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A must see for anyone who cares about elephants and elephant conservation, Dubare Elephant camp is a project undertaken by forest department and Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd.
The camp provide a sanctuary to many elephants trained under naturalists, that were previously exploited in the cities.
For tourists, the camp offers a fun filled day of elephant activities including an hour's ride on an elephant, feeding elephants, spend time with them, pose for photographs etc. Tourist can see Elephants been given a scrub-bath in the River and also watch how oil is applied on their forehead, tusks etc. One can touch and feel their abrasive skin but the mahout will not allow to scrub it with brush.
In the elephant feeding area, one can watch the food being prepared for the Elephants and how they are fed.
In the camp, the Mahouts will demonstrate the various commands the Elephants can obey. There is also sports training imparted to the elephants by these Mahouts. The elephants even play football during their free time, which is an entertainment to the tourists.
One can take a two to three hour elephant safari through the entire camp which will be available twice a day morning time or during the afternoon. (Cost Rs 500 to 700/- per person). Tourists can also take a 10 to 15 min Elephant ride (Rs.200 to 300/- per person) into the Dubare Reserve Forest. Before, get on to the Elephant Mahouts will show how the Howdahs is actually tied .
A trained Naturalist is there to explain the various aspects of Elephant history, ecology and biology. The Elephants for the famous Mysore Dasara were trained at Dubare elephant camp.
Since the camp is set on a small islet of river Cauvery, one have to cross the river on boat to reach there. It will take a five minutes boat-ride. There may be a long queue for boats but is manageable. Boat charge 20/- per person, kids under 5/6 is free. Rafting is another option-available for 100/- per person which is an enjoyable ride.
Since the water level is very low, one can also walk across a shallow stretch dotted with rocks, it is risky but not nearly as dangerous. Better to avoid if kids are there.
Besides seeing the elephant up close one can also enjoying trekking, fishing at Dubare. The Forest Department conducts some treks along well-defined routes. Dubare is also home to many wild animals sambhar, spotted deer, tiger, leopard, wild dogs, gaur, squirrels and bears are also seen in these forests. Crocodiles can be seen in river. The forests are also home to many reptiles non-venomous snakes. Dubare also offers a treat to bird lovers and birdlife in Dubare includes partridges, woodpeckers, kingfishers and many more.
The best time to reach Dubare is post monsoon months i.e, mid- Sept to beginning March because the entire place becomes more picturesquea and the climate would be very pleasant. During Monsoons, rains are heavy but one can enjoy a unique experience in Dubare.
In addition to elephant training camp, Nisargadhama and
Veerabhoomi are the other main attractions of the forest area. The Nagarhole
National Park is close to to Dubare.