Nagarhole National Park

A Photographers Delight

About Park

Nagarhole National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is the enchanting 640 Sq Km long wild reserve located in Kodagu and Mysore district of Karnataka. Adorned with rich forest cover at the west of the Kabini River, the Nagarhole National Park is amongst India's best-maintained national parks.

Nagarhole name has been derived from two Kannada names, Nagar means "snake" and hole meaning streams. The birth of Nagarhole National Park can be traced by the stretching area of 258 sq km when it was a hunting reserve for the Maharajas of Mysore. It included Arkeri, Hatgat, and Nalkeriin Kodagu, some of the areas of the forest. And with time, in 1974, some other reserve forests from the adjoining areas of Mysore district were added to the Nagarhole Game Reserve, and then in the year 1988, it was crowned as a national park with an area extending above 640 sq km.

Nagarhole National Park is also part of the IBA(Important Bird Area), with over 300 bird species recorded here, including some of the endemics of South India. Southern India is the land of endemics, with species found only in the area – celebrated are the Birds, Reptiles, and the Amphibians, which are simply beautiful and somewhat unique.


Types of Safaries

  • Jeep Safari

  • Canter Safari

  • Boat Safari

Places to Visit


A Picturesque Hill Station


The Architectural capital of Karnataka

MM Hills

The Male Mahadeshwara Hills

Visitor Tips


The roads that run through Nagarhole National Park are open daily from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., year-round. 


If you're embarking on a safari, expect to pay a DSLR camera fee with rates indicative of the size of your lens. 


The park has two separate safari zones: Zone A consists of a woodland area, and Zone B is a riparian zone on the Kabini backwaters. The Jungle Lodges & Resorts jeep safaris can cover only one of the zones at a time, while the Forest Department canter safaris can enter both zones, unrestricted, during one tour. 


The best time to spot animals is during the summer, in March and April when the waterholes are dry and the animals congregate near the lake. However, the temperature outside is more pleasant from November through February. 


During the monsoon season (July through October) safaris may not operate due to muddy, impassable roads, and wildlife sightings are minimal. 


The Kabini side of the park has the most tourist-friendly entrance and the best (albeit expensive) accommodations and facilities for jeep safaris. 


Arrive an hour or two in advance in order to get tickets for the canter safaris. Demand can be high, especially on weekends. People start lining up early and seats are limited. 


The best option for elephant viewing is by booking an afternoon boat ride. 


Carry binoculars, a camera, and a bird book to identify birds to make your trip more fruitful. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Nagarhole National Park is located in the districts of Mysore and Kodagu, Karnataka. The park usually has a tropical climate making it suitable to visit it any time of the year. However, summers are best suited for spotting wildlife at its best. Winters here are also pleasant and the temperature can go down as low as 10 degrees celsius. The park remains closed during the monsoon season which is from June to September. The best time for safari rides is in the month of December.

Nagarhole National Park is well connected via road, rail and air.

Nearest Railway Station: Mysore Railway Station

Nearest Airport: Bangalore International Airport

Road: If one wishes to commute through the road, taxi services are also available from nearby cities like Bangalore and Mysore. Jeeps and bikes can also be rented to reach the park.

Flora: The flora of the park includes deciduous forests, swamp forests, rosewoods and bamboo. The southern part of the park has rose, teakwood and sandalwood trees that are used for commercial purposes and trees like crocodile bark, thorny wattle and axle wood which are found on the eastern side. A few species such as gooseberry, beechwood, horsenettle, and bonesets are also present here. The most popular attractions are the golden shower trees and flame of the forest which can be seen at Nagarhole National Park. 

Fauna: Nagarhole National Park or Nagarhole Tiger Reserve is home to the famous big cat, The Royal Bengal tiger. The dense vegetation makes it a favourable place for other animal species like sloth bears, hyenas, leopards, elephants and more to exist. There is an adequate number of herbivores like deer, antelope, wild boar in order to maintain the predator-prey balance in the park. 

Some occasionally sighted mammals here include jungle cat, grey langur, Indian giant flying squirrel, European otter, mongoose and the golden jackal. The park also is famous for its bird species such as oriental white-backed vulture, the Nilgiri wood pigeon, darters, blue-winged parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill and more. Nagarhole National Park is a perfect place for muggers, Russell’s viper, Indian rock python, toads and more such species to thrive.


*Information Last Modified On: 24-Jul-2021

Contact the Park

Conservator of Forests and Director