Nagarhole National Park is the major wildlife attraction in the states of Karnataka. It is also popular as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The Park got its recognition as a wildlife sanctuary in 1988 and also became the 37th tiger Reserve in the year of 1999. It spans a huge area of 642.4 sq.km and houses numerous exotic wildlife species.
About Nagarhole National Park
The park offers picturesque scenic beauty to the tourists having unique types of vegetations in each area, intercepted by waterfalls, valleys, mountains, and a number of small streams in between.
The major Kabini river flows through the national park and the entire park houses four lakes, 47 water bodies, 41 artificial tanks, a reservoir, dam, and 4 perennial streams. The location is a nature’s retreat having rich wildlife species.
Different Areas in Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National park is an amazing tourist destination of Karnataka in the Kodagu district. The Park covers a large area of 643.39 sq.km and is an abode of numerous unique wildlife species.
It lies at an altitude of 680 to 1,454 meters at the adjoining point of Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats. The different sections of the park are:-
The northern side of the Park is covered with dense forests and the main attraction here is the Kabini River which attracts various wildlife species to its location for drinking water, and hence the sight of the mammals and herbivores like spotted deer, barking deer, Sambar, Four horn antelopes etc are a common vision for the visitors in this part. This part of the park also witnesses heavy rainfall.
The southern part of the part is basically the abode of predators and also provides an excellent opportunity for the bird watchers to glance at the flying beauties. This is the Southeast part of the park and the area in this part is mostly dry.
This is the backwater area of the park flowing from the Kabini River. In this part, you will mostly find the pack of Elephants, gaurs, deers, etc.
This is the most beautiful part of the park with stunning scenic beauty. The location in this part is guarded by mountains, valleys, small streams, and waterfalls.
It is like a small paradise in the expansive national park. Adding to the beauty of the location is the sandalwood and bamboos. In this part, you will mostly find arboreal animals resting on the trees or jumping in between them.
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Flora of Nagarhole National Park
The different parts of the park are covered with vivid varieties of Flora. The northern part of the park has the blanket of deciduous forests while the southern park is rich in teak and rosewood plants.
The central part of the forest, on the other hand, is the dry area having dry deciduous plants like Pala Indigo, Thorny Wattle, crocodile bark, Lagerstroemia lanceolate, Grewiatilaefolia, Indian Kino, axlewood etc while moving on to the lower area and the submontane valleys the vegetation is mostly covered with Eugenia trees.
The eastern side of the park is dominated by lush foliages. Other common plants found in the park Silver oak, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Schleicheratriuga, Cotton tree, Kadam, Ficus, Kydiacalycina, Indian Gooseberry, Beachwood, Mathi, Nandi, and many more.
The conspicuous species include dumping bamboo, the flame of the forest and golden shower tree. The Park is also inhabited by the different kinds of shrubs like tick clover, horsenettles, lantana, bonesets, Helicteres species and many more.
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Fauna of Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park is the abode of The top attractions of the Park are:- Bengal Tiger, Sloth bear, Leopard, Antelope, Ussuri Dhole, Barking Deer, Elephant, Sambar, and Jungle Bisons which is exclusively found in South India.
The areas of the park which is covered with bamboo trees are the luxurious part of the park and you can enjoy the sight of elephants at its best as this kind of habitat is the favourite of elephants.
Other interesting wildlife species to grab your attention in the park are- Hyena, Leopard cat, wild dog, jungle cat, Bonnet Macaque, Slender Loris, Civet Cat, Langur, otter, flying squirrel, jackal, porcupine, pangolins, mouse deer, etc.
The Park houses 250 species of birds mainly of the woodland genre, waterfowls found in packs near the Kabini river, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, scarlet minivet, herons, ducks, Malabar whistling thrush, ospreys, white-backed vulture, spotted eagle etc.
The reptile species include marsh crocodile, monitor lizard, vine snake, bamboo pit viper, Indian Python, Monitor lizard, wolf snake etc. Other than this there are 96 species of beetles and 60 species of ant.
Wildlife Safari in Nagarhole National Park
The safari tours of Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary are remarkable giving you the best kind of adventure watching its numerous wildlife species from all genres. There are different kinds of wildlife safari tour at Nagarhole National park.
- If you go for a Jeep safari it gives you pleasing views of the herbivores and carnivores like Elephants, deers, wild boars, tiger, leopard, Sambars etc.
- If you go for a Boat safari, the expedition is organized in the Kabini River and you get the opportunity to have the best view of mammals, aquatic animals, crocodiles etc. You can also go for coracle ride which moves slowly in the water body and stops in between to help get a perfect glimpse of the aquatic and nearby animals in the surrounding.
- The third option for Safari is the Bus Safari which is the best one as it is more secured and increases the higher visibility of wildlife compared to jeep and boat ride.
Best Time to Visit Nagarhole National Park
The ideal time to visit Nagarhole National Park is during the months of October to May. The temperature during this time is pleasant around 10 to 14 degrees especially in the months of November to January while the summer season of April to May is the perfect time to visit the sanctuary as the waterlogged areas are dry this time and hence the visibility of wildlife increases more.
The monsoon season is not for the sanctuary as it remains closed during this time due to heavy rainfall in the areas that are from the month of July to September. So considering the weather, winters are the best but if are focused on wildlife summer season is the perfect time to visit.
Nagarhole National Park Entry Fee
The entry fee for Nagarhole National Park is Rs.200 for the Indian citizens and Rs.1000 for the International citizens. If you are willing to take video camera inside the park premises then an additional amount of Rs.1000 you need to pay along with the ticket price.
How to Reach Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park can be easily accessed from all major Indian cities by Air, Rail, and Road.
If you are traveling in air, you can reach Mysore as it is in close proximity to the sanctuary park, or if you don’t have direct flights from your city to Mysore, you can reach Bangalore airport and then reach Mysore and from Mysore, you can book a cab to the sanctuary.
If you are traveling by rail, the best option is to get down at Mysore railway station and from there you can get a bus to reach the sanctuary. You can also get down at Bangalore junction and then reach Mysore to arrive at your destination.
There are various intercity buses available to reach the sanctuary from Mysore, Bangalore, Coorg, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Kutta and Madikeri. You can also reach by your private car following the same route from these cities.
Resorts near Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park has various accommodation facilities for the tourists in the form of resorts, hotels, and guest house to let them stay amidst the beauty of dense forests and get a closer view of the wildlife. The three best accommodations in the area are-
Kings Sanctuary Resort
Kings Sanctuary Resort which is a 5-star luxury resort located in the northern part of the sanctuary having lavish accommodation facilities and amazing entertaining decorations. The special feature of the resort is the sky bathrooms which makes you feel like a nature fairy.
Jungle Inn Eco-Friendly Resort
Jungle Inn Eco-Friendly Resort which is a popular lavish accommodation in Nagarhole situated at only 1 km distance from the sanctuary. Along with luxurious facilities, it has a hub of adventure activities to offer its guests like Trekking, rappelling, water rafting etc.
Machaan Resort is famous for its comfortable accommodation and its strategic location in the area of coffee plantations. It is also is known for its delicious homemade food. It is the best stay for the nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts having excellent opportunities for jungle trekking and water rafting.
Places to Visit Around Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park is well connected to many beautiful locations within a few kilometres which are worth visiting. Some of them are:-
Situated at a 1km distance from the national park, it is a shimmery waterfall created from the Thodikana mountain streams. The location is amazing for the nature lovers and for trekking as the visitors need to cross streams, hills accompanied by a walk in the way to reach the waterfall area.
The waterfall in this location is breathtaking having picturesque scenic beauty in the surrounding and backdrop. It gushes all the way from Brahmagiri Mountain Range in between the vibrant green vegetations and has high spiritual importance.
Situated at 2 km from the national park, the location resides in the town of Madikeri and is given such a name as in the ancient days, the Yore emperors used to watch sunsets from this place with their queens.
It is a structure made of bricks and mortar supported by four pillars which are known as the king’s seat and have panoramic scenic beauty with high mountains and green valleys.
Other attractions are Ishwara Temple, Abbey Falls, Onake Abbi Falls, Raja’s tomb and many more.
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