Lying on a hammock with bees and butterflies fluttering around, with the bird calls in the background and breathing in the crisp clean air , staying far away from the urban chaos is bliss indeed . I am in Kabini, nestled in the fringes of Nagarhole reserve forest , located around the backwaters of a dam built across the river Kapila .John Muir’s quote rings true in that atmosphere. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean” .
In the evening we go on a safari. We are delighted to see a pack of wild-dogs sitting on the road. On sighting a baby gaur they start a wild chase only to be interrupted by its mother. The huge gaur chases the wild dogs away and disappears in the bushes . Watching a drama in the wild, where these animals are hunted constantly is an awesome experience by itself.
The naturalist then points out to an elephant. On moving ahead we see a herd of elephants swimming, some elephants are feeding on the bamboos while some choose to have a mud bath. It is a visual treat to watch the mother elephant sheltering its little one and playing with it on the banks of the river.
An osprey swoops down in the water, catches a fish and turns the fish to reduce the air resistance and improve its aerodynamics and then flies to find a suitable perch. The osprey looks gorgeous when it flies. It has an unique vision by which it can spot a fish in the water from a distance of 40 meters .
Late in the evening the sun disappears behind the clouds . But the drama just begins. The clouds add to the scenery by enhancing the sunset. The mix of different hues of orange keeps me spellbound. The water reflects the shades with mesmerizing tones . And as Rabindranath Tagore aptly quotes “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky”.
On reaching the resort I have a sumptuous dinner under the starlit sky with a bonfire keeping us warm. One of the locals tells us about an interesting local legend believed by the villagers from Karapura hamlet. Apparently, Sita and her children Luv and Kush took refuge in the Kabini forest after being banished by Ram. The people of Karapura village still cherish this and have erected a temple on the banks of the river. Another local legend says that Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy, a form of Lord Shiva was born on the banks of the Kabini. He is the family god of the Soligas and Jenu Kurubas and other tribes in this region. The Shiva temple at Bhimanakolli on the banks of Kabini has paintings of Mahadeshwara with historic significance. The original temple was apparently submerged when the Kabini dam was constructed.
The stars shine down as I walk back to the room .As the day ends, I go to sleep, thinking about the safari and the many wild encounters in the forests.