Close to the town of Sargur it forms the huge Kabini Reservoir. The backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are very rich in wildlife especially in summer when the water level recedes to form rich grassy meadows. The Kabini 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 Kabini Dam is situated between villages Bichanahalli and Bidarahalli having distance of 17 km (11 mi) 6 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 (50 mi) away from Mysuru and 205 km (127 mi) from Bengaluru, and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. Situated on the banks of the Kabini River, thet 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 sanctuaries in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life.
The river originates in the Pakramthalam hills at Kuttyadi-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[disambiguation needed] hills. After traversing 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the confluence of Panamaram river Kabini forms an island called Kuruva Island, spreading over 520 acres (2.1 km2) with diverse flora and fauna. Within 20 km (12 mi) 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 Tirunelly temple the rivulet Papanasini joins it. Taraka and Nugu are the two small rivers in Heggadadevana kote taluk that join the Kapila (Kabini river).