Orange County - Kabini

Some of the best holidays are unplanned and simply those that happen out of the blues. It was one of those warm evenings at Chennai, when my wife and I decided to take and unplanned break at one of our favourite locations - Kabini.

We heard rave reviews from our friends on Orange County Kabini, right on the edges of the Nagarhole national park and decided to give it a try.The Nagarhole national park, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere, is where the Nagarhole River meets the Kabini river and creates a lake right in the midst of the park, after a Dam was built on the Kabini river. This lake splits the Nagarhole National Park from Bandipur Tiger Reserve and the famous Mudumalai national park of Tamil Nadu. To the south-east of the park lies the famed Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala, while to the west, coffee plantations separate the park from Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. In short, Nagarhole is the heart of the wildlife belt of South India.

The exclusive hunting ground of the Maharajas of Mysore of the yester years, Nagarhole National Park was created in 1955. The Nagarhole National Park derives its name from two words ‘Naga’ meaning snake and ‘hole’ meaning streams.

The resort, true to its rating, was simply stunning. The entire resort was built on the theme of a KaduKuruba tribal village, an authentic recreation of the tribal huts for guest accommodation. The palm thatched, mud walled, parched floor huts have a traditional air about them from the outside. Step inside and you are transported back in time with replicas of tribal interiors, mainly from wood, straw and jute lending a mystic aura to the air, yet peppered with all the luxuries your could hope for including, either a private Jacuzzi on the Jacuzzi hut option or your own private pool at the Pool hut option. The entire furniture, windows and doors were of rough finished country wood, lending an authenticity to the setting.

The Nagarhole National Park mainly consists of moist deciduous forest in the northern and western parts and dry deciduous forest in the south-eastern part. An important feature of these forests is the open grassy swamps, where the grass is lush all year-round.

Nagarhole is rich with wildlife, and dawn and dusk jeep & boat tours are likely to ensure spotting of huge congregation of elephants, sounders of wild boar, herds of deer and antelope, troupes of monkeys, wild dogs, gaur (the Indian bison), jackals and, possibly, the elusive tiger or the shy leopard.

Other activities (apart from the boat and Jeep safari) are an impressive reading lounge and library overlooking (in fact on the edges) of the great leak, a well stocked 'Water Hole' for a bar, a great ayurveda center manned by the famous Indus Valley folks and a infinity pool opening into the lake.

The evenings come alive with tribal dances from the local tribes or wildlife movies of rare collections from across the country.We had a rollicking time with the wildlife and the avian kind but details cut short due to the paucity of space and time.In short, this location is a wildlife heaven and a birdwatcher's paradise. This coupled with a great resort with brilliant service. The food is magical and A mouthwatering spread of Vegetarian and non vegetarian fare are dished out day after day .

Kabini, Vital statisticsAltitude : 177 Meters above Sea LevelTemperature - Celsius : Summer - Max 33 & Min 20 Monsoon : June to SeptemberSummer : March to MayWinter : December to FebruaryClothes : Cottons throughout the yearNearest Airport : Bangalore – 235 KMNearest Rail head : Mysore - 95 KM

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