The Kabani, also called Kabini or Kapila originates in the Wayanad District of Kerala state by the confluence of the Panamaram River and the Mananthavady River. It flows eastward to join the Kaveri River at Tirumakudalu Narasipura in Karnataka. The Kaveri river then irrigates Tamil Nadu and it is major drinking water source before emptying into the Bay of Bengal near kaveripoompattinam.
It is the only one river which flows out of the state to Karnataka state. Makkiyad river, Periya river,Panamaram river and kalindi river joins with kabani on its way.Panamaram river joins Kabini near Payyampally at Koodal Kadavu.
Close to the town of Sargur it forms the huge Kabani Reservoir. The backwaters of the Kabani reservoir are very rich in wildlife especially in summer when the water level recedes to form rich grassy meadows. The Kabani dam is 2,284 ft (696 m) in length with an original gross storage of 19.52 tmcft, but that has been reduced considerably due to silt accumulation. The Kabani Dam is situated between villages Bichanahalli and Bidarahalli having distance of 17 km away from Sargur town in Heggadadevana kote taluk, Mysore district.
The Kabini Forest Reserve is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka, probably because of its accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding a large lake, and sightings of herds of elephants, tigers. It is 80 km away from Mysuru and 205 km from Bengaluru, and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. Situated on the banks of the Kabini River, the reserve is spread over 55 acres (22 ha) of forestland, steep valleys, and water bodies. Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best Wildlife National Parks in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life. Forest have around 120 tigers, around 100+ leopards, Four types of deer, Sloth bear, Indian Gaurs, Lot’s of elephant in Nagarahole national park.
The famous tourist spot ‘Kuruva islands’ situated on the banks of the Kabani River. It is a 950-acre protected river delta on the Kabini River in the Wayanad district.Which is an ideal picnic spot and potential eco tourism destination.This island of dense and evergreen forest is uninhabited and hence a home to rare kinds of flora and fauna: uncommon species of birds, orchids and herbs.
The river originates in the Pakramthalam hills at Kuttiady-Mananthavady road. Makkiyad river and Periya river join it near Korome and Valad respectively. After flowing through Mananthavady town, Panamaram river joins Kabini near Payyampally. One branch of the Panamaram river starts from the Banasura Sagar reservoir near Padinjarethara and the other branch of the river start from Lakkidi hills. After traversing 2 kilometres from the confluence of Panamaram river Kabini forms an island called Kuruva Island, spreading over 520 acres with diverse flora and fauna. Within 20 km it reaches the Kabini reservoir bordering Kerala and Karnataka for some distance. Between Kabani reservoir and Kuruva island Kalindi river joins Kabini. Kalindi river originates from Brahmagiri hills which on reaching near Thirunelli Temple the rivulet Papanasini joins it. Taraka and Nugu are the two small rivers in Heggadadevana kote taluk that join the Kapila (Kabani river).