Loading....

CHAMARAJENDRA ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS

Named 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.

With 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.

The 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.

NAGARAHOLE

93 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.

Sunlight 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.

Trekking 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 and May.

BANDIPUR NATIONAL PARK

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.

Bandipur is separated from Nagarahole by the Kabini river and is another of nature's 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY

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.

They 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.

Boats 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.