If you are a lover of the outdoors and rather see animals in their natural habitat than in zoo enclosures, then a getaway to a national park is a great way to spend your holidays or a weekend. Bangalore has several national parks that are within a 500km radius and should take you about half a day or less to reach. Karnataka is said to have the highest tiger population and seeing a tiger or panther in the wild is a memory for a lifetime. To make the most of your experience, it would be ideal to stay close to the national park. Family resorts in Bangalore like Discovery Village make for a great getaway and a wonderful place to unwind and relax. If you want to get away to a national park close to Bangalore, here is a list of the must-visit parks close to the city.
Bannerghatta National Park
Bannerghatta National Park is about 35km from the city and is the closest national park from Bangalore. It is spread over 65,000 acres of land. This park is India’s first national park with a fenced elephant sanctuary. The park offers safaris where you can see tigers and lions walking about the park. They also have a bird park, butterfly garden, and boating. The Grand Safari or the lion and tiger safari is one of the main attractions of the park. Other than that, there is a lot of other game to be seen at the park-like elephants, deer, Indian gaur, sloth bears, etc. The park also has an elephant corridor that connects to the Sathyamangalam forests. It is one of the best places for people seeking adventure in Bangalore.
Bandipur National Park
Situated about a five-hour drive away from the city, the Bandipur national park is home to more than 3000 Asian elephants and about 70 tigers and other wildlife like sloth bears, panthers, the famous Indian dhole and so much more. Located on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in Chamarajanagar, this wildlife reserve used to be a game reserve for the Maharajas of Mysore. The national park is open throughout the year though the best time to visit is between June to October, once the summer is over.
Nagarhole National Park
This national park is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park is about a 250km drive from Bangalore. This is one of the best national reserves in South India and is home to a variety of wild animals like leopards, wild boar, elephants, tigers, the elusive mouse deer and so much more. The name ‘Nagarhole’ translates to ‘Snake Hole’ and this park is also home to a different variety of serpents. They have early morning and evening safaris and if you’re lucky you might spot a tiger strolling across the road or the elephants gathered around the salt pit in the evenings. The sanctuary on one side is easily accessible from Kabini where Discovery Village has a resort and the forest department also organizes boat rides along the Kabini River. The park is open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Mudumalai National Park
Located in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, the Mudumalai National Park has diverse flora and fauna, along with over 200 species of birds and 50 species of animals. This national park is a treat for bird-watchers who can catch a glimpse of the Long-Billed Vulture or White-rumped Vulture. The park also has an abundance of Mynas, Parakeets, and Owls. Private cars are allowed to drive on the outer region of the park and the park officials also organize elephant safaris and camps. The best time to visit Mudumalai National Park is between December and June.
Eravikulam National Park
Located on the Munnar-Udumalpet Road, this national park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr which resembles a stocky goat with coarse fur. The Eravikulam National Park currently has the largest population on the Nilgiri Tahr. This park is also one of the regions to spot the ‘Kurunji’ flower which blossoms once in 12 years. This shrub is found in the Western Ghats in South India. The Nilgiri Hills which means Blue Mountain got their name from these purplish-Blue Kurunji flowers. The national park is divided into the core area, buffer area, and tourism area. Only the tourism area located in the Rajamalai region is open to the public. Visitors can trek and go for safari rides inside the park.