Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bhadra - a memoir

It was early April when Sahana and myself decided to do a trip to Bhadra. Rajesh from had invited me to enjoy a holiday via his their new venture.

My Dandeli trip in the past was on their invitation to the place and we had enjoyed that trip a lot. This time though his invitation had come last year itself, I was postponing the plan due to other engagements. Finally we decided to enroll this invitation and asked the guys at to do the booking at River Tern Resort at Bhadra. The hassle-free and easy booking got us a cottage at the River Tern Resort.

I had heard a lot of stories of River Tern Resort at Bhadra. Everyone who went there were fully happy with the location of the property. Our high expectation from all those accounts were completely fulfilled when we arrived at the place. The location of the property is really amazing, with the backwater from the dam visible right from the balcony of every cottage. The cottages are also maintained neat and very clean, as per the standards of other top JLR properties.

As it was noon when we reached the place we decided to take some rest before we start the evening activity - a boat safari to the river tern island and its surroundings.

This place is famous for one event that happens annually - the breeding colony of huge number of river terns on an island inside the back water. I had seen the documentary of the same by Amoghavarsha where this phenomena was explained with some amazing visuals.

The boat safari started at around 3:45pm. With a moderate crowd in the boat we headed straight towards the river tern island. The wind was heavy and the captain had some tough time in controlling the boat. After the initial turbulence the boat got stabilized and as we approached the island the scale of their breeding colony started becoming visible. Their number was huge and they had completely occupied the island, almost every inch of it.

 It was an amazing site to be able to watch their courtship behavior where the male bird brings a fish to the female and many times female rejects it (only God knows why! :) ). Undisturbed by the rejection the male tries again with some other female until his luck turns towards him! All of these were happening in front of our eyes, though one has to watch carefully among the cacophony of thousands of other birds. It was a wonderful time we spent near the island.

Beyond the river tern island the boat safari takes you along the edges of the forest. Sightings of chittals and wild boars are pretty common and if one is lucky then a tiger may appear out of the woods near the water. We were not that lucky :).

Nevertheless we were lucky in another form. We sighted an Osprey that allowed us to approach very close. Being a sensitive bird, Osprey normally flies off when approached towards it. But for a change this fella was daring! We enjoyed his company until the sun went down behind him.

The safari ended at around 6:30pm and it was almost dark by the time we reached the shore. By the time we reached the room, the sun set was over but the sky was showing all the signs of a dramatic after-glow. We rushed to the bank of the backwater area and the whole scene was turning orange and pink towards the West and bluish dark towards the South. The sky had two prominent tones and I made some images before the orange turned into magenta glow. The drama in the sky was there for about 15 min and we both enjoyed each and every minute of it.

Night was spent watching the documentary 'Sahyadri' on a projected screen at Gol Ghar (the dining area of JLR). After a nice dinner it was time to head back to room. Next day morning was planned for forest safari inside Bhadra Tiger Reserve.

Bhadra region has some of the best protected forests in the state. Almost everyone who have had the jungle safari experience had expressed their joy of seeing a wonderful forest.

Though the wildlife sighting is not as high as that of Kabini and Bandipur, the bird life is more rich compared to other parts. Throughout the safari we saw some interesting birds - White Bellied Woodpecker (largest woodpecker of South India), Malabar Pied Hornbill, Hill Myna, Malabar Parakeet, Turtle Dove, Racket Tailed Drongo Malabar Whistling Thrush, Orange Headed GroundThrush, Chestnut Shouldered Petronia, White Rumped Shama are mainly noted. We did see few groups of Chittals, a lone Sambar deer and few Wild Boars during the safari.

By the time we were back to the resort it was almost time to leave! After a nice breakfast we packed our bags and decided to spend some time for water sports. At JLR Bhadra they do have facilities for water sports such as Kayaking, swimming, water Trampoline etc. During the hot day time it is a welcome relief any day to be in water. We did the same and spent some good time being in water.

After coming back from the water sports area we went out to have a look of the entire resort. The cottages are distributed across two hills, both facing the backwater. It takes around 20-30 minutes to see the entire property by foot. It was a good walk around the area and we did see some active and interesting bird life right inside the property. There were very active Golden Orioles right beside the Gol Ghar and few cottages. They were interested in a fruiting tree that was bearing the fruits just then. Some Jungle Babblers too had joined the party. We spent few minutes there watching these birds feeding on the fruits before we went ahead to explore other parts of the resort.

It was around 12:00 noon when we decided to start back to Bangalore. Overall it was a refreshing trip to a wonderful part of Karnataka that we had never been before. the hospitality was great and so was the place. It was with a firm thought of coming back to this place again in the future, we started our return journey towards the concrete jungle of Bangalore.


I would encourage all to visit - for any bookings and reservations. They have theme based tour plans too.

Here is the link to the JLR Bhadra that I enjoyed:

No comments: