Feb 24, 2017
We were excited that we were finally going to Bheemeshwari, a name synonymous in my mind with the gushing Cauvery, Mahseer fishing , tented accommodations, verdant forests and thrilling adventure activities. For reasons unknown to even us, Bheemeshwari had always taken a backseat all these years, when it came to deciding on weekend getaways. But this particular weekend, we had finally booked Jungle Lodges at Bheemeshwari and were raring to go. My son was super excited with the fact that we were going to stay in a tent. He asked us numerous times as well if a tent was strong enough to keep us safe from the wild animals of the jungle! 😉
It took us less than 3 hours to get there on a Saturday morning from Bangalore. Check in at the Jungle Lodges Resort (JLR) was at noon. So we started from our house at around 8 am giving ourselves ample of time for a leisurely breakfast stop somewhere along the route. We took the Kanakapura Road, which is a double lane road lined up with renovation at numerous places. So our drive was slow but smooth.
There were not many restaurants in sight as we passed by, but around 10 am, we spotted a MTR sign tucked away in a corner of the road. Soon enough we parked our car in its parking lot and seated ourselves for a happy meal 🙂
With a satiated appetite, we proceeded on our way to JLR. The JLR folks had already called on us and asked us to take the Halaguru route over the Sathnur route. The latter one apparently was not in a usable condition. The ride to Bheemeshwari was quite smooth contrary to the many reviews we read online. Traffic was light and the weather cheerful. We breezily made our way to the gates of JLR.
On arrival, we were greeted by a group of monkeys in the premises, who were promptly shooed away by the guard. After checking in, we were led to our tent. I was really happy with the resort at first sight. Our tent was right opposite the banks of the Cauvery and it felt as if we truly were in a ‘jungle’ resort! The tent was spotlessly clean and spacious for the 3 of us. The hammocks and swings outside each tent added to the charm and comfort of the resort. The resort was full for the weekend and yet it did not seem crowded. Climbing nets, ziplines, machans, rope walks, dotted the place and sought to prepare us for the upcoming adventure activities.
The restaurant/dining area was a bit further down the resort. We all had to walk down the jungle terrain for about 100-150 metres to reach there. The dining area was surrounded by log huts/cottages and was spectacularly located across the wide, inviting banks of the Cauvery. Coracles and kayaks were kept on one side of the dining area while a barbecue grill was on the other side.The charm of the resort is hard to define. It is not sophisticated like the other luxurious resorts we have been to but still has all the facilities of one. It is truly ensconced in the lap of nature. One gets the feel of being in a forest setting inspite of being in a resort!
The buffet lunch was wholesome and delicious. It was a mix of South Indian and North Indian fare and felt homely. The entire dining area was netted and secure from the monkeys while letting in the cool breeze from the Cauvery.
The adventure activities started soon after lunch. We lazed for around 30-40 minutes after lunch before we started with the fun – ziplining, all the rope walks (Burma loops, Elephant walk..), etc. Soon after that, we were called for the coracle ride but not before we were served tea and cookies at the restaurant.
It was around 5pm by the time we reached the banks of the Cauvery. The sun had started setting spreading a nice orange glow in the horizon. The breeze was cool and refreshing. Our boat man (coracle man!) took us around for a good 45 minutes in his endeavour to help us spot some crocodiles. However, we were not lucky enough! We had to make do with the mud marks left behind by these reptiles.
The JLR staff deserve a special mention all this while – right from the bellman, the adventure activity personnel, the dining area staff to the coracle boatmen . All of them made us feel comfortable and at ease. This courteous service added a special touch to our stay.
At around 7pm, it had become pitch dark and the path to the dining area was dimly lit with lamps hanging on the posts. Of course, it has to be dimly lit so as to not attract any wild animal towards us :). Armed with torches and flash lights from our mobiles, we made our way to the bonfire set up near the dining area. Chunks of marinated paneer, and veggies were being barbecued alongside. Not to forget the juicy chicken pieces for the meat lovers! The sky was amazingly clear there to allow us to indulge in star gazing. Seated around the bonfire, enjoying the lovely barbecue, and gazing at the twinkling stars above, made it a night to remember…
No cell phone service, no internet, no TV for the entire day and yet we had lots to do and enjoy! Camping definitely did wonders for our sleep as well. The next day started early for us at 6 am. We did not even need an alarm to get us up and going.We were all refreshed and invigorated for the morning’s adventure. Our guide led us through the forest on a trekking path atop a small hill. The watch tower there helped us get a good panoramic view of our trek route. We could also spot the JLR tucked up as a tiny dot in the trees yonder. While descending, however, we took a different route along the river banks to get back. The walk through the forest with monkeys jumping around on the trees, listening to an occasional trumpeting of the elephant nearby, all made for an exciting trek back to the camp.
Our trip at JLR ended with a sumptuous breakfast. Need I mention that (good) food always forms a very important part of our vacation! Good food, courteous service and cleanliness were the hallmarks of this resort, set up in the verdant surroundings. Very happy with our JLR experience, we headed back to Bangalore with wonderful memories of this trip.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid/sponsored write up on JLR-Bheemeshwari and is solely based on my personal experiences and opinions.
Route taken – Bangalore –> Kanakapura Road (NH 48) —> Halaguru exit —> JLR