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Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park – complete detail – updated

Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park – complete detail – updated. Dominant flora and fauna of Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park. In past, the park was an exclusive hunting reserve of the king of the Mysore. Between 1870 and 1980, 14% of the area of the present Park was clear-cut to raise monocultures of teak. Dense secondary forests now occur in places where these plantations failed. Until recently both the moist and dry deciduous forests have been selectively logged………..
Nagarahole was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955, and the Nagarahole wildlife sanctuary was declared as a National park in 1983. The total area of the park is about 643.39 Km2. This park was declared the 37th Project Tiger Reserve in 1999
Nagarahole is truly a delightful spot, bubbling with the activity of some of the most magnificent animals and trees. The park is dotted with enchanting greenery and forest cover, coupled with waterfalls and a wide array of wildlife. Some of the common predators that can be seen include tigers, leopards, sloth bears and wild dogs. Spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelopes, wild boars and elephants constitute the herbivores. Elephants and bison are other prime attractions. One can also spot animal species………….
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park

Nagarahole National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Kodagu and Mysore districts of the state of Karnataka. Nagarahole National Park also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park.

Nagarahole National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The park ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri hill. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which consists of a contiguous complex of Protected Areas.

Nagarahole was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955, and the Nagarahole wildlife sanctuary was declared as a National park in 1983. The total area of the park is about 643.39 Km2. This park was declared the 37th Project Tiger Reserve in 1999.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of about 6000 Km2, including all of Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi) National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a Word Heritage Site.

The Nagarahole National Park derives its name from two Kannada words ‘Naga’ meaning ‘snake’ and ‘Hole’ meaning ‘stream’. Naga meaning Snake and Hole referring to streams, rightfully means the place with snake.

Nagarhole National Park is counted among the well maintained national parks in India. Nagarahole is one of the best places to see Asiatic Elephants.

Nagarahole is truly a delightful spot, bubbling with the activity of some of the most magnificent animals and trees. The park is dotted with enchanting greenery and forest cover, coupled with waterfalls and a wide array of wildlife.

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Wildlife varieties are numerous in number. Some of the common predators that can be seen include tigers, leopards, sloth bears and wild dogs. Spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelopes, wild boars and elephants constitute the herbivores.

Elephants and bison are other prime attractions. One can also spot animal species like jackals, striped hyena, sloth bears, mouse deer, black naped hare etc. The park also has a wide variety of birds and amphibians.

History

In past, the park was an exclusive hunting reserve of the king of the Mysore. It was set up in 1955 as a wildlife sanctuary. It was upgraded into a national park in 1983. The park was declared a tiger reserve in 1999. Total area of the park is about 643.39 Km2.

Between 1947 and 1955, the Indian Government’s policy turned to harvesting as much of timber as possible, and to grow more food. Tribal and non-tribal people were encouraged to occupy Nagarahole’s ‘hadlus’, they were encouraged to cultivate rice and in addition provided cheap logging labour. There were no wildlife protection laws and hunting of predators was actively encouraged. In 1955, hunting of large mammals became illegal, but logging and encroachments into the Park continued.

Between 1870 and 1980, 14% of the area of the present Park was clear-cut to raise monocultures of teak. Dense secondary forests now occur in places where these plantations failed. Until recently, both the moist and dry deciduous forests have been selectively logged.

The Nagarahole National Park derives its name from two Kannada words ‘Naga’ meaning ‘snake’ and ‘Hole’ meaning ‘stream’ or the name Nagarahole is derived from the winding river which flows through the Park. Naga meaning Snake and Hole referring to streams, rightfully means the place with snake.

The Kabini River separates the Nagarahole National Park from the Bandipur National Park. The park boasts a healthy tiger-predator ratio, and tiger, bison. The park has recently been renamed ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’.

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Geography

The Park is located in the South-Western corner of the state of Karnataka. It is about 50 km from the major city of Mysore. Its Western boundaries touch that of the state of Kerala – and the Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The park ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri hill and south towards Kerala. The South-Eastern part of Nagarahole is drier and consequently covered by dry deciduous forests. The predominant tree species here are Dindalu, the Indian laburnam, Butea monosperma and bamboo.

The northern and western parts of Nagarahole National Park receive higher rainfall (above 1200 mm) and the vegetation here is characteristically moist deciduous. The moist deciduous forests are tall and dense.

The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls, and mainly consists of moist deciduous forest in the northern and western parts and dry deciduous forest in the south-eastern part. Plantations of teak, Rosewood, bamboo, sandal, silver oak trees and species of eucalyptus cover most of the area of the park.

The park has many water sources, its water sources include the Lakshmmantirtha River, Sarati Hole, Nagar Hole, and Kabini River. The park also has 4 perennial streams, 47 seasonal streams, 4 small perennial lakes, 41 artificial tanks, several swamps, Taraka Dam and the Kabini reservoir.

These forests are also home to two most expensive timbers – Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) and Teak (Tectona grandis). The soil in the ‘hadlus’ being clayey and perennially moist supports a lush growth of green grass throughout the year. The ‘hadlus’ therefore attract large concentrations of ungulates like gaur and sambar and significantly boost the carrying capacity of these forests.

Altitude – The Park is situated at an average elevation of 800 m to 850 m above mean sea level.

It lies between the latitudes 12°15’37.69″E and longitudes 76°17’34.4″N.

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Seasons

Winter – November to February

Summer – March to May

Monsoon – June to October

Temperature – Maximum – 40o C

                            Minimum – 10o C

Rainfall – 1000 mm to 1450 mm

Dominant flora

Dominant floral species of the park are Rosewood, Teak, Sandalwood, Silver oak, Crocodile bark, Indian kino tree, Grewia tilaefolia, Axle-wood, Crepe myrtle, Kadam, Cotton tree, India gooseberry, Ficus, Horse nettles, Tick clover, Lantana, Bonesets, Golden shower tree, Clumping bamboo, Mathi (Terminalia tomentosa), Nandi (Lagerstroemia lanceolata), Honne (Pterocarpus marsupium) and Tadasalu (Grewia tilaefolia) etc.

Dominant fauna

Mammals – Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Wild dog, Sloth bear, Hyena, Jackal, Elephant, Spotted deer, Sambar, Four-horned antelope, Gaur (Bos gaurus), Wild boar, Common langur, Bonnet macaque Jungle cat, Slender loris, Civet cat, Mongoose, Giant flying squirrel,  Porcupine, Giant Squirrel etc.

Birds – Common Peafowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Racket Tailed Drongo, Stork Billed, Pied and the Common Kingfishers, variety of Woodpeckers, Malabar Trogon, Blyth’s Baza, Crested Serpent Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Peregrine, Scarlet Minivets, Black-headed Cuckoo Shrikes, various species of Barbets, Owls, Cuckoos, Flycatchers, River Terns, Ducks, Teals, Waders, Herons, Painted Stork, Ibis etc.

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Reptiles – Crocodiles, Monitor lizard, Snakes, Python, Common Cobra, Rat Snake, Vine Snake, Bamboo Pit Viper, Common wolf snake, Russell’s viper, Common krait etc.

Nearby Attractions

Kutta

Irppu Falls

Ishwara Temple

Best time to visit

The Park is open throughout the year, the monsoon period is best avoided. The ideal time to visit the Park is between October and May.

Vehicle Safari – Timing

Morning – 05:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Evening – 03:00 PM to 07:00 PM

Boat Safari – Timing

Morning – 06:30 AM to 09:15 AM

Evening – 03:30 PM to 06:15 PM

Fee

Domestic Adult: 50

Foreigner: 150

Still Camera Fee: 50

Accommodation

1. Cauvery Lodge (I & II) – 2 beds each

Rs. 1000/- per day for Indians
Rs. 2000/- per day for Foreigners

2. Gangothri Lodge – 4 rooms, 2 beds each

Rs. 750/- per day for Indians
Rs. 1500/- per day for Foreigners

3. Dormitories – 2 Nos, 12 beds each

Rs. 50/- per day for Indians
Rs. 70/- per day for Foreigners

4. Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd., Karapura.

5. Kabini Plantations Ltd., Karapura.

6. Raman Water Wood Ltd., Karapura.

7. Jungle Inn Private Resorts, Veeranahosahally.

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How to Reach

By Air – Nearest airport is Mysore airport, about 96 Km from the Nagarhole National Park. Mysore airport is well connected by road to Nagarhole National Park.

Bengaluru is the closest international airport from the park at a distance of about 268 km. Flights to major Indian and International cities operate from Bengaluru.

By Rail – Nearest railway station is Mysore railway station. Mysore railway station is well connected by road to Nagarhole National Park.

By Road – Nagarhole National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Nagarhole National Park at frequent intervals.

Important contacts

Dy. Conservator of Forests
HUnsur Wildlife Division
Hunsur, Mysore District: Email: dcfwlhun@rediffmail.com

Field Director
Project Tiger
Aranya Bhavan, Ashoka Puram, Mysore, Phone: 0821.2480110

Chief Wildlife Warden
Aranya Bhavan
18th Cross, Malleshwaram, Bangalore 560003, Phone : 080.23341993

Assistant Conservator of Forests
Wildlife Sub-division,
Vani Vilas Road,
Mysore- 570 002,
Ph : + 91 821 211559.

Deputy Conservator of Forests
Wildlife Division,
Aranya Bhavan, Ashokpuram,
Mysore 570 008.

Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) 
2nd Floor,
Aranya Bhavan,
18th Cross, Malleswaram,
Bangalore 560 003.
Ph : + 91 80 3341993/3345192.

Other National Parks in Karnataka. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows…
S. No.  Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area (Km2)
1 Bandipur National Park Karnataka 1974 874.2
2 Bannerghatta National Park Karnataka 1974 260.51
3 Kudremukh National Park Karnataka 1987 600.32
4 Anshi national park Karnataka 1987 417.37

About Vijay Choudhary

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