Karnataka – A land situated in the south west of India, blessed with natures splendor. Ageless monuments, world heritage sites, lush green forests, amazing wildlife, spectacular waterfalls, romantic hill stations, timeless temples, pristine beaches, vibrant art & culture.
Suggested Itinerary KARNATAKA
Nagarhole NP Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park is spread between Kodagu and Mysore district of Karnataka State in India. Bandipur National Park is located to the south of this park and picturesque Kabini reservoir separates these two. Together with Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, the park forms the largest protected forest in southern India. This national park falls under Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and one of the bio-diversity hotspot of the country. This 643 Sq. Km. National park was established as Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1955 and later in the year 1988 it converted into National Park. Originally the forest was the hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Mysore. The park got its name from the combination of two Kannada words, ‘Nagar’ means snake and ‘Hole’ means stream. The landscape of the park comprises of gentle slopes and shallow valleys with thick forest cover. Some rivers like Kabini & Lakshmmantirtha, numerous reservoir and other perennial streams crisscrossing the park area are the source of water for wildlife and is one of the reasons for developing rich ecological heritage within the park. The area receives more than 1400 mm of rainfall annually which shaped its natural forest in very vibrant way. Due to its presence within Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and proximity of Western Ghats hills, numerous endemic mammalian and avifaunal species flourished in the area.
Flora and Fauna:
The vegetation of Nagarhole National Park consists of mainly Mixed Deciduous Forest, Dry Tropical Forest and Swamp Forest. The forest ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading over to the hillside and south towards Kerala. Main trees found in the park area are Rosewood, Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oak. More than 30 species of Mammals are found in the park. Tiger is the main carnivores species of the park and attracts thousands of people every year to this area. Wild Dog or Dhole is found in good numbers in pack. Elusive Leopard is also not very difficult to spot. Other big carnivores found here are Jackals and Stripped Hyena. Wild Boar is plenty in the park. The park has got large number of Gaur and Asian Elephant which are found in abundance. Herbivores species like Spotted Deer or Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Four-horned Antelope and Mouse Deer present in the park makes a good pray base for carnivores species. Other notable mammalian species found in the park are Common Palm Civet, Brown Mongoose, Black-napped Hare, Indian Pangolin, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Slender Loris, Common Otter etc.
The park is a important bird area of the region which shelters more than 270 species of birds including some endemic species like Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Malabar Grey Hornbill etc. Other notable avifaunal species recorded from the area are White-rumped Vulture, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Red-headed Vulture, White-bellied Treepie, White-cheeked Barbet, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Painted Bush Quail, Sirkeer Malkoha, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black and Orange Flycatcher etc.
Western Ghats are famous for its reptilian species. Some of the interesting snake species found here are Common vine Snake, Common Wolf Snake, Bamboo Pit Viper, Russell’s Viper, King Cobra, Indian rock python etc.
Bandipur NP Karnataka
Bandipur National Park, spreading over 874 sq. km at the foothills of Western Ghat is situated in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka state in India. The park is located on the southern part of Kabini River. This unique ecosystem, part of Nilgiri biosphere reserve is a bio-diversity hotspot of sothern India. Bandipur National Park together with Nagarhole National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary create the biggest protected forest area in southern India spreading over 2183 Sq. Km. 90 Sq.km. of forest in this area was converted into protected forest by Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1931. Later realizing the small size of the area for effective conservation of wildlife, it was increased over 800 Sq. Km and declared as National Park. Initially name of the park was Venugopala National Park. It was renamed as Bandipur National Park when government took the area under Project Tiger Scheme in the year 1974. The park is famous for its pristine forest and undulating landscape. Other than Kabini River, Nagor and Moyar River also flow through the park which helps to flourish the jungle of the area and also main source of water for the wildlife. Due to its location within Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and continuity with adjacent National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary which makes a corridor for the movement of wildlife, the Bandipur National Park creates a environment to flourish some of the endangered and endemic species of wildlife found in southern India.
Flora and Fauna:
Flora of the park consists of Mixed Deciduous Forest and Tropical Dry Fortes. Rich Teak forest is covered a major part of the park. Other valuable timber found here are Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) and Sandlewood (Santalum album). Other trees and plants found here includes Indian Laurel (Terminalia tomentosa), Indian Kino Tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), Giant Clumping Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), Kadam (Adina cordifolia), Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), Flame of the Forest ( Butea monosperma) etc.
As a tiger reserve the park is home to more than seventy Bengal Tigers which makes it a prime tiger destination of south India. Due to favorable habitat the park also shelters more than 3000 Asian Elephant. Other than tigers, predator species found in the park are Leopard, Wild Dog or Dhole, Stripped Hyena and Jackal. Sloth Bear and Wild Boar are found in good number. Herbivores species commonly sighted here are Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Four-horned Antelope or Chowsingha. Other mammalian species found here are Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Mouse Deer, Rusty Spotted Cat, Black-napped Hare, Ruddy Mongoose, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Small Indian Civet, Common Indian Otter, Slender Loris, Indian Pangolin, Porcupine, Malabar Giant Squirrel etc.
Bandipur is very rich and famous for its avifaunal species. Species like Malabar Trogon, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Parakeet and Sri Lanka Frogmouth are some of the endemic and endangered bird species found in the park. Other notable avifaunal species has been recorded in the park are Red Spurfowl, Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Eurasian Spoonbill, Spot- billed Pelican, Red-necked Falcon, Merlin, Laggar Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle, Booted Eagle, Demoiselle Crane, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Blue-faced Malkoha, Brown Fish Owl, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Hurt-spotted Woodpecker, Indian Pitta, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch etc.
Notable reptilian species found in the park are Marsh Crocodile, Rock Python, Russel’s Viper, Green Keelback, Bamboo Pit Viper etc.
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