Feb 082015
 
The Kabini river has been dammed forming a huge reservoir close to the town of Sargur. The backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are very rich in wildlife, especially in summer when the water level recedes and animals venture onto the open grassy meadows in search of water. The Kabini Forest Reserve is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka, probably because of its accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding the large lake, and common sightings of herds of elephants and tigers. It is 50 miles away from Mysore and 127 miles from Bengaluru (Bangalore).

  • Leopard resting in a tree, Nagarhole National Park

    Leopard resting in a tree, Nagarhole National Park

  • Fishing on the Kabini River

    Fishing on the Kabini River

  • Safari jeep, Nagarhole National Park

    Safari jeep, Nagarhole National Park

  • Kabini River

    Kabini River

  • Eagle in Nagarhole National Park

    Eagle in Nagarhole National Park

  • Peacock, Nagarhole National Park

    Peacock, Nagarhole National Park

  • Monkey, Nagarhole National Park

    Monkey, Nagarhole National Park

  • Nagarhole National Park

    Nagarhole National Park

  • Monkey, Nagarhole National Park

    Monkey, Nagarhole National Park

  • Gaur (a type of bison), Nagarhole National Park

    Gaur (a type of bison), Nagarhole National Park

  • Dear, Nagarhole National Park

    Dear, Nagarhole National Park

  • Kabini River

    Kabini River

  • Kabini River

    Kabini River

  • Kabini River

    Kabini River

  • Farmer ploughing  near Kabini River

    Farmer ploughing near Kabini River

  • Crops near Kabini River

    Crops near Kabini River

  • Crop near Kabini River

    Crop near Kabini River

  • Ladies picking Cotton near Kabini River

    Ladies picking Cotton near Kabini River

  • Dear in Nagarhole National Park

    Dear in Nagarhole National Park

  • Mongoose in Nagarhole National Park

    Mongoose in Nagarhole National Park

  • Elephant in Nagarhole National Park

    Elephant in Nagarhole National Park

Things to see


Kabini River. The Kabini dam submerged a large tract of forest creating a huge lake. During the dry season, the lake dries out, leaving only the main river visible. The resulting open plain quickly grows plentiful amounts of grass, more reminiscent of African savanna than tropical India. This unique habitat has proved to be a boon for the park, attracting a large concentration of Elephants other herbivores and their prey.

Nagarhole National Park covers 248 sq miles and is located to the north-west of the adjacent Bandipur National Park, both part of the wider Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. a vast area, 2,132 sq miles, in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The Kabini river separates the two parks.
Nagarhole is perhaps the best remaining habitat of the Asian elephant in the world. It is not unusual to see herds of elephants on the river bank. Gaur, the largest of the bison family, are another attraction of the park. Carnivores include  the Sloth bear, Tiger, leopard, the Asiatic wild dog also called dhole, the striped hyena, jackal, jungle cat and rusty spotted cat. The Sambar, chital or axis deer, Muntjac, mouse deer and the four-horned antelope are all found in this area.  The park is a mixture of semi-evergreen and deciduous forest, interspersed with grassy swamps and scrub forest.
Nagarhole is also inhabited by tribal people  called the Jenu Kurubas, although their traditional practices and rituals are slowly disappearing due to restrictions being placed upon them by the Indian government.
When to Visit: The best time to view the animals is during the heat of March and April, when the waterholes are dry and the animals come out and visit the lake. However, the weather is more pleasant from November to February.

Bandipur National Park  was established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. The mammals commonly seen  along the public access roads in the park include chital, gray langurs, Indian giant squirrels and elephants. Bandipur also has some exciting trekking opportunities, with trails that range from moderate to highly challenging. Visit the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, perched at a height of 1,455 m. The nearby Cauvery Fishing Camp is famous for its angling, where you can make a bid for the mahseer, a monster of a fresh water game fish. The habitat of Bandipur National Park is more diverse than that of Nagarhole due to its location in the area where the Deccan Plateau meets the Western Ghats. It is en route from Nagarhole to Ooty so a good option is to spend time at each park if your itinerary is heading to Ooty.