Wildlife sanctuaries and parks are important dimension of tourism of any state or country. Everybody gets attracted to the rich flora and fauna of sanctuaries. It is a matter of pride for any state that it houses wild animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction. Karnataka in South India is a state that boasts of a number of parks and sanctuaries. Kabini wildlife sanctuary in Karapur is one of the noteworthy sanctuaries in the state that is marked for its scenic beauty and rich biodiversity.
Wildlife in Karnataka: About 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state is under forest cover. The total forest area is 38720 sq km. One will be surprised to know that these forests support 25% of the elephant population and 15% of the tiger population of the country. The mountains of Western Ghats in the western region of Karnataka are rich biodiversity spots. Indian roller and Indian elephant are the state bird and state animal respectively; while Sandalwood is the state tree, lotus is the state flower.
The forest area of this sanctuary originally belonged to the Maharaj of Mysore. It was a favorite hunting destination 'shikari spot' of the British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Later it was turned into a reserved forest.
The name of the sanctuary is derived from the famous Kabini River that heightens its beauty.
Area and Location:
The sanctuary is located at Karapur in Karnataka state in South India. This sanctuary is very near the Nagahole national park, one of the famous tourist attractions in the state. It is situated on the banks of the Kabini River and spreads over 55 acres of land. It comprises of the south-eastern part of the Nagarhole national park.
Fauna: Many wild animals and birds are found in the Kabini wildlife sanctuary. These include endemic species also. Leopard, Sambhar, Panther, Cheetal, Spotted Deer. More than 250 species of birds find refuge here. Crocodile, Osprey, White Necked Stork and Golden backed Woodpecker are also sighted here.
Kabini River: A description of the sanctuary is incomplete without the mention of the Kabini River that originates in Kerala and flows eastward to Karnataka to meet the Bay of Bengal. This river site has turned into a popular picnic spot and is famous for the Kabini River Lodge.
Best time to visit:
The summer months are best for viewing the wildlife in Kabini. You can spot a number of animals between the months of October and May. The months between June and September receives heavy precipitation; so this period is not good for visiting.
Choose any of the hotels/resorts that are located near the sanctuary.
How to reach the park?
Bangalore is the nearest airport. The sanctuary is just 220km away from Mysore. Buses ply regularly through the Mysore-Mananthavadi road. The sanctuary is located at distance of 80 km from the Mysore-Mananthavadi road.
Kabini wildlife sanctuary is rated as one of the five best wildlife sanctuaries of India in British magazine Tatlers. It has been a favorite holiday destination of the masses. Come you must to this wonderful place to visit its glory and biodiversity.