The Karapur Forest in Karnataka is a world of its own. It seems to be cut off from the civilised world. Here Nature rules, at her magnificent, electrifying best. A river, winding its way through the forest, is on a voyage of its own- overflowing with danger and excitement. But to some it is paradise on earth.
The Kabini Lodge stands near the river. The Kabini River is a tributary of the Kaveri. This was once the hunting lodge of the Maharajas of Mysore. The Tatler magazine has rated this resort among the top five wild life destinations in the world.
A few days here will be filled with the exhilarating thrills and adventures that only a forest can provide. While the lodge itself is safe and comfortable, an elephant safari through the forest could provide glimpses of leopards, tigers, elephants and bison. Langurs, peacocks, and antelopes are familiar sights. They scurry into bushes when they see you. The first thing that draws your attention is the chirping of the crickets. A cold breeze tangles through your hair. The trees sway and whisper around you. You`re engulfed with the fear of the unknown. You learn to look out for wildlife. You need to use your eyes and ears niftily and remain silent. The crunched up grass, paw marks on the ground, undergrowth disturbed, or bushes trampled down. These signs tell their own tale.
You know when the animals have spotted you there is an unnatural stillness in the air. You can hear the call of the langur, the trumpet of the elephants, the harsh shriek of the unusual bird overhead.
The riverside is flush with birds. There are egrets, cormorants, storks, kingfishers and even an occasional fishing eagle. Crocodiles, snakes and tortoises are harder to sight.
The raw splendour of Nature is astounding. Life here is in its pristine state. Silence reigns except for the call of the animals, the whisper of the water and the rustling of the leaves. Peace descends on you. You can`t help but marvel at the majesty around you.The lush vegetation all around makes it look like a green world, with flashes of the blue river. The lap-lap of the river beckons you. You`re invited for a boat ride. There are circular bamboo boats lined with buffalo skin. It seems terribly shaky and then you realise that it`s been the most adequate form of transport across the river for decades.
Tight schedules, honking automobiles and toxic fumes have no place here. Life is one with Nature, living at her pace, on her terms.
We can only hope that civilisation will continue to stay away.
The Kabini River Lodge is eighty kilometres away from Mysore and is accessible by road.