The forest of Karnataka is a paradise for the nature lovers and environmentalists. Nagarhole national park is a large park in the state that houses a huge number of wild animals. Known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, it is counted among the top most national parks in India. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then this park should glut your appetite.
The national park derives its name from the combination of two Kannada words 'Naga' that means snake and 'hole' meaning streams. It is dedicated to the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Established in the year 1955, this park is one of the best-managed parks in the country. UNESCO World Heritage Committee is considering the Western Ghats along with this park as a World Heritage Site.
Area and Location:
The park spreads between Kodagu District and Mysore District. Kabini reservoir separates two parks- Bandipur national park and the Nagarhole park. It sprawls across 643 sq km.
The flora and fauna of Nagarhole national park is really noteworthy. Southern tropical, mixed and moist deciduous forests are the predominant vegetation. Anogeissus latifolia, Tectonia grandis, Pterocarpus marsupium, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Dalbergia latifolia, Adina cordifolia, Boambax malabaricum, Schleichera trijuga, Ficus sp., Kydia calycina, Emblica officinalis are the main floral species. Many shrubs are also found here.
Tiger, hyena, leopard, gaur, wild boar, elephant are the major faunal species. Jungle Cat, Slender Loris , Leopard-Cat, Civet Cat, Mongoose, Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Rock Python, Common Otter, Giant Flying Squirrel, Giant Squirrel, Porcupine, Jackal, Mouse-Deer Hare, Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizard, Pangolin, Aquatic and Terrestrial Tortoises, Frogs, Toads, etc. are also found here.
The park has more than 270 bird species which include 'Vulnerable' Lesser Adjutant, White-Backed Vulture, Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon, etc.
The sanctuary experiences a tropical climate. Summer sometimes is too hot but the winter is pleasant. Monsoon continues from June to September. April and May is the best time to visit the park.
There are 2 rest houses run by the Forest Department. The famous Kabini River Lodge in Mysore is also preferred by many.
How to reach the park?
Bangalore is the nearest airport. Mysore that is well connected with major destinations in the country is the nearest railway station. Motorable highlinks connect the park to the adjoining areas of the state.
You should arrive at the park gates well before dusk because the roads often get blocked by the elephants. The roads are also closed at 6pm. If you are interested in trekking, then you should not come here during monsoon.
The enriched biosphere, regular education camps and trekking sites also draw tourists in the Nagarhole national park. So enjoy a beautiful time with your family amidst nature.