The name Nagarhole is
derived from the Kannada `Naga' meaning `snake' and `Hole' meaning
`streams'. A number of streams snake through the rich tropical
forests of Nagarhole which is situated in picturesque districts of
Kodagu and Mysore in Southern Karnataka.
National Park Nagarhole
(“Snake River”) National Park extends 640 square kilometres north
from the Kabini River, dammed in 1974 to form a picturesque artificial
lake. During they dry season (Feb-June), this perennial water source
attracts large numbers of animals, making it a potentially prime spot
for sighting wildlife. The forest here is of the moist-deciduous
type-thick jungle with a 30m-high canopy-and more impressive than
Bandipur’s drier scrub.
disaster struck Nagarhole in 1992, when friction between local pastor
list “tribals” and the park wardens over grazing rights and
poaching erupted into a spate of arson attacks. Thousands of acres of
forest were burned to the ground. The trees have grown back in places,
but it will be decades before animal numbers completely recover. An
added threat to the fragile jungle tracts of the region is a notorious
female gang of wood smugglers from Kerala, who have developed a
fearsome and almost mythical, Amazon-like reputation.
Nagarhole is only worth visiting at the height of the dry season, when
its muddy river banks and grassy swamps, or hadlus, offer
better changes of sighting gaur (Indian bison), elephant, dhole
(wild dog), deer, boar, and even the odd tiger or leopard, than any of
the neighbouring sanctuaries. Nagarhole is open year-round, but avoid
the monsoons, when floods wash out most of its dirt tracks, and
leeches make hiking impossible.