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Old 6th July 2018, 20:41   #1
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Default Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

The Destination

Nagarhole National Park, part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is nested beside the Brahamagiri Mountains, a 90 minute drive, south of Mysore. Nestled in the southern fringes of the National Park, breathtaking locale on the banks of river Kabini create an ideal setting for a great and refreshing vacation.

History has it that an erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, who had a penchant for nature and hunting, built a sprawling lodge complex by the banks of river Kabini (a tributary of the majestic Kaveri), where his guests from the world over were offered to stay. Kabini rose to popularity and became home to the famous kheddah - corralling of elephants for domestication in the Royal stables as well as for agriculture - a practice that was followed periodically by kings until the early 70s.

The royal property, Jungle Lodges, is now under the management of the forest department. Proclaimed to be one of the best wildlife resorts in Asia, Jungle Lodges Kabini has seen phenomenal rise in popularity (and prices!!), as a outcome of which the riverbank is now dotted by a handful of eloquently curated private lodges.

Nagarhole National Park ,and the Kabini region in particular, continue to attract tourists, wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists, and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the striped cat and the black panther.

Sunset in the backdrop of the think jungles

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02320.jpg

The morning sun

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02369.jpg

Kabini had been on our to-do list of weekend drives for a really long time. Since it is hard to find accommodation during the holiday season, prior advanced planning is a must. We chose to stay at Water Woods, a boutique lodge closest to river Kabini and bordering the government property, since they had an arrangement for safaris organised by the Jungle Lodges.

The main attraction in Nagarhole is this 3-hour jungle safari that operates twice daily – 6.00 am in the morning and 3.00 pm in the afternoon. We chose the morning run and it turned out to be a great decision. They also have a boat safari for the quiet-seeking, which also operates twice a day.

Please note that anyone visiting Nagarhole national park can opt to take a safari at the gates of the forest, without essentially having to stay at one of the lodges, albeit only for an hour's duration.

The boat safari ... a one of it's kind experience at Nagarhole

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02323.jpg

Acres and acres of fertile land

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02392.jpg


The Drive

Kabini is approx. 230 km from Bangalore and the shortest route is via Mysore and HD Kote. Nowadays, I prefer the slightly longer Nagamangala-Pandavapura or Kunigal-Maddur routes, since the drive through towns and city limits on the regular route has become an annoyance with multiple stoppages and traffic. However, for want of a familiar breakfast stop, we decided to take the usual route via Channapatna-Maddur, which necessitates an early start.

Our drive from Yeswantpur began at 7.00 am and we arrived at Right-O food court near Srirangapatna, which is at a distance of about 120 km, by 8.45 am. Idlis and Paddus at the Up South outlet are a favourite here. After the quick breakfast stopover, we continued our journey towards Nagarhole and upon reaching Mysore, drove through the city towards Manadavady road - it takes a Mysorean to understand why one would chose to drive through half a dozen signals and the chatter of busy traffic against the easier option of taking the Ring road. After a second pit stop at an election check post, we finally reached our destination, Water Woods, by 12.00 noon. The drive of 240 km took 5 hours with a breakfast halt between election checks.

The refreshing part of the drive starts with and gets better as you cross Mysore and hit the rural domain. Although the road to Nagarhole through HD Kote is a single carriageway, roads are in excellent condition and we encountered little to sparse traffic. The drive itself is enjoyed best sedate, as the leg is full of curves and bends, while odd village traffic always deserves the right of way. Lush greenery and quaint villages dot the entire stretch and bring in a calming effect as you arrive at your destination. Do remember that there are no cafes or restaurants beyond Mysore up until Kabini.

Water Woods Lodge

Water Woods is closest to the river bank among all properties in the vicinity. The small number of rooms are well appointed with large french windows leading to the river side. There is a surprisingly well maintained activity room with a good collection of popular reads. Food at the Water Woods is a vegetarian's delight, with most of the produce from an organic farm adjoining the lodge catering to the kitchen's needs. The highlight of our stay was the thatched restaurant, not just for the delicious food, but for views of the river accompanied by enchanting sounds of the winds.

Three memorable days later, we started back for Bangalore, with a quick stop at the ISKCON temple in Mysore for a sumptuous lunch prasadam.

In essence, Kabini has something for everyone's preference – you can head there for a peaceful holiday lazing by the river with your favourite book or embark on land safaris each day to try your luck spotting the striped cat, or still better, take the boat safari to awaken the ornithologist in you. Whatever you do, remember that patience is a great virtue and so is appreciating the creator as you soak in the astounding beauty of nature. When you do both, you carry home enough memories to last a really long time.

Last edited by pannags : 6th August 2019 at 17:16. Reason: Minor edits
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Old 6th July 2018, 20:46   #2
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Default re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Visual impressions from our trip

The road beyond Mysore is a breeze to drive on:

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-mvimg_20180428_120232.jpg

On a short drive into the forest towards Kerala in the evening. Note: permission to be sought at the checkpost before entering

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-mvimg_20180426_174503.jpg

The organic garden is host to a myriad of birds like the legendary Striped Hoopoe

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02307.jpg

First sighting on our morning safari - a herd of Deer running in the direction opposite to where a Tiger was lurking

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02376.jpg

The Sambar Deer

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02379.jpg

Colourful Indian Roller

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02381.jpg

Crested Serpent Eagle

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02386.jpg

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02393.jpg

A road less traveled. Paths leading to inner zones of the forest

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02388.jpg

Indian Peafowl - majestically perched on a tree top, leaving no doubts as to who the king of birds is

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02398.jpg

Separated from the herd but composed as the mighty pachyderm can be, unless, of course, provoked

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02399.jpg

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02402.jpg

Here are pictures from the boat safari, which operates twice a day from the boat jetty at the Jungle Lodges. The ride itself is a good 3 hours and requires loads of patience. If you have a penchant for a laid-back evening in the calm back waters with birds chirping their way across the river, this is a must-do!

The only thing sorely missing on the boat ride was a nice hot cup of tea and biscuits.

Great Cormorant

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02462.jpg

The beautiful Black Headed Ibis

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02469.jpg

Two among plenty of Egrets

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02487.jpg

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02490.jpg

Thirsty time for the herd of Elephants

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc02505.jpg

Like popular legend goes, good things come in small packages and Kabini is testimony to that.

Last edited by ampere : 8th August 2019 at 08:24. Reason: Fixed bird title
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Old 7th August 2019, 08:18   #3
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Default re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th August 2019, 17:45   #4
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Default re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Beautiful snaps

Small observation - Snap with title "Nilgai - the Asian antelope" is that of a Sambar Deer I guess.
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Old 7th August 2019, 23:00   #5
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Lovely pics. The image labeled black shouldered kite is a created serpent eagle..
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Old 7th August 2019, 23:15   #6
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Nice clicks... The double crested Cormorants are native to Americas. This one seems to be the Great Cormorant. Here is my click of the same bird...

Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park-dsc_59401.jpg
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Old 7th August 2019, 23:38   #7
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Beautiful snaps
Small observation - Snap with title "Nilgai - the Asian antelope" is that of a Sambar Deer I guess.
Quote:
Originally Posted by umang dutt View Post
Lovely pics. The image labeled black shouldered kite is a created serpent eagle..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom_rider View Post
Nice clicks... The double crested Cormorants are native to Americas. This one seems to be the Great Cormorant. Here is my click of the same bird...
Thanks very much for pointing out. I verified the multiple images and you are indeed right. Still learning

Mods: Can you please help correct the following. Thanks in advance

Nilgai - the Asian Antelope --> Sambar Deer
Black shouldered kite --> Crested Serpent Eagle
Double Crested Cormorant --> Great Cormorant
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Old 12th August 2019, 16:18   #8
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Good to see another traveller being mesmerized by Kabini! Your original posts are dated 6th July 2018, but the actual post is dated 7th August 2019. Was this thread in limbo for more than a year?
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Old 14th August 2019, 07:23   #9
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Hello how are the Roads from Bangalore to Nagarhole? I'm planning a drive this Long weekend..
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Old 14th August 2019, 07:25   #10
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Are the roads flooded because of the recent rains?

Last edited by solly : 14th August 2019 at 07:26.
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Old 14th August 2019, 09:52   #11
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Default Re: Enchanting Kabini through my lens - Our trip to Nagarhole National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Good to see another traveller being mesmerized by Kabini! Your original posts are dated 6th July 2018, but the actual post is dated 7th August 2019. Was this thread in limbo for more than a year?
You said it! Mesmerising, it definitely was. Oh yes, this was in the works for longer than I intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solly View Post
Hello how are the Roads from Bangalore to Nagarhole? I'm planning a drive this Long weekend..
The roads were in excellent condition when we did the trip exactly a year ago. If you are starting from anywhere in the north of Bangalore, I'd strongly recommend taking the Kunigal-Maddur road to reach Mysore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solly View Post
Are the roads flooded because of the recent rains?
There were reports of water logging in Nanjangud area, especially the temple premises. The best thing would be to check with the resort you are booked/booking with about not only the roads but the riverbank as well.
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