Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary :
One of the prominent wildlife parks in the country, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the south Indian state of Karnataka.
A former hunting reserve for the maharajas of Mysore, the park was set up in 1955 with the prime objective of providing a protective habitat to the wild animals of the area.
The major wildlife attractions of the sanctuary include the gigantic Indian Elephant and the mighty Indian Bison along with a variety of other animals. Over 250 species of beautiful avians also adorn the park with their chirpings. River Kabini, which flows along the southern fringes of the park seperates it from the Bandipur National Park.
The climate of the area generally remains equable with temperatures hovering around 33 degrees during the summers and 20 degrees during the winters. The monsoon season which lasts from June to September is a period when the heavens open and the area is lashed by heavy rains. The sanctuary is worth a visit during the dry months when animals come out in large numbers near whatever water is left in the water bodies.
Wildlife Attractions in Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary
The topography of the park is extremely varied which makes it an ideal habitat for the wild animals. The flora consists mainly of moist deciduous thick forests that rise up to the skies allowing very little sunlight to penetrate through. The lush tropical forests, swamps and numerous water bodies make it one of the most attractive national parks in the country.
A number of rare animals inhabit the picturesque wildlife sanctuary, prominent among those are the four-horned antelope, sloth bear, jungle cat, civet, spotted deer, elephant, wild dog, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), sambhar, wild boar, black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin. The crawlers include cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers and several species of lizards.
More than 250 species of birds are among the registered residents of the park, the prominent ones being common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, dove, crested serpent, hornbill, Malabar pied, alexandrine, peacock, woodpecker, warbler, great Indian reed, eagle, crested hawk, golden-back parakeet and the southern tree pie.
The forest department offers mini bus safaris into the park. Jeep safaris are allowed if you can take in your own jeep with the permission of the forest department. However, it is mandatory to take along a guide on a jeep safari. Safaris begin from the range office inside the park, 45 km from Hunsur via Veeranahosahalli. Elephant rides lasting for 30 minutes are also organised by the forest department. The joyride comprises of tourists being taken around on an elephant around the park.
The area is also known for the Brahmgiri Mountains. An ideal spot for adventure tourists, the place is a paradise for trekkers and mountain climbers. Prior permisiion is required before embarking upon a trekking trail.
Rabgyaling is a little town, just 5 km from Hunsur. The place was set up in 1971 with the primary purpose of resettling the Tibbetan refugees. The place has become a vibrant settlement in recent years with over 3000 people living there at present. Major attractions of the area include the buddhist monasteries and traditional handicraft centres.
How to Get There
By Air :
Bangalore is the nearest airport, connected by daily Indian Airlines flight from Delhi (6:15, 16:30 & 19:55) from Mumbai (6:15, 9:30, 13:30, 17:30 & 20:45) from Kolkata (19:55) and from Chennai (7:00)
By Rail :
Mysore is the nearest railhead. It is connected to Delhi through the Swarna Jayanti Exp. (6:00, Mon), Mumbai is connected through the Sharavathi Exp. (21:30, Tue). Bangalore is well connected through a number of daily trains including Mysore Pass (23:55), Mysore Exp.(4:10), Mysore Exp. (6:13) & Mysore Pass (6:30) while Chennai is connected through the Mysore Exp. (21:45).
By Road :
To reach by road from Bangalore, take the state highway 17 to Shrirangapatna via Maddur, bypass to Coorg via Ranganathittu. From there take SH88 to Hunsur and state roads to Nagarhole via Veeranahosahalli and Murkal. Regular buses are available from all the major cities. State transport buses from Mysore charge a fair of around Rs. 50-60/head.
Distances from Major Cities
235 km (SW)/5 hrs.
95 km (SW)/2 hrs.
Travel Tips/Important Information
- The park charges are : Entry fee is Rs. 50 (Indians) & Rs. 150 (foreigners), Guide Fee Rs. 150, Camera : Rs. 15 (still) & Rs. 200 (video), Mini Bus safari : Rs. 75/head, Private jeep entry : Rs. 400/day, Elephant ride : Rs 50 .
- Most tourists enter the park from Hunsur (north of the park). Forest deptt. Accommodation is located at Nagarhole (south-west), Sunkadkatte (south-east) and Murkal (centre of the park)
- Tourists can hire jeeps and guides as well as book mini bus safaris and elephant rides from the forest department office at Hunsur.
- Park and safari timings are : Morning 6 to 8, Evening 3 to 5:30
- Be sure to reach the sanctuary before dusk as the roads leading to the place closes down at 6 PM.
- Avoid visiting the sanctuary during monsoons as heavy rains often flood the area.
- Before leaving on a trekking expedition in the nearby areas, be sure to get prior permission from the authorities.