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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Honnemaradu

Honnemaradu is a great place to experience. Situated at Linganmakki dam backwaters, it is only 3kms from the dam. A couple run this program and they have named themselves "The Adventurers". One needs to book well in advance and a group minimum of 12 is a must. The Adventurers have a office at  Rajajinagar, Bangalore where the bookings can be done. At Honnemaradu there are only basic necessities, so one needs to get into a mindset of spending time with nature and not expect a resort.

We reached there at 7:00 AM; Bangalore-Shimoga-Talagoppa-Honnemaradu. Our instructor was Nomito, a middle aged lady. Nomito and her husband while trekking the Western Ghats committed themselves to preserve this forest and hence this concept originated which they later got approved from the Government. They also train villagers to understand forest and different species of flora and fauna . They encourage them to take up forest guide as an occupation. She showed us around the campus consisting of several camp sites, an auditorium where local art forms are practiced and encouraged and a school to educate the villagers.


After breakfast, we headed to the water. Life jackets made it so easy to swim, for a non-swimmer like me. I loved to float in water for hours. Nomito taught us to swim and I enjoyed swimming till an island. Next we were taught paddling with a coracle; which again was very exciting. After a tired morning we had lunch and relaxed in the campsite. I got some time to write my journal, midst the serene atmosphere.


We decided to camp in an island for the night. We packed food, tents and sleeping bags and sailed to the island on our coracles. We pitched tents and hunted for woods in the forest. After sunset we had a very boring campfire with not much fun, I guess all were too tired. So, soon after dinner we went to bed.

Island where we camped for the night

Next morning Seb and I went around the island capturing some pictures. We returned back to main land, had breakfast and then went hiking up a mountain – Called Bheemana Hejje (Footprints of Bheema). The hike was short but very nice. Impressions of large footprints in summit are believed to be that of Bheema. Nomito explained how every tree was special to the villagers who saw them as their ancestors. She also explained how building dams had not only evacuated villages but also separated the villagers from their memories. From the peak, we got a beautiful view of Sharavathi backwaters.

Next, we headed to the water again. I was too tired so I preferred just floating to swimming. We then were taught canoeing. After another short practice round we headed back to campsite and had lunch. After thanking Nomito for this wonderful experience she had provided us, we left Honnemaradu at 3:00PM.


What I liked the most about this camping or concept is its simplicity. You are let to be with nature. Everything else seems to easily blends with nature, but man. Nomito is strict when it comes to discipline and thus sometimes sound like a Hitler. But as you get to know her, and as she unravels the story behind this program, she is would be one of the very interesting persons you would ever have met. I think the discipline is very important in such programs.

One gets to do, all the adventure stuff, like pitching tents in an island, carrying food and bags, paddling coracles which make a self involving experience. Most important of all, it allows you to blend with nature.

Swamy S.L.N.
The Adventurers
142, 69th Cross, 5th Block, Rajajinagar,
Bangalore INDIA 560 010
Phone: 91-80-23305508 or 91-80-23409712
Email: 
adventr.iiaa@aworld.net

16 comments:

  1. I like the way you prepare the reader to have a mindset of spending time with nature. Very interesting to know of so many activities to enjoy at one spot. Thank you for sharing.:)

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  2. With nature, campfire and island...what a bliss! great pics Ajeya.

    Anu

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  3. @Celina - Thanks. True I think it is much important to have that mindset before enjoying nature.

    @Anu - Yes indeed it was a great experience.

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  4. You are so fortunate to experience such places, so rejuvenating far from city life. I would definitely like to go there.

    How do you find these programs ? Do they advertise regularly ? Are there many ?

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  5. Cool . I m a semi swimmer too :) .. it s fun floating like that ... u r roaming around a lot..I m jealous .

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  6. @Cuckoo - I found out from friends...This group normally do not advertise for reasons unkown to me.

    @Reborn - :-)

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  7. bendtherulzJune 06, 2008

    Loved the second image - clouds and water and wooden trunks....! And I for one love camping and what you have described -to blend with nature -totally agree -after well spent trek -all one wants to do is just merge in the peaceful surrounding.

    Tk care and have a gr8 weekend

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  8. Lovely post..I liked the way you wrote about it touching on the details..can u give me info on the people who run this ?

    Lakshmi

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  9. Lucky guys... I wish I were in India to visit Honnemaradu....

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  10. We were heading to Honnemaradu and was going through some of the blogs and found your writing interesting. But there is a little correction. The lady who conducts the camp is know as Nomito Kamdar and not Promito as you've mentioned.
    Can you pls. correct it. B'cos these people are not like others who just talk fancy words, they've dedicated their whole life for conserving westernghats.
    Thank you
    Hema

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  11. Corrected the name. Yes they are at a great cause.

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  12. Hi Ajeya,
    Do you have any contact info on Ms Nomito Kamdar? How to get in touch with her. We are interested in visiting Honnemaradu.

    pk

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  13. Please let me know if the number mentioned in this site does not work. I will speak to my firend who has contact#.

    http://www.asklaila.com/listing/Bangalore/Rajaji+Nagar+5th+Block/The+Adventures/1uwxe8aN/

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  14. Is there safe to camp at night as iam having 6 year old kid...love that place...v r planning to go....rply me

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  15. Is there safe to camp at night as iam having 6 year old kid...love that place...v r planning to go....rply me

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  16. Hello Mini - Yes its safe, They have rooms also if you dont want to tent.

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