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Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

© Anish Andheria

Forest in Nagarhole © Anish Andheria

Tiger with cubs © Anish Andheria

Great Egret © Anish Andheria

Asian Elephant © Anish Andheria

Forest in Nagarhole © Anish Andheria

Asian Elephants in Nagarhole © Orange County

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

South India

Looking to view some of India’s most impressive herds of elephants? Then, you’re in the right place. This park is part of a contiguous 5,500 square kilometre landscape (ideal habitat for these pachyderms) of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, bordering three States in the Western Ghats - Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Named after the river Nagarhole that snakes through its rich tropical forests, it is a combination of two Kannada terms, Nagara meaning cobra and hole meaning river. Together with Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai and other Protected Areas, this region constitutes the largest contiguous forest covering in Asia. It is home to the largest congregation of Asiatic elephants in the world and the Indian bison or gaur. It also has one of the greatest densities of tigers (fifteen tigers per 100 square kilometres) and the largest population on the continent with 406 individuals at the last census, many having been studied for years by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) rese...archers. But don’t just look for the mega fauna; look into the treetops for arboreal giant squirrels, flying snakes, or one of the 300 bird species from Malabar pied hornbills to rusty-tailed fly catchers. The Lingayat kings of Kodagu ruled Nagarhole until the British colonial administration established hegemony in the 1850s. In 1955, a 285 square kilometre 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 square kilometres. It was accorded the status of a National Park in 1974.
Game drives in converted open top government-owned vehicles are the only form of wildlife viewing, so ensure you book early and enlist a good guide to get the most from a visit. The Mule-hole River and the banks of the Kabini River are all excellent spots to look out for elephants in summer. A coracle or a boat ride down the Kabini River usually results in good sightings of large and small mammals that have come to the banks for a drink and the birds that flock around the shores. A tour can also be arranged to one of the tribal villages within the reserve to experience the life of the Kurubas.
These forests consist of three major predators - tiger, leopard and dhole, all three co-existing in high densities thanks to high densities of prey like spotted, mouse and barking deer. Other animals that have made their habitat in Nagarhole are Indian bison, porcupines, jackals, hyenas, and sloth bears. Several species of venomous snakes, a cornucopia of reptiles including a ying frog and raptors like the changeable hawk eagle, rufous-bellied hawk eagle and grey-headed fish eagle are also found here. More recently there have been sightings of a black panther.
Nature walking trail on the shores of Kabini river take you a step closer to things you might have missed in a hurry. Small critters, colourful flowers and birds are just some of the things you can spot here. Still water rafting and rappelling can be arranged by private lodges for those looking for adventures. Visit the Irrupu Falls or, on your way home, the historic fort of Seringapatnam or the city of Mysore
Well protected and one of India’s best studied Protected Areas, threats to the park come from illegal cutting of sandalwood and teak trees and poor planning and development. Forest fires and seasonal droughts leading to water shortage have caused many wild animals to migrate to other greener spaces. There are also many cases of human-wildlife conflict due to raids by wild animals and elephants on nearby villages along with the consequent retaliation by villagers. Investment in elephant proof trenches and PARK INFORMATIONHow to Book:Safaris can be booked through resorts and tour operators.Park Timings: Morning : 06:00 am to 09:30 amEvening : 03:30 pm to 06:30 pmGetting Around the Park:Jeeps, elephant and boats can be hired for safaris from the lodge or your tour operator.Entry Fees:Prices for safaris are R 1,720 for Indian Nationals and R 2,720 for Foreign Nationals By Air: Mysore (96 km), Bengaluru (236 km) By Rail / Road: The nearest railway station is in Mysore. Transport can be hired on arrival or you may drive your own vehicle here. The nearest town is Kutta (7 km).solar fencing around the park helps but is not fool proof for these intelligent creatures. Your visit is crucial to support the local economy, but please also report abuse or poor practice at Consider support for: Wildlife First Wildlife Conservation Society

Destination Information

How To Book

Safaris can be booked through resorts and tour operators.

Park Timings

Morning : 06:00 am to 09:30 am Evening : 03:30 pm to 06:30 pm

Getting Around the Park

Jeeps, elephant and boats can be hired for safaris from the lodge or your tour operator.

Entry Fees

Prices for safaris are R 1,720 for Indian Nationals and R 2,720 for Foreign Nationals
By Air: Mysore (96 km), Bengaluru (236 km) By Rail / Road: The nearest railway station is in Mysore. Transport can be hired on arrival or you may drive your own vehicle here. The nearest town is Kutta (7 km).
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Wildlife Travel Guide

Eco-friendly properties in the area

Waterwoods Lodge & Resorts

One of the oldest privately owned resorts in the area, Waterwoods is located on a picturesque river front on the northern shores of the Kabini backwater’s.

Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Kabini

Cleverly inspired in design by the Kadu Kuruba Hadis, the local tribal village homestead, this picturesque wilderness resort is bordered on two sides by the Kabini reservoir

Other Destinations To Combine


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Nilgiris – Cherambadi – Mudumalai

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You can lose yourself in the lush green forests of the Nilgiris and return to experience it

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

South India

Nagarhole is a combination of two Kannada terms, 'Nagara' meaning 'Cobra' and 'Hole' meaning

Travel Here with the Best Travel Companies & Agents

Plan you Indian holiday, Nepal adventure, or Bhutan visit using one of a large number of the world’s best known travel companies, or Indian based agents to put your very own itinerary together. Every travel company here has committed to drive their own sustainable travel practices, seek PUG certified accommodation providers wherever possible and support our conservation efforts.

Now you can enjoy a flawless and carefree travel itinerary to many of Indian subcontinent’s greatest wilderness destinations and combine this with its rich cultural and historic heritage.

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