5 Top National Parks in Karnataka

Almost all the tourists traveling to India visit the popular destinations. Especially if it is the first visit to this country, they prefer to stay in North India and visit the Jim Corbett National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park and Kaziranga National Park. Few travelers venture to stretch their route further south, or to discard other more famous northern cities to see this very different part of India. And it is that the South India is another India.

Karnataka is a state which has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is a state with lush greenery and thick jungles with plenty of water resources. 25% of Indian elephants, 15% of Indian Tigers reside in Karnataka. The state of Karnataka is blessed with over 5 national parks, 18 wildlife sanctuaries and 9 Bird sanctuaries.

National parks are strictly reserved for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity. Controlling the activities like poaching, hunting, forestry and gazing on cultivation are not permitted. In the national parks private ownership is also not allowed. Karnataka is home to dense forests and breathtaking wildlife gateways.

Top National Parks in Karnataka

The top national parks in Karnataka are described below:

1. Bannerghatta National Park

Bannerghatta National Park is one of the popular national parks in Karnataka. This national park is situated at a distance of 23 km from Bangalore City Railway station. The park is spread across an area of 25000 acres. There are parks inside the national park like a snake park, an aquarium, a crocodile park, and safari park.

In the Bannerghatta National Park you can see all kinds of animals including variety of tigers, lions, leopards, crocodiles, different species of birds and many other animals. The park is famous for its Grand Safari. A jeep safari provides you an opportunity to spot leopards, white tigers, Bengal tigers and lions present there inside the park. The park is even famous for bird spotting. This national park remains closed on Tuesdays.

2. Bandipur National Park

Mysore is not just about holy places and temples. It is also about the incredible collection of wildlife it is home to. Bandipur National Park is a true testament to the fact that Mysore houses magnificent flora, fauna, trees and insects. If you wish to add a hint of adventure or just want to get more in touch with nature then you should definitely go for a jeep safari experience at the Bandipur National Park.

If you are lucky then you may even check out some tigers lazing around or elephants in their natural habitat. This is the place to experience the Nilgiris at its best!

This National Park cum Tiger reserve is situated at a distance of 204 km from the capital city of Bangalore. The park offers safaris at a more budget friendly price compared to Kabini which is resort centric and expensive. Bus and Jeep safari are organized here. Bandipur falls between the Mysore - Ooty route. It was once the hunting place for the Maharaja of the kingdom of Mysore.

Bandipur National park is spread across 874 square km and surrounds 69 square miles of the protected forest land. Currently the national park houses over ten thousand animals which include tiger, snakes, Indian elephants and many more. The Bandipur national park is often visited for conservation activities like research, monitoring, habitat management, and education.

The Bandipur national park is home for 70 tigers and 3000 Asian elephants. The safari remains open on all days of a week.

3. Anshi National Park

This national park was a part of Dandeli wildlife sanctuary before it was carved out to form the Anshi national park. It is spread across 340 square km and is at a distance of 509 km from the city of Bangalore. It is a park which is located in the Uttara Kannada district in the eco-sensitive region of western ghats. It is the home of many reptiles, mammals, and variety of animals. You can find some important species like bonnet macaque, Sloth bear and many more.

A popular refuge for nature lovers and adventure buffs, Dandeli is just 103 kilometers from Goa. For all couples interested in adventure, go on a safari tour and rapids. Tourists can enjoy birds and fishing. Many camps in Dandeli organizes activities such as night camps, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, tiger and crocodile spots and fishing, picnics, ecotourism and excursions to nearby caves and temples.

4. Nagarhole National Park

Nestled in the pristine valleys is the Nagarhole National Park. The Nagarhole national park situated 236 km from Bangalore is home for many wild animals. Nagarhole National park is a popular destination for Tiger spotting, located in Mysore district of Karnataka. It can also be known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, which had more than 96 species of Dung Beetles, 60 various species of Ants and 250 species of birds.

It was established as a wildlife sanctuary and later converted into a national park. This park was an integral part of the Government’s project tiger scheme till 1999. With the highest numbers of tigers here this park was also awarded the best national park of South India.

The black leopard, reminiscent of Bagheera from The Jungle Book, is just one of the incredible species you’ll have the chance to see on this tour. This lesser-known national park in India is also home to bison, leopards, tigers, elephants, Asian wild dogs and an array of stunning birds.

Among the list of national parks in Karnataka, Nagarhole National park contains a significant number of Sloth Bear, Indian Bison, Elephants and Leopard. It contains quite a large number of Tigers. This garden forest is very rich with several high-value commercial tree species. Sandalwood, Teak and silver Oak are the major trees in this park. The mugger crocodile is an endangered species located in this park.

You can go for a real jungle safari on the weekend from Bangalore! It’s pretty amazing that you can do that on a little weekend getaway! The best time to visit Nagarhole National Park is April and May.

Located on the banks of Kabini river, Kabini wildlife sanctuary has rich density of wild animals like elephants, leopards, panthers, sambhar, dancing peacocks and colorful birds. Elephant safari gives best chance of sighting wildlife here.

The ethereal wild haven is home to gaurs, sloth bears amongst other fauna. The landscape has gentle slopes and shallow valleys. The name perfectly strikes with the place having a few serpentine streams forking through the park. It has scenic landscapes perfect to capture cherishable moments with your loved ones.

It is also named as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park after the late Prime Minister of India. The Kabini River and dam on its border has a picturesque reservoir attracting a large number of wildlife. This makes the location an ideal spot for wildlife sightings. The park offers vehicle safaris and natural trails for avid travellers. Spend a fun filled day with your loved ones in the park.

When you will visit the national park you will forget about other states as it has the largest number of tigers in the country. In the Nagarhole National Park and Dubare Elephant camp you can enjoy the most because here you can ride on an elephant and it's really amazing also to roamed out in the whole park with joy.

Spotting a tiger is always luck very few people are lucky to spot a tiger in there whole life along with the tiger's national parks also contain many other fascinating animals as well as green and lovely forests. Visit the Dubare Elephant Breeding Center to attend and participate in various activities like elephant grooming, meal distribution and demonstration of dressage orders.

5. Kudremukh National Park

Kudremukh literally means the horse face. As green as someone's imagination can run, the place is a literal paradise reclining on Western Ghats. The Kudremukh Peak, which is the third highest peak in Karnataka, is a paradise for trekkers while Kudremukh National Park, the nirvana of the wildlife enthusiast.

It is situated at about 350 km from Bangalore. This is the second largest wildlife protected area in the Western Ghats which spreads across 600 square miles. In this national park there is a wide variety of animals that can be found. Kudremukh National Park is one of the most popular tourist places near Mangalore. The Kudremukh National Park is situated at a distance of 96 km from the district of Chikmagalur in Karnataka.

The park is situated in the lush green environs of the Western Ghats and sprawls over an area of 600 sq km. Situated at an altitude of 1,894 metres above sea level, the Kudremukh National Park derives its name from a hill peak which resembles the face of a horse. The National Park has four mountain ranges namely, the Kudremukh, the Kerekatte, the Kalasa and Shimoga ranges.

The park boasts of splendid natural beauty and is covered in lush green vegetation. The national park is surrounded by expansive tea and coffee estates. The Kudremukh National Park is under the Global Tiger Conservation Priority I, which has been developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wide Fund, USA. The rivers Nethravathi, Tunga and the Bhadra originate within the Kudremukh National Park.

The Kudremukh National Park attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year from all parts of the country and the world. One of the major attractions within the park includes the colossal statue of Varaha which was found inside a cave in the park.

A temple of goddess Bhagavathi is also situated within the park. The Kudremukh National Park abounds in flora and fauna. It is home to a large number of wild animals including mongoose, giant flying squirrels, jackals, barking deer, spotted deer, sambar, porcupines, gaurs, sloth bears, common langurs, Malabar giant squirrels, wild dogs, leopards, tigers, is also home to some rare and endangered bird species including the Malabar trogan, the Malabar whistling thrush, great pied hornbill and the Imperial Pigeon. With all these attractions, the Kudremukh National Park is an important tourist destination of Karnataka.
Kalyan Panja