Nagarahole National Park Booking Portal

Nagarahole National Park formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park was named after the river ‘Nagarahole’ meaning ‘Serpent River’ (Nagara=Serpent; Hole=River) in the Kannada language which snakes through its rich tropical forests. The Park is situated in the Kodagu and Mysore districts in the South Indian state of Karnataka, India.

Wildlife at Nagarahole

The park is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species. Some of the most prominent wildlife species found in Nagarahole National Park include Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Indian Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Four-Horned Antelope and Indian Wild Dog. Apart from these, Nagarahole National Park is also home to several species of deer, primates, reptiles, and birds.

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History of Nagarahole National Park

Before it attained the present-day status of a tiger reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, the Nagarahole National Park had a dated back journey since 1955. Formerly, near about 285 square kilometer area of forest under the then Coorg state was declared as the ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’ in the year of 1955. Later in the year 1983, by enlarging over an area of around 571.55 square kilometer, the state government promoted the Wildlife Sanctuary into the National Park. And, later in the year of 1986, Nagarahole Park along with Bandipur Tiger Reserve was included as a part of the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’.

It is important to note that in the year 2000, the Nagarahole National Park was associated under ‘Project Elephant’ in esteem of its healthy number of elephant population and it was also constituted as a part of the ‘Mysore Elephant Reserve’. And consequently in the year 2003, Nagarahole Park got the status of the Tiger Reserve by including Nagarahole under the ‘Project Tiger’ and made it an extension of Bandipur. Nagarahole was declared as an independent Tiger Reserve later in the year 2007 by notifying around 643.392 sq. km. as the Core/Critical Tiger Habitat. Ultimately, in the year 2012, the Government of Karnataka notified an area of 204.589 square kilometer as the buffer zone of Nagarahole extending the total area of the reserve administration to 848 sq. km.

nagarahole history

More about Nagarahole

Declared as the 37th Tiger Reserve of India in 1999, Nagarahole National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve backed by the Brahmagiri Mountains of the Western Ghats filled with teak and sandalwood trees at latitudes 12°15'37.69" N and longitudes 76°17'34.4" E covering an area of 847.981 sq. km. It is an important tiger reserve and a major hub of conservation under Project Tiger and Project Elephant. Adjacent to Bandipur, Mudumalai, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary together forms the largest protected area in Southern India.

With 125 individual tigers, the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve boasts to have the highest density amongst its counterparts. The Protected Area supports the large masses of herbivores and carnivores like Leopards, Tigers, Dholes or Asiatic Wild Dogs, Gaurs, Elephants, Sambar, Chital, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Four-Horned Antelope, South-Western Langur, many more such species are found here.

The Kabini River is the largest river in the national park bisecting the park into two parts cascading through the jungle landscapes and was dammed in the year 1974 for an irrigation project. Hence, Kabini and Taraka Rivers are large water bodies situated towards the west and southeastern parts of the park respectively. Along with the rivers, the park has a good number of streams and rivulets.

Nagarahole is acknowledged as the park with one of the high-density tiger populations in the country after Corbett and Kaziranga. It comprises some astonishing landscapes and phenomenal streams that twist around like a snake leaving wildlife enthusiasts and tourists astounded by its natural beauty.

Nagarahole also attracts bird enthusiasts, with its spectacular variety of birds that come to this area regularly.

Various Project Initiatives in Nagarahole

The Aim is to ensure the Critical Tiger Habitat of Nagarahole National Park that can support a viable source population of tigers and their co-predators and prey species in peace.

Eco Tourism in Nagarahole

One of the important and emerging components of the tourism industry which is clearly distinctive from ‘Mass Tourism is the concept of ‘Eco Tourism’. Practicing sustainable, equitable, community-based efforts to enhance the living standards of the local and host communities living on the outskirts of the tiger reserve. In two different zones, Eco-Tourism activity at Nagarahole Tiger Reserve is carried out. One at the Nagarahole Wildlife Range and the other one at the Antharasanthe Wildlife Range.

Best Time to Visit

The Best Time to visit Nagarahole Tiger Reserve is from the months of October to May. However, Nagarahole has a tropical climate all throughout the year so it can be visited at any point of time. But, Monsoons are wet and receive a high amount of rainfall so, this season should be avoided.

nagarahole deers

Geography of Nagarahole

Nagarahole National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which is one of the largest and oldest conservation areas backed by the Brahmagiri Mountains of the Western Ghats filled with teak and sandalwood trees at latitudes 12°15'37.69" N and longitudes 76°17'34.4" E covering an area of 847.981 sq. km. Adjacent to Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary together forms the largest protected area in Southern India. The Forests comprise of extensive flat grounds which are swampy and not stocked much by the species, locally known as ‘Hadlus’. The Kabini river separates the Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves. And, the fertile banks of the Kabini backwaters attract a large number of elephants and tigers during the peak summer months. These ecosystems are characterized by tigers and elephants as their flagships and umbrella species for conserving all the biota.Situated on the transient area between the Western Ghats and the Deccan Plateau, Nagarahole is home to bird species native to both the areas. The Varied forest types like Semi-Evergreen, Dry Deciduous, Moist Deciduous, and Thorny Scrub Forests along with the presence of the Kabini and Taraka backwaters add to the species diversity thus, it is an Important Bird Area in South India.

nagarahole geography
 geography of nagarahole

Geographically, Nagarahole lies in one of the richest biodiversity areas of our country representing the ‘5 B Western Ghats Mountains Biogeography Zone’ bounded by the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on the south-west side connecting the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary through the narrow Kutta Corridor. Towards the Western parts of the Kodagu district and crop mosaic towards the Eastern parts, the land cover around the protected area includes large tracts of forests and coffee plantations. Nagarahole is diversified by several streams like Kabini, Taraka, Nagarahole, Sarathi, and Lakshmanthirtha which further expand and become tributaries of two major rivers namely Kabini and Lakshmanthirtha which further joins the river Cauvery. The Rivers in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve act as a lifeline for local farmers living in the fringe areas. Water harvested from these streams and rivers also irrigates large areas in other districts of Karnataka & Tamil Nadu, which is critical to the entire region's agrarian development and economy. It is considered one of the ecosystem services of the Nagarahole tiger reserve, as well as a tangible outcome of tiger conservation in the Western Ghats.