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Nagarhole National Park
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Nagarhole National Park
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Tiger at Nagarhole National Park Located right where the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala Trijunct, Nagarhole National Park is one of the premier forests of south India.

Bandipur is one of the first forests to be designated as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. Along with Mudhumalai Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu, the twin forests of Nagarhole and Bandipur in Karnataka form a well defined tourist circuit.

The great pachyderms for which Nagarhole is so famous make free use of the corridor between the two lodges, especially after sundown. Hence the caretakers and the kitchen staff prefer to leave early for their quarters. You settle down to enjoy the sense of high drama that accompanies as one waits out for the animals in the middle of an Indian forest. Outside it is difficult to distinguish between the glittering fireflies and the twinkling stars.

In the past of the two banks of the Kabini river, flowing through the Mysore plateau was a rich green forest teeming with wildlife. The rulers of Mysore hunted here. At Karapura on the banks of the Kabini an Englishman called Sanderson set up a camp to capture elephants by the Kheda or the stockade system.

Elephant at Nagarhole National Park It was only in the early part of this century that the entire area was declared a wildlife reserve. In the 1930 the southern bank of the Kabini river was designated as the Bandipur Sanctuary and in 1955 the northern bank got the name of the Nagarhole National Park after the Nagarholay (Snake) River that meanders through this area. The irrigation dam built across the Kabini in 1947 today well distinguishes the two forests.

Sharing the same ecological features, Nagarhole and Bandipur together cover about 1500 sq. km of which 500 sq. km has been demarcated as the Wilderness Zone. On the other hand, three specialized Tourism Zones have been earmarked with well laid out game roads that pass along a diverse topography. Much to your delight at dawn hundreds of spotted deer of cheetal sauntered past our bungalow.

In fact strategically located the two bungalows offer a wide view of the forest and with little disturbance in these parts we were able to watch herds of elephants and guar. With patience and quietness it is possible to see a large number of faunal species as well as birds.

Besides the elephants and a variety of deer, it is also possible to see tigers, leopards, wild pigs, black napped hares, sloth bears, flying squirrels and fruit bats. In winter the animal concentration is higher in the Nagarhole Tourism Zone while in summer they congregate along the Karapura Tourism Zone along the Kabini river.

Kabini Karapura at Nagarhole National Park Take a trip to the Kabini - Karapura area. We went along the forest road that separates Nagarhole from the accompanying wynad Sanctuary of Kerala till the forest opened up into tracts of coffee gardens.

In the winter cold, the sun drenched lush green gardens were a pleasing sight. You go past a small town of sorts, peopled by the workers of coffee plantations, till we again met the forest road leading into the national park.

There are opportunities for taking coracle rides in the river. Indigenously made, these round shaped basket-like boats are ideally suited to watch or photograph birds and bathing elephants.

You come past the town of H.D.Kote to join the forest path at Murkal. This is the second forest check gate as you approach Nagarhole from Mysore. In fact, this area was also to be marked as a Tourism Zone and a private hotel chain had started building a laundry hotel accordingly.

As you cross coasting along the forest path, you can hear branches being broken off, twigs and leaves being snapped, as elephants snacked on lush green vegetation.

All of a sudden , a lonely elephant can arrest your progress. It can stand in the middle of the road and ponder who had right of way - him or you. Like subdued subjects, you have to wait for the king elephant to move and perhaps pleased at your humble gesture he may move into the forest.

The road cleared. You would have hardly moved a few paces when it came charging out of the forest cover. It stopped a few yards away from you and you would be were too flummoxed to flee.
We could feel the tense minutes ticking by. neither the animal nor us were eager to force an offensive.

You cannot predict how the outcome would have ended because almost immediately we heard the rumble of a distant lorry.
Suspecting its match had arrived, the elephant moved away. Waiting for a few more seconds for the lorry to appear we too beat a hasty retreat.

Birds at Nagarhole National Park Karnataka has more than twenty per cent of its area in forests. Now enticing you with the aroma of sandal and now trumpeting its wealth in elephants. These forests, as any forest, are a must for every nature lover.

Nagarhole is famous for tigers, panthers, sloth bear, barking deer and elephants. The total forest cover of Karnataka state is about 36,390 sq. km," he began with a drone. It has all the forest types except the Himalayan pines. The thick jungles of the Western Ghats, are home to many species of animals and birds and there are a total of 23 protected areas where they continue to thrive.

"The best time to visit these forests is between September to April or May".