Although Kodagu district is reeling under increasing man-animal conflict, a river island in the same district promotes friendly relationships. This is Dubare,an island formed by the meandering river Cauvery near Kushalnagar where pachyderms and people cohabit peacefully. The island is flanked by Dubare Reserved Forest on one side and Aanekad forest on the other, providing a rich canopy for the animals to live. The Dubare Elephant Camp, which has 42 personnel on its staff rolls, is considered the best
camp in India, closely followed by Sakrebailu Elephant Camp in Shimoga.
Unlike other elephant sanctuaries, Dubare has earned the reputation of taming several wild animals. Their services are often requisitioned by Wildlife authorities to tame or capture rogue elephants in and around the Kodagu District. So much so, that the authorities have even organised a foot- ball match played by elephants.
As many as 21 tamed Asiatic elephants aged between one year and 65 years call Dubare their home. Here, visitors and research scholars are allowed very close to the animals. Tasks like bathing and feeding the elephant too can be performed by visitors under the supervision of the mahouts. A casual visit online reveals innumerable photographs taken by visitors while playing with the elephants.
If you are not an elephant fan but want to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, then head to Dubare. Reaching the camp itself is an adventure as the visitors have
to cross the gurgling river by foot. During monsoons, as River Cauvery swells to her glory, then visitors can only use the bridge to view the river.
Private operators offer river rafting and boating facilities. They witness a high visitor flow during post-monsoon season. Those who are not satiated with a one-day visit can stay at Jungle Lodges and Resorts located inside the camp. They even organise elephant safaris on request.
After visiting Dubare, one can visit Nisargadhama, another river island situated just three kilometers from Kushalnagar, Tibetan Monastry at Bylukuppe and Harangi Dam, around ten kilometers from Nisargadhama. There is also the Chiklihole Reservoir which is a picturesque area and has been a popular shooting locale. How to get there Dubare is 280 kilometers away from Bangalore and a five-hour drive. The closest airport and railhead is at Mysore. Take a deviation at Guddehosur, nearly four kilometers after Kushalnagar on the Madikeri highway.