Home to elusive species of animals and birds, Kabini is a favourite haunt to immerse in the wilderness and beauty of gr een forest. The tourist come armed with camer a to capture a glimpse of lush green landscape, a large lake, and sightings of her ds of elephants, tigers and more…
A wide array of wildlife, enchanting greenery, and a rich dry forest cover dotted with small water bodies and waterfalls make it one delightful Indian jungle. Kabini – the name itself conjures up images of different animals and a variety of birds. Kabini wildlife reserve is a part of Nagarhole National Park, spread over the districts of Mysuru and Kodagu in Karnataka. Declared as the 37th Project Tiger Reserve in 1999, Kabini is one of the most popular and well maintained national parks of South India.
Famous as leopard’s lair, Nagarhole National Park is officially known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. It gets its name from two Kannada terms, ‘Nagara’ meaning ‘Cobra’ and ‘Hole’ meaning ‘River’. It was originally constituted in the year 1955 when it covered an area of 285 sq kms. In the present time, it spreads over an area of 643.39 sq km. This expanse of land is not only known for its magnificent flora and fauna but plentiful wildlife-spotting opportunities comprising of southern tropical, moist, mixed deciduous trees and rich tropical forests. Valuable trees like Teak, Rose wood, Mathi and Tadasalu can be found here.
Kabini is among the selected few places in the world where wildlife enthusiasts have been lucky with the sightings of the elusive melanistic leopard or Black Panther. These forests have always been a favourite among the royals too. During the late 18th and early 19th century, the Viceroys of British East India Company would often be seen basking in the glories of Kabini. The famous Kabini River Lodge which has been operating for last 30 years claims its fame from the fact that it was earlier the hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore and his favourite guests.
Escapades & Encounters There is nothing more exciting than seeking solace in the forest scenery and seeing some magnificent creatures. Safari is the best way to see the animals in their natural habitat. Kabini area in Rajiv Gandhi National Park rose to fame because of the important predators and carnivorous.
The park is home to elephants, sambhar, spotted deer, gaur, wild boar, sloth bear, wild dogs, etc. It also provides a refuge for many endangered species. Not to forget, there is a huge population of herbivores too like spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope, gaur and elephant.
The months from November to June are best suited for animal sightings in Kabini. The sweltering months of March, April, May bring animals to the banks of the water holes. Tiger Tank and Gopala Devara Gudi Tank are the famous water holes of Kabini. The safari is organised by Karnataka Forest Department in the Nagarhole National Park near Dammankatte in Kabini.
Kabini or the Kapila is a tributary of Cauvery and it takes the form of the largest river. The river flows through the thick forests of the Western Ghats. There is an irrigation dam build on the river near Beechanahalli village separating Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks. Kabini Lake is also a prime attraction situated 13 km outside the national park where you might wish to spend a tranquil evening or go birding in the morning.
No doubt, Kabini garners attention for tigers and tuskers but it also enthralls visitors with its beautiful diversity of feathered species. One does not need to go far as the backwaters reservoir of Kabini River has a thriving ecosystem of birds. It is easy to spot them on the banks or edges of the river or when they are perched on the dry branches sticking out of the water.
The luster of green pastures and wild waters makes the boat ride a rewarding experience. Some of the most common as well as rare birds have been seen spreading their charm in this forestland. The easily spotted feathered friends are bulbul, weavers, bee-eater, hornbill, black woodpecker, Kingfisher, Stork and Malabar Pied Hornbills, Hoopoes and more.
As the reserve abounds with wildlife, Kabini attracts a large number of tourist every year. Soak in the beauty of verdant landscape and a plethora of species with every visit to the Kabini Wildlife Reserve.
Words: MANJULIKA PRAMOD