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Nagarhole is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park and is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. Trekking in Nagarhole is an ultimate fun as it is dotted with numerous waterfalls, valleys, streams, hills and thick forests. The park is rich in a wide range of flora and fauna and is famous for birdwatching. The name of this National park owes its meaning to the many wriggling streams which are found in abundance. The altitude of the park lies between 680 metres to 1454 metres. The park houses around 41 artificial tanks, 47 streams and 4 lakes which are perennial and not dependent on monsoon rains.
The diverse landscape is a result of the many tropical forests and plants which are home to various species of birds, animals, and plants in this region. Encompassing a high density of herbivores in Asia, the location of the park is where the Deccan plateau joins with the western ghats. There are four sections in which the entire National park is segmented- North, South East, Centre, and West. You can spot animals such as Elephant, Gaur, Bear, and Tiger. The first side where you can set out on many trekking tours in the North region which is bordered by Kabini river. Kabini river is the main source of water in that region and you can spot a few mammals on the bank of it.
Walking past the deciduous forests, moist and slippery trails is an adventure that comes along the way. The SouthEast region is a birder’s delight, it dry and have excellent grounds for camping. You can go on safaris to see the common predators of the area. The center region is popular for taking a coracle ride in the Kabini backwaters. Gaur, Deers, and Elephants are commonly spotted in this region. Nagarhole trekking is best done in the Western region of the park. This region encompasses myriads of streams, waterfalls, mountains, and valley. Beware of the tree-dwelling creatures as the area is rich in sandalwoods and Bamboos. The Kabini river and the many swamps will provide opportunities to spot crocodiles, snakes and other fascinating reptiles. Coracle ride and wildlife safari is a must after your trek to experience the best of Nagarhole National park. October to May is the best time to go trekking in Nagarhole as you can spot large population and diversity of both birds, mammals, predators, and reptiles.
Mysore is the nearest railway station and you can then take a cab or a bus to Nagarhole to start your trekking expedition. It is suggested that you go in a group and if you are setting out with a trekking operator then you do not need to worry. Do keep your camera ready, the majestic landscapes are topped with some of the rarest animals and creatures found here. For a wildlife photographer and enthusiast, Nagarhole is heaven. Trekking in Nagarhole will demand endurance, patience, team spirit and a will to travel into the wild.
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