Nagarhole National Park,
known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is located
94 kilometers from Mysore, Karnataka in south India. It lies between
Kodagu district and Mysore district. The park is to the
northwest of Bandipur National Park, with theKabini reservoir
separating the two. The park has small streams, rich forest cover,
valleys and waterfalls. It contains an abundance of vegetation because
the area was once the exclusive hunting ground of the former rulers of
The park covers an area of 643 sq km.
Along with the adjoining Bandipur National Park (870 sq km), Mudumalai
National Park (320 sq km) and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 sq
km), it forms the largest protected area in southern India, totaling
about 2,183 sq km.
The place derives its name from
'naga' meaning snake and 'hole', which refers to streams. Set up in
1955, it is one of the best managed parks in the country. Nagarhole has
a healthy tiger-predator ratio, and the park also has more tigers,
bison and elephants than Bandipur.
The park is part of the Nilgiri
Biosphere Reserve. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is considering
selecting the area that covers the Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster
(stretching for over 6,000 sq km), including Nagarhole National Park,
as a World Heritage Site.
The park is usually closed for
safaris during the animals' mating season, and also during the monsoons.