Thursday, October 30, 2008

Weekend @ Kabini...

There are times in life when there are lots of tasks to be attended and heart in heart one feels, that one needs a break to get perked up again. This is exactly what happened to me, when in the midst of lot of activities, I had the opportunity to visit Kabini and spend a day there in the Jungle Lodges and Resort.

Jungle Lodges Kabini

Kabini is a river in Karnataka that passes through a picturesque terrain before joining the Kaveri near Mysore. The Kabini Jungle Lodges and Resort (KJLR) has been rated among the top five wildlife resorts in the world by Tatler's way back in 1995 but I am not sure if it still retains that ranking today.


Situated at a distance of 220 kilometers from Bangalore, a drive to reach this place in five to six hours by road is the most preferred option for most of the visitors. More so this place is close to the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, parts of which are visible during the river ride inside the jungle.

We reached KJLR by 2:00 in the afternoon. At the reception we were apprised about the rules and regulations of the resort and some simple guidelines to follow during our stay for a day there. The KJLR has colonial style architecture and can accommodate around 50 people, so advance booking for this place during the peak season is must. There are around 14 colonial style double rooms with modern amenities, 10 twin-bedded cottages and 6 tented cottages.

Tent @ Jungle Lodges

The accommodation is very comforting and satisfying but for those people who are used to TV and air conditioners, sorry, one won't get either of the two at KJLR. Personally I too feel that its incongruous and such luxuries shouldn’t find place in a jungle resort. It's a complete eco-friendly resort and noise of any form be it load music or partying late night is strictly prohibited here.

My cottage

Food during lunch, breakfast and dinner is served in buffet style in the common dining area called the Ghol Ghar that overlooks River Kabini. I really enjoyed the food, that I had here, which mainly comprised of Indian dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Even breakfast was filling and there was a rich variety such as bread, omelette, fruit juice, dosa, idli, vaada, upma, etc along with the regular entremetses.

Leave the food part, let's get into the real action now. The first day after lunch, we took some rest in the hammocks before we started for our wildlife safari at 4:00 P.M. in the evening. The initial half an hour drive of our safari was through a small village, which is situated on the periphery of the forest. Once we entered the heart of the forest, our guide, a naturalist instructed us to be as silent as possible. So all that one could hear was the sound of engine and the tyres ruckling down the jungle road. The undefiled smell of the forest was all around us. As we drove in the open jeep, we could feel the crisp evening wind on our faces, something similar to the cool effect one gets on having a mouth freshener.

Since that day was cloudy and there were early signs of rain, spotting elephants was out of question. Suddenly our vehicle came to a jerky stop because our guide had spotted a leopard camouflaged in the branches of a tree about 200 meters from the road.


We saw lots of wild dogs, bisons, sambhars, crested hawk eagles and herds of spotted deers. Our guide told us that a pack of seven or eight wild dogs can shoot down a tiger in few seconds, even though these creatures appear to be so harmless.

Jungle Dog

The best part of the safari was when we were about to return, it started raining cats and dogs. The rain drops were striking us like tiny boulders with great force. We were in the middle of the jungle, and it was twilight by now, and because of the rain, there was practically no visibility. Since I was in an open jeep, I wanted to enjoy the rain, but before doing so made sure that my camera was safe in my kitbag.

That day at night, had a wholesome dinner and spent some time with my friends before hitting the bed. Early morning, I woke up by 5:00 A.M. and was able to capture the nature in its true colors. I didn’t use any filters or any post-processing for this photograph. It was taken just like any other snap, and the end result was this.


At 8:00 A.M. we started for our 3 hour boat ride and it offered to me the perfect setting for taking some landscape shots while on the boat.


I spotted some birds in the middle of the river, right in the bowels of the jungle.

Made for Each Other

Our guide gave us tons of information anytime we spotted a new bird. We had even spotted a crocodile very near to this congregation of tree trunks egressing from the surface of the water like forks. But probably, it was the sound of the motor engine, that disturbed the crocodile and it disappeared inside the colored water like a shot.


The journey was refreshing and all, I could see around was water, lush greenery and some birds chirping in the air. At that moment our boat rider, diverted our vessel and paved our way towards a bamboo jungle adjacent to the river bed, where tigers come to have water at night. We even saw the carcass of a spotted deer that was killed by a tiger, the previous day night.


I didn't realize how time passed and we were back to the resort after an unforgettable river ride.

For those of you who want to pamper themselves with a traditional massage, the KJLR has facilities for an Ayurvedic massage center, run by a family from Kerala. I went there and checked the prices and those were very decent. By this time, it was 12:00 P.M. in the noon and the custodians of the resort informed us that it was time to check out because the cleaning has to be done before another gang of visitors come by 2:00 P.M. in the afternoon.

Ayurvedic Center @ Kabini

If someone asks me, Kabini is a good weekend getaway for nature lovers and KJLR is a perfect place to stay in cottages in sylvan surroundings. The rates are not very high too, considering that it includes food, stay, jungle safari and river ride.

Complete album is here.

Warning: The carcass pic may be disturbing for few readers.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Kishore said...

Hi.. How've you been? :)

At 4:30 PM, Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Very nice and informaive, with great shots, as usual.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Shriya said...

Nice post.
you can see some of my bandipur mudumalai wildlife / bird

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Kings Sanctuary said...

Fantastic and useful weblog. Thanks for publishing this. It’s useful and informative. Keep up the great.
Resorts near kabini

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Kings Sanctuary said...

Welcome to the Kings Sanctuary. Nagarhole National Park, the enchanting 247 square-mile park in Karnataka has an astonishing abundance of wildlife.

Resorts around Bangalore

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Medha P said...

hi Nice blog
Im planing to visit bandipur resorts and kgudi resorts for relaxation and
trying to spend tis weekend away from trafic and pollution

At 5:32 PM, Blogger snigdha valapudari said...

hiee..frndzz...i m really happy having this blog to share our feelings..i went 2 bandipur resorts last week its really a awesome experience..really enjoyed a lot with my family..when going i dint expect that much about dat resorts..really dat resorts leave me memorable moments..hope u 2 defintly ll njoy bandipur resorts and beauty of resorts away from pollution..if u hav time..defintly make that to visit dat plac..u ll ha great tme..i prms u..

At 11:30 AM, Blogger sitara kumari said...

Hi,very nice blog..thanks for such a good post.i need visit good resorts nearby Bangalore so please help out in finding good resorts

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Catherine Smith said...

Nice post.I experienced the same when I spent my day in Kings Sanctuary. One of my friend suggest me Kings Sancturay, during the search of best jungle resort in Karnataka. It is really nice place.


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