Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Greetings

Dear all,
Year 2008 has been an Activity filled and very satisfying Year for “The Sharavathi Nature Trails…” . It was a proud moment for all of us, when our new Water sports/Camping Activity became operational. It was with your blessing and active support which made us realize this dream.
We anticipate your continued active support and blessings to improve the activities further. Our aim is to expand the direct rural employment further and there by contributing to rural household economy.
Our One more greatest achievement is that, we were able to convert small time timber smugglers in to force which is fighting against the tree cutters in the Sharavathi Backwaters by providing the alternate livelihood for them.
We promise to work for the over all rural development and nature conservation. Also to serve the true nature lovers with renewed vigor.

Here is our new year wish to all of you…..(pls click on image)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 25th Long weekend Program

Likely Itinerary:-

Date:- 24-12-2008
* Deaprture from Bangalore by around 10:00 PM.

Date:- 25--12-208
* Reach Sagar by 6:00 AM in the morning.
* Catch a jeep or van to reach trek starting point and freshen up on the way in a stream.
* Reach Trek starting point and have Breakfast.
* Start the trek towards first veegi falls. Spend some time in falls
* Trek to second veegi falls. Play in the falls if interested.
* Have lunch and trek Trek up the valley and come to road.
* Travel to Backwater camp site and camp there.

for a part of this route photos and blog, Pls click on the link below

Date:- 26-12-2008
* Wake up,Freshen up and Have Breakfast
* Group Introductory session and initial briefing by the Camp leader
* Introducing everyone to water, and a small swimming/floating session.
* Transfer to Island in coracle.
* Long Swimming and floating session. Initiation to Coracle paddling.
* Have Lunch and rest for half an hour.
* Start the Islands exploration trail by Coracle.
* Return back to the camp site and have tea
* Have a camp fire and fun time at camp fire
* Have dinner and retire for the day

Date:- 27-12-2008

* Wake up early in the morning. Freshen up and have tea
* A small swimming/floating session
* Introduction to Raft Paddling
* Introduction Kayaking and Individual Kayaking session.
* Have lunch
* Trek to "Devara gudda". Spend time on view point and climb down to Bus stand
* Travel back to Sagar and take Bus back to Bangalore
* End of session

Thursday, December 11, 2008

6/7th Dec weekend Activity Report

Previous week we had couple of couples for the program. Also we had a great 2 year old baby participant :). It was a great moment for all of us the way that girl baby settled down at camp and was enjoying every bit of moments in nature. Very next week i was thinking of break as no groups had approached for the program. But Duttu coming to the camp was long overdue and he was particular on 6/7th Dec as he was free on that weekend only. I requested him to find the fellow campers...He started hunting. Even though many confirmed...last moment most of them pulled out with one or other excuses. But finally there were 3 campers left. Dattu asked me "is it ok for u" I said i am ok and we decided to take off.
I booked the Sleeper berths in Maharaja Travels to Sagar. All of us met up at Mejestic by around 10:30 and The Bus was ready. We stuffed all our luggage to our berths and got out of Bus for a chat as there was still time for departure. I met Dattu after many years..! so we chated for a while and it was time to leave. All of got in to Bus and slept off.
We reached Sagar by 7:30AM. We dont know the reason , but Bus was half an hour late. We went to KSRTC Bus stand to get freshen up as this place well maintained. After freshen up, we had Tea and some had The famous "Kahashaya", local Herbal drink in Bus stand canteen. Then we moved to Private Bus stand from where we supposed to catch a Local Bus to our base camp. The local Bus was on time and we got in to BUS. After we left Sagar, The road was narrow but it was going through a beautiful vegitation. About 45 mintutes of travel, we reached our Bus stop. We got out of Bus and trekked down for about 10 mins to our base camp.
By the time we reached base camp our cook Gangu had prepared "uppittu" and Khashaya. We had stomachfull breakfast and relaxed for a while. It was time to do some activity..! so we all fastened Life jacket and decided to take flunge. Rest of of the story is through visuals .....!

Photos courtesy:- Dattu
Welcome to Sharavathi Backwter...

It was time to Learn Coracle Paddling..

An Island opposite to our Camp Island

Sun Set time........ Sun Set Time.........

Lazy Morning.. Lazy Morning..

It was time for Kayaking.. Tried rowing the raft

Trekked up the hill to get Complete view of Sharavathi Backwtaer From

Complete Photo's of Dattus camera link

Few Words from Ccampers
Dear Sampath,
All those who have done this program with you will tell you same thing that it was fantastic.
But I want make a very different point here. Being a nature lover I definitely enjoyed the program. But being a responsible citizen, I appreciate more about your social entrepreneurship.
From quite some time I am hovering around this idea of community service and by looking at guys like you, I get a lot of positive energy. You have combined two very odd things innovatively to make a big impact on number of people. Combining this adventure sports with local employment, you have created a fantastic platform for people to enjoy and locals to earn.
When I discussed about your program with Vinod, I told him, that I want to do something like Sampath [even before we met]. I even told him that if his idea of entrepreneurship is good, I'll try to join him if he want to expand. I did not tell you this when we were together because I came only as observer this time. I am impressed by your passion for this work and I realized that I am not yet "that" passionate about something which will keep me driving for long time. I am still a learner.
Dattu, Sarvana, definitely it was the smallest group but not the slowest :)
I think we did pretty well with the stamina we have in Bangalore city.
If I can do mountain biking in ladakh and swimming/coracle for 2 days in Sharavati, I think we can do anything. Lets continue this spirit and do more adventure in life.
Sampath, I am again coming with you next time with more that 5 people with me and you have to take me for free :)
If you find any small role for me to contribute to your venture, don't hesitate to ask me. I'll try my best.
[Two of the best photos from my Mobile are attached. One is sunrise and another is Sunset]

Hi Sampth,

After lot of jerks finally our camp happened ( smallest group of 3). First let me express my honest feedback.

IT WAS SOULFILLING. Great vast views of Sharavati river, swimming in 100ft without any fear, Different boatings , floating in water and feeling my own breath, sunrise , sunset, nice food, Campfire, beautiful backwater view from top of Devaragudda and last the best great group. Nothing more I should ask for. Thank you and all your team members for this.

Secondly, I saw how much prep you guys have to do for a camp. Bringing all boats, food , Its really lot of work. So Just for doing for three people, it is really not very encouraging. But you did it. I am really thankful to you and also very sorry. Please convey my thanks to Narayana , Ravindra and Ashok. I would like to come to this many times. Next time with family.




Hi Sam,
Thanks for such a wonderful week end..
The pictures shows our happiness

B in touch...we will meet soon in another trip :-)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

next Kayaking/Island camping/Trekking camp on 6/7th Dec

Hi All,
We have our next Kayaking/Island camping/Trekking camp on 6/7th Dec.

Here info on camping and water sports...

Sharavathi backwater:- Sharavathi backwater is about 60 KM in length and about 15 KM wide !!!!. It became backwater when dam was constructed at Linganamakki of sagara taluk in Shivamogga(Shimoga) district to the river Sharavathi. This backwater has created lots of islands, it is so great to explore all these, where thick vegetation still exist and lots of wild life in it including some rare birds.

Date:- 6/7-12-2008 weekend (2 Days)
Camp Site:- Sharavathi Backwater Near Sagara in Shimoga Dsitrict
Accomdation:- Dome tents on an ISLAND in the backwater.
Food:- Food is going to be Simple Vegetarian food and it will be freshly cooked food at the camp site.
Transport:- It is an option. u can travel on ur own (we will guide u how to reach there) or we can arrange transport

Itinerary of Camp activities in Sharavathi Backwater.

Day 1:-

* Arrive at Camp site. Freshen up and Have Breakfast
* Group Introductory session and initial briefing by the Camp leader
* Introducing everyone to water, and a small swimming/floating session.
* Transfer to Island in coracle.
* Long Swimming and floating session. Initiation to Coracle paddling.
* Have Lunch and rest for half an hour.
* Start the Islands exploration trail by Coracle.
* Return back to the camp site and have tea
* Have a camp fire and fun time at camp fire
* Have dinner and retire for the day

Day 2:-

* Wake up early in the morning. Freshen up and have tea
* A small swimming/floating session
* Introduction to Raft Paddling
* Introduction Kayaking and Individual Kayaking session.
* Have lunch
* Trek to "Devara gudda". Spend time on view point and climb down to Bus stand
* Travel back to Sagar and take Bus back to Bangalore
* End of session

Photos of our Adventure Water sports and camping Faliclity in Sharavathi backwater

A Blog on our new Adventure Water sports and camping Faliclity in Sharavathi backwater

Map of the camp site

Pls mail to prapancha@gmail.com for any more info...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family Adventure Camping at Sharavathi Backwater

Getting there: Purushotham was fallowing my blog since from long time, which i did not know. one fine day he buzzed me in gmail and asked me "if families can visit for the camping". I was very happy, as my wish was to make program for everyone including ladies/girls as these people get very rare opertunity to do these activities. Instantly agreed and directed him to make the reservation for the travel. Accrodingly he reserved the tickets to Shimoga in train. Totally there 4 families if his friends and collegues. And best thing was that he decided to get his small (1yr 8months old) baby for this aventure program :). She was very livevley all over the program, which made the program further interesting!. I also had other group coming for the hard trek, We traveled in Sleeper Bus to Sagar. We reached Sagar by 7:00 AM, I got down at Sagar and then Our trek guide Narayana continued the journey in the same bus till Kargal. Purushotham and team were traveling in train as they had advance reservation, they took Bus from Shimoga to Sagar and landed in Sagar by 8:00 AM. Our local BUS, which takes us to Basecamp was ready. We all got in to waiting BUS and traveled to basecamp. It was about half an hour journey. We all got out of BUS and trekked down for about 15 mins to the camp site.
Welcome to Basecamp: By the time we reach the camp site, our crew were ready with equipement and breakfast was also ready. We requested everyone to get freshen up quickly and come for the breakfast. Menu was "UppiTTu and KeSari Baath with oGGaraNe AvalaKKi" and then there was this "Kashaya". This is a local drink like tea/coffee. This drink is made out of powder of some roots of the plants, which are available in Jungle out there. It is delicious and very healthy drink for the local weather. All of us had heavy breakfast and relaxed for a while under the tree. By then Subbarayaru family also joined us for the program. Subbarayaru family is well known in that area and very nice people. All of us relaxed for a while and decided to start the Activity.
Acticities: First activity was to get used to water, so fastened the life jacket and flunged in to water. This time ladies were brave than men ;-) !. They were very comfortable with life jacket and plunged in to water but few men were reluctant as they did now know the swimming. After litle confidence building talk they all ventured in to water and we swam/float for some time by hopping between dead trees which are visible above the water surface. It was a great fun time for all of us. Then we all came out water. Next activity was to learn coracle paddling. I briefed about coracle, its features and paddle details and then i took one by one in coracle and taught them the paddling technique. Everyone quickly learnt the technique and all oof them practised the paddling for sometime. Later we decided to shift our activities to Camp island. We loaded our backpacks in to coracle and 4 of us got in to each coracle. As there was not much of wind it was easy to paddle and in an about an hour of paddling we all landed in Island.
By then Our cook Dharmanna had prepared "Petrol" for us!!!. Its actually a orange coloured juice, which was looking like a petrol. So someone named it like that !!!. We had nice juice and realaxed for a while. It was time for lunch. Menu was rice, sambar, pickle and papad. All of us had nice lunch and relaxed for a while. Then we decided to start our next activity, which was to go on Island exploration. All of us got in to coracles and some in to raft and started off the expedition. After an hour of paddling we landed in an island which was so beautiful. We parked our boats and walked along the shore. As SUN was getting set, Birds in the island were rejoicing the pleasent weather and thier chiriping was apt music to ears. When i was walking along with the shore, i noticed a hole on the ground and i peeped in to that. To my surprise, i saw "Common Indian Monitor Lizard". I think becuase of my foot noice it was getting to the hole dug by it. By the time i called camera man, it went in to the hole completely. Weather was very soft with cloud around the sky. We all had litle snacks and had juice again. After little chill out there we decided to move to another island to view the sun set. We could not have nice sun set view as there were thick cloud blocking the sun. We decied to pladdle back to the camp island. After an hour of paddling we were back to the camp island.

Night Camping: By the time we reach island, camp fire was on and Dharmanna had prepared 'Khashaya' and and hot "Mirchi Bonda". We all sat around camp fire and bonda/khashaya. It was time for fun time. Some cracked jokes, some did singing and some shared wild experience. Dinner was ready, but we decided to have it late as were feeling full with lots of mirchi bonda inside. After an hour or so finally we decided to have dinner. Menu was Chapathi, palya, rice, rasam and Hesaru kaalu(Moong) Payasa. It was delicious dinner. All of us had stomachfull and sat around camp fire for sometime. As we were tired, we could not sit for long and we decided to retire for the day. Oh what a sleep i got! i slpet till 7:00 in the morning, which i do very rarely!. I usually wake up by 5:00 in the morning...but today it was lazy morning.
Marning Raaga: All of us woke up and paddled to different island (Named as "Shit Island"!!!) and finished our routines. By then Tea was ready all of us had tea and relaxed for a while. We decided to have breakfast and then start the activity for the day. By 8:30 breakfast was ready and we all moved to kitchen. It was "Akki Rotti" for the breakfast. Akki rotti is prepared with rice powder. It is beautiful when it is made traditionally. Here in Bangalore also we get them, they are not that good as they have been just roasted on thava. Here after roasting on thava, it will be put in to live fire and burn it a bit, which gives great taste. Dharmanna was fast and feeding us the hot rotti's just out of Thava. We all ate nicley and had tea again.
Next Day activities: After bit of relaxation, fastened Life Jacket and started off the activities with a small Swimming/Floating. Next activity was KAYAKing. I asked everyone to assemble aroung Kayak and briefed them about this type of boat. Kayak was first made by wood and used by ESKIMO's. They were using it for travel/transporting purpose. But later people started using for liesure purpose and started making in fibre. This kayak is real fun to paddle. If we know proper paddling technique, we can reach up to 30KM/Hour! speed. After the brief and demonstration, everyone took the boat for small drive and then for long drive. After Kayak, it was time for Raft rowing. Every one tried the rowing found it most difficult!. Then some found a Dead dree branch peeping out water and it was looking like srping board!. So many of us had gala time diving from this. Then we tried diving from raft too. it was fun filled aquatic session. Then everyone swam back to the camp island. It was time for lunch. All of us had lunch and relaxed for a while. After the relaxation we decied say good bye to the island and go for a trek to near by hillock "Devaragudda". All of packed our backpacks, loaded in to coracle and landed in main land. Then we started off the trekking. It is a ridge of miles together and walking on this ridge one can see beautiful sharavathi backwater and lots of islands in it. Other side one can see Sagar town. we spent some time on the peak. We also had juice and Avalakki and relaxed for a while. We had local bus to sagar at 6:00pm, so we started getting down to Bus stand. We reached Bus stand and waited for a while. Got in to Bus and reached Sagar. Had dinner in Sagar and returned to Bangalore. It was an another memorable trip.

Photos Link of the program:-

Few Words from Campers:-

****Its really an eye opener on sharavathi, its really amazing to see this kind of place.
you and your team extraordinary effort in arranging camping, water sports, trekking and food is amazing, just no word to describe it, its class apart.

We really enjoyed our camping and water sports, needless to say about simple veg food which was too good.
We shall keep this memory for our life time .

Wish you good luck for future pursuit, conserving forest,providing local employment.


****When puru approached me few weeks back on this sharavathi backwater program, initially I was reluctant because of the distance. But when I landed at the base camp the sight was amazing. Water water everywhere. Probably I would have never seen such a clean fresh water in any other river. The life jacket really gave us confidence to get into water without even thinking how deep it is. Coracle, kayak and the raft were great to learn and fun to use.
The food was great. Cook Dharmendra was very friendly. The camp were comfortable. The sigh from Devaragudda gave us a clear picture of how much more is there unexplored. Overall it was an excellent weekend to remember.
Thanks for organizing such a lively camp