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Old 5th May 2013, 15:01   #1
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Default Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Cauvery

Last week I was feeling restless, and was badly in need of some nature fix. There wasn't time to go to the Niligiris, so had to settle for Galibore, a camp in the midst of Kaveri Sanctuary, on the banks of the Kaveri, ~ 100kms from Bangalore.

Galibore
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Why I opted for Galibore Jungle Lodges Camp:
1. Close by - 2.5 hours from my house
2. Chance for some trail driving: on the way to the Camp
3. My 70-300mm lens was away for some minor repair, so was left with my 18-105mm. Figured that the riverside would be more suitable for such a lens.

Trail to Galibore. Shot while returning from the coracle ride.
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Weeds or grass growing from rocks in the middle of the Kaveri
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The trail. Doable in any vehicle if one crosses one or two stretches carefully.
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I started after a late breakfast and drove leisurely to Galibore. Gave the Fortuner a much needed chance to stretch its legs on NICE Road after all the city driving. Traffic was sparse till Kanapkpura Road. Took the left turn towards Sangam from Kanakpura. A couple of kms after the turning one has to go through a stretch where the road is getting laid. Rest of the road till Sangam was good. Took the right turn just before Sangam to get onto the trail to Galibore. A few years back this trail was much worse, now one can do it on a sedan or a hatchback. However, when one has a 4WD, one can venture off the trail in places - e.g. getting down to the river bank.

The road to Galibore
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Roots of an Arjuna tree
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Evening
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Saw elephant dung on the way to the Jungle Lodges Camp. It was rather hot - well over 40 degrees. But the riverside was surprisingly cool. I had lunch in my tent, and went over to the riverbank, below a Arjuna tree. There was a nice breeze, and it was pleasant to sit there, listening to the call of the Fish Eagles, watching fish break the surface, and see occasional crocs glide by. An Otter family usually frequents this spot, but that day they didn't favour me with their presence. Neither did the elephants, thankfully.

The Eagle, shot with the 18-105 lens
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Bamboo forest behind where I was sitting. Had to keep an eye out for thirsty elephants.
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A large croc. It was resting on the bank, grinning at the world and showing off its dentures (if you know what I mean), but decided to take a dip when our coracle approached it.
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A large eagle (perhaps the Pallas Fish Eagle) came flying towards me from the opposite side of Kaveri, wanting to sit on the Arjuna tree below which I was relaxing. It saw me at the last moment and swerved away. I was carrying the wrong lens for such a moment, but tried to capture what I could (the 18-105 really sucks for action photos!!). If I had my normal lens I would have got some nice shots.

Riverbank, where I sat for a long time
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The fish eagle. Cropped.
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Snake bird
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The coracle ride started around 5 pm. Didn't see anything interesting apart from a few Snake Birds, and a croc that was sunbathing on the bank and that hurriedly took refuge in the water once we came close. The rocks and the river made for some nice shot opportunities, though.

Quiet flows the Kaveri during summer
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A dead fish. The JLR folks said that the fish were dying due to significantly reduced water levels
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Arjuna trees on the bank
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Went back to my tent, had a shower and sat down in the balcony listening to the sounds of the river and the jungle. I was the only guest, so I could enjoy the darkness in peace. Received an urgent summon from the camp manager who had managed to locate a Mysore Slender Lorris after stalking it for a few days. Apparently I was the first guest to see the species in the Galibore forests. He tried to take some photos using torchlight for the next few hours but the Lorris didn't oblige.

Before sunset
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View from the bank
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The night was hot, and I didn't get much sleep. Heard occasional calls of deer mating calls, sounds of niught birds and the murmur of the river. No elephants paid me a visit, though they come to the camp especially during the summer. Seems leopards come down to drink water a few hundred meters from the camp, but during the night. So no chance of sightings.

A dead croc floating on the river. I was surprised to learn that other crocs decided not to eat it. But the river fish had a feast.
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Otters' playground
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Galibore from next year will be under a severe revenue crunch since the area has been brought under the Cauvery Sanctuary (that is what the Jungle Lodges manager told me), and so angling has been stopped. So all the foreign and domestic anglers would stop visiting during the winter months. I suggested that Jungle Lodges start a tiered pricing option (e.g. significantly less price during off seasons and during the weekdays) to keep business going. Not sure whether JLR would go for such a tactic. If the cost were lower, I would be visiting such JLR camps pretty often.

The JLR jeep waits for my coracle to come ashore
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Arjuna tree
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Had to rush back to Bangalore next morning since it was a working day. The 4WD Fortuner comes into its own when driving fast (relatively speaking) on a trail. While returning noticed the Inspection Bungalow/Forest Bungalow where Kennth Anderson had stayed when hunting the Sangam maneating panther so many years back. Good to know that the Kaveri forests are still full of elephants, cheetals and panthers. Will pay a visit to that bungalow (during winter) when I have some time to spare.

I will be back
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Last edited by nilanjanray : 5th May 2013 at 15:10.
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Old 5th May 2013, 17:34   #2
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Awesome pictures Nilanjan! And i think the Eagle is the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, not the Pallas. Did you get a glimpse of the Loris? A rare sight that!
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Old 5th May 2013, 21:58   #3
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Nice drive you had there Nilanjan. Its refreshing to see that in spite of the dry summer, there is still some water there in Cauvery. I thought it would be almost running dry.
And of course nice pictures to supplement the drive as usual.

I had been to Coorg a month back (South Coorg). I thought there would be no water. But was again surprised to see good store.

Last edited by ampere : 5th May 2013 at 22:09.
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Old 5th May 2013, 22:10   #4
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Brilliant pictures Nilanjan! You seem to have a good hang of HDRs!

Any more pictures? May be a few that are still being processed?
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Old 5th May 2013, 23:31   #5
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Thanks folks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkat_iyer View Post
Awesome pictures Nilanjan! And i think the Eagle is the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, not the Pallas. Did you get a glimpse of the Loris? A rare sight that!
Yes, I did see the Loris as it was peeping out. It was around 7 pm, and we saw it when the JLR manager called out to it and then shone the torch. It was high up in a tree.

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice drive you had there Nilanjan. Its refreshing to see that in spite of the dry summer, there is still some water there in Cauvery.
I would assume that a river such as the Kaveri would always have some water. But the fish were gasping and dying due to low water level as per the folks there.

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Brilliant pictures Nilanjan! You seem to have a good hang of HDRs!

Any more pictures? May be a few that are still being processed?
Yes there are more photos. Will share a few soon.

Been teaching myself post processing recently. I usually take wildlife photos, but was forced to focus more on landscape since I only carried one lens - the 18-105mm.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 5th May 2013 at 23:34.
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Old 6th May 2013, 00:26   #6
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Hi Nilanjan,


Good pictures, as always! Waiting for some more!
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Old 6th May 2013, 07:06   #7
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
I would assume that a river such as the Kaveri would always have some water. But the fish were gasping and dying due to low water level as per the folks there.
@Nilanjan,

I myself subscribe to that view. But many a times, I found worse situations.
Sincerely hope it never goes that way.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:28   #8
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Default re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Yesterday I also visited Galibore for some birding. There was very less water in the river. At few places inside the trail, people were partying and few love birds sighted.

Temperature was hovering between 35-37 Deg in morning around 8 a.m.

Saw 4 Nos. of Grizzled Squirrels, Spotted Deer, Fishing Eagle, A Small Woodpecker, Flameback Woodpecker, Honey Buzzard (4 Nos.), Crested Serpent Eagle on a Coconut Tree just outside the trail at a farm house.

Could not sight Crocs or Otters.

Last edited by micrographics : 6th May 2013 at 09:30.
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Old 6th May 2013, 14:50   #9
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Default Re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

Lovely as usual...

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
.....Saw elephant dung on the way to the Jungle Lodges Camp. It was rather hot - well over 40 degrees.......
You had me there for a moment. I was think dude is that elephant running high fever and how the hell do you temp out dung in middle of no where!! ;-)
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Old 6th May 2013, 16:11   #10
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Default Re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Kaveri

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While returning noticed the Inspection Bungalow/Forest Bungalow where Kennth Anderson had stayed when hunting the Sangam maneating panther so many years back.
Vaguely remember this story. Was it in "Black Panther of Sivanapalli"?
Ken Anderson's stories are always interesting, as most places are nearby Bangalore. Some even a stone's throw away like the one of the leopard in Jallahalli.
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Old 6th May 2013, 18:01   #11
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Default Re: Quick dash to the jungles of Galibore...on the banks of Cauvery

Sorry Nilanjan

Thought of creating new thread but then decided why not add value to yours.

Here are some of my pictures I took yesterday.









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Old 6th May 2013, 19:37   #12
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Vaguely remember this story. Was it in "Black Panther of Sivanapalli"?
Ken Anderson's stories are always interesting, as most places are nearby Bangalore. Some even a stone's throw away like the one of the leopard in Jallahalli.
This was "The Sangam Panther". The old bungalow is abandoned I think, but the tree where he parked his car is still there. The location of the abandoned bungalow just next to the river is undescriable.
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Old 6th May 2013, 20:17   #13
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Originally Posted by deepak_misra View Post
This was "The Sangam Panther". The old bungalow is abandoned I think, but the tree where he parked his car is still there. The location of the abandoned bungalow just next to the river is undescriable.
Am a die hard Kenneth Anderson fan. Did you get a picture of the bungalow set by the river?
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Old 6th May 2013, 20:35   #14
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Am a die hard Kenneth Anderson fan. Did you get a picture of the bungalow set by the river?
I had some but the disk crashed and it got lost. Hopefully I will recover the disk one day and find the photos. The place is just too crowded and filthy. When one sees the bungalow, one can imagine how the scence would have been 50 years back with the great man sitting on the balcony, smoking his pipe and staring at the forest. I have heard from very reliable sources that he used to love trecking along the river in what was thick forest in those days sometimes at night. He insisted on going without a gun in an area which had elephants and leopards.
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Old 8th May 2013, 16:24   #15
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Quote:
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Lovely as usual...

You had me there for a moment. I was think dude is that elephant running high fever and how the hell do you temp out dung in middle of no where!! ;-)
Lol. Was typing fast, didn't realize the faux pas I had made.

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Sorry Nilanjan

Thought of creating new thread but then decided why not add value to yours.

Here are some of my pictures I took yesterday.
Thanks fur sharing your photos. How far did you drive on the Galibore track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepak_misra View Post

This was "The Sangam Panther". The old bungalow is abandoned I think, but the tree where he parked his car is still there. The location of the abandoned bungalow just next to the river is undescriable.
Right Deepak.

The forests stretch till MM Hills on the other side of the Cauvery. I realized that they are connected to the Eastern Ghats as well as the Western Ghats through the Nilgiris.

The place is around 10 degrees in winter, so should be very pleasant. JLR should introduce better discount schemes.
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