A place which gets heavenly when visited during monsoons. It wouldn’t be wrong, if we call it Sharavathi Adventure Camp.
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Sharavathi Adventure Camp in Monsoon
We were in the lookout for a place which is close to nature and can be visited during monsoons. It is given, that any forest comes to life when it rains. But still, finding that perfect destination which would enhance the whole travel experience multiple folds, especially during monsoons, is always skeptical. We stumbled upon, yet another property by JLR, Sharavathi Adventure Camp in Shimoga.
This is a property, which is settled across Talakalale Reservoir, in Shimoga or Shivamoga district of Karnataka. Just about few kilometers drive from the famous Jog Falls, Sharavathi Adventure Camp opens its doors to those who yearns to be lost in nature and let slip the tensions of the materialistic concrete jungle. Settled in the valleys of Sharavathi, surrounded by hills and having the Talakalale Reservoir just next to the camp, makes the camp location unbeatable.
Journey from Bangalore to Sharavathi Adventure Camp
While planning for the trip, a thought crossed my mind, “Rain is something that we will have to embrace with wide open arms”. But somehow the unconscious mind was not there yet. Perhaps, the way we have trained our minds over a period of time is to be blamed. The belief, if it rains, it is supposed to bring everything to a halt. With little hesitance, we began our journey early on a cloudy day. But, I guess, the journeys like these lift your mood in a different way. The excitement of traveling to a distant unknown place changes the way we would otherwise feel on any other normal day. Knowing the fact, that it is going to be a long journey, we made it a point to start early.
Chasing the clouds
A misty morning with low clouds on the run, gave a different vibe to the journey. Driving through the 4 lane Nice Ring Road, offering the unobstructed view of the open sky, was perfect to enjoy the cloudy weather. As the day progressed, the weather improved. Though the Sun kept playing hide and seek through clouds. This rather was working in our favor, as we didn’t have to face the wrath of scorching sun while travelling. At times it would drizzle, then at times it would rain. But then there were times it would just be cloudy. All these allowed us to enjoy different flavors of monsoon, just in the right amount.
Soon we found ourselves taking the much-needed break in front of a lone gorgeous hill in distance, with clouds having conquered the sky. We had packed some homemade Breakfast and Tea for our journey. The weather just added little extra punch to the taste. Unpacking home packed food, sipping over tea with some cookies, I am sure is something any traveler could easily relate to. Wouldn’t you agree?
Reaching the Camp
Not far from the camp, Google map took us for a ride. It was raining cats and dogs, and there was no network in phone. Somehow, it took us to the other side of the reservoir and showed us the path through the waterbody, as if a boat is waiting for us to ferry to the other side. The road to the bank of the reservoir was a tar road but a narrow one. Soon we arrived at the end of the road. The reservoir looked gorgeous, but it also looked vicious due to rains. Though there was still some piece of land to move forward, but there was a risk. The risk of slipping down or getting stuck in muddy path. Surprisingly, I was not tensed. Even though we were lost, and we had reached the end of the road and there was no space to make a U-turn.
It looked impossible to back all the way to the main road, as on one side we had a wall formed by the hill cutout and on the other a deep slope down. Perhaps, I was lost in the serene beauty of the place and on top of it the rain made the whole experience feel so close to the nature. As a child I had always enjoyed monsoon with a free mind. I couldn’t recollect, when the last time I felt so. That sense of freedom from all the worries, just being there with nature and nothing else, was an achievement in itself. Finding the path back to the resort or making a U-Turn felt like least of the concerns. For the first time, I was enjoying being lost.
My navigator, who took the job seriously in making a U-turn, got down from the car. While I backed the Car, she made sure that I don’t end up going down the slope with no one around to help. Even that thought did not budge me much. Probably, it came from earlier experiences where I had managed to pull off from situations worse than this. With little effort we were back on the main road again. Managed to connect a call to the property and soon we were on a right path to the camp. From there it hardly took us any time to reach the camp.
What route options are available from Bangalore to Sharavathi Adventure Camp by Road?
There are two Route options available: Route 1 via Chitradurga and Route 2 via Shivamoga. Sharavathi Adventure Camp is about 450 Km from Bangalore and requires 8 hrs of drive.
The two route options are:
Route 1: Via Chitradurga and Route 2: Via Shivamoga
Route 1 – Via Chitradurga
Bangalore – Tumakuru – Chitradurga – Davanagere – Hediyal – Soraba – Siddapur – Sharavathi Adventure Camp (Google Recommended)
Distance – 462 Kms and 7.5 hrs of drive.
Since, we had done Chitradurga route multiple times before, we did not take this most obvious route. Looking at the google map, the route 2 offered the journey mostly through green patches, that became my first preference.
Route 2: Via Shivamoga
Bangalore – (Bangalore – Shivamoga road) – Kunigal – Yadiyur – Channarayapatna – Arsikere – Banavara – Tarikere – Shivamoga – Sagara – Sharavathi Adventure Camp
Distance : 450 Kms and amount of time required to reach would be about 8.5 hrs.
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At the Camp
By the time we reached the camp, the rain had stopped. We checked in soon and got the room which offered a view which was just unimaginable. While Nutan was unpacking after the journey, I was enjoying the view from our beautiful balcony. In no time, it started drizzling. A Drongo came and perched on a beautiful huge tree which was right in front of our cottage at a distance. The tree had thick branches with lush green leaves giving it a perfect oval shape. I ran for my camera and clicked few shots of the Drongo in rain.
We had booked our stay for two nights and three days. There are a total of 18 cottages at the camp built at the base of a hillock facing Talakalale Reservoir. We opted for the cottage which was built at the highest point. The plus was the view, minus was the climb. The plus made more sense for the very reason we were there. Have a look at the Travel Video, Nutan did, to get the firsthand experience of the place through our Lense from the trip.
The camp offers Nature Walk, Coracle Ride, Boat Ride, Water Sports, visit to Jog Falls, etc. Other than Water sports, rest all activities are part of the package.
The first day, after we reached, we quickly headed to the dining area to have a sumptuous lunch after a long eventful drive from Bangalore. The dining area has a view of the wide-open reservoir with some greenery in the camp, and hills in the backdrop, which appeared heavy with lush green spread of tall trees covered by cotton white low clouds.
The food offered is typical JLR style with variety of options to choose from. We always feel spoilt whenever we get to visit any JLR property. After food, we decided to explore the campus and walked to the reservoir. Took some pics and came back for some rest before it is time for the next event.
Between 04:00 PM to 04:25 PM they serve tea at the dining area. After that you are all set for a scenic boat ride in the reservoir. After a splendid lunch we had a good break resting in our comfortable room looking over the valley from the window. We had our tea and now we were ready for the much-awaited boat ride. Boat ride is a great opportunity to experience nature up close. One can spot many birds during the boat safari.
The clouds were threatening our plan, but somehow, we wanted to cling on to our hope. Soon rain God allowed us to go ahead with the boat ride. Though, it was cloudy, but that brought a very different feel to the whole experience. Our boat man was quite an experienced one and was very good in handling the boat and was knowledgeable when it came to flora and fauna in the reserve. Usually during the rains, it is difficult to spot birds. But our luck was in favor, we managed to spot few birds in a very unique condition.
Since, we had visited on a weekday, we were the only guests at the camp. Advantage we got was special treatment during the bird watching. Looking at our enthusiasm, the boatman offered to show the nesting area of Cormorants and Egrets, though from far so that they are not disturbed. On any normal day, they don’t take guests to such area. We had a very quick visit, and approached with the engines killed of the motorboat, ensuring the birds are not disturbed or feel threatened by our approach. We took some pictures and were off in less than two to three minutes. At first, I could only notice Egrets, but then later on realized the presence of Cormorants.
We changed our course to a different direction with a hope to find other birds, as we did not want to cause any discomfort to the birds in nest. Not very far from there, we came across a drenched Brahminy Kite perched on a thick branch of a tree. I had never seen a Brahminy kite this way. We moved further ahead in search of other birds and then saw another Brahminy Kite drenched from top to bottom. I was finding it difficult to identify it in a drenched condition.
Moving further ahead we came across two Malabar hornbill posing enthusiastically. They were actually preening their feathers.
In and around the Camp
After our morning tea, we were all set to spend some time at the camp photographing birds before heading out to explore other places like Jog falls, forest area of Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, etc. Jog falls is just 6 km from the camp. Resort had another guest at the camp who reached late evening the previous day. Now we had two options, either we share the Jeep with them to the Jog falls or self-drive following the jeep. We chose to self-drive, as it was easier for us to carry our heavy gears on a rainy day.
While we were at the camp, we spent some time birding there. A Malabar Hornbill gave us an opening shot.
Along the stretch of the reservoir, we spotted few other birds. We had company of few playful streeties making sure we were entertained and there was no lack in hospitality. We just loved their presence. Well soon it was time for us to leave for outdoor activity. Nutan wanted to pick something from the room, so she went up while I was enjoying the greenery at the camp. But in no time, it started raining. I just jumped in my car to avoid the rain which was parked at the base of the camp. While the rain played its game, I tried some shots of rain over the moonroof of my Car.
A visit to Jog Falls
After the rain stopped, we started our journey to the famous Jog falls. The uniqueness of Jog falls lies in the way the water falls down the slope. Instead of streaming down it thunders down the slope, due the height from which it makes the fall. The Jog falls has four cascades, which are popularly known as Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. It is the third highest plunge waterfall in India. The gigantic view of the fall kept us spellbound. Here is a small clip showcasing the magnanimity of the falls.
Sharavathi is a river which rises at Ambutirtha. According to ancient legend, it is believed, Lord Rama once visited with mata Sita here. And when Sita got thirsty, to quench her thirst he shot an arrow on the ground and water poured out and quenched her thirst. Ambu (Bow and arrow) Theertham (Holy Water). The name river Sharavathi, where Shara means arrow, was given to the rise of water which is believed to have happened after this event. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Rama at the Ambuthirtha mountain. A Shivalinga is installed at Ambuthirtha, under which river Sharavathi originates.
Here are some pics of the Jog Falls that we clicked.
After Jog falls, we visited another water body, which was more like a mini waterfall. Though, it was crowded, but we found this place fun where one could have some relaxed time.
Back at the camp
After we returned from our visit to the Jog falls, it started raining heavily. There was no way we could go out for our next day boat ride. So we just took our umbrellas and started exploring the camp.
I also tried some macro shots in the rain, though the results were not that great, as it was the first time I was trying Macro.
After some time, we went to the dining area and requested for some coffee to lift our spirits. Though, we had to cancel our boat ride, but it gave us opportunity to explore the camp area. We spent some time at the base of the reservoir. The evening followed with Tea and snacks and yummy dinner later before we retired for the day.
The last day at the camp
The next morning was our last morning at the camp, and we wanted to make the most of it. While we were having our morning breakfast, a group of Malabar-Parakeets stole the show. Followed by minivets and few other birds, who gave a quick visit but flew before I could picture them. Though managed to get some record shots of the parakeets.
We were soon out for our last boat ride, as we could not do the other day. Not much bird activity but we enjoyed the boat ride in the serene water of the reservoir. After the boat ride, we spent some time at the reservoir base exploring and taking some portrait shots of each other, before finally heading back home, Bangalore.
They have 17 Cottages and one Special Cottage.
Tariff for the Cottage is Rs. 4720/- and Special Cottage is Rs. 5015/-.
The charges are per person on twin sharing basis. Forest entry and GST of 18% is not included in the above pricing.
The package includes stay, all the meals i.e. Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast and activities.
You can head to their website for more details and booking. – Sharavathi Adventure Camp
When can we visit Sharavathi Adventure Camp?
Sharavathi Adventure can be visited throughout the year. Each season brings its own uniqueness. Monsoon lets you experience the freshness of the valley when it rains and the falls is full of water, making it best time to visit to experience the falls. Whereas other seasons, one can enjoy the colorful sky during sunrise and sunset in the valley.
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Gears used during the Trip
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