Nestled in the expansive Western Ghats of Karnataka, Coorg is a district and holiday destination of South India. It is known for its scenic and scented coffee plantations, which cover large tracts of land. Quaint hamlets, undulating terrains, woody slopes and sparkling cascades adorn the landscape of this peaceful hill station, which is a paradise for nature lovers from all over the world. Another aspect of the region that draws the attention of tourists is its rich history, which is replete with sagas of brave warriors and colonial rule. Impressive buildings from the royal and colonial times are dotted across the district. Tourists coming on a Coorg trip are astonished by its pristine charm and well-preserved heritage, which together make it a perfect holiday getaway in the south. Apart from natural sights and historical sites, this place is famous for its large wildlife reserve – Nagarhole National Park.
An Excursion into the Wild
Alternatively known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole National Park is a renowned wildlife conservation spot in the south of India. It falls under the geographical territory of two different districts in Karnataka – Mysore and Coorg. Nagarhole forms an integral part of its namesake biosphere reserve, which is tucked away in the Western Ghats. Initially formed as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955, Nagarhole was raised to its present status of a national park in 1983. In 1999, it was declared as a tiger reserve under the famous Project Tiger, which is a remarkable government initiative to preserve the endangered tiger population in India. It derives the name from two words – naga and hole, which mean snake stream when combined. The reason behind such naming is the presence of several perennial and non-perennial streams and rivers in the area.
The landscape of Nagarhole National Park is dotted with dense forests, rivers, valleys, hills and cascading mountainous streams. It is a significant site for the conservation of tigers, which are facing the threat of extinction. These majestic beasts can be seen roaming freely in the safe surroundings of this wildlife reserve. Other vulnerable species, which can be spotted in its natural locales, are Indian bison and Asian elephant. Leopards, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, mongooses, sloth bears, hyenas, chitals and flying squirrels also have a notable population at this place.
Nagarhole has been marked as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, which is an international partnership of organisations involved in the task of conserving avian species. More than 270 bird species have been recognised in this national park till date. This count includes the endangered oriental white-backed vulture, lesser adjutant, spotted eagle and Nilgiri wood pigeon. Avid birdwatchers taking Coorg packages are sure to feel delighted on coming to this destination.
Apart from terrestrial and avian population, the national park is home to several reptiles. Indian mugger, vine snake, wolf snake, Russell pit viper, rat snake, bamboo pit viper, krait, Indian rock python, common toad and Indian monitor lizard are the reptile species, which inhabit this forested region.