as one of the most haunting tourist destinations in
India, beckons every visitor with its rich wild life.
A walk or drive thru one of the many wild life sanctuaries
in and around Mysooru can be a truly relaxing experience
indeed. Here are some destinations that are a must have
in your excursion itenerery...
after its founder, the erstwhile maharaja Chamarajendra
Wodeyar in 1892, this 10-acre park houses the Mysooru
zoo and is located just 3kms away from the city center.
It is home to some 2,000 animals belonging to 200 different
species, fascinating among them being the royal Bengal
Tiger, Giraffe, Indian and African Elephant, White Tiger,
Lion, Rhino, Nilgiri langur, Himalayan Brown Bear, Hippopotamus
and the Tapir, among many others.
its profuse cover of vegetation and meticulate landscaping,
it provides near-natural environment to the captive
animals. It has to its credit the breeding of rare animals
and largest mammals in captivity and hence ranked among
the best zoos. 35 species of ornamental plants and 85
species of trees from India and abroad beautify the
landscape of the zoo.
zoo offers plenty of amenities to the visitors like cobbled
walkways, direction signs, layout maps, guides, library,
information brochures, snack kiosks, clean drinking water,
ample places to sit down and play areas for chilren. About
2 million visitors visit this Zoo every year which indicates
its popularity. It is open from 8am thru 5pm on all days.
kms from Mysooru city is an expanse of lush tropical
forest covering an area of 643 sq kms. Nagarahole, once
the Maharaja's reserved forest, is now a National Park
and has been lately rechristened as Rajiv Gandhi National
Park after the late Prime Minister of India. The park
derives its name from the river Nagarahole (meaning
serpent stream) that winds through the forests in a
serpentine fashion. Covering gentle hills bordering
Kerala, the park includes swampland, streams, deciduous
forest, stands of bamboo, and dense thickets of teak
and rosewood trees.
fitered through the branches of trees gives the place
a cathedral-like grandeur .The park has a large elephant
and bison population apart from a large variety of other
species like sambar, chital, tiger, leopard, barking
deer, the tiny mouse deer, giant squirrel, wild boar,
langurs and macaques. It also over 250 species of birds
like the Malabar pied hornbill, the great black woodpecker,
Indian pitta , green imperial pigeon, Babbler, Bee-eater,
Bulbul, Lorikeet, Minuet, Parakeet, Peacock and Alexandrine
who have made their abode at Nagarahole.
through Nagarhole can be a wonderful experience and
the sense of being one with nature is overwhelming.
Guided safaris on jeeps are arranged by the forest dept.
There are good accommodation options like the forest
bungalows and inspection bungalows, however prior booking
is advisable. Best time to visit is between October
Under the shadows of the Western Ghats, about 80 kms
from Mysooru city is Bandipur the nature - lovers' paradise.
It covers an area of 874 sq kms and is part of a larger
contiguous wildlife reserve that includes closeby Nagarahole,
the Madumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wayanad
Reserve in Kerala.
is separated from Nagarahole by the Kabini river and
is another of natures marvels. The park has open
grasslands towards the eastern limits but as one heads
towards the north-western fringes, a gradual shift in
vegetation is seen from shrub jungles to dry deciduous
forests to tropical forests.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve is famous for its Royal Bengal
Tiger and has over 75 of these majestic creatures. It
is home to over 2000 Asiatic elephants and with its
vast open spaces is one of the most accessible places
to watch these gigantic beasts from close quarters.
forest department maintains reasonably priced lodges,
cottages, guest houses and deluxe bungalows. Entry permits
are available at the entrance to the park. Elephant
and jeep rides into the park could be engaged. KSTDC
cottages, besides a few private resorts and hotels are
also available. Prior booking is advisable.
best season depends on what you are looking for. If
it's wildlife you seek then the hot months from March
to May are when animals flock to the watering holes,
the best. If cool climate and comfort is important,
then the months of November-February are great when
the flora is resurging after the rains.
Just about 20 kms from the city of Mysooru is Ranganathittu,
situated on the banks of the Kaveri river.This bird
paradise includes six lush green islets spread around
2 sq kms and is a delightful place to visit. For the
serious birdwatcher, it is indeed a mecca of avian bliss.
The isolated islets and the abundance of aquatic insects
during the monsoon make Ranganathittu a favorite abode
for birds. Moreover, it is an important nesting and
breeding ground for migratory birds from all across
the earth. Migratory birds begin arriving in the sanctuary
in December every year.
breed and lay eggs in and around the islets until they
finally move out of the sanctuary with their little
ones by August, only to return yet again the following
year. Experts have traced the origins of some of these
bird species to as far as Siberia, Australia and even
North America. Spoonbills, Open Bill Storks, Darters,
White Ibis, little Cormorants, Egret, Heron, Partridge,
River Tern, Stone Plougher, Snake bird, are a few of
the exotic bird species that fly to the sanctuary in
large flocks in addition to the local inhabitants like
kingfishers, wild duck and peafowls.
are available at the sanctuary to take tourists for
rides along the river and the islets, to witness hordes
of beautiful birds of myriad varieties perched on the
trees. Most of the oarsmen are also excellent guides.
The Kaveri riverbank also offers excellent spots for
picnics. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between
June and September. Riverside cottages are available
but most prefer to stay in nearby Mysooru.