Our Coorg trip in 2007 was a memorable one. Most memorable part of the trip was the time spent at Dubare elephant camp. The camp is located adjacent to the Kabini river and everyday the tamed elephants are brought here for a bath. Tourists can give these elephants a bath or feed them. Elephant ride is also arranged. Most of these elephants take part in Dasara celebrations at Mysore.

It was 9am when we reached the camp; we felt we should have come early (at around 7am) since most of the elephants were gone by then. We crossed the river on boat (had we walked a few hundred meters uphill we could have crossed the river on foot) and were enjoying the scenic views of the forest and the river.

Soon enough a single-tusked elephant was brought in for a bath; his name was Ekadanta (as his name suggests, he had only one tusk).

Ekadanta

Ekadanta, the elephant

 

Ekadanta was relatively young but a majestic elephant. Some of us were scared to go near him but after a while people shed their fears and came closer. Ekadanta entered the waters and started playing with water as its mahout gave him bath. I too rubbed his thick body and helped the mahout! After a while its mahout signaled the elephant to change its side and Ekadanta willfully obeyed. After enjoying his time in the river, Ekadanta came out and posed happily for the tourists.

Ekadanta

Ekadanta, the elephant

 

Next stop was the food court, where elephants are fed their breakfast consisting of bananas, jaggery and leaves. It looked as if the food given to them was heavily rationed as the quantity was no where close to what a huge elephant would need. I hope these elephants find enough food inside the forest to compensate.

Subsequently, we went for an elephant ride, about 6 people on the back of a mighty elephant. That was my first elephant ride and a very memorable one. The elephant took a regular path, walking slowly in the jungle and dropping us off after a good round-about. Though it was a shaky ride, it gets comfortable once you overcome the fear of falling off.

The Dubare elephant camp also has a couple of shops selling shirts, hats (the sort of shikari hats) and other materials. We bought tender coconuts, spent some time enjoying the greenery, then crossed the river and returned to our vehicle.