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Wildlife in India

Nagarhole (Tiger Reserve)

Area : Nagarhole national park 64,330 hectares, Bandipur National Park 87,420 hectares, Mudumalai National Park 32,155 hectares.

Established : Nagarhole National Park, 1955 as a sanctuary, 1975 as a national park. Bandipur National Park, 1931 as a sanctuary, 1941 as a national park, 1973 as a tiger reserve. Mudumalai, 1940 as a sanctuary.

The national parks of Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai are contiguous and share very similar characteristics. A fourth national park, Wynad, also adjoins them. Together they form the largest protected area for the Indian Elephant, Gaur, Tiger and Leopard in South India. Other large mallams include Liontail Macaque, Wild Boar and Sambar. The parks occupy a NW-SE alignment, with Nagarhole national park at the top, Bandipur in the middle and Mudumalai at the bottom. The forests are tropical mixed deciduous. In the northern and western parts of Nagarhole national park, which receive more rainfall, the forest are denser and taller, with hardwood trees like Rosewood, Teak and Mathi . sandalwood trees also grow here. Elsewhere in Nagarhole national park, and in Bandipur and Mudumalai national park, which lie in the rain shadow of the Western Ghats, the forests are more open with more grasslands, and the trees are stunted (hence mammal sightings are less difficult).

The drier SE corner of Bandipur National Park has scrub forests. During the dry months of March-May, Indian Elephants stay close to rivers and lakes. At this time of year, Indian Elephant sightings are unsurpassed in Nagarhole National Park, especially if you are staying at the Kabini River Lodge in Karapur. Nearby, at Mastigudi large gatherings of 100 or so Indian Elephants on the banks of the Kabini Lake are known, a sight unrivalled anywhere. Bandipur National Park is probably the best place in the subcontinent for seeing Dhole, and the Indian Giant Squirrel can be seen at Mudumalai, lying curled in trees holes or crooks of brances during the day.


Open year round, the best period being October-May, especially April-May.


Fly to Bangalore and drive to Nagarhole (6 hours) or Bandipur (6-7 hours). The nearest station railway station is Mysore. For Mudumalai National Park the nearest airport is Coimbatore (160 km) and the nearest railway station Ooty or Udhagamandalam (64 km).

Accommodation and facilities

There are a number of forest lodges and rest houses in Nagarhole-Bandipur-Mudumalai. Superior lodges and rest houses in Nagarhole-Bandipur-Mudumalai. Superior lodges include the Kabini River Lodge run by the Karnataka government at Karapur, at the edge of Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. The Gateway Tusker Lodge, at Murukal, inside the park, is scheduled to open in 1997. At the edge of Bandipur National Park, which has an excellent network of motorable roads and tracks, there are Bush Betta and Tusker Trails Cottages outside the park and a Forest Rest House at the park entrance. Near Mudumalai, there are Bamboo Banks and Jungle Hut. Riding elephants are available in Bandipur and Mudumalai national park. Most of the safaris are, however, done by 4-wheel drive vehicles. Buffalo hide coracle boats are available at the Kabini river reservoir at Nagarhole national park.


Bonner Macaque Nilgiri Langur (adjoining areas) Dhole
Smooth-coated Otter Common Palm Civet Stripe-necked Mongoose
Jungle Cat Tiger  
Wild Boar Chital Gaur
Indian Palm Squirrel Grizzled Indian Squirrel Liontail Macaque
Golden Jackal Sloth Bear  
Indian Grey Mongoose Striped Hyaena Rusty-spotted Cat
Ratel Indian Spotted Chevrotain Sambar
Nilgiri Tahr (adjoining areas) Indian Porcupine Hanuman Langur
Bengal Fox Eurasian Otter Small Indian Civet
Ruddy Mongoose Leopard Cat Leopard
Indian Elephant Indian Muntjac Four-horned Antelope
Indian Pangolin Indian Hare Red Giant Flying squirrel
Indian Giant Squirrel    

In Karnataka, the two attractive wildlife parks of Nagarhole and Bandipur, though separate entities, are part of a larger contiguous wildlife reserve that includes the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wynad Reserve in Kerala. Both the parks are easily accessible from Mysore.

Nagarhole National park, 643.39 so. km. in area, to the north of the Kabini river, has tall and dense forests. A dam on the Kabini and its picturesque reservoir separate the two parks. In the dense moist deciduous forests of this area the upper canopy reaches heights of 30m and valuable hardwoods like teak and rosewood are also to be found here.

At Nagarhole national park, too, there are excellent facilities for viewing wildlife and large groups of gaur, elephant, sambar, chital and even the occasional tiger or leopard are seen. Among other mammals are the muntjac, the tiny mouse deer, wild boar, pangolin, giant squirrel, slender loris, langurs and macaques. The Park has about 250 species of birds and the Malabar trogan, the Malabar Herd of elephants pied hornbill, the great black woodpecker, the Indian pitta and the green imperial pigeon are part of its avian variety. Lesser cats like the jungle cat, leopard cat and rusty spotted cat are also resident species.

Nagarhole National Park

Best Time to Visit : October- March

Accommodation : Kabini River Lodge with excellent facilities

Nearest town : Kutta (7 km), Mysore (80 km)

How to get there : Rail-Mysore(80km) Air-Bangalore (220 km)


Kabini River Lodge, 80 kms from Mysore and 200 kms from Bangalore, is a wildlife resort situated amid the tranquil green and the quite flowing Kabini River. The resort promises all comforts, adventure and excitement of visiting wildlife in its natural habitat. The resort offers colonial styled fourteen well appointed private lodges with modern amenities. The restaurant at the Resort offers Indian and Continental Cuisine. Best time to visit is between September to May.



Other Categories

Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)
Ranthambore National Park
Sariska National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Dudhwa National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park
Pin Valley National Park
Corbett National Park (Tiger Reserve)
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Panna National Park
Pench National Park
Namdapha National Park (Tiger Reserve)
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Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary