The Karnataka state in India is famous for its rich diversity of plants and animals. At least 15 percent of the total population of Tiger and 25 percent of the total population of Elephant in India resides in the forests of Karnataka. Marked by the presence of the Western Ghats, the western region of Karnataka is considered a biodiversity hot spot. Also, UNESCO has shortlisted two sub-clusters in the western region, Kudremukh, and Talacauvery, to add them to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are 9 Bird Sanctuaries, 18 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 5 National Parks in Karnataka. No other Indian state is blessed with such a vast variety of flora and fauna.
Although Karnataka has a natural presence of biodiversity, a huge part of this state is still untouched by tourism. This state’s reserved regions are one of the best national parks in India. A pure treat for explorers, conservationists, and photographers, these parks are rich with diverse plants and animals. Let’s learn more about the 5 best national parks in Karnataka.
One of the most diversely populated national parks of India, Bannerghatta National Park was established in 1971. Spanning across 107 square km of land, Bannerghatta is located 24 km to the South of Bangalore city. Offering a vast range of flora and fauna, It is comparatively smaller in size when it comes to the number of animal and plant species.
It is home to rare species of wild animals like the Golden Jackal, Wild Boar, and Indian Leopard. Thorny Scrubs, Bamboo Grooves, and Deciduous Forest are some unique varieties of plant species that Bannerghatta offers to its visitors. Other than the vast variety of plants and animals, this park is also home to a zoo, a biological park, and a butterfly park.
Best Time To Visit Bannerghatta National Park - September to January
A major Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger of the Government of India, Bandipur National Park was established in 1974. Situated around 204 km from the capital city of Bangalore, Bandipur was once a hunting area for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. This national park in Karnataka encompasses 69 square miles of the protected forest area and is spread across 874 square kilometers. Including Vipers, Gaur, Dung Beetles, Tigers, and Indian Elephants, over ten thousand animals reside in this national park.
Bandipur National Park is known for its conservational activities like habitat management, research, education, and species monitoring. You can reserve a spot for yourself to join these activities through the park’s online platforms. Rented rooms are also available for accommodation.
Best Time To Visit Bandipur National Park - July to September
Also Read: 12 Best Places To Visit In Karnataka
The second-largest wildlife-protected area in the Western Ghats, Kudremukh National Park is situated about 350 kilometers away from Bangalore. This national park in Karnataka is famous for its lush green hilly landscape which covers over 600 square miles. Kudremukh boasts of a huge diversity of plants and animals species amongst this vast spread of unleashed natural beauty. The major habitats and crowd pullers of this national park are Bengal Tiger, Lion Tailed Macaque, Porcupine, Sambar, and Sloth Bear.
There are mostly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in Kudremukh National Park. Trekking is another activity that you can try in the hilly terrain of Kudremukh.
Best Time To Visit Kudremukh National Park - November to May
Situated almost 509 kilometers away from the city of Bangalore, Anshi National Park is spread across 340 square kilometers. Before being carved out to form the Anshi National Park, it was a part of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Granted the prestigious status of ‘Project Tiger Sanctuary’ in January 2007, this park is located in the eco-sensitive region of Western Ghats. It has a rich variety of wildlife, plants, mammals, and reptiles. Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Bison, Sloth Bear, Deer, and Bonnet Macaque are some of the important species offered by this park.
This national park in Karnataka is also home to wild animals like tigers, leopards, elephants, and reptiles like python, rat snake, king cobra, and viper. A wonderful place for those who love bird watching, this park houses over 197 species of birds.
Best Time To Visit Anshi National Park - Springtime
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Converted into a National Park in 1968, Nagarhole National Park was initially established as a wildlife reserve. Counted among the best National Parks of South India, this park was an integral part of the Central Government’s Project Tiger scheme till 1999.
Home to the widest varieties of Rosewood and Teak trees, this park also caters to an expansive flora and fauna population. Asiatic Wild Dogs, Four-horned Antelope, Indian Leopard, and Barking Deer are the major animal species found here. Often visited because of its close proximity to the capital, Nagarhole National Park is situated around 236 kilometers away from Bangalore. This place derived its name from Nagarhole River which flows through the park and merges into the Kabini River.
Best Time To Visit Nagarhole National Park - October to May
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Q1. Which is the largest national park in Karnataka?
Ans - With an area of 874 square kilometers, Bandipur National Park is the largest national park in Karnataka.
Q2. How many national parks are there in Karnataka?
Ans - There are 18 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 9 Bird Sanctuaries, and 5 National Parks in Karnataka.