Coorg – Scotland of India
The Kabini River, a tributary of the Cauvery, flows quietly through the Nagarhole National Park, encircling a patch of green called Kabini. This exuberant jungle is home to leopard, gaur, antelope, crocodile, tiger, cobra, python and herds of elephant among other animals. Kabini is a delightful destination to get away to for a few days - or much longer, if you fancy!
The Kabini Forest Reserve is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka, probably because of its accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding a large lake, and sightings of herds of elephants. It is 80 km (50 mi) away from Mysore and 205 km (127 mi) from Bangalore, and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. Situated on the banks of the Kabini River, the reserve is spread over 55 acres (22 ha) of forestland, steep valleys, and water bodies. Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life.
Today, Kabini houses one of Karnataka's Best wildlife resorts, stretched over huge acres of forest and river. These resorts organize safaris and wildlife watching Treks into the forest and even has an elephant-back safari to boot. Some of the famous luxury resorts in Kabini are Orange County, The Serai, Red Earth, Kabini River Lodge by Jungle Lodges, KAAV, Kabini Springs & The Bison.
The best thing about Kabini is the sense of tranquility and solitude that envelops the forest reserve. Big city life and traffic seem so far away as you surrender yourself to jungle sounds and smells. The elephant rules here and if you are lucky, you may come across herds of tuskers splashing in the river or crashing through the wilderness. Crocodiles glare balefully at the antics of these jumbos and grin wicked thoughts. The tiger and leopard are much more elusive, while sloth bear, gaur (Indian bison), antelope, sambar, wild boar and any number of monkeys live here.
Kabini shelters the osprey, brown-headed fishing eagle, racket tailed drongo, golden backed woodpecker, stork and peafowl among almost 250 species of bird life. Spend some time near the river and spy on the wildlife as they venture out to the river. Experts from the resorts will guide you along the nature walks and safe paths to tread. Besides jeep safaris and elephant rides, another interesting way to explore the jungles is by coracle. These are circular bamboo boats lined with buffalo hide, on which you float down the river. If this seems too daring, try cruising on a motorboat, sailboat or paddleboat. You may meet some interesting river creatures on the way!
When the monsoons arrive, the rain-washed forest turns a brighter green. This is the time when the excited twitter of the avian population gives way to the exuberant lyrics of songbirds. Once the monsoons recede, the wildlife is at its most visible from November till May. So choose any time of the year to come here for a wildly refreshing break. Best time: You can come to Kabini at any time of the year, but the best season for wildlife sighting is from November to May. The forest turns a lush green between July and October, another good period for a visit. The climate is moderate throughout the year: winter temperatures do not fall below 16ºC and summer temperatures do not exceed 32ºC.
- Wildlife Safari
- Coracle/Motorboat river cruise
Kabini is famous for its elephants, spell-binding landscape and water bodies which have been attracting tourists to its wildlife sanctuaries. Kabini is bestowed with resplendent streams, plentiful flora, fauna and avifauna. The serene wildlife sanctuaries in Kabini are naturally made splashy with sweet chirpings of bird, sounds of animals and gushing waters.
The Kabini River: Kabini River emerges from Wayanad district of Kerala state and forms the confluence of Panamaram River and Mananthavady River to join Kaveri River in the east at Tirumakudalu Narasipura in Karanataka which empties into the Bay of Bengal. Located in the town of HD Kote, the Kabini reservoir dries down in summer to form rich grassy meadows.
The Kabini Dam: The Kabini dam which is 58 m in height and 2,284 ft (696) long, was built in 1974 across Kabini River near Bichanahalli village and can be accessed from H. D. Kote.
Nagarhole National Park: The Nagarhole National Park was declared as a National park in 1974 and forms a habitat for Asian elephants and is surrounded by shallow valleys and gentle slopes on all sides.
Kabini is surprisingly accessible. Located 5 km off the Mysore-Mananthavadi Road, it's only a few hours away from Mysore and Bangalore.
Kabini is situated at a distance of 225 km from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. A popular wildlife reserve on the banks of the River Kabini, it is well connected to Bangalore by road.
Bangalore – Ramnagara – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatna – Mysore – Antharasanthe - Kabini