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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular places to explore nature and wildlife in and around Mysore?

Manish Kumar DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Mysore somehow finds different ways to surprise you, for instance its parks and sanctuaries housing rare flora and fauna is real treat to all the senses, don’t you think? Well friends, your answer will be a ‘yes’ once you visit these amazing national parks and sanctuaries around Mysore. Just read on to know more about them.

  • Mysore Zoo

    The Mysore zoo is located at a distance of about 3 kilometres from the City Bus Stand and 2 km from the
    Mysore Palace. Also known as Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, this zoo was established out of a portion of the king’s (Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar) Summer Palace and is located in the eastern part of the city. This Palace Zoo was inaugurated in 1892, when a handful of zoos existed in the country, and thus, this was considered one of the best in India. Set amidst the backdrop of Chamundi hills with varied flora and fauna make this zoo a true paradise. After independence, the zoo was gifted to the Department of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore State Government  by the then Maharaja of Mysore.

    Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on all days except Tuesday. Entry: Rs 5 only.

  • Nagarhole National Park

    Located 80 kilometres from Mysore city, this park is also called "Rajiv Gandhi National Park". This national park is a figment of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, it has an astonishing abundance of wildlife including large mammals such as leopard, wild elephant, tiger, gaur (Indian bison) and dhole (Indian wild dog), and other species including Chital spotted deer, four-horned antelope, Muntjac (barking deer), wild boar, mouse deer, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet and otter. Counted among India’s best wildlife parks, it also houses approximately 250 species of birds. There are two rest houses in Nagarhole provided by the Forest Department for stay but prior reservation has to be made through the Forest Department offices in Mysore or Bangalore.

    Tip: Best time to visit this place is
     April to May and November to February. Do remember to arrive at the park gates well before dusk, as the road through the park that leads to the lodges is prone to elephant blocks and closes at 6 pm. If you are interested in trekking, then, avoid coming here during monsoons as floods wash out most of its dirt tracks and leeches render trekking impossible.

    Entry fee is INR 50 per head for Indians and INR 150 per head for foreigners, charge for the camera is INR 50.
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

    Located at a distance of 19 kilometres from the city, this sanctuary is named after Sri Ranganatha Swamy, an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu. Even though it covers a small area of around 1 square kilometre, the bird population here is very high. An important nesting and breeding ground for the thousands of bird species, it becomes a home  of a large number of migratory birds of different flocks from as far as Siberia, North America and Australia. Along with the birds, this place also has rich flora and fauna spread over the six islands of the sanctuary. You can take the guided tour boats to watch birds, crocodiles, otters and bats, and are available throughout the day.

    Timings: Open from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm. Entry fee is INR 20 for Indians and INR 60 for Foreigners.
  • Bandipur National Park

    Around 80 kilometres from Mysore city, this park is an important Project Tiger reserve in India. Regarded as one of the most beautiful and the better-managed national parks of India, it is located amidst the picturesque landscape of the towering Western Ghat Mountains on the Mysore to Ooty highway in Karnataka. Part of the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, it has a wide variety of flora and fauna including the threatened species of Tiger, Four horned Antelope, Elephant, Panther, Gaur, Sloth, Bear, Crocodiles, Mouse deer, Python and Osprey along with various species of birds, reptiles, insects, butterflies and ants. You can take a bus from Mysore and reach here in about 2 to 3 hours and can stay at the reasonably priced lodges, rest houses and cottages maintained by the forest department. Try to avoid this place during monsoons (June to September) as the roads and tracks become quite slippery.

These places are truly one of a kind, preserving the natural habitat and providing different kinds of environment for such natural diversity to flourish.

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