Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

About the park

Nagarhole is a combination of two Kannada terms, 'Nagara' meaning 'Cobra' and 'Hole' meaning 'River'. This National Park has been named after the river 'Nagarhole' which snakes through its rich tropical forests. Here, the legend and romance of Kabini is played out and revolves around the pristine river that forms an aqueous boundary with the Bandipur National Park. Take a boat ride down the river or hop into a van and explore the forests. The rich biodiversity will leave you in awe.

Anish Andheria -
Sanctuary Photo Library

Together, this area constitutes the largest contiguous forest cover in this part of the world and is part of the Nilgiri biosphere, the largest in Asia, and home to the largest concentration of herbivores in Asia; it is home to the largest congregation of Asiatic Elephants in the world. These forests also consist of three major predators of the region - tiger, leopard and dhole or wild dog, all three co-existing in high densities.

Other animals that have made their habitat in Nagarhole are Indian bison, porcupines, jackals, hyenas, Sloth bears, and not to mention Niligiri tahrs and Niligiri langurs, among many others. The Kabini River and several smaller streams running through the forest provide great views of the natural landscape and as well as ample opportunities to spot various fauna out for a drink.

Nagarhole was ruled by the Lingayat kings of Kodagu until the British colonial administration established hegemony in the 1850s. The presence of dilapidated irrigation tanks suggests that there were agricultural enclaves within the forested landscape. From the 1890s, the forests were gradually demarcated and notified as government-owned reserved forests. In 1955, a 285 sqkm area was gazetted as the Nagarhole Game Sanctuary. The same was extended in 1974 with some reserved forests from the Mysore district being added to bring the total area to the present 644 sqkm. This was also accorded the status of a National Park in 1974.

The Kabini dam submerged large tracts of forest creating a huge lake, parts of which are within the national park. During the dry season when the lake dries out, it leaves only the main river visible and the resulting open plain creates an abundance of fresh grass. This microhabitat provides fresh grass when the rest of the park is drying out and it plays host to large herds of elephants and other creatures of the forest, all easy to see.

With pleasant temperatures all year round, and the plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities, Nagarhole is bound to be on any nature enthusiast’s list of must-visit places.

Park timing

Winter and Summer: Morning: 6 am to 8.30 am | Evening: 3 pm to 5.00 pm

Present prices for safaris

Mini bus: INR 100 (US$ 1.4) per person
Jeep Safari: INR 700 for Indian Nationals | INR 1,500 for Foreign Nationals

How to book jeep safaris: Safaris can be booked through resorts and tour operators.

Any restrictions and rules:

Video camera: INR 1,000 (US$ 16.5) Still camera: INR 150 (US$ 2.5)

Latest information on tourism zones: No zone system

Any new activities allowed: Boating in river Kabini, Nature trail on the shores of Kabini river, Elephant rides. Still water rafting, white water rappelling arranged by private lodges, Visit to Irrupu falls


April 2017

In the Kabini area, a black panther has been sighted quite regularly. Sightings have improved in the last year with three tigresses in the Kabini-Nagarhole National Park Tourism Zone with cubs. One of these tigresses was killed by the Karnataka Forest Department by mistake in January 2017, due to over dosage of tranquiliser, when she killed a cow outside the national park in the village. Her cubs, approximately aged 9-10 months are presumed dead.

April 2016

Nagarhole Update

The past year has seen repeated sightings of a tigress and her three cubs at various watering holes. Frustratingly though, under the aegis of protect the tigress, certain parts of the park that are usually open to tourists have been closed. Another young and bold female tigress also seems very active and is often sighted on main safari tracks in the river bank zone. In addition to common leopards, a male and female black panther (Melanistic leopards) are often sighted at the Nagarhole Dam, just in time for the Jungle Book relaunch! Elephants have started congregating on the Kabini river banks making for great sightings. Since the water level in the backwater is pretty low, pods of smooth-coated otters are often sighted here. Crocodiles nesting and guarding their territory have also been sighted during boat safaris. Migratory birds have also been visiting Kabini to forage in the backwater — a few hundred bar-headed geese are regularly seen roosting on newly formed Islands.

Park safari timings have now been revised: 6.30 am to 9.30 am and 4.00 pm to 6.30 pm.

Lodge News

Waterwoods Lodge & Resorts (Quality PUG Eco Rating)

Nagarhole Update

Over the past two years, Waterwoods has helped raise around Rs. 14,00,000 from charity golf tournaments in Bangalore for WWF – Karnataka’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme. Proceeds from this tournament go to schools in and around Nagarhole National Park.

In January, Waterwoods successfully installed eight solar lighting systems in all schools across Belathur Gram Panchayat. It enrolled 73 children from five schools into the Nature Club of India Programme.

In February, the resort, in association with the Antarsanthe and DB Kuppe Wildlife Range Offices, organised a 15-km walkathon (to raise awareness on forest fires) with 150 students across 14 villages from the two ranges. Awareness pamphlets in Kannada (the local language) on forest fires were conceptualised by WWF- India and handed over to all the villages on the fringes of the forest. Karnataka Forest Department distributed calendars on forest fires to all the villagers.

In March, the resort arranged for several saplings to be planted by school children in the Kabini area, held a poster competition on renewable energy and commemorated Earth Hour with schools and the community.

Contact Mr. Rohan at

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