Posted/Updated on July 15, 2010
Kabini
Kabini is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka, probably because of its easy accessibility, lush green land scape surrounding a large picturesque lake, and fantastic sightihgs of large herds of elephants.  It is 80km away from mysore and 205km from Bangalore, and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarhole National Park. Situated on the banks of River Kabini, this forest reserve is spread over 55 acres of forestland 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 bestwildlife spotthing areas in karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life. 

At the south-eastern end of Nagarhole, by the backwaters of the Kabini River, 69 km from Mysore.

Tourist Attractions in Kabini


Kabini Dam was built in 1974 for an irrigation project and a huge reservoir was built.The Kabini dam is 2,284 feet long and 58 Mts high. Mastigudi lake is named after the village it submerged and it became the nucleus of the reserve. The kabini is a tributary of the cauvery which runs through nagarahole and finally drains into the reservior.
Kabini Dam


Mastigudi temple is visible when the reservior drains out during summer.The Kabini dam at Beechanahalli village  seprates Nagarahole from Bandipur.

Kabini Dam is located on the Mysore-Manathavady Road.


Things To Do

Wildlife Safaris An excellent home for the Asian elephant. Wildlife safaris are conducted twice a day in jeeps along pre-designated routes. Early morning safari you get to see animals and evening safari you can spot leopards. In summer safari rides are taken towards the river as the water sources dry up, to watch large elephant herds. In the morning Elephant rides are organised.
Kabini Elephant

Boating is a very popular activity they run motorboat rides twice a day on the lake till the edge of the forest for wildlife spotting. You can spot aquatic birds, crocodilies basking on the banks, sambar at the edge of the water etc. Sometimes you also get a chance to see tuskers feeding on tender bamboo shoots.
Boating at Kabini

They also have bamboo rafts, pedal boats, kayaks and rowboats on the lake for you to enjoy the evening sunset.

Bird watching If you are are a ardent birdwatcher Kabini is the place to be. There are over 350 species of birds identified here. The riverine habitat surrounded by forests, provides ample opportunities for birdwatching.
Birds in Kabini

You will be able to spot grey-headed fish eagles, ospreys and nestling sites of great cormorants on the dry stumps of trees. Malabar pied hornbill, Malabarlark, Malabar trogon, Indian pitta are the main species to look out for during guided nature walks.

Quick Getaways from Kabini

Nagarhole National Park (1 km)

Once an exclusive hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Mysore, Nagarhole National Park was renamed after the late Rajiv Gandhi, but faces the same fate as Delhi’s Connaught Place and Connaught Circle which are still called by their popular old names. So it is with Nagarhole. The park, situated in the Deccan Plateau, forms an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Nagarhole River winds through it and finally meets the Kabini, the largest river draining the forest. A dam built on the Kabini has created a splendid lake to the south ofthe park, which separates it from Bandipur Tiger Reserve. 
Nagarhole National Park - Kabini

To the south-east lies the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary while to the west, coffee plantations separate the park from Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. This entire stretch is one of the finest remaining habitats of the Asian Elephant. Huge herds hang about in Nagarhole, and it’s said that summer is the best time to see them. It is held that Nagarhole is worth visiting in the dry season, when wild animals are spotted in large numbers near the water bodies but don’t bet your money on it. Successive dry spells have shrivelled the water sources so much that the animals feel content lying in the shade, away from view.

Then, as the pre-monsoon showers bring the forest alive with streams, the resident birds start their breeding activities and the air resounds with melodious calls. Sprouting grass in the meadows and view lines attract elephants and gaur in large numbers. As rains intensify, the river resuscitates and the grandeur of Nagarhole slowly begins to unfold.

Other Activites
Nature walks, Bicycle trails, bonfires and tribal village visits are organised

Where to Stay

Hotel List

Sunkadakatte Guest House
Sunkadakatte Guest House (Reservations, DCF Hunsur) is one of the best places to stay, for the simple reason that it is right inside the forests, 5 km away from the main road and 15 km from Kabini River Lodge. It has two three-bedded rooms with clean, tiled toilets. Food is served piping hot by the caretaker, who can turn out both veg and non-veg meals. There’s no electricity, and that’s the best part. As night falls and you recline on comfy cane chairs in the wooden-floored, open verandah, you get to truly experience the wilds. Wild boars, habituated to human life, come looking for roots and tubers. The distant trumpeting of an elephant, the spine-chilling roar of a tiger in the immediate vicinity, the dull thudding of gaur hooves, the sudden chattering of grey langurs and the alarm calls of sambhar and chital echo all around.
Ph: 0822-2652041
Tariff: Rs 750


Water Woods
Water Woods, located close to Kabini River Lodge, is a colonial theme resort. Run by R. Ram, formerly with the Oberoi Group, the resort offers the whole Kabini experience on a luxurious note. Price includes stay, all meals and taxes per couple, per night on twin-share. Water Woods has two suites and four standard rooms, and multi-cuisine fare of international class handled by an executive chef, a sous-chef and three other cooks. The herbal massage with scented oils at the in-house spa, run by ayurveda professionals, is very popular with guests.
Ph: 08228-264421-22/ 31
Tariff: Rs 4,500 to 6,500

Krishna Prasad's Kapila Bungalow
Krishna Prasad’s Kapila Bungalow is another option right near the entrance gate to Kabini, offering close to five-star comfort. Three large luxurious rooms with all modern amenities can accommodate up to 15 people. The tariff includes all meals, safaris, boat rides, forest entry fees and amateur camera fees. Don’t mistakenly take the Mysore-Murkal-Nagarhole Road when you set out for Kabini from Mysore
Ph: 08228-264444
Tariff: Rs 1,250 to 2,500


Quick Facts

  • District: Mysore
  • Coordinates: 1205'?N 76015'0?E
  • Language(s) spoken: Kannada, Hindi & English
  • Climate/ Weather: Summers 220 - 400C. Winter 100 - 320 C.
  • STD Code: 08228

Tourist office(s):

Karnataka Tourism
No. 49, Khanija Bhavan Race Course Road, Bangalore-560001
Ph: 080-2352525
KSTDC (bookings and info)
Badami House, NR Square, Bangalore
Ph: 080-2275869, 2275883, 2212098 ; Fax: 2352626

When to Visit:

All year round, but best between September and May. For wildlife sighting it's November to June

How to reach Kabini

By Air: Bangalore Airport, at the distance of 208 kms, is the nearest airport from Kabini. Bangalore airport is connected to almost all the airports in India and a few international airports. You can hire a private cab to reach Kabini from Bangalore.

By Train: Mysore Junction is the nearest railhead at a distance of 80 kms from Kabini. Mysore is well-connected with all the major cities of India via rail. To reach Kabini from Mysore, you can hire a private cab which would cost 1500 INR approx. Mysore Express is a daily train from Bangalore to Mysore.

By Bus: KSRTC operates regular buses from different major cities like Bangalore and Mysore to Kabini. The journey from Bangalore (Central Bus Stand) to Kabini will cost you about Rs 300 – Rs 400 by a state bus and Rs 600 - Rs 800 by private deluxe A/C buses. From Mysore to Kabini, it costs approx. Rs 125 for state bus and Rs 300 for deluxe bus. Private Cab is another option if you want your privacy. If you're driving from Bangalore, you have to move in southwest direction on NH17 to Mysore via Maddur and Mandya; take SH17D (Mananthavady Road) to Antarasante via Chattanahalli and Hampapura; district road to Karapur, finally to reach Kabini.