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..
The drier SE corner of Bandipur National Park has scrub forests. During the dry months of March-May, Indian Elephants stay close to rivers and lakes. At this time of year, Indian Elephant sightings are unsurpassed in Nagarhole National Park, especially if you are staying at the Kabini River Lodge in Karapur. Nearby, at Mastigudi large gatherings of 100 or so Indian Elephants on the banks of the Kabini Lake are known, a sight unrivalled anywhere. Bandipur National Park is probably the best place in the subcontinent for seeing Dhole, and the Indian Giant Squirrel can be seen at Mudumalai, lying curled in trees holes or crooks of brances during the day. .
Open year round, the best period being October-May, especially April-May.
Fly to Bangalore and drive to Nagarhole (6 hours) or Bandipur (6-7 hours). The nearest station railway station is Mysore. For Mudumalai National Park the nearest airport is Coimbatore (160 km) and the nearest railway station Ooty or Udhagamandalam (64 km).
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.
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.