National Park 64,330 hectares.
Established : Nagarhole, 1955 as a sanctuary,
1975 as a national park.
national park (NNP), the enchanting 247 square-mile park in
Karnataka has an astonishing abundance of wildlife
including large mammals such as tiger, leopard, wild elephant,
dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison).
Other species present are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking
deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear,
hyena, mongoose, civet, otter, and more. The landscape is one
of gentle slopes and shallow valleys. Dry deciduous forest trees
are leafless in the summer rather than in the winter. There are
grassy swamps where the soil is clayey, perennially moist, and
which support a luxuriant growth of green grass all year. The
change in terrain throughout the park in refreshing and the river
system provides a unique wildlife viewing experience.
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
as Rajiv Gandhi NationalPark after the late Prime Minister
National 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.
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.
The predominant vegetation in the Nagarhole National Park
is of southern tropical, moist, mixed deciduous type with
a substantial eastern portion intergrading into dry deciduous
type. The upper tree canpy is dominated by Terminalia tomentosa
is association with Tectonia grandis, Dalbergia latifolia, Pterocarpus
marsupium, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Anogeissus latifolia, Adina
cordifolia, Boambax malabaricum, Schleichera trijuga, Ficus sp.
and others. The lower canopy has Kydia calycina, Emblica officinalis,
Gmelina arborea etc. Several shrubs belonging to Solanum, Desmodium
and Helicteres sp. etc. are abundantly found but weedy shrubs
like Eupatorium and Lantana now dominate.
important predators and carnivora in the Nagarhole National Park
are tiger, leopard, wild dog (dhole or Cuon alpinus), sloth bear
and the hyena (Hyaena hyaena). The herbivores are spotted deer,
sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis),
gaur (Bos gaurus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and elephant. Nagarhole
National Park provides an opportunity to see some of the southern
population of Gaur (jungle Bison). Also, this park in Karnataka
is a good place to see elephants in the luxuriant forests and
bamboo thickets which they most enjoy. Their total population
in southern India is now about 6500, nearly all living in the
area where Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala adjoin in the
shadow of the Western Ghats. Other mammalian miscallany includes
the common langur (Presbytes entellus), Bonnet macaque (Macaca
radiata), jungle cat, slender Loris (Loris tadigradus), leopard-cat
(Felis bengalensis), civet cat (Viverricula indica and Paradoxurus
hermaphroditus), mongoose (Herpestes fuscus and Herpestes vitticollis),
common otter (Lutra lutra), giant flying squirrel (Petaurista
petaurista), giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), porcupine, jackal,
mouse-deer (Tragulus meminna), hare and pangolin (Manis crassicaudata).
Over 250 species of birds are found at Nagarhole National Park.
Besides the enormous variety of woodland birds, there are large
congregations of water fowl in the Kabini river. Birds range from
blue-bearded bee-eater, scarlet minivet and Malabar whistling
thrush to the more common ospreys, herons and ducks.
reptiles, the marsh crocodile, monitor lizard, rock python and
several other species are represented. Aquatic and terrestrial
tortoises, frogs, toads and tree frogs and a myriad insects, including
some very colourful butterflies, adorn this lovely southern jungle
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) . 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.
The Forest Department manages two rest houses, but reservation
has to be made well in advance through the Forest Department offices
in Mysore or Bangalore to stay here. The Kabini River Lodge near
Karapur on the Mysore. Manathavadi highway also has good accommodation
One must arrive at the park gates well before dusk, for the road
through the park that leads to the lodges is prone to elephant
blocks and closes at 6 pm. Those interested in trekking should
avoid visiting the park during monsoons as floods wash out most
of its dirt tracks and leeches render trekking impossible.
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
Best Time to Visit : Open year round, the best period being
Nagarhole National Park October-May, especially April-May.