Nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Nagarahole National Park—recently renamed Rajiv Gandhi National Park—is surrounded by shallow valleys and gentle slopes on all sides. It was declared as a national park in 1974, and is said to be the best habitat for Asian elephants. Along with other designated wildlife parks, Nagarhole National Park is also part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
River Nagarhole slithers through the heart of the park, and flows eastwards into the Taraka reservoir, which is located at the park’s periphery. River Kabini dances along the southern boundary of the park, and forms a reservoir on the south-eastern edge. The reservoir separates Nagargole sanctuary from Bandipur sanctuary, which is also part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The vegetation consists of moist and dry deciduous forests, predominantly teak and rosewood. On the west side, the terrains are covered by tropical moist and semi-evergreen forests. The landscape is also dotted with swampy fallows that comprises of grasses and sedges.
Nagarhole is incredibly blessed with beautiful and rare flora and fauna. It supports a diverse variety of trees and shrubs. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded. There are observation towers in the park that offer a panoramic view of the undulating expanse, riotously colored birds, wildlife, and the virgin greenery.
Flora: Rosewood, teak, sandalwood and silver oak.
Fauna: Asiatic elephants, jackal, tiger, panther, gaur, muntjac, sambar, spotted deer, mongoose, civet cat, hyena. Reptiles: king cobra, krait, python, viper, tortoise, monitor lizard, toads etc.
Wildlife: The Nagarhole National Park shelters a large number of rare and endangered animals. It has a higher population of tigers and one can spot huge elephant herds wandering here.
Safari: The jeep safari takes you around in a predefined forest route. You can spot, observe and discover wildlife in their best natural habitat.
Other Places to Visit:
Bandipur National Park: Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, Bandipur National Park is known for its tiger population. The park shelters some of the most rare and endangered species of Indian Wildlife. It’s reported that there is a high population of elephants and tigers in the sanctuary.
Madhumalai Widlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is located adjacent to Bandipur National Park, and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats. It’s located at an elevation of 1000 m, and is spread in an area of 321 sq. km. One can spot deer, tiger, wild boar, sloth bear, and more. Also, the sanctuary hosts raptors.
Location: Nagarhole National Park is situated 94+ km away from Mysore in Karnataka.
Area: 643 sq. km
Route: Nagarhole is well connected by road with Bangalore and Mysore. The nearest airport is in Bangalore, and the closet railway station is in Mysore. There are also some trains from Nanjangud to Nagarhole.
Buses ply regularly between Bangalore and Nagarhole, and also between Mysore and Nagarhole. Taxi services are also available from Bangalore to Nagarhole
Best Time to Visit: November to February