We left Talacauvery and returned to Madikeri town in time for lunch. Madikeri town has a very limited choice for vegetarian food. So we went to a typical yelle oota place. My SIL refused to eat there. It was not really a neat place. We ate and got out as quick as possible. It was almost 2 pm and we wanted to start back for Mysore and reach there by late evening. On the way we decided to catch a glimpse of the elephants at Dubare.
Dubare is about 34 kms from Madikeri. As we neared the right turn for the elephant camp from the main road it started raining. It was a wonderful experience to drive in the rain through semi jungle like terrain and narrow roads. It almost felt like a safari. It cooled the air and was amazingly fresh. When we reached Dubare the boats were not yet ready to ferry us accross the Cauvery. There were many people crossing the river on foot but we decided not to as we were to travel ahead to Mysore for another 2.5 hrs and did not want a mess in the car. It had made the ground mucky so we lined the car floor with lots of old news paper.
As soon as the rain stopped we jumped into the canopied boats and paid for the rides. It was a 7-8 mins across the shallow river bed. It stopped at a make shift jetty. Everything is so basic there truely gives you the nature experience. We climbed up the slope to reach a entrance area to the Dubare forest where elephants would be brought in for a show.
It wasn't time yet. So we climbed onto the tree house/ machan for a better view of the forest. The rain had cleaned the trees and they looked lush green and the gulmohars were flaming glory truely. We saw some cooks were preparing large balls of ragi for the elephants. Each was about 3-4 kgs in weight. They told us each elephant ate 12 of those huge balls. The muddy ragi balls looked almost like elephant dung.
The elephants were roaming in the jungles and waiting for them to come out so that we could see them was getting a little boring. Here is proof.
Suddenly we saw the royal beast striding towards the open areas. The men, women and children clapped their hands thrilled at the sight.
Then followed the circus like salams from the elephants. The mahuts took them to the river for a bath and it was very endearing to see them enjoy the water and so luxuriously.
A spectacular sight
See how the elephant lifts his leg to let the mahut climb on to his back.
This one loves coconuts
Finally we came back on the boat and back to the car to proceed to Mysore. It was drizzling and we needed rounds of coffee and some biscuits so did that before whirring the engines.
However one thing that was gnawing me, "Why do the elephants have to be subjected to this choreographed show?" I would love to see them in their natural habitat.
Pranav was maha thrilled with Dubare and so were the other kids present there. So was happy.