to this area.
What to Do:
Being an Elephant camp, interacting with the largest mammals on the land is the main activity. There are also opportunities for trekking, bird watching and stay. These are hosted by Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd, which is the ecotourism wing of the Tourism Department of Karnataka. Apart from this, one can enjoy still water rafting at cheap rates. One can also purchase spices and souvenir from the shops located on the other side of the river.
Do’s & Don’t at the Camp:
- Wear comfortable clothes those get dry soon as various activities are in/near water may wet the clothes. Clothes should be of dull, earthen colour as bright colours may provoke the animal.
- Wear pants/shorts preferably above knees length.
- Apply sunscreen in good amount.
- Keep goggles, hat, water bottles, sanitizer etc, with you.
- No need to carry heavy binoculars unless you are an avid bird watcher.
- Wear comfortable footwear. Crocks will be the best choice as you may want to get into water.
- Avoid using and littering plastic here and anywhere as this is an eco-friendly area, and help in maintaining the cleanliness of the surroundings.
- Respect nature, don’t go into deep water and in bushes.
- If you are planning a night stay, keep a torch and insects repellents with you.
Where to Stay:
The hill station of Coorg is just 30 km while Mysore is 103 km from Dubare elephant camp. You can easily find good hotels/resorts there and can take a cab to the camp. Alternatively limited options for stay inside the camp are also available.