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Nagarhole National Park Tourism And Travel Guide
15.8° C / 60.5° F
October to February
2 to 3 Days
Mysore Airport (98 kms)
Mysore Junction Railway Station (89 kms)
Nagarhole National Park or Rajiv Gandhi National Park is situated in the Kodagu and Mysore regions of Karnataka in South India. The Park, once upon a time, was the hunting grounds of the Wodayar Kings of Mysore. It was established as a sanctuary in 1955 and into a National Park in 1988. Today the Nagarhole National Park is one of South India’s topmost tourism hubs and a significant Tiger Reserve.
Nagarhole National Park, which shares a prestigious portion of the Nilgiri Biosphere of the Western Ghats, is under consideration to be included in UNESCO’s world Heritage Sites. Placed amid the lush green environs of the Western Ghats and surrounded by more forests, rivers and rippling lakes, Nagarhole is virtually a virgin land of nature! If you’d like to visit Nagarhole, our travel guide should help you plan a memorable trip.
How to Reach
Nagarhole does not have an airport or a railway station. But it’s a beauty travelling to Nagarhole by road. The easiest way then, is to take a train to Mysore and travel by road to the Park. You'll never know who is going to cross your path!
Mysore has a domestic Airport about 98 km from Nagarhole and you can hire a cab to take you to the Park. Or you could take a flight to Kempegowda International Airport at Bengaluru, from where you can take a cab to Nagarhole.
Trains from most major cities halt at Mysore. There are cabs from the Mysore Rail Station to Nagarhole.
There are buses from Mysore to Nagarhole that halt at H. D. Kote Bus stand. Check the frequency of the buses. You might have to take a cab from the bus stand to the Park. Alternatively hire a cab directly from Mysore.
Motorbikes are not allowed inside the Park. You can drive your car inside the forest for a time limit of an hour. But there are jeep and canter safaris to take you around sightseeing.
Weather and the Best time to Visit
Nagarhole is a vast area whose landscape changes with the seasons. The forest is an all season tourist spot, but the most favourable is winter, from October to February.
Parts of dry forests get drier. Some streams turn into puddles and you can find plenty of birds and animals gathering at the waterfront to drink water. It’s a good time for sightseeing. But nevertheless, it is hot and stifling and sightseeing might be irksome.
It’s mating season for some species of reptiles, birds and amphibians and it’s lovely to hear their mating calls ring through the greenwoods. But still, it is monsoon and the incessant rains and slushy tracks would not promise much sightseeing.
Winters are pleasantly cool during the day and chillier at night. It’s the most beautiful time of the year for an unhindered sightseeing trip to Nagarhole.
Things to Do
There are over 250 species of birds in Nagarhole. Birds gather at the streams during summer and if you’re boating down the Kabini, keep your camera or binoculars ready for the water birds, or the Blue Bearded Bee Eater, Great Spotted Eagle, White Backed and Red Headed Vultures or the Blue Winged Parakeets.
Hire a coracle to drift slowly and leisurely across the Kabini. It’s a completely novel way of enjoying the backwaters and gazing at the birds and animals near the banks.
Dzongkar Choede Monastery:
Take time off to visit the Dzongkar Choede Monastery about 2 km from Nagarhole Park, towards Kurubarahosahalli. The Tibetan Palace or Choede Monastery, run by Tibetan monks set in the backdrop of a rural jungle is bound to fill you with serenity.
Enjoy a drive through the fascinating Nagarhole Road, which doesn’t fail to amaze tourists. You enter the forest through a narrow yet well maintained picture perfect curvy road with lush undergrowth and trees on both sides, dotted with herds of grazing deer.
Spot a Cat:
The most elusive tiger is the real charm of Nagarhole Park. Keep your camera ready to trap the big cat for your memorabilia, for the Nagarhole Park is one among the best places to find tigers.
You can get accommodation in luxury lodges in the riverside that can arrange safaris for you, along with a guide. Most resorts offer swimming pools, a bonfire at night with indoor and outdoor gaming activities. Otherwise there are Forest Guest Houses in the forest that are run by the Government of Karnataka. You’ll have to contact the Forest Department for booking in advance.
Most resorts offer multi cuisine food, along with the Thali meals and the specialities of Mysore and the Kodagu region. You’ll find small messes near Iruppu Falls that can cook up traditional South Indian food like idlis, dosas and bhajji. Try the Ballele Oota or traditional South Indian meal on banana leaves that is served in most vegetarian restaurants.