Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole, the national park is located 94 km away from Mysore in the Karnataka state of southern India. It straddles the Kodagu and Mysore districts. The Brahmagiri Mountain being its backdrop, Nagarhole Park has a thick lush green forest sprawling across 643 sq km area. The park is bordered by Bandipur sanctuary and Kerala’s Wayanad sanctuary on southeast and southwest respectively.
The park got the name from two Kannada words namely, Nagar (means snake) and Hole (means streams). As the name indicates, several serpentine streams wind through the thick forests of the park. Nagarhole was an incomparable hunting spot for the Mysore kings. The park was established in the area in 1955. Around 1975 its area covered 575 sq km. Now it is one of the best parks in India.
This is the major attraction of Nagarhole. Tourists can see the last habitats of Asian elephants in this park. Besides elephant, there are several fauna spotted here such as nilgiri tahr, nilgiri langur, bison, leopard, wild boar, deer, dhole, sloth bear, jungle cat, civet, bonnet macaque and pangolin.
Bird watchers can come across nearly 25 species of birds in Nagarhole National Park. A few among them are malabar pied hornbill, crested hawk eagle and golden backed woodpecker. Crocodiles, pythons and several other species of snakes and lizards are some of the reptiles in Nagarhole Park. Jeep or elephant safari are available for tourists for wildlife watching.
Trekkers can trek up the Brahmagiri mountain. One should get prior permission to trek here.
Hiking and Boating:
Adventure lovers can indulge in hiking and also boating in coracles and motorboats in Nagarhole.
Tourists can visit Madikere, the headquarters of Kodagu district. It is perched at an altitude of 1170 meters. It is just 93 km away from Nagarhole. This hill station is well known for its coffee and orange plantations.
This town is located seven km south of Nagarhole. It has a famous Kali temple here. There is a belief among the people that Goddess Kali came down and settled with the low-caste Kurubas. She gave birth to a son named Kutta. The town got its name after her son. Every year from April till May a festival is held here to honor the Goddess.
Tourists can reach this place passing through Kutta. It is 14 km away on the base of the Brahmagiri mountain on the border of Karnataka and Kerala states. Travelers can worship Lord Rama in the Ishwara temple here. After prayers one can take a small path which leads to Irpu falls. This 60 m high fall gets heightened during rainy seasons. Tourists can chill out by drenching themselves in this cataract.
This sanctuary spreading over 181 sq km area widens from Kutta till Makutta. The park is famous for its range of habitats from green lush forest in Makutta and shola grassland up in the high altitude. Travelers should get prior permission from the forest department before entering this sanctuary.
The nearest airport is at Bengaluru, the capital of the state located 200 km away from this park. Nagarhole has well laid motorable roads connecting it with nearest places of the state namely Madikere and Mysore. The nearest railhead is at Mysore from where trains are available to all major cities in India.