Monday, 22 June 2009

Trip Report: Doddamakali Nature Camp

I and few friends of mine went to Doddamakali Nature Camp over the weekend. It's a jungle lodge on the banks of Kaveri around 130 KM from Bangalore. Other than enjoying the greenery, you can sip on Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer, jump into the waters of Kaveri, play volleyball, and do a bit of fishing.

Following are the details.

Onward Journey

The route is pretty straightforward
  1. Head towards the national park on Bannerghatta road.
  2. Take the right heading towards NICE road.
  3. Proceed around 7 KM on NICE and take the left to Kanakpura road.
  4. Enjoy the beautiful Kanakpura road (NH-209) for around 80 KM. You will pass Kanakpura ;keep on going.
  5. In between the road becomes a bit rugged, but it smoothens out soon. When you hit a "T" junction, take a left.
  6. Go around 7 KM and you will see a board saying "Doddamkali Fishing Camp" and asking you to take a left. Follow the board's directions.
  7. Head another 8 KM and you will reach near the camp.
Of course the actual camp is another 8.8 KM away. It's all loose gravel and controlling the bike becomes quite difficult. The last 2 KM are especially treacherous as it is all down hill. I managed to balance the bike successfully till the last moment, when I saw the camp; exulted; lost concentration; and the bike fell down.

Day One

The camp is set on the banks of the Kaveri river. On the other bank one can see hills and lot of greenery. The river itself has lots of rocks; lending more to the scenery.

Figure 1: Rocky Kaveri and the Hills.

There are 10 tent houses. Each of which can be occupied by 2 people, but more can fit in if needed. The tents houses also have attached bathrooms and one hammock. We booked the accomodation online.

Figure 2: Tent House.

After checking in, the first order of business was beer. The camp provides KF and Foster's at Rs 110/- for a 650 ml bottle. For non-drinkers you also get the usual soft drinks (bah!). We sipped on beer while enjoying the view.

Figure 3: Sipping on beer, whilst enjoying the view.

After the beer, we got us some life-jackets and dove into Kaveri. The water is pretty shallow on the bank, but gets suddenly deep. The life jackets are provided by the camp people and you don't need to pay anything extra for them.

Figure 4: Goofing around in Kaveri.

The swimming left us quite hungry and we proceeded for the lunch. The food was just OK. Mostly vegetarian, with one Chicken curry. The rice was good though. After the lunch we took a quick nap.

At 4:30 PM we woke up for Tea/Coffee. I liked their tea better than their coffee -- the coffee was made from instant coffee powder. We also got some Marie biscuits, which I don't like too much and didn't have any.

The next activity was the Corakel Ride. For the unintiated a corakel is a round boat made of wood. The guide took us through portions of the river, telling us where the crocodiles live(!).

Figure 5: Corakel Ride.

We followed up the Corakel ride with Joy Fishing. I'm not sure why it's called "Joy Fishing" and not just "Fishing". Basically what you do is that, you get a nylon thread at the end of which there is a hook. They give you some atta (dough) which you then put on the hook. Throw the hook into the water; hold onto the thread; and hope you catch something. Many times you will find that the atta is gone, but there is no fish caught in the hook. Apparently, it's your first time, but not the fishes'.

You don't get any fancy fishing equipment, but this is enough -- as proven by Alan (Figure 6).

NB: You will see many photos in which there are people who have caught HUGE fishes. Don't be intimidated by them.

NB: If you are lucky enough to catch a fish, you will have to throw it back into the water -- after posing for a photo, of course.

Figure 6: Alan catches one!

After the fishing expedition we headed back to our tent houses and freshened up. We were promised a bonfire and snacks in the evening. And we weren't dissappointed. The bonfire was started at around 7 PM, and we were served Bhajji, peanuts, and some chicken. Of course, there was beer as well.

Figure 7: Bonfire.

Once we were done with the snacks, we had dinner. Like the lunch, it was just OK. We had a light dinner and called it a day.

Day Two

The second day's activities were sparse, as we had to check out at 11 AM. The wake up call was at 6 AM, followed by morning tea. Just after tea, we started for a short trek (or as the forest guy called it a "truck"). The trek was towards the more rockier portion of the river. Although, we didn't take any life-jackets this time, we did go into the water and touched few rocks.

Figure 8: Morning Trek.

After the trek, we came back to the camp, and had breakfast. The breakfast, unlike the lunch and dinner, was quite good. The menu had Maggi, Bread/Omelet, and Poori Masala.

Once the breakfast was over, it was almost time to checkout and head back.

Return Journey

We packed up and started back at around 11:30 AM. The main concern was the 2 KM uphill stretch which was covered with loose gravel. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as when it was while coming down and was covered with ease.

We took the same route as we did while coming; took a couple of breaks in between; had lunch; and finally reached back at around about 5:00 PM.

A good trip.


Rake said...

Why are your posts becoming sooo "article" like...with figure labels and bullet points?

Rohit said...

He he ... I am liking to be doing something like thisyyy Saaar.