On The Go : Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.

It’s been on your travel bucket list ever since you were a child, when you heard stories of wild animals roaming freely on Indian plains. Growing up, Discovery Channel showed you in moving picture form that this was indeed a reality.

A weekend trip to kutta, Coorg led us to Nagarhole Tiger Reserve(NTR). 

The Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park), is a national park located by the river kabini in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka state in South India.

Best way to get there:

The park derives its name from naga, meaning snake and hole, referring to streams. The park ranges the foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri Hills and South towards Kerala state.

The Park was an exclusive hunting reserve of the kings of the Wodeyar dynasty, the former rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore. It was set up in 1955 as a wildlife sanctuary and sprawls across 643.39 km and was upgraded into a national park in 1988. The park was declared a tiger reserve in 1999. Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Just as you drive in, the landscape of NTR drinks you in. Surrounded by army of trees, bathed in golden sunshine, rewards us with solitude and sweeping view of the misty jungle ahead. 

Forest in different lights

NTR has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The contrasts are compelling. The landscape is a crafty chameleon, changing its shape, it’s soil and it’s soul.


It has a gigantic expressive range: From shy water bodies to rich flirtatious trees. NTR, though in Karnataka, is located close to the tamil Nadu and Kerala border. The demographics and psychographics of the place has such a magical live in relationship.

The rocks are wrinkled by the weather. The air fresh and crisp.

Indian Giant Squirrel

The wildlife reserve at the banks of the expansive river Kabini, Nagarhole offers a destination set amidst greenery and wildlife at its prime.

Considered to be one of the best places to experience nature’s beauty in Karnataka, Nagarhole is a treat wildlife lovers. 


Not only is the reserve laden with natural beauty of lush green tropical forests, it is also a place you would get the pleasure of looking at herds of elephants, spot animals like sambar, langurs, chital, bison, sloth bear, crocodile, giant squirrels, mouse deers, pythons, tiger and leopards, and watch tens of different varieties of birds. 

Indian bison

The park has a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants.


We spotted a few animals and birds but we missed out on spotting tigers. But there is always a next time.

Elephants cooling down at the pond.

The park is open from 6am to 6pm. And safari rides, arranged by the forest dept, take you deep into the restricted areas. It is not to be missed. 

It’s best to book tickets for the tour, well in advance via online, as seatings are very limited.

To understand the forest fully it is not enough to use just your eyes. One has to smell it and listen to it as well to let it impact thoroughly. A forest shows us the pristine hand of creation and helps to remind us that we are all one, sharing a common evolutionary heritage and ancestry that makes us no less or more significant than the animals we come out to see.

Though hugely populated, the animals speak a language in their silence. They drawf you. Man is, after all, a midget compared to nature.
TIP: Don’t forget to Carry binoculars and water bottles. 

Important information

  • The park is open throughout the year.
  • Safaris are conducted by the forest department and hence only seats can be booked on the vehicles run by the forest department.
  • A safari via the bus costs 300 rupees per head and 1700 rupees per head via open jeeps. *The Park fees & rules are subject to change without prior notice.
  • As a government law, a copy of your identification proof will be required to reserve safaris.
  • As a government law, you will be required to carry your Original Identification proof during safaris.

For collaboration and queries, contact me at ping@sammienatorr.com 


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