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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Galibore - Mysore Trip

We did this road trip to Jungle Lodges Galibore Nature Camp that is about 80 KM from Bangalore, and to Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysore, over 3 days and 2 nights. It was just after the south-west monsoon time, and we had a pleasant trip.We drove from Bangalore to Galibore on 18Oct morning, and returned back from Mysore to Bangalore on 20Oct evening, after a night's stay at both the places.

Jungle Lodges & Resorts - Galibore Nature Camp

Galibore is an off-road location about 9 KM away from the popular spot -- Cauvery Sangam (Mekedatu). The drive from Bangalore to Kanakapura to Cauvery Sangam was also a nice one, through villages, seeing some farms, and quite bit of sericulture activities around a lot of traditional village houses with terracota sloped roofs, pillars and verandahs at the front, graced further by cows, bulls and goats tied, and poultry hens roaming around.  That last 9 KM after Cauvery Sangam, towards Galibore, was a restricted forest route, with no proper road, and only people who show the proof of Jungle Lodges reservation were allowed to enter that stretch by the security guard there. After the guard post, the route was along the river side and amidst forest for the most part. En route, we passed through just one or two settlements, like an ashram, a retreat center, and a tiny hamlet, etc.  Otherwise, that entire 9 KM was quiet, no people passing by, very calm, peaceful, and it is even possible for some animals like bears and elephants to be around.

Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR), established and run by Karnataka Government at many off-beat locales in remote parts spread over Karnataka's jungle and river spots, offers a standard and well maintained 3-meal stay at all their locations. Their package includes time-scheduled events from the time we check-in, to coracle / boat ride (or wild life Safari where applicable), to camp fire, to morning trek (or nature walk), to check-out. Their stay locations generally do not have telephone, TV, newspaper etc. in the rooms, and in most places cellphone tower signal will not be good. Galibore (in Kannada, 'Gali' means wind, 'Bore' means a small hill / mound) is one such location and we had a good experience overall. This resort was originally called Galibore Fishing Camp, and it used to be famous for angling the big "Mahseer" fish that is available only in 4-5 places in India. However, catching Mahseer has been banned and hence they changed the name to Galibore Nature Camp.

We had a coracle ride in the evening, barbecue / camp fire dinner in the night, and an early morning trek. The guide who took us on the coracle ride rowing it all by himself, and again on the nice trek up the hillock on the next morning, was very enthusiastic about nature around there, and he kept on providing us a lot of information about the flora and fauna in the locality. He was simply amazing with his involvement in his job and the attachment he had towards nature that helped the visiting people like us.

During our stay, we spotted a couple of crocodiles in close distance near the Cauvery banks. We also spotted a variety birds all along the drive and also during the coracle ride and the morning trek. In addition, the tented cottages, a calm setting close to the riverside and their limited spread of buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast made the stay more memorable. There were a few centipedes and spiders roaming around in the cottage roofs and floors, and also quite a few monkeys around the cottages; so one has to keep an eye on those to keep clear of them all the time.

Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel Mysore

The drive from Galibore to Mysore is another good one. Driving through the rural part of southern Karnataka, like, Dodda Alahalli, Sathanur, Malavalli, Bannur, Harohalli, etc. was interesting. We had difficulty to find a lunch place as there were no proper food stops in that 100+ KM route. We ended up with a late lunch after reaching Mysore, and in fact we had to find one Hotel Nandhini restaurant after driving away from / past Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel's location. And so we could also make a quick stop at the famous Shree Mahalakshmi Sweets that we spotted around that area.

The stay at the iconic Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysuru, which we have seen so many movies like Muthu and Oru Oorla Oru Rajakumari, was good. We had a room facing to the front side, and we could also go in and around the big building, to see the swimming pool, some old wooden staircases leading to the turret rooms, and so on. The room we stayed had a high ceiling, large bathroom, and a lot of traditional wooden furniture. We walked along the corridors and looked from the balconies and also took pictures in front of the impressive building. An attendant there showed us a grand room where, he said, popular actors and politicians stayed during their visits. Not surprisingly there was also a film shooting we saw on the next morning, near the main Italian marbled staircase, and we even spotted a familiar film actor. The grand ball room converted into dining area with large domed roofs was a nice attraction where the breakfast was served.

Late in the evening we drove about 7 KM into the city to the Gayathri Tiffin Room to have our dinner (see timings tips below). We had the famous Mysore Masala Dosa and Kesaribath that was so very tasty.

On the third day, while driving back to Bangalore, we took a short detour for a very quick stop at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary that we had not visited in the recent few years and saw a few nice birds.


Route map from NICE road toll to Jungle Lodges Galibore Nature Camp is here, and from Jungle Lodges Galibore to Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel Mysore is here.

Look for our itinerary outline and the reviews later below. Scroll down to see the travel pictures.
Jungle Lodges & Resorts - Galibore Nature Camp

Please look for my Caught Special - 84 posting with some special pictures from our Galibore trip, here.

Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel Mysore

Please look for my Caught Special - 85 posting with some special pictures from our Mysore trip, here.

Itinerary Outline

Here is a short itinerary of the entire trip, with a little more information, in case you are looking for.
     - Day1, started from Bangalore at 10:15 am; arrived at Galibore Nature Camp by 1:15 pm
     - Lunch, Dinner and next day's breakfast were part of the package at Jungle Lodges
     - Tea at 4 pm and Coracle ride from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
     - Barbecue and camp fire from 6:45 pm, and dinner after 8 pm
     - Day2, trek from 7 am to 8 am; breakfast at 9 am; checked-out by 11 am
     - Reached Mysore by 2:30 pm; checked-in at Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel by 3:30 pm
     - Dinner at Gayathri Tiffin Room Mysore by 7:45 pm (see timings tips below)
     - Day3, checked-out from Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel by 11:30 am
     - Stopped at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary from 12 pm to 12:30 pm
     - Stopped at Bestin's Break Adyar Ananda Bhavan near Maddur at 1:15 for lunch
     - Reached Bangalore by 4 pm

Trip Tips
  • Jungle Lodges stay is generally an all-included fully-paid package, and you can do your advance booking through their website. It is expensive but their quality is good.
  • The morning trek is offered as one of two choices, the other one being a nature walk on level roads along the Cauvery bank.
  • Lalitha Mahal Hotel Mysore has rooms of different types that vary widely in tariff; they offer you some discount if negotiated, but then watch-out for sub-quality room they might allot.
  • Gayathri Tiffin Room is a great place to eat, so do not miss. You must remember to go there very early, as they close around 8 pm as their stocks get over so fast.


Our ratings on a scale of 5 (1 being low and 5 being high).

  • Jungle Lodges & Resorts Galibore Nature Camp  -- 4.25/5
  • Coracle ride on Cauvery -- 3.25/5
  • Food at Galibore Nature Camp -- 4/5
  • Morning trek -- 4.5/5
  • Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel Mysore -- 3.5/5
  • Food at Gayathri Tiffin Room Mysore -- 3.5/5

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