Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park UPSC

Nagarhole National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is a prominent wildlife reserve located in the state of Karnataka, India. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Nagarhole National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity and serves as an important habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna. It is particularly known for its population of elephants and tigers, making it one of the prime destinations for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Table of Contents

  • Nagarhole National Park Location
  • Nagarhole National Park History
  • Nagarhole National Park Area
  • Nagarhole National Park River
    • Nagarahole River
  • Nagarhole National Park Lake
    • Kabini Reservoir
  • Nagarhole National Park Flora
  • Nagarhole National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
    • Amphibians
  • Top Things to do in Nagarhole National Park
  • Nagarhole National Park UPSC Questions

Nagarhole National Park Location

Nagarhole National Park is located in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. It is situated in the Kodagu and Mysuru districts of the state. The Park lies in the Western Ghats and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

The park shares its borders with the Bandipur National Park in the south and the Kabini Reservoir in the north, which enhances its natural beauty and ecological significance. It is easily accessible by road from nearby cities and towns, and there are regular bus services available to reach the park.

Nagarhole National Park Nearest Airport:

  • Mysore Airport (98 km)
  • Bangalore International Airport (236 km)

Nagarhole National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station is Mysore Railway Station, which is 96 km away.

Nagarhole National Park History

Nagarhole National Park has a rich history that dates back several decades. Here is an overview of its history:

Early History: The region where Nagarhole National Park is located has a history of human settlement dating back to ancient times. The area was inhabited by indigenous tribal communities, including the Jenu Kurubas and Betta Kurubas, who have lived in harmony with the forest for centuries.

Hunting Reserve: In the 19th century, the area was established as a hunting reserve by the Maharajas of Mysore, who used it as a private game reserve. The British also participated in hunting activities in the region during the colonial period.

Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1955, Nagarhole was declared a wildlife sanctuary, primarily to protect the area's diverse wildlife, including its significant population of elephants. The sanctuary covered an area of about 258 square kilometers (100 square miles) at that time.

Part of Biosphere Reserve: In 1986, the government of India created first biosphere reserve of India as Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and includes Nagarhole National Park. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve spans across the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala

National Park Status: In 1988, the sanctuary was upgraded to national park status, expanding its boundaries to encompass a larger area. The park was named Nagarhole National Park, derived from the Kannada words "naga" (snake) and "hole" (streams), which refer to the many serpentine rivers that flow through the park.

Renaming: In 1992, the park was renamed Rajiv Gandhi National Park in honor of the late Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. However, the original name, Nagarhole National Park, is still widely used and recognized.

Tiger Reserve: Nagarhole National Park was declared tiger reserve in 1999 under Project Tiger. It is the 37th Tiger reserve in India.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Nagarhole National Park is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which was declared a UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2000. The reserve encompasses several protected areas in the Western Ghats, including national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and is recognized for its exceptional biodiversity.

Elephant Reserve: In 2000, Nagarahole was included in the “Mysore Elephant Reserve” and became a part of “Project Elephant” due to its significant population of elephants. 

UNESCO World Heritage Site: In 2012, Western Ghats was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding universal values in terms of biodiversity and ecological significance. Nagarhole National Park is a part of Western Ghats. The Western Ghats is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of India, spanning several states including Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

Nagarhole National Park Area

Nagarhole National Park covers an approximate area of 643 square kilometers (248 square miles). The park's area is characterized by dense forests, rolling hills, streams, and water bodies, making it an ideal habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Nagarhole National Park River

Nagarahole River:

The Nagarahole River flows through Nagarhole National Park. It meanders through the park, enriching its diverse ecosystems with its water flow. The river serves as a lifeline for the flora and fauna within Nagarhole National Park, providing a water source for animals, supporting aquatic life, and contributing to the overall ecology of the region.

As the Nagarahole River continues its course, it eventually merges with the Kabini River. The confluence of these rivers creates a scenic and dynamic environment within the park, attracting wildlife and offering visitors an opportunity to witness the beauty of nature.

Nagarhole National Park Lake

Nagarhole National Park is home to several lakes and reservoirs that add to the beauty and ecological significance of the park. One of the prominent lakes in Nagarhole National Park is the Kabini Reservoir.

Kabini Reservoir:

The Kabini Reservoir, also known as Kabini Lake, is located on the southeastern boundary of Nagarhole National Park. It is a man-made reservoir formed by the damming of the Kabini River. The reservoir not only serves as a water source but also enhances the scenic appeal of the park.

The Kabini Reservoir attracts a diverse range of wildlife, including numerous bird species, elephants, gaur (Indian bison), and other animals that come to the lake to drink and cool off. Visitors to the park can enjoy boat safaris or coracle rides on the reservoir, allowing them to explore the picturesque landscapes and observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

Nagarhole National Park Flora

Nagarhole National Park is known for its rich and diverse flora, with a wide range of vegetation types found within its boundaries. The park encompasses various ecosystems, including tropical and moist deciduous forests, evergreen forests, and grasslands. Here are some of the notable flora species found in Nagarhole National Park:

Teak (Tectona grandis): Teak trees are abundant in Nagarhole National Park. They are highly valued for their durable timber and are one of the dominant tree species in the park's forests.

Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia): Rosewood trees, with their beautiful timber, can be found in the Nagarhole National Park. They are known for their deep reddish-brown color and are often targeted by illegal logging due to their high commercial value.

Sandalwood (Santalum album): Sandalwood trees are also found in Nagarhole National Park. They are highly prized for their aromatic wood and are protected due to their vulnerability to illegal harvesting.

Indian Kino Tree (Pterocarpus marsupium): The Indian Kino tree, also known as Malabar Kino or Vijayasar, is native to the region and has medicinal properties. It is used in traditional medicine and known for its astringent and anti-diabetic properties.

Bamboo (Bambusa spp.): Several species of bamboo can be found in the park, including the giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus). These fast-growing plants play a vital role in providing food and shelter for various wildlife species.

Grasslands: Nagarhole National Park is also home to extensive grassland areas, which provide important grazing grounds for herbivores such as deer, elephants, and gaur (Indian bison).

Apart from these key species, Nagarhole National Park supports a wide variety of other trees, shrubs, climbers, and undergrowth plants that contribute to its diverse ecosystems. The park's flora provides crucial habitat and food sources for the park's wildlife, making it an important ecosystem for conservation and biodiversity.

Nagarhole National Park Fauna (Nagarhole National Park Animals)

Nagarhole National Park is famous for which animal?

Nagarhole National Park is renowned for its rich and diverse fauna, with a wide array of wildlife species inhabiting its varied ecosystems. The park is home to numerous mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. 

Here are some of the notable fauna species found in Nagarhole National Park:


  • Bengal Tiger
  • Asian Elephants 
  • Indian Leopard
  • Chital (Spotted Deer)
  • Indian Mouse Deer
  • Gaur
  • Stripe-necked and Ruddy Mongooses
  • Grey Langur
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Asian Wild Dog
  • Sloth Bear
  • Dhole
  • Striped Hyena 
  • Wild Pig
  • Indian jackal 
  • Four-horned Antelope
  • Wild Boar
  • Red Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Indian Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Jungle Cat 
  • Leopard Cat 
  • Small Indian Civet 
  • Asian Palm Civet  
  • Eurasian Otter 
  • Indian Spotted Chevrotain 
  • Indian Hare 
  • Indian Pangolin 
  • Indian Crested Porcupine


  • White-rumped Vulture 
  • Lesser Adjutant 
  • Greater Spotted Eagle 
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon 
  • Oriental Darter 
  • Black-headed Ibis 
  • Grey-headed Fish Eagle 
  • Red-headed Vulture
  • Blue-winged Parakeet 
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • White-bellied Treepie 
  • White-cheeked Barbet 
  • Indian Scimitar Babbler 
  • Malabar Trogon
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • Blue-bearded Bee-eater 
  • Common Osprey


  • Mugger Crocodile 
  • Asian Vine Snake 
  • Indian Wolf Snake
  • Oriental Rat snake 
  • Bamboo Pit Viper 
  • Russell's Viper 
  • Common Krait 
  • Indian Python 
  • Bengal Monitor 


  • Chunam Tree Frog 
  • Green Pond Frog 
  • Golden Bullfrog 
  • Asian Common Toad

Top Things to do in Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park offers a range of exciting activities and experiences for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and wildlife of the park. Here are some of the top things to do in Nagarhole National Park:

  • Wildlife Safari
  • Boat Safari 
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks and Hiking
  • Visit Tribal Villages
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Relax and Rejuvenate

Nagarhole National Park UPSC Questions

Q. What is Nagarhole National Park also known as?

A. Nagarhole National Park is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park.

Q. Which river passes through Nagarhole National Park?

A. Nagarhole river passes through Nagarhole National Park.

Q. Where is Nagarhole National Park?/Nagarhole National Park in which state?/Nagarhole National Park which district?/Where is Nagarhole National Park situated?

A. Nagarhole National Park is located in the Kodagu and Mysuru districts of Karnataka, India. 

Q. How many tigers are there in Nagarhole National Park?

A. Nagarahole National Par has 125 individual tigers

Nagarhole National Park

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