When we reached Dubare camp on a lazy sunday afternoon, the place was quite crowded with adventure enthusiasts who had come in truck loads. People waited in long queues to get on to the raft for a still water ride. We however were keen on the long white water rafting. The elephant camp at Dubare is situated on the other bank and we could spot a couple of pachyderms enjoying a bath. We contemplated about going ahead with the rafting seeing the crowd but quickly changed our minds and bought tickets for the 7km long rafting on Cauvery river. Cauvery was flowing at its best and looked all brown and beautiful. However, the water level was low and the rafting was a grade 1. Though a bit disappointed we got charged up when our gears came and listened to the instructions from our guide before securing our places along the ridge of the raft. After my rafting experience at Barapole (http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/08/tadiyandamol-trek-and-barapole-river.html) which I thoroughly enjoyed, I just lapped up this exciting opportunity of rafting on Cauvery. Rafting at Dubare is much longer than the one at Barapole and I was quite excited about spending a couple of hours amidst the greenery and the river.
The team (6 of us) was all set to paddle and we began our adventure as we followed the instructions from Raj (instructor), a jovial person who loves being in the waters and who does his best to make the experience an adrenaline rushing one. He was quite disappointed that the water level was low and could not show us the real experience of rafting at Dubare. During the best times of monsoon, the water level rises to more than 12 feet from the present level is what we were told by him. After the initial interaction and guidelines, we were happily rafting away in between the branches of trees that had bend itself to kiss the waters. Moving away into more openness we were asked by our instructor to take the plunge into the cold Cauvery. Before we could think about how to jump off the raft, I was gulping down a few mouthfuls. I was the first prey to the push from Raj. We swam for a while taking in the coldness of the river and then floated in the brown waters staring at the blue sky. For a while we did not have to swim as the flow of the river took us further down along with the raft. Our instructor was quite a water lover and displayed his skills and acrobatics in the water to our amusement.
Shortly after getting back into the raft, we encountered our first rapid. Though a small one the first hand experience to most in the group made us enthusiastic and we were ready to face the next one. There were many rocks which popped up from nowhere and we paddled our way through them, hitting them and then flowing away from them. When the Cauvery is full to its brim, most of the jutting rocks and the swaying branches of trees go under the waters and the rapids and swirls that they create are undoubtedly the best adrenaline rushes of rafting in Dubare. The grade 1 level made us enjoy a few more exciting rapids and our free spirited instructor made sure all those jutting rocks were put to good use by hitting them and had us falling all over the raft.
Slowly I noticed that we were away from civilization. Except for the six of us and our instructor, I could not see any other people. Cauvery had wound itself through the Dubare forest area taking us into the lap of nature, away from the mad world. All I could see was the Cauvery meandering itself through the greenery, a few birds flying off the branches and the six of us enjoying the gurgling of waters and the silence of woods.
We had a second plunge into the waters and enjoyed a few more moments of floating in the Cauvery before heading further down to our end point. We had a final rapid to encounter which was made memorable by our instructor. After hitting the rapid, we paddled back against the flow and went head on facing the water that was flowing over a rock. We were all then asked to squat near the front portion of the raft and bend ourselves facing the rushing waters. Our instructor made all his rafting skills to the best use by hitting the raft on to the rock and we had water gushing all over us and it soon filled up the raft. We repeated this enthralling act many number of times before flowing back along with Cauvery.
Though the rapids were not very exciting (due to grade 1), the long time spend rafting in the Cauvery taking in the beauty of the surrounding greenery, diving into the cold waters and all those adrenaline rushing acts was definitely a great experience. The day which began as lazy one turned into a memorable one by the time we drove back from Dubare.
Signing Note- Raft away and get engulfed by the nature in Dubare...!!
Route- Bangalore- Mandya- Hunsur- Kushal Nagara- Dubare
Distance- 235 Kms