November 18, 2022
Gopinatham, a quiescent village attached to a wide wild life ranges of Cauvery and Male Mahadeshwara sanctuaries is a one stop destination for nature lovers. Gopinatham is a rural village located in Chamarajanagara district, Karnataka in the borders of Tamil Nadu. We set out for a 250 Km drive from Bangalore to unveil this almost forgotten and remoted place. The team of ‘Gopinatham Mystery Trail Camp’ welcomes you with open heart and a great hospitality. This camp admist the woods, leaded by the Tourism department of Karnataka, provides you with a best nature view from your tent house, an uninterrupted safari in the forest for an hour or two, unveiling some exotic species of birds, herd of Spotted Deers, wild boars, elephants, langoors, the gaur also known as Indian Bison which is the largest species of wild cattle native to south east and south region, tropical lizard and if you are lucky enough then a Leopard is always present.
The harmonious night that I spent there on one of the swings is an unforgettable memory for life. I hadn’t experience such a dark and quiet night in the middle of the forest ever before in my life. It felt that the forest speaks to us in the silence of the dark night and in the presence of a fading moonlight. The best thing about the place is that it gives you the privacy and to spend time with the beauty of the woods.
Camp management strictly takes care that the peace of the place is undisturbed. The next morning, we were lucky to explore the forest on the foot in the guidance of a local working in the camp. This walk gives you the trill of trekking and enthusiasm to reveal the mystery of the woods. On the way back you can experience a Coracle ride that literally takes you almost close to the hill foots.
A bright sunrise and also its demise in the evening can be viewed near the lake shored. People willing to have a nice water fall enjoyment can make their ways towards ‘Hogenakkal falls’ at some 15Km distance from the camp site.
Gopinatham, the birth place of Sandalwood smuggler and a bandit, Veerappan; has witnessed many deadly stories of his era. We got to see the regional forest deity ‘Muniyappa Swamy’s’ idol that Veerappan worshipped. The localities in the camp introduce you to the Veerappan era almost 20 years back how he reigned over the place.
We get introduced to the brave saga of the Keerti Chakra P Srinivasan, late forest officer of the ranges. Srinivasan, a brave heart who educated the villagers and gave them the hope and assurance of new life amidst the crucial situations arising due to Veerappan. Veerappan found Srinivasan as a great threat for his illegal forest activities. One night P Srinivasan was given a fake call that Veerappan would surrender if he would come in the woods. Srinivasan sir was assassinated by Veerappan and his head was severed and thrown in the deep woods.
Srinivasan sir stands as a great inspiration for us, the youths of today to stay back to their roots and contribute your life to the soil you came from. His memorial at the camp inspires us that a forest lover, a nature protector is no less than a billionaire.
Gopinatham forest ranges really motivates one that there’s life beyond a technological boundary where one can live without internet and phone connection. Life without cell phone for two days amused me.
Life limited to professionalism, education and technology may make you to earn life but life in the nature’s lap teaches you to lead life! A life with utmost satisfaction and fullness.