Friends, it's been a while that I shared our art and craft adventures with you all here. Actually, we were traveling and returned only a couple of days back.
And, what a vacation it was!
Family bonding, tryst with nature, rendezvous with history, art and architecture.
We had gone down south to Avie's (hubby) native place – Sagar - in Karnataka, where my in-laws live.
Among the many places that we visited in and around Sagar…
I would like to share notes and photos from this one specific place – called Sakkarebailu (near Shimoga, Karnataka) – which offers an experience with nature and wildlife (elephants) from such close quarters that it can mesmerize kids like nothing else can. And, it can be as enchanting for us – adults, too.
Afterall, interacting with creatures as majestic as the elephants and that too – in its natural habitat, is unbeatable and unmatchable. We have had similar experiences with Elephants, in Kerala last year, but this one ranks the best, in my view.
If you are in Karnataka or get a chance to visit, you must mark this place as a "must-visit" with your kids. Besides, there are a number of places of interest around this part of Karnataka, including the Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary, Ikkeri Heritage Temple, Keladi, the world famous Jog Falls, Gudavi Bird Sanctuary and many more, that are fascinating, to say the least.
It amazes me time and again…
…to see how much and how fast kids can learn from such real-life experiences. Any number of books or DVDs cannot be a substitute for what the little ones learn by seeing, touching and feeling – and traveling - as often as we can and as far as we can.
So, we set off…
…for Sakkarebailu (meaning Sugar Cane Field), at 6 AM from Sagara, by car. Had to make sure that we reached there before 8:30 am, for that's when the mahots bring the elephants back from the forests to give them a bath on the banks of the Tunga resevoir.
Our journey from Sagara was blissful – with serene views of the greens, the ponds and the dense Arecanut/Beetlenute forests kissing the skies. In Shimoga, we halted for a quick breakfast of Idli Sambhar, Bread Dosa (it's named bread dosa for its thickness and fluffy texture!) and hot coffee.
We arrived at the Elephant camp dot on time. Built on the banks of the Tunga reservoir, this camp is an extremely well maintained haven for elephants.
The Sakkarebailu elephant camp is a natural habitat for more than 100 elephants incuding baby elephants!
A lot of these elepahts were rescued from poachers and they have been rehabilitated thoughtfully and with great care.
Some of these elephants were not just physically harmed by poachers, but they were also left mentally scarred due to the horror of being hunted. In this camp, these loving and peaceful animals are provided physical and mental healing and have come so far as to give birth to their young ones.
The baby elephants! Boy, are they adorable and cute to the core! And playful. And naughty! It was an encounter that can only be seen to be believed. So, I leave you with these pictures for you to feel the beauty of the wild and the wilderness.
Enjoy the gallery walk!
If you have any questions about this place, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.
And, I have to share this beautiful quote, that echoes my thoughts so beautifully:
“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”
- John Hope Franklin