Nagarhole National Park also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park (on the name of Late prime minister of India) has taken the name Nagarhole from the mixture of 02 words of local Kannada language as 'Nagar' means snake and 'Hole,' means streams. According to this name, some winding streams split through the prosperous tropical jungles of the national park. The park was made in 1955 as a wildlife sanctuary and a national park in 1975. Nagarhole was hunting reserve of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore. Nagarhole National Park is one of the best national parks of India. On the northern side of the park the Kabini River flows and on the southern border Bandipur national park is located. There is a dam on River Kabini and its charming tank separates these national parks. In the dry month i.e. February and June), this man made lake invites many wild animals thus make it a perfect spot for wildlife spotting.
Climate of Nagarhole National Park
In summer months, starting from March to May, the temperature remains below 33°C. In winter season which is very short from November till January, the temperature is quite pleasant as it is about 14°C. However the monsoon period is erratic and it normally rains in the park area from June till end of September.
The major plants of Nagarhole National Park are of southern steamy, wet, varied deciduous kind with a considerable eastern part intergrading to arid deciduous kind. The higher plant Canopy is mainly covered by Terminalia tomentosa is in connection with Dalbergia latifolia, Tectonia grandis, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeissus latifolia, Boambax malabaricum, Adina cordifolia and Schleichera trijuga. The inferior canopy is a home of Emblica officinalis, Kydia calycina and Gmelina arborea etc. Numerous shrubs which belong to Desmodium, Solanum and Helicteres sp. etc. are plentifully found however feeble shrubs as Eupatorium and Lantana dominate.
The major animals of Nagarhole include tiger, leopard, wild dog, the hyena and sloth bear. The herbivores population includes spotted deer, Sambhar, four-horned antelope, barking deer, gaur, wild boar and elephant. Nagarhole National Park offers a chance to view few of the southern inhabitants of Gaur known as jungle Bison). Also, the sanctuary is a good place to spot elephants in the lavish jungles and bamboo woods that they enjoy mostly. The total elephant population in South India is about 6500, most of them living in Western Ghats. Other mammalian includes the population of the common Langur, Bonnet macaque, jungle cat, slender Loris, leopard-cat, civet cat and mongoose, common otter, giant flying squirrel, giant squirrel, porcupine, mouse-deer, jackal, pangolin and hare.
More than 250 bird species are seen in the Nagarhole National Park. There are many woodland birds. There are big worshippers of water fowl in River Kabini. The bird species are found in the park as blue-bearded bee-eater, Malabar whistling thrush and scarlet minivet, common ospreys, ducks and herons.
In reptiles population, the marsh crocodile, rock python, monitor lizard and few other are represented. Terrestrial and Aquatic tortoises, toads, frogs and tree frogs, a myriad insects along with few quite colorful butterflies decorate this attractive South Indian jungle.
The park remains open throughout the year however the best time to visit Nagarhole National Park is from October to May. The April and May are especially good.
Air: Bangalore airport is located 220 KMS away from the park.
Train: Mysore station is 80 KMS from the Nagarhole.
Road: Medikeri (Coorg) 90 KMS, Bandipur National Park 100 KMS, Calicut 160 KMS, Mangalore 250 KMS