In August month of 2011, I planned to go to the Forest of Cauvery River with my friend who was working with me. We heard that there are wild elephants in the forest along with other animals. So we were sure that it will be full of adventure and luckily from the busy scheduled of job, we got two back to back holidays for Rakhshabandan and Independence Day. On the eve of 13 august we bought all the stuff for our journey to Cauvery Fishing Camp. We thought that Cauvery Fishing Camp will be a tourist place for fishing and camping in a forest but by the time we realized that we were wrong, it was too late. (I request readers to keep this in mind while reading my post.)
On 14th August near to 2 pm we started our journey for the Cauvery Fishing Tank, which is approximately 150 Kms away from Bangalore. We were on the Honda’s 150 cc Unicorn bike. When we came out of the city it was already 3 pm.
Sorry for the bad quality of pictures. These are the some of the pics which were in my mobile.I lost all others as my system hard disk crashed.
We stopped at a shop on the highway in search of Kerosene. As per our plan we wanted to spend a night in the forest, so we thought of buying kerosene which would help us in lighting the fire. We took with us big empty bottle for Kerosene and one iron pot to cook in jungle. But we did not get the kerosene.
After half an hour we reached that point from where we did not know which way to go. After asking from number of people we entered a village. It was a big village and we were moving forward by asking route from the local people. As it was south India, many village people did not know Hindi or English. They were speaking in Kannada which is their local language. It was really difficult to talk to them and make them understand what we were asking. Somehow we reached a next village, where we again stopped for kerosene. We again faced this language problem. We had to explain them with gestures what we want, but I don’t think that one can ask for kerosene non verbally. After asking couple of shops for kerosene, we finally met a person who was running a cycle repair shop and luckily he knew Hindi. Then he told us where we will get the kerosene. We purchased full bottle of kerosene from the village and again started our journey. We were already behind our schedule.
After riding for more than an hour, we reached the place which was surrounded by mountains, actually ghat section. I took the bike from my friend and started riding. As I am not used to ride 150cc bike and that too with disk brakes,sometimes I handled the bike very dangerously. Eventually, while going down the hills, at a turn I lost my control on bike. Some people were standing there with their car. I was about to hit the car on that turn because bike was running at more than 80 kms/hr, that too on ghat roads. I tried disk brakes but soon realized that if I will use disk brakes we definitely won’t have any chance of escape. But somehow we luckily escaped from that tragedy and I managed to stop the bike on the edge of a cliff. As soon as I stopped the bike, my friend took the bike from me and started shouting on me. But what could I do? I am a biker who is riding 100cc bike since last 7 years and I must say that I am very good rider of 100cc bikes. I haven’t done any major accident in those seven years of my biking career. I would have surely controlled the bike, but for disk brakes.I think these disk brakes are only for increasing the chances of accidents and nothing else. We took some photographs there so that we can remember this incident in our life.
Finally we reached “Sangam” which is a picnic spot where people from the nearby areas come for bathing in Cauvery River. First thing which I saw was the warning board announcing to be careful from crocodile. But this was not the place where we wanted to go. We asked the way for the “Cauvery Fishing Camp” and entered the raw path which was near to the Sangam. There was one hoarding, on which it was written ‘forest area’.We got our way to destination. Some localites told us that Cauvery Fishing Camp was 9 kms from the Sangham. There was no proper road for going there but just a raw track. When we entered the forest, it was already 6 in the evening.
Cauvery River was flowing just by the side of the road. Silence of forest, sound of running water and birds were making the atmosphere of horror movies. After crossing one village which was located in the forest area, we saw sign board on which it was written ‘Cauvery Fishing Camp – 5 Kms’. After riding for 15 minutes we saw a resort but we thought Cauvery Fishing Tank is yet to come. When we crossed that resort, we heard people calling us. But we did not listen and kept moving. After riding far from the resort, road became worse with pebbles, stones and heaps of sand. Suddenly in the middle of the path we saw one black animal,a bit far away from us. At first both of us thought it to be an elephant, so we just stopped our bike. Then we thought of going closer to it because we were not sure whether it was an elephant or not. When we reached near to the animal, it turned back and looked at us with anger and started running. We thought it was running towards us, so both of us got scared and in panic we quickly turned on the bike. But actually that animal got scared from us and ran into the forest. Later we came to know that it was a “Wild Beast”.
After that incident we thought for sometime whether to go ahead or return. We decided to go further in the jungle.It was deep in the forest and the path was also blocked.We stopped there and thought what to do next. It was getting very dark and we had no idea, where the hell this “Cauvery Fishing Camp” was,so we decided that it would be better to go back to that resort.
As soon as we reached the resort and before we could ask for the room, people sitting at the reception started shouting on us. They were angry on us because we did not listen to them when they called us to warn that it was a forest area with full of wild animals and blah bla. Then we came to know that the “Cauvery Fishing Camp” was the name of this resort only and they said they don’t have any room available. They told us to get out of the forest as soon as possible because wild elephants are there in the forest. But they didn’t know that we only went there to see the wild elephants. We started our bike and reached at “Sangam”. On the way to Sangam we saw a few foxes, beasts and other small wild animals but unfortunately no elephants.
We stayed at ‘Sangham” for an hour and thought it will not be good if we again went to the same forest. So we started our journey towards Bangalore and we decided to enter the forest after riding far from that place. It was already night and the road was covered with darkness. Only few vehicles could be seen on the road. After riding for more than half an hour we stopped our bike on the road and found a deserted place by roadside. We took our bike at the bottom of mountain near to road. We had to ride on rocks and after 5 minutes we reached the plain area surrounded by small mountains and forest. We parked our bike there and started collecting sticks and lighted fire.
We took out “Maggie” packets from our bag and cooked “Maggie”. It was very silent there. We could hear the sounds of insects from the nearby rocks. We were talking very slowly so that no one could hear our voice. We had collected big sticks for cooking our “Wild Maggie” and ate it with the help of small sticks which we collected from the nearby area, because we had not carried spoons with us. It was amazing , thrilling and memorable experience of cooking Maggie under the open, starlit sky with wooden sticks and that too in the forest surrounded by mountains in night. It was a full moon night and we saw many twinkling stars in the sky.
Finally after spending two hours there we started our journey to Bangalore at 12 pm in the night. It was midnight and we had fear of wild animals as well as local people from the nearby village. So we thought it would be better to go back to the Bangalore. At 3 in the night we reached our home. But my forest adventure did not stop there and in the next morning when I woke up I got a phone call from my friend and he told me that he was planning to go “Magedattu” (a waterfall) on bikes which was in the same area where I went yesterday.I thought of writing that journey but I lost all my pics with the crash of laptop hard disk and it is of no use to write without pics.
Next week again I am going out for 3 days journey on bike. I will be again in wild forest and in my third home – beaches of Goa. Waiting eagerly for the trip so that I can share my experiences of Ghumakkari.