16,579 sq km
Kannada, Hindi, English
Best Time to Visit
September to May
Nagarhole National park derives its name from the combination of two Kannada words-'Nagar,' meaning snake, and 'hole,' meaning streams. True to its name, quite a few serpentine streams fork through the rich tropical forests of the park. Nagarhole Park was set up in 1955. In 1975, its area was increased to include a greater expanse of forest reserve. The original forest was once an exclusive hunting ground for the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore.The park has been recently renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park after the late Prime Minister of India.
Nagarhole Park is counted among India's best wildlife parks. It has a large elephant and bison population. It also hosts a variety of animal species along with approximately 250 species of birds. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern fringes is the Bandipur national park. A dam on the Kabini River and its picturesque reservoir demarcates the two national parks. During the dry season (February-June), this artificial lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.
Nagaland is situated on the extreme northern east just below Arunachal Pradesh. It has on its long eastern strip the neighboring country Myanmar. The north is bounded by Arunachal Pradesh, while on its west lies the state of Assam. It is bordered by Manipur on its south.
Best Time To Visit
The summer (March-May) temperature does not cross the 33°C mark. The brief winter, which lasts from November to January, has temperature plummeting to 14°C. Monsoon is erratic, but it generally rains from June to September.
Today Nagarhole Park comprises of Arikeri, Hatgat and Nalkeri reserve forests, along with adjoining Mysore reserve forests.The topography is undulating with several permanent and seasonal streams and tanks. The forest cover generally consists of a moist deciduous thick jungle with a thirty-meter high top. The rich tropical forests, flourishing green swamps and numerous water resources make Nagarhole National Park an ideal habitat for wildlife.
The forest is home to animals like the four-horned antelope, sloth bear, jungle cat, civet, spotted deer, elephant, wild dog, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), sambhar, wild boar, black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin. Cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers, and several species of lizards are also found here.
Among the 250 bird species found here, the prominent ones are the common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, dove, crested serpent, hornbill, Malabar pied, alexandrine, peacock, woodpecker, warbler, great Indian reed, eagle, crested hawk, golden-back parakeet, and the southern tree pie. Nagarhole is worth visiting at the height of the dry season, when wild animals can be spotted in large numbers near sources of water.
Vehicles and guides are available to take you around the Nagarhole National Park. If this natural heaven awakens the 'spirit of adventure' in you then consider heading for the Brahmagiri Mountains-an inviting destination for those who wish to go trekking. Prior permission is required from the authorities before embarking on a trekking trail.
Places Around Nagarhole
Madikere, a place 93 km from Nagarhole, is a scenic locale famous for its coffee and orange plantations. Madhumallii (also Mudumalai), Wynad and Bandipur National Park lie near Nagarhole forest.
How To Reach
Nagarhole National park is well connected to adjoining areas of Karnataka. Motorable highways link the park to the towns of Madikere (90 km) and Mysore (96 km) where state transport buses and taxis are freely available. The journey from both places lasts approximately 2 hours. The nearest well-connected railway junction is Mysore, while the nearest international airport is Bangalore (220 km). Various airlines link Bangalore to the rest of the nation.