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Arunachal Pradesh & Assam
Joergen Bech & Jette Lyager, Denmark | Feb-March 2008

Primary Himalayan forests unlimited! From foothill to 3200 meter. Combine it with the inner valleys and a snow-covered pass at 4200 meter and the low terai where the highlands meet the plains. Best birding road of the world?
As professional photographers our needs are many and specific, but your office staff, guides and drivers worked in concert to meet our constant demands.We appreciate your expertise and friendly customer service for making our trips to India so successful.
Jami Tarris & Theo Allofs, Canada - 2007

Nagarahole National Park

One of the finest remaining habitats of the Asiatic Elephant, Nagarahole is situated in the Deccan Plateau and forms an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere. Once an exclusive hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Mysore, Nagarahole today is the beacon of conservation as it is the hub of two of India's most reputed wildlife schemes - Project Elephant and Project Tiger.

The river after which the park is named (Nagara Hole in the local tongue means Serpent River), slithers through lush green wilderness and finally meets the Kabini, the largest river draining the forest. A dam built on it has created a splendid lake to the south of the park, which also forms a boundary with the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Interspersed with the forests are swampy areas called hadlus, which are dominated by grasses and are the favourite grazing grounds of many herbivores, including large herds of chital. Sprouting grass in the meadows also attract elephants and gaur in large numbers. Herds of elephants amble down to Nagarahole in the summer months, which is a good time to watch them in their element. Over 300 bird species have been reported in Nagarahole, including rarities like Blue Face Malkhoa, White-cheeked Barbet and Nilgiri Flycatcher

Large carnivores such as the Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena and the Jackal are aplenty. Herbivores include Gaur, Axis Deer, Sambar, Indian Muntjac, Mouse Deer, Four-horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Crested Porcupine and the Black-naped Hare. The primate residents include the Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque. Other species worth mentioning are the Sloth Bear, Pangolin, Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Giant Fruit Bat and the elusive Slender Loris.

Some birds seen at Nagarahole are the Yellow Browed Bulbul, Pacific Swallow, Grasshopper Warbler, Orphean Warbler and the Yellow Billed Babbler. Besides, many species of owls - including the Short Eared and Oriental Scops Owl - come out at night.

In Nagarahole landscape is a mix of gentle slopes and shallow valleys interspersed with swamps. The trees here are more widely spread with open grassland patches. Large timber trees such as teak, rosewood and Mathi (Terminalia tomentosa) dominate the parts of forests with dense undergrowth in areas of high rainfall. The drier areas on the other hand comprises of shorter trees like Dindalu (Anogeissus Latifolia), Flame of the Forest, Indian Laburnum and bamboo.

Fact sheet:

State : Karnataka
Area : 640 sq. km (Combining Core and buffer forest)
Altitude : 600 to 900 m above mean sea level
Vegetation : Dry deciduous and Moist deciduous
Water resources : Kabini, Lakshmana Teertha and Nagarahole rivers - seasonal and perennial streams and tanks
Winter : November to mid-February
Summer : mid-February to mid-June
Monsoon : mid-June to September
Rainfall : 1500 mm
Temperature : Min 10°C - Max 29°C

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India