Review: Kabini Springs Resort, Bavali in India
Words by Bindu Gopal Rao
A holiday that gets you upfront with wildlife always ranks high on my priority simply because of the fact that this is when I feel most connected with nature. Naturally when I had a chance to visit one of my favourite wildlife destinations in Karnataka at Kabini, I jumped at the offer. And to stay at the Kabini Springs Resort was great as it is located contiguous to the forest area.
The Kabini Springs Resort has 20 rooms in 5 blocks with 4 rooms per block. Each of these rooms are suites that are expansive and come with a separate living area and a balcony. The best part is that there is a natural spring that flows through the year right behind the room. So you have a lovely sound of flowing water as soon as you open the balcony door. The rooms are furnished with modern amenities and are equipped with a mini bar and Coffee/Tea Kettle, 32 Inch Big Flat LED Screen with H.D and safe deposit lockers. The resort itself is located at the border of Kerala and Karnataka and is in the midst of the forest area. There is ample parking space at the resort and if you drive from Bangalore, it is a great experience as the roads are in great condition and if you are lucky you could even spot some wildlife in the national park. The only think to bear in mind is if you are travelling towards evening, make sure that you cross the forest check post before 6:0 p.m. as gates are closed after that due to forest regulations that ban vehicular traffic between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Activities & More
The resort has a multi cuisine restaurant, Tingling Spices that serves a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you also have high tea and snacks in the evening. I suggest you try the local South Indian food that is made with a home like feel. The Spanish Bar with 40 covers is the perfect place to unwind with a large selection of cocktails and mocktails. The resort also offers conferencing facilities and makes for an idea getaway for corporate who can brain storm ideas in the lap of nature! An evening camp fire with a wildlife movie is a daily affair and one that is as engaging as it is entertaining. Cycles are also available on the premises and the resort does arrange guided Bird Watching and Village Tours on prior notice. The resort has an in-house Ayurvedic spa where you can try some of the signature treatments like the Panchakarma a holistic treatment that is usually done for several days in succession, Vamana a procedure that helps remove toxins aiding people with chronic allergic asthma and other respiratory diseases and more. Alternately their beauty regimens like Keshini – hair care treatment, Soundharya Vardhini – ayurvedic facial, Karashuba Kaari – natural manicure and Paadashuba Kaari –natural pedicure all use herbal and natural ingredients like kesari, butter, sandal powder, multani mitti, milk, rose, butter, rose petals, fruits, cucumber, neem and honey are good options to try while you are here.
If you love nature, then this place is for you. With its calm and blissful environs, this is where you will wake up to the sound of chirping birds. Being situated in Nagarahole, the place is abuzz with activity at the crack of dawn. Start you day with a guided nature walk. We were accompanied by the naturalist on site who pointed several species of birds including Scarlet Minnivet, Turtle pigeon, Spotted Dove, Red Whiskered bulbuls and more. We also spotted several species of spiders and butterflies in the walk. It is ideal to start the walk as early as possible as they sun can become quite harsh as the day progresses. Come back to the resort for a scrumptious buffet breakfast that includes a selection of Indian and International choices. Within the resort itself there are a plethora of activities that will keep you busy. There is a swimming pool as well as an indoor games area. This apart, you will find ample kids play area with a variety of games and slides as well. Outdoor games like cricket and badminton are also available on premises so that you can have fun with your family.
The star attraction at this place however without a doubt is a jungle safari at the Nagarhole National Park. Incidentally the Kabini Forest Reserve happens to be among the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. This was the private hunting lodge of the erstwhile royalty – the Maharaja of Mysore, as well as of the British Viceroys. Incidentally the latest tiger census has revealed that this forest also has the highest density of tigers in the country. The forest is lush with bamboo, rose wood, sandal wood and teak plantations and strategically placed water holes that are great to spot wildlife. Since there is ample grazing grasslands you are bound to sight elephants (usually in herds), gaur, sambar, chital, spotted deer, wild dog and wild boar. This is also a great place for both tiger and leopard sightings. I was lucky to spot a family of 5 elephants with a little calf, so tiny that it made for a compelling visual. I later learnt that the calf was a couple of weeks old! I also managed to spot a peacock and a mongoose that quickly darted across the vehicle and could have been so easily lost if we were not concentrating. This apart you can also visit the wildlife sanctuary at Tholpetty 21kms from the resort, Kuruva island (13kms), Thirunelly temple (27kms), Sagar dam (38kms), Edakkal caves (54kms), Pookote lake (54kms), Irrapu falls (42kms) and Chembra peak (63kms). In all a holiday in Kabini Springs is the perfect option if you looking for a weekend getaway to relax and rejuvenate. Well that is exactly what a holiday must do. So what are you waiting for – get packing.
Address: Kabini Springs, #23 and #24, Bavali Old Manandavadi Road, Antarasante Hobli, Bavali – 571114 / 07022000982