Nagarhole National Park used to be the private hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore and was converted to a 285 sq kms. wildlife sanctuary in 1955. It was expanded and achieved National Park status in 1983. The average elevation is between 800m and 850m with the highest point being Masalbetta Peak at 957m and the lowest being on the banks of the Kabini River at 701m. The forest cover is primarily tropical moist deciduous, dry deciduous and tropical semi evergreen with scrub brush and grassy swamplands. Nagarhole is one of the finest habitats for the Royal Bengal Tiger and some experts also believe that it is the best place in India to see the leopard. Leopard sightings are reported on a fairly regular basis. With the onset of the pre-monsoon showers, the grandeur of Nagarhole begins to unfold. Most of the resident birds commence their breeding activities.

The air is rent with melodious calls of birds. Sprouting grass in the meadows and view lines attract elephants and the majestic Gaur in large numbers. For the tourists who come to watch the larger mammals in their natural surroundings, Nagarhole is a paradise from September to May.

Attractions:

• Wildlife: The foremost attraction in the park is its rich wildlife and the major crowd puller is undoubtedly the tiger. Other notable predators are panther, leopard, jungle cat, jackal, wild dog and sloth bear. The park has a sizeable number of elephants too and supports over 250 species of birds, which includes the Malabar trogon, Malabar pied-hornbill and the crested serpent-eagle.

• Kutta: Located near Nagarhole National Park, the place is named after Kutta, the son of Goddess Kali.

It is believed that Goddess Kali came to this place and resided here with low-caste Kurubas. It is here that she had a son named Kutta. A major festival here honors the goddess.

• Irppu Falls: Another crowd puller near Nagarhole National Park, the spot is extremely scenic. As the water gushes down Brahmagiri, a fall is formed at this spot.

• Ishwara Temple: An important pilgrim and tourist center near Nagarhole, legends have it that a Shivalinga was placed by Lord Rama himself. The temple is flocked by devotees in the mornings and is closed during the afternoon.

Accommodation:

Kings Sanctuary is a Luxury Wildlife Resort on the periphery of the Nagarhole National Park near Mysore, Kings Sanctuary is spread over 33 acres of land with its own private lake in the middle. It offers luxury cottage accommodation with all modern amenities. Mid Range hotels in Nagarhole National Park are also available.

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