Galibore, a beauty on the banks of Cauvery

A coracle boat at Galibore. Image courtesy: Mala C

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads’ – Thoreau.

As the above quote rightly sums up, sometimes all you need is a simple getaway to the wilderness that could soothe your nerves and nurture your inner-self. With this in mind, I headed out to explore the rocky water-land called Galibore.

The sweltering heat and the dusty roads did not deter me from exploring this vast landscape that lies on the banks of the river Cauvery. A 95 plus km drive from Bengaluru via the Kanakapura Road towards Sangama and a further drive leads you to a gravelly track, through the wooded, muddy terrain. The drive offers a rustic riverside view of the green patch.

I planned to stay at a nearby camp. The drive towards Galibore was enjoyable considering the dipping temperatures and the hillock views that kept me engaged through the drive and as I reached, dusk had settled in. After dinner, a short walk in the surroundings gave a glimpse of the plant life in the area. Galibore is home to many native species of trees, Hole Matti, popularly called Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Pongam (Pongamia pinnata) alongside the macro world like the Orb Weaver Spider, Giant Wood Spider, beetles, crickets, mantises and centipedes.

I woke up to the morning ‘raga’ of the bulbuls and to a near perfect blue sky. The guides around informed me that there were some late night showers and the chances of spotting any form of wildlife was sheer luck.

I was excited to take the nature walk by the riverside into a dense tree cover in search of birdlife in the vicinity. Just as we were nearing a small clearing, the guide ducked down and pointed at an adjacent tree - a huge brown fish owl sat there, perfectly perched.

As I continued the walk, we spotted white-breasted kingfishers, sunbirds, brahminy kites, purple heron, lesser fishing eagle and even a few pugmarks of jackals strolling by the river bed. With the cicadas beginning their evening chant, I decided to head out and try some water sports like kayaking, boat rides and the most thrilling of them all, the coracle boat ride which, is hand-made from scratch by the villagers who use it as a means of transport to cross the river.

The previous night’s rains had made the river swell up. As I settled in, I was busy clicking photographs, when something swam across, it was a marsh crocodile.

Approximately five feet in length and probably weighing 100 kg, the boatman reminded as to how these creatures were absolutely harmless, shy and preferred their space undisturbed.

The sun began to fade and as I packed to leave, I heard a giant squeal, it was a grizzled giant squirrel, a large, endangered tree squirrel, which is found mostly in forest patches along the river Cauvery. I ended my trip at Galibore with a smile.

 

(The author can be reached at megha111213@gmail.com)

 

Fact file

Distance from Bengaluru: 95 km

Where to stay:

Jungle Lodges and Resort. Cost is Rs 4,958 per person for a night.

Places to visit around Galibore:

Muttatti is 12.5 km away. It is known for its Hanumaraya Temple. Chunchi falls is 20km away.

Mekedatu, which is a popular picnic spot, is 14 km away.

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