The Nagarhaole National Park in Karnataka shares its boundaries with the famous Bandipur National Park in Karanataka, which together form a part of the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wayanad Reserve in Kerala. About 643 kms in area, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the tiger along with the other wild life species and around 250 bird species. Located aside the river Kabini, the dam and the reservoir of this mighty Kabini river acts as a natural barrier separating the two wildlife sanctuaries - Bandipur and Nagarhole - in Karnataka.
The Nagarhole national park lies at a distance of 96 kms from Mysore. This protected territory is the habitat of several endangered species. Nagarhole derives its name from the root word `Naga' from Kannada language, which means `snake' and `Hole' that means `streams'. Thus the term as a whole point towards the numerous streams that leaps through the rich tropical forests of Nagarhole like a snake.
Also bordering the state of Kerala, the Nagarhole National Park was designated as a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1974, it was extended to its present size combining the Mysore forests within the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. The deep valleys and the mesmerising landscapes in the sanctuary make it a picture perfect destination in every manner. Apart from the largest Kabini river that drains the Nagarhole national park, the other three important rivers include Lakshmana, Teentha and Nagarhole. Several perennial and seasonal streams also merge into the four rivers.
Flora in the Nagarhole National Park
Due to the high rainfall in the region, the National Park consists of numerous open grassy swamps known as the 'hadlus' in the local language, which remain green perennially. The dry as well as the moist deciduous forests cover the whole area mainly consisting of the floral species like teak and eucalyptus.
Wildlife at Nagarhole National Park
The animals that are commonly seen in the national park are: tiger, leopard, panther, sloth bear, gaur, elephant, sambhar, chital and other mammals like muntjac, the tiny mouse deer, giant squirrel, slender loris, langurs, wild boar, pangolin and macaques. The Park has about 250 bird species like Malabar trogan, the Indian Pitta, green imperial pigeon the Malabar pied hornbill and the great black woodpecker. The jungle cat, leopard cat and rusty spotted cat are also the other wildlife species within the national park.
When to Visit Nagarhole National Park
Though the park is open all through the year, the best time to visit the national park is from October to April. The monsoon season is from June to September; followed by winters till January; and then summer from February to May.
How To Reach Nagarhole National Park
By Road: Nagarhole National Park is well connected by road with the major towns like Madikeri (93 km), Mysore (96 km) and Bangalore (236 km). The tourists can board a flight or catch a train from these towns and cities.
By Air: The nearest airports are Mysore and Bangalore. From these two airports, the tourists can board a flight to their desired destination. The Bangalore airport is well connected with all the major cities in India.
The tourists have to move in the jeeps or vans run by the forest department within the Nagarhole National Park, as the local transport is not available in the park. The visitors have to compulsorily take the veteran guides along with them while their park tour. The observation towers offer a panoramic view of the greenery in the park and also a close view of the wildlife in the park. The best time to use the watchtowers is during the early hours (6-9 AM) and late afternoon (4-7 PM). The nearest and short excursions to be enjoyed by the tourists in the park are: Bandipur National Park (100 km), Madikeri (93 km) and Mysore (96 km).
The tourists can obtain the reservation and the information from the following offices:
* Range Forest Officer, Nagarhole National Park, Kutta, Tel.21 (Kutta)
* Assistant Conservator of Forests, Wildlife Sub-division, Vani Vilas Road, Mysore- 570 002 (Tel. 211559)
* Deputy Conservator of Forests, Wildlife Division, Aranya Bhavan, Ashokpuram, Mysore - 570 008
* Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), 2nd Floor, Aranya Bhavan, 18th Cross, Malleswaram, Bangalore - 560 003. Tel.: 3341993/3345192