Archive for the ‘TimePass’ Category

Bheemeshwari water rafting

Posted: October 1, 2007 in TimePass

Bheemeswari is a place situated between Mekhedatu and Shivanasamudra. It lies in Mandya district. It is about 100 kms from Bangalore. It takes around 2.5-3 hours from Bangalore. It lies on the banks of river Cauvery and is also known as ‘Cauvery Fishing Camp”. It is world-renowned as home to the great ‘Mahseer’ – the finest & the largest tropical sporting fish known to man. Also, Bheemeswari has jungle resort. It is 5 kms from Mutathi.

We started at around 7 am (initial plan was 6 am) and we left Banashankari our last transit point at around 8 am. From there we went to Kanakpura . Road was good. From Kanakpura we went to Sathnur. Thereafter, ghat section started and roads were bad and we had horrible time with flocks of sheep and cows blocking our passage. We reached Bheemeswari around 12 . The route was superb with dense forests and Cauvery river almost running parallel to the road. Some spots in Ghats were really quite wonderful. We had completely forgotten Bangalore for a while.

When we landed in Bheemeswari, we were asked to enjoy a little time in resort. Our raft was supposed to start around 2 pm. The resort was awesome. We were a bit scared when we were asked to fill forms stating that “We are only responsible for our death”. We were little happy though as most of us had insurance in our names. We had done some homework and we knew that these forms are for namesake. We had a stroll around the river banks. We got ourselves ready for raft. Then we had a good lunch served at the resort. It was purely vegetarian food. Then we had some time left, we rested on hammocks for a while.

We are getting frustrated as the raft was not getting started. We had some conflicts with the organizer. Our bandwagon comprised of 8 people and we wanted to raft in the same boat. But, according to rules, maximum of 7 people are allowed inside a single boat and one guide also accompanies in a boat. We were forced to split 4-4. The best thing is at the same time all 3 boats start rafting. We got ourselves ready wearing life jackets and helmets. Then everyone had paddles in their hands and soon we were all seen taking “Chakde”’ snaps. Soon, we assembled and we were asked to check whether we had worn life jackets and helmets properly. Thereafter, we had some rafting training.

There were a set of rules which our guides explained to us. How to hold paddles, how to paddle, how to address the situation when someone falls in water, how to lock our legs so as to eliminate the chance of falling into water due to imbalance and other things. Believe me, there is nothing to get scared, the guides are really good and the boat as far as I know never topples. We initially thought that raft is not so difficult. So, 20 people along with 3 guides were ready for a race. Also, guide told us that co-ordination and team work is required. Weekend also team work…we were not able to forget IT life in jungle also…

Raft started. We were following 3 commands only, forward paddle, back paddle and most relaxing command-stop (stop paddling). There are some other commands like left side forward paddle in which case right side people have to back paddle to maintain momentum. Raft is about 8 kms. and it is through dense forests on both sides and mind blowing landscapes all around. Guide told us that the water depth is about 30 feet maximum and it is not uniform. The water current level at Bheemeswari is Grade 2+ which is not much as compared to Grade 5+ water current level at Hrishikesh. There were some crocodiles and we saw 1-2 with open mouths. Our guide showed us crocs and he clapped hands.The crocodile had disappeared. I guess these guides have enough experience and that is only reason I was confidently rafting (I had enough confidence that they will rescue me even if the boat topples or I fall down).Once we were inside a rapid, boat started wobbling…We all started shouting..again we were relaxed as the rapid had passed by. Our guide also showed us some vortexes…he told us that if we get caught inside a vortex no one can save you even if you know swimming…In between, our guide was showing us some crocs and trying to scare us.

Our guide also showed us to how to rotate the boat …the experience was really great. Some people started asking guide that we should win the race and not to fall behind…Initially we were ahead but due to some swirling exercises we were lying back now. Our guide was master. He was crafty. He had plans up his sleeve. He had rich expertise in rafting at Hrishikesh. Slowly we started moving ahead. At one point, guide shouted “Team work is needed”. He asked us to stop paddling and told that rhythm was missing. He told us that due to improper sync between team members boat is slowing. He further added that if this is case better to stop paddling as we will travel much faster than when we are paddling. Soon, now, we were in sync and slowly but surely we started moving ahead to win the race. There was sledging going way from opposition camp though it was not on field. As and when rival teams came nearby, there was a lot of water splashing going on and it was awesome experience.

There were some rocks in between and our guide told us that if we hit some rocks we can’t escape . He also told us that even though you have helmet, due to speed of water, you will get badly injured. Now, we were almost at the end. We had time to plunge into water.I also plunged seeing all my counterparts doing it but came up early as I could not resist much…Now, we were ahead and we wanted to win the race. There was one last rapid but dangerous rapid which would decide everyone’s fate and it was really exciting. Water rushing towards boat from all ends. The last rapid had some hole and once we were inside the hole we were asked to paddle with all the remaining energy to come out. At last, we had overcome the final hurdle and that too on a winning note. We started shouting “Yeah Yeah”.

Then, we were asked to get down from the boat and cross a small passage of water though water was around 4-5 feet. I was almost scared as I did not know swimming but somehow reached the other end. I thanked god for having had a safe journey but it was too much exciting. We were asked to settle down. The organizer came to me personally and said “Did you get answers to all your questions”…Initially, I had raised an argument that we wanted to raft together…He had told that they win balance all the teams so as to have a safe rafting…They don’t allow too much girls in one raft and also not more than 7 people in a raft..

The KFC also has cottages available. They arrange special elephant rides, fishing and jungle trekking. Rafting will be conducted on all Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays. During week-days it is purely based on request. The best time to visit is Monsoon from June to Aug. September to Feb is cool and right time to visit as we found out. Summer is warm, especially during afternoons. We can also fill online forms to avail this facility and believe me it is worth going. They charge Rs. 1.200 Rs per participant inclusive of transportation( Transportation from Bangalore & Back is arranged by them) . 900 Rs ( Rupees Nine Hundred only ) per participant without transportation(Transportation from Bangalore & Back to be taken care of by the participants). Per day they schedule 3 rafting batches. More details can be obtained at http://www.careindia.in/wwr_rafting.html.
Now, we had to get back to Cauvery Fishing Camp by road. They had transportation in in place for that. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Then we headed back to Bangalore by 6.30 pm and reached here by 9 pm. While returning, it started raining heavily…Thank God it did not rain while going. It was totally relaxing and exciting Sunday for all of us.

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