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Angling  |  Wildlife Safari's  |  Trekking  |  Camping   |  Rafting & Canoeing  |  Birding  |  Home Stays
ACTIVITIES


ANGLING

Mahseer Fishing -
Anglers from all over the world come to the Cauvery to try and catch the legendary sport fish of India.
A 40 plus km of the river between the Shivsamudram Water Falls and Mekedatu, is protected as it flows through the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. On the banks of this stretch of the river are 3 fishing camps, Doddamakli the furthest upstream, Bheemeshwari mid stream and Galibore the furthest down stream. During the fishing season of November to April anglers have to book well in advance to get the restricted fishing licenses available. Anglers are expected to bring their own fishing gear but for those ill equipped OutRigor can offer the use of a few rods and tackle.

At the camps anglers are provided with a guide and a coracle (saucer shaped bamboo boat) as well as ragi bait. Bottom fishing with ragi bait is the most popular fishing technique, but plugs and spoons are also used in the rapids. Live bait, chilwa(small fish) and crabs too get the fish to strike.

Mahseer fishing is also possible at Valnoor in Coorg. Here the stretch of the river is shorter and the fish are not quite as big. The Coorg Wildlife Society protects this stretch of the river and issues fishing licenses. They also provide a guide and coracle.


Mahseer are exceptionally strong and once hooked, can strip 100 meters of line when they run. A sturdy
10 to 12 foot rod, with casting (multiplier) reel and 40 lbs monofilament is the most commonly used gear. A spinning reel with 20 lbs line could also be used. Single hooks Mustad or Owner brands of size 2.0 to 8.0 and spiral lead weights are part of the essential equipment. Anglers do lose hooks and line and should therefore carry additional quantities.

Mahseer fishing in the river Cauvery depends on the Monsoon rains for the year but it is best between November and April.

Marral & Carp.
The Cauvery also has other species of fish like the Murrel and Carp. Mepps spinners and a spinning rod offer good sport. While these fish can be served at table, anglers are advised to abide by a bag limit (one or two large fish are sufficient to feed all the guests at the camp) and are encouraged to release the smaller fish.

Catfish
This species does not excite the serious angler but if you have kids or others who are fishing for the first time it can be fun for them. Any ordinary rod would do including a bamboo rod!


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WILDLIFE SAFARI'S

Within 5 hours of driving from Bangalore you could be within one of the National Parks or Wildlife Sanctuaries that are rich in wildlife. Jeep safaris and in some of the sanctuaries guided treks into the forests are experiences that no wildlife enthusiast will forget.

Some of the richest forests of South India are just a 5 hour drive from Bangalore. – which include the Bandipur National Park and the Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Nagarhole. These are excellent Tiger and Elephant habitats.

During the dry summer months of February through April herds of Asiatic Elephants, often in the
hundreds, can be seen by the banks of the Kabini reservoir, which is surrounded by forests . An unforgettable sight for any wildlife enthusiast! Apart from these two National Parks there is the Wildlife Sanctuary at B.R. Hills and in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the forests of Mudumalai and Wyanad, all of which form the Nilgiri Bio-sphere, which has the largest population of the Asiatic Elephant.

Tiger, Leopard and the Wild Dog are the three predators to be found in these forests. For these predators there are several prey species like the Gaur (the largest wild cattle in the world) often and erroneously referred to as the ‘Indian Bison’, the Sambar Deer, Chital or Spotted Deer and Muntjac or Barking Deer. The lesser cats, Sloth Bears, Striped Hyaena, Wild Boar, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Langur and Bonnet Macaque are some of the other mammals, which inhabit these forests. Marsh Crocodiles are often sighted in the Kabini reservoir. Birds, reptiles, butterfly and insects, these forests have them all.

Wildlife is best observed in the dry and warm months of February thru’ April. Animal sightings are reasonably common during December and January as well and the weather is certainly more
comfortable.


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TREKKING

Bangalore situated on the Deccan Plateau is about 3000 feet above sea level, but the mountains of the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris rise to 6000 to 8000 feet and these high lands offer plenty of opportunities for trekking

Interesting trekking options exist in the hills of the Nilgiris and Coorg and both these districts are a 6 hour drive from Bangalore. The trekking routes around Bangalore are not like the high altitude treks of the Himalayas with its snow-capped peaks, but greener and more moderate. Some routes are through forested areas and animal sightings or encounters are possible. Bandipur National Park permits trekking during certain seasons. The duration of these treks could range from a few hours to a few days.

The best months for trekking around Bangalore are November through April.


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CAMPING

Bangalore situated on the Deccan Plateau is about 3000 feet above sea level, but the mountains of the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris rise to 6000 to 8000 feet and these high lands offer plenty of opportunities for camping.

If sleeping in a tent, barbequing your dinner and eating around a bon fire is what excites you, then the campsites normally located within privately owned plantations known to OutRigor are a way of blending the rigors of the outdoors with some creature comforts like a clean restroom. These campsites offer a hassle free camping experience in a scenic environment. Camping can be combined with short treks
for a more complete outdoor experience.

The best months for Camping around Bangalore are November through April.

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RAFTING AND CANOEING

This is not the adrenalin pumping experience of running the mighty Himalayan Rivers, but if you happen to be in Bangalore during the monsoon months of June to September rafting and canoeing is an interesting experience and also very safe for first timers. The river Cauvery is the closest to Bangalore but rafting and canoeing can also be done at the Kali River at Dandeli and at Kolur in the Western Ghats.

River Rafting is a Monsoon activity in South India as the monsoon rains feed the rivers of the Western Ghats turning the rocky riverbeds to white water rapids.


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BIRDING

For the amateur an early morning walk in the Lalbagh Garden in central Bangalore or a drive to one of the water bodies around Bangalore would be rewarding. For the more serious, trips to the forests, rivers and plantations would be more meaningful. OutRigor could arrange for an experienced naturalist or birder to accompany special interest birding groups.
The bird sanctuary at Ranganthittu near Mysore is a bit “touristy” but it is worth a visit most times of the year as there are several resident species are seen here, though the breeding season in August and September and the winter months of November through February attract enthusiastic birders.The pellicanary at Kokrebellur off the Mysore Highway is also worth visiting provided one reaches the place by dawn when the pelicans tend to be more active. January and February is good time to visit Kokkarebellur as this is the breeding season for the Storks and Pelicans. En route to Kokkarebellur there is a water body at Tailur for some birding.

The Bannerghatta National Park, the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, B.R.Hills Wildlife sanctuary, The National parks at Bandipur and Nagarhole and Mudumalai are all good for birding. The coffee plantations of Coorg also afford the opportunity for bird watching.

Birding can be a year round activity but is best after the monsoons are over in November.


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HOME STAYS

Plantation Home Stays afford the opportunity of experiencing the hospitality of Coorg and Wyanad, walks and drives through spice and coffee country, tasting the local cuisine, and exploring the environment. There are Home Stays that cater to the tranquility and luxury seeking traveler and those that welcome the backpacking adventure seeker. Most home stays are within 6 hours of driving from Bangalore and a visit to a home stay can normally be combined with some outdoor activity. Trekking, bird watching and rafting during the monsoons are the most popular activities that are combined with home stays. Mahseer fishing at Valnoor would also require one to stay in a home stay, as there is no conveniently located resort close by.
 
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