NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK | SAFARI, PLACES TO VISIT & TOUR PACKAGES
About Nagarhole National Park
Ideal Trip Duration: 4 Hours/Half Day
Nearest City to Nagarhole National Park: Mysore (88 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Nagarhole National Park: November to May
Peak Season: April to May
State: Karnataka | District: Coorg (Kodagu)
At a distance of 10 km from Kutta, 20 km from Iruppu Falls, 62 km from Kalpetta, 88 km from Mysore, 88 km from Madikeri and 218 km from Bangalore, Nagarhole National Park is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India and also one of the top places to visit in Coorg. Also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, it is spread across Mysore and Kodagu districts in Karnataka. Nagarhole National Park is one of the top attractions you must include in Coorg tour packages.
Originally the forest area was the private hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore. Nagarhole was converted into a sanctuary in the year 1955 covering an area of 258 sq. km and subsequently enlarged to include the adjoining areas of Mysore district and now extends over an area of 643 sq. km. Nagarhole got National Park status in 1988 and declared as 37th Project Tiger Reserve in 1999. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri sub-cluster of 6,000 Sq. km, including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage for World Heritage Site status.
This national park gets its name from two Kannada words Naga means snake and Hole means stream. Many serpentine streams flow through the rich tropical forests of the park, which has now been renamed as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, after late prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Nagarhole is situated to the north-west of Bandipur National Park which are separated by Kabini reservoir. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. Inside the park coracle boat riding facility is available in Kabini River.
The important animals in Nagarhole National Park are tiger, leopard, wild dog, sloth bear, the hyena, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope, gaur, wild boar and elephant. Among reptiles, the marsh crocodile, monitor lizard, rock python and several other species are represented. Other mammals includes the common langur, bonnet macaque, jungle cat, slender loris, leopard-cat, civet cat, mongoose, common otter, giant flying squirrel, giant squirrel, porcupine, jackal, mouse-deer, hare and pangolin. Over 250 species of birds are found at Nagarhole National Park.
The park is usually closed for safaris during peak monsoon. Traffic movement is restricted from 6 pm to 6 am every day and the gates are closed on either sides of entry into the forest. Two wheelers, three wheelers and goods vehicles are not permitted inside the park. Safaris are organized in the forest department vans during morning and evening. Government-run 4WD safaris and boat trips are conducted from Kabini River Lodge, which are good options to explore the animals. The best time to visit Nagarhole National Park is Nov-May, especially Apr-May.
The Forest Department manages two rest houses at Kabini, but reservation has to be made well in advance through the Forest Department offices in Mysore or Bangalore. Various home stays are also available near to Kutta, Srimangala and Gonikoppal.
Safari is available at 2 entry points of the park, at main gate near Kutta & at Dammankatte gate near Kabini. For visitors coming from Madikeri, Kushalnagar & Virajpet, safari at Kutta entry point is more convenient. For visitors from Mysore & Kabini, Dammankatte gate is better for Safari, while both the entry points offer equal opportunities for wildlife sighting.
Park Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM
Safari Timings: 6 AM - 8 AM and 3 PM - 5 PM
Bus/Canter Safari: Rs. 300 for Indians, Rs. 1200 for Foreigners (including Entry Fee)