For those who love the great outdoors, but are reluctant to indulge in adventure sports, a visit to a national park is a great way to spend a few days of a holiday or the weekend. Around the Bangalore area, there are five national parks that are home to some rare species of animals and birds, beautiful plants and trees, and some breathtaking natural beauty. Here are five incredible national parks near Bangalore.
Quick Facts about National Parks near Bangalore
How expensive is it to book a safari at a national park near Bangalore?
A safari for an Indian adult should not be more than Rs.500. For kids and senior citizens, the price is a bit lower. Foreign nationals will pay much more, though.
The distance of national parks from Bangalore
All the national parks near Bangalore are easily accessible by road and are at a distance of up to 500 kilometres from the city.
Is prior booking advisable?
If you plan on staying at the guest houses situated inside the national parks, then yes, you need to book a room in advance by calling or emailing the local Forest Department. For a one-day visit, you will have no trouble booking entry tickets or safari rides on the spot.
Major National Parks Near Bangalore
1. Bannerghatta National Park
One of the closest national parks to Bangalore city, the Bannerghatta National Park is situated in the valley of the Champakadhama hills. The park was set up so that children and tourists can learn about the ecology and animal kingdom. The Bannerghatta National Park also has a museum on its premises. Guests can get to see skeletons, fossils, and photographs of animals and birds.
Those interested in exploring the park can take the safari to (hopefully) see the tiger, lion or bear. Top off your visit to park with a lazy boat ride on the lake that passes through the Bannerghatta National Park.
- Distance from Bangalore: 22 kilometres to the south of Bangalore.
- Best time to visit: The peak season is from the month of September until January
- Visiting hours: The park is closed on Tuesdays. From Wednesday to Monday, the park is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm.
2. Nagarhole National Park
The Nagarhole National Park is spread over 571 square kilometres between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Also called the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, this vast animal sanctuary begins in Mysore and ends at Coorg. The parks come under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and are home a variety of animal species. Popular sightings inside the park are panthers, the Asiatic elephant, deer, langurs, wild dogs, and other Indian wild animals.
The Rajiv Gandhi National Park is also home to around 200-plus types of bird. Each morning and in the early evenings, elephant rides are organized for visitors to the park. One can book an elephant ride and tour the park in the company of a forest ranger. Accommodation in the guest houses or the dormitory at the Nagarhole National Park is also available. Booking should be done by contacting the Forest Reserve Office.
- Distance from Bangalore: The Nagarhole National Park is located about 220 kilometres Bangalore
- Best time to visit: The best time to visit the park is between the months of October and March when the weather is pleasant.
- Visiting Hours (Safari): 6.30 am to 8.45 am & 4 pm to 6 pm.
3. Bandipur National Park
The Bandipur National Park is India’s first biosphere reserve. This reserve is home to many endangered species, including the tiger. The Bandipur National Park is also rooted in history, as it was once the former hunting ground of the King of Mysore. The park is divided into five zones, East, North West, Central, South, and North.
These regions house different species of animals and plants. If you enjoy cycling, you will be happy to learn that the Forest Department allows bicycle tours in certain areas of the forest. And you don’t need to bring your own cycle. You can book one there.
- Distance from Bangalore: The Bandipur National Park is located about 240 kilometres away from Bangalore city.
- Best time to visit: October to February is the best time to visit Bandipur National Park
- Visiting Hours (Safari): 6:30 am & 9 am; 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
4. Kudremukh National Park
Spanning vast open spaces of the Western Ghats, the Kudremukh National Park is predominantly a forest, rather than a park. This park is one of the few in India to be tagged as a Global Tiger Conservation Priority; hence, you will find many tigers inside the park. Other types of animals that can be spotted here are panthers, bears and foxes.
If you are lucky enough, you may sometimes be able to see the giant flying squirrel. Inside the park, there are a few hills that are ideal for trekking; however, one needs the permission of the forest department before venturing into the forest for a trek. There is also a temple inside the national park and the famous Kadambi waterfalls. For those who prefer to stay overnight, there are a few rest houses.
- Distance from Bangalore: The Kudremukh National Park is about 331 kilometres from Bangalore city.
- Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Kudremukh National Park is between October and January.
- Visiting Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
5. Anshi National Park
The Anshi National Park lies in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, around 60 kilometres from Karwar. It is one of the most famous ecological parks in India. The dense forest area in the park is the perfect habitat for wild animals such as tigers, the black panther, the spotted deer, the sambar, common langur, and the sloth bear. To get a clear view of the birds and animals inside the park, book the open jeep safari tour conducted by the Forest Department.
This is one of the few national parks to have a trekking trail. On the weekends and during the holidays, you will see nature and adventure sports enthusiasts coming to the park for a trek. The trekking trail at the Anshi National Park passes through a lovely scenery of small brooks and springs. End your trip to this national park by visiting the famous Ulvi Channabasaveshwara Temple that is at the southern boundary of the Anshi National Park.
- Distance from Bangalore: 500 kilometres away from Bangalore
- Best time to visit: October to February is peak season here
- Visiting Hours: Open every day from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm
The national parks around Bangalore are breathtaking and diverse. If you’re on holiday just a few days in Bangalore or living there permanently, do make a trip. Do you love to explore the wild? Do share with us your experiences, and also some tips for first-timers in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.