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Nagarhole national park (NNP), also acknowledged as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park touches the borders of the Bandipur Nationa Park in its south eastern side. The Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka is sprawled over an area of about 247 sq miles and possesses flora and fauna in abundance. The very park is also deemed as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India as it houses diverse variety in its ecology system.
The famous Nagarhole National park derived its name by amalgamating the two Kannada words and that is Nagar, which literally means snake, and hole, signifies streams. The name Nagarhole is just apt for this national park as here one can find quite a few serpentine rivulets that stroll through the lust green forests of the park.
The establishment of the Nagarhole Park has been made in the year 1955. Later on in the year 1975, this forest reserve was expanded. It is said that the original forest once had been the hunting field for the former kings and rulers of Mysore. The park got is new name as Rajiv Gandhi National Park after the late prime minister of India.
The national park is home to as many as 250 species of birds and also houses rich vegetation such as dalbergia latifolia, anogeissus latifolia, pterocarpus marsupium, emblica officinalis, lagerstroemia lanceolata, boambax malabaricum, adina cordifolia, gmelina arborea, eupatorium, solanum, helicteres, lantana…to name a few. Likewise it has a large variety of species of animals such as tiger, leopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison). While other animals are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet, otter and many more.
The park has gentle slopes along with shallow valleys. On its eastern side there is Kabini River which has a dam on it and its tank separates the two famous national parks. The landscape is one of gentle slopes and shallow valleys. Dry deciduous forest trees are leafless in the summer rather than in the winter. There are grassy swamps where the soil is clayey, perennially moist, and which support a luxuriant growth of green grass all year. The change in terrain throughout the park in refreshing and the river system provides a unique wildlife viewing experience. The months from February till June makes an ideal sightseeing wildlife spot as during this dry season a –plethora of species come to the land.
Grey jungle fowl, great black woodpecker, red spur fowl, Malabar trogon, Malabar pied hornbill, scarlet minivets, Indian pitta, ospreys, herons, ducks etc. also, the park has reptiles in abundance such as rattle snakes, frogs, rock python, marsh crocodile, monitor lizard, tortoises, vipers etc.