Kanha Tiger Reserve > Nagarhole NP


Nagarhole is a popular national park spread over Kodagu and Mysore districts of Karnataka state in South India. It is part of Nilgiri biosphere which includes Bandipur national park, Mudumalai national park and Wayanad wildlife sanctuary. Nagarhole forest lies in south-west of Mysuru (Mysore) city and north-west of Bandipur national park. It is a scenic forest with lush green forest, streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls etc. Varying geographical conditions offers wide variety of wildlife species which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, butterflies etc. It was declared as a tiger reserve, under Project tiger in 2007-08. Earlier it was declared as national park in 1988. Just like Bandipur national park, this forest was also the hunting ground for Mysore kingdom. It was popular for tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs and wild dogs. These 5 mammal species are the prime attractions of jungle safari in Nagarhole forest. At the same time, Kabini river backwater site offers other wildlife activities like boatride, birding, nature walks etc. Its name Nagarhole is derived from two words "Nagar" means sname and "hole" refers to river. It is a tropical moist decideous forest with dense vegetation due to healthy rain fall ranging from 900 mm to 1500 mm during monsoon. Natives of this forest are tribal people, mainly from Jenu Kuruba and Koraga tribes. It can be best visited from October to May months.


Nagarhole forest area was under the Mysore kingdom. It was mainly inhabited by tribal people in wich Jenu Kuruba tribe have the strong presence in this region. Being tribal people, instead of doing agriculture, they were mainly dependent on forest products in which honey-collection was their important work. Rulers of Mysore, used this forest as their hunting reserve and often visited for hunting. Wadiyar dynasty ruled on Mysore for long time. These Wadiyar's are basically Hindu rulers from Yaduvansi which means their trace themselves from Lord Krishna Yadava clan. They ruled from 1399 to 1760. From 1760 to 1799, Mysore was under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan. After 1799, British forces reinstated Wadiyar rulers in Mysore and thus they had control over Nagarhole forest for longest period. In 1901, they passed game rules with many terms and conditions so as to put control over indiscriminate hunting in forest. In addition to this, British India officers also did many hunting expeditions in this forest. In order to arrange elephants for military purpose, British officers use to visit this forest and supervise the elephant trainning programs thus got the time to explore this forest.


Nagarhole national park is special in many ways. It is more popular for its leopard population. Here leopard sighting is good thus wildlife photographers prefers to visit this national park for leopard photography. Currently the presence of black-leopard in Nagarhole has made it hot spot for photographers. 

Safari Timing


Jungle Safari

Jungle safaris in Nagarhole national park is little bit typical. Although on record they are showing online safari permits booking but it is not in workable condition thus dependency lies on local resorts and lodges. Here two safari booking gates are  Nanchi gate near Kutta and Veeranahosahalli  near Hunsur district. As online safari booking option is available so if it is working then do advance safari permit booking else do safari permits booking through your hotel management. Here Jeep safaris and Bus safari is normally offered to tourists. Those staying at Kabini river lodge  or its nearby lodges will get the coracle ride, boat safari, nature trail, night safari also. Here safari booking system is still not very transparent thus tourists are compelled to do safaris through resorts. 



Trees Mammals Birds Reptiles

How to reach

Nagarhole national park is comfortably accessible by cab, train and flights. 

Destinations Antharasanthe Gate
(in Kms)
(in Kms)
(in Kms)
Mysuru / Mysore 65 100 65
Bengaluru 220 230 200
Bandipur National Park 120 105 130
Ooty 180 160 200
Coimbatore 240 245 250
Kozhikode 150 130 160
Coorg 125 90 95

Best time to visit

Nagarhole national park is open for tourists, throughout the year. According to their taste and suitable season, tourists can plan their trip. Major tourism takes place in October to February period. As tourists are using Bengaluru route for access to Nagarhole and Jungle Resorts and Lodges have grip over jungle safaris system thus likely or unlikely outside tourists uses Bengaluru as their arrival & departure point and thus uses Antharasanthe gate for safaris. Here Kabini backwater its associated water activities like coracle ride etc are main attractions thus tourism is decided according to backwater. In summers, water recedes thus tourism took place in Autumn and winters i.e. from October to March. For wildlife photographers, best time to visit is from February to April when chances of leopard sighting and tiger sighting increases. Leopard safari of Nagarhole is very popular among wildlife enthusiasts.

How to Plan

If you are planning for Nagarhole national park trip then you need to understand that safaris are operated through Kabini Jungle Lodge thus you have to stay in this lodge. It is a costly lodge and costing is inclusive of all the activities. Guest will use all activities or not it doesn't matter thus cost goes up. So this destination is for those wildlife enthusiasts who have good paying capacity. Here you try to visit from October to March month to enjoy the water activities. Here costing is provided on per person basis thus any combination of visitor is good. Due to presence of Bengaluru and Mysore cities, weekends often goes crowdy so try to choose weekdays (Mon to Fri) for trip.


For accommodation purpose, many luxury options are available. Still we recommend to use Kabini Jungle Lodge to have hassle free safaris and enjoy other activities also. Budget options are not so popular so try to stay in standard or deluxe options who will arrange jeep safaris for you.

Nearby Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole national park can be placed in many tour itineraries. It is surrounded by many popular tourist destinations in heritage tourism, wildlife tourism category. Some of popular places to visit are Ooty, Coorg, Mysore city, Wayanad wildlife sanctuary and Bandipur national park.

Related Safari

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