Nature trippin’ while camping around Bengaluru

More and more Bengalureans are taking to nature camps to break away from back to work and school life.
Trekkers in Western Ghats. (Photo | Special Arrangement)
Trekkers in Western Ghats. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

BENGALURU: Schools have reopened and most employees are back to working at office but the yearning to be one with nature hasn’t gone away. Bringing back the love for nature camps are some of these organisers in the city who are not just exploring the biodiversity here but are also exploring the Western Ghats. Nerdbird, a learning experiences space for children, recently organised a monsoon nature camp led by Dr Seshadri KS, a scientist at IISC whose work includes having discovered a new frog species. Speaking to CE, co-founder Chandini Chhabra, says, “This time, it was a frog edition with Dr Seshadri.

We also had Vidisha Kulkarni, a biotechnologist who studies birds and amphibians, along with a team of naturalists and educators at EcoEdu — Ulhas Anand and TS Srinivasa. Parents and children had a blast at the camp.” Some of the takeaways from the camp were to experience the outdoors and gain knowledge of birds, frogs, butterflies, trees and other wildlife. “We had games, activities and group discussions during those two days. They also got to learn the basics of camping and learnt how to start a nature camp at school or in their neighbourhood,” Chhabra explains, adding that shared tented cottages or alpine tents and binoculars were offered.

Taking nature lovers to the Western Ghats is photographer and filmmaker Suhas Premkumar. “This weekend, we organised a rainforest wilderness and photography camp at Sharavathi, the rain forest of Jog Falls. Apart from the great view, we also saw Malabar giant squirrels, Malabar parakeets, woodpeckers, hornbills and bee-eaters, among others,” he explains, adding this nature camp was also for nonphotographers. Accommodation is part of the package but visitors had to arrange their own transport. “The idea is to educate people about the wildlife we have in the state. More importantly, it’s necessary to know how to handle the animals instead of scaring them.

Visitors at Camp Monk
Visitors at Camp Monk

During the photography camp, we’ l l not only introduce them to the techniques of photography but also educate them about the different types of snakes, mammals, birds and amphibians co-existing there,” Premkumar explains, adding that more such camps will be rolled out soon. But if you don’t want to go too far away, camping near Bannerghatta area is an option too. Offering both medium and high-budget camping experiences is Camp Monk located near Bannerghatta National Park.

Amit Shetty, CEO and co-founder, says, “We see people from all walks of life either pitch a tent in our space or opt for the glamping stations we have. There’s a lovely lake nearby and the space is filled with nature which they use to explore. Many even bring their office work and take calls from the tents.” The pet sanctuaries and the national park is a major attractions for nature campers. “Prani — The Pet Sanctuary is a popular stop for many of our visitors. They get to hang out with the various animals available there and also get to pet them. Children and elders enjoy the experience equally. This is a great way for city-goers to enjoy a break during the weekend, unwind and refresh with nature,” Shetty says.

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