A weekened getaway to Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park is located in Kodagu district and Mysore district of Karnataka. The National Park is blessed with rich wildlife, attractive forest area, picturesque lake, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. This is one of the best wildlife getaways of the State. This is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. [caption id="attachment_1465" align="alignnone" width="300"]nagarhole Nagarhole National Park[/caption] The Park covers an area of 643.39 sq. kms. The dense forests here are home to Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) , Indian Palm Squirrel also known as Three Striped Palm Squirrel, Indian giant squirrel or Malabar Squirrel, Flying squirrel, Slender loris, Royal Bengal tiger, Sambar (deer), Porcupine , Wild Boar , Panther , Pangoline , Otter, Striped necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis), Small Indian Mongoose, Common Mongoose, Bonnet Macaque, Sloth Bear, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Common Langur, Wild Dog, Jackal , Civet Cat , Gaur, Elephant and about 270 species of birds. [caption id="attachment_1466" align="alignnone" width="300"]nagarhole1 Nagarhole National Park[/caption] Nagarhole stands out as a perfect destination for trekking filled team tours. You can experience the wildlife in the region in their natural habitat itself, the wonderful landscape of the area and also can watch some rare incredibly beautiful birds. Travellers can also interact with the traditional inhabitants of the land, the hunter-gatherer Jenu Kuruba people. They still live in this Park. The main tourist attraction nearby is the Irpu Falls at about 20 kms from the Park. Iruppu Falls is also known as LakshmanaTirthaFalls. The waterfall is located in the Brahmagiri Range at a height of 60 meters. Irpu Falls will merge and join Kaveri River making the spot a paradise for adventure filled white water rafting. For white water rafting, monsoon months are the best. [caption id="attachment_1467" align="alignnone" width="300"]jeepsafari Jeep Safari[/caption] There are a wide range of adventurous activities for the tourists such as Jungle safaris, visit to tribal villages, Bullock-cart safaris, Coracle river rides, trekking, bird watching, Spoor tracking with tribals and also angling with the tribals. [caption id="attachment_1468" align="alignnone" width="300"]jeepsafari1 Jungle safari[/caption] The Park remains closed for long stretches during the rains ie; the months between July and October. The best time to view wildlife is during summer season ie; from April to May. Winter Season lasting from November to February is also comfortable. [caption id="attachment_1469" align="alignnone" width="300"]elephant-safari1 Elephant Safari[/caption] Nagarahole National Park forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve together with Bandipur National Park (875 sq. kms) and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (325 sq. kms) to its South East and Wayanad (350 sq. kms) to the South-West. There are a few buses that operate right through the National Park. It is always better to travel to the Park after reaching one of the towns on the fringes like Kutta, Gonikoppal or Hunsur. Kutta is a small border town in the Kodagu district located outside the southern entrance to Nagarhole National Park. There are frequent bus services from Kerala to Kutta, as it is just a few kms from the Kerala State border. After reaching Kutta the best option of transportation is hiring a jeep to reach the place where the safari starts. Another route to reach the Park is via Virajpet located about 45 kms northwest of Kutta. The place has plenty of bus services to Coorg. From Virajpet, at about 16 kms another village, Gonikoppal were the road from Kutta, Virajpet and Hunsur meet. You can get bus from Gonikoppal to Kutta. Another town near to the Park with good bus transportation is Hunsur. The town is about 50 kms from Hunsur. From Hunsur you can reach the Park by jeep or any other local safaris. Mysore is the nearest railway station for Nagarhole. At limited timings buses are there to Nagarhole. The Wildlife Safari timings and charges are indicative and may change any time, or they may cancel in last minutes due to bad weather conditions, heavy rains, non-availability of vehicles, manpower, etc. So, before your trip you should contact the Karnataka Forest Department and confirm. There are many holiday resorts in Nagarhole mostly nestled along the periphery of the Nagarhole National Park that offers a comfortable stay along with birding, trekking, conservation walk, and night conservation outing.

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