Saturday, 30 July 2011

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Reputed to be one of the well-managed sanctuaries in India, Nagarhole National Park is a part of the sprawling Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India. Established in 1955, as a sanctuary, it was designated as a national park in 1975. The park was later renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, after the late Prime Minister of India. Spread over an area of approximately 640 sq km, Nagarhole forest originally served as an exclusive hunting ground for the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore.

Nagarhole, in Kannada, stands for 'Snake River'. The wildlife sanctuary has been so named after the serpentine streams that fork through its rich tropical forests. 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 and May), this artificial lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.

Things to do:

Wildlife Viewing

Nagarhole National Park is rich in wildlife which includes four-horned antelope, sloth bear, civet, spotted deer, elephant, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), sambhar, wild boar, black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin which makes it an ideal destination for the wildlife enthusiasts. Cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers and various species of lizards are also found in the forests.

Jeep Safaris

The forest department in Nagaehole provides for minibus safari in the national reserve. Jeep safaris inside the park are also allowed, if you have brought your own jeep. However, you need to seek the permission from the forest department. Taking along a guide is mandatory in a jeep safari. The safaris commence from the range office inside the park. The forest department also organizes for elephant rides which last about 30 minutes. The park and safari timings are 6 to 8 in the morning and 3 to 5.30 in the evening 

Bird Watching

Nagarhole National Park has a sizeable population of birds. It is home to over 250 species of birds making it a sought-after destination for the birdwatchers. Some rare species of birds can be spotted in Nagarhole which are not seen anywhere else. The most spotted bird species are the common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, crested serpent, hornbill, peacock, woodpecker, great Indian reed, eagle and the southern tree pie. The park is a paradise for wildlife lovers and environmentalists. 


Boating is another exciting fun activity to do in Nagarhole National Resreve. A relaxed boat ride through the Kabini River's backwater to sight crocodiles, birds and various other animals is simply one of the most interesting things to do in Nagarhole. You can also stay overnight in the river lodge for a complete experience of this natural habitat............

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