The Wild Nation is an attempt to throw light on the colossal beauty of India's wilderness. Every month, we curate photographs from our community, of a specific region, showcasing its unique landscape, flora and fauna.

This time we take you into the forests of Nagarahole National Park. Home to more than 250 species of birds, 30 species of mammals as well as a large variety of reptiles and amphibians, Nagarahole in the state of Karnataka is a wildlife enthusiast's dream. Previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, the forests of Nagarahole along with Bandipur are crucial tiger corridors and are an important habitat for the tiger populations of south India. As part of the Nagarahole-Bandipur-Mudumalai-Wayanad Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU) of the Western Ghats, the region provides a safe haven for 1/8th of the world's wild tiger population.

Beyond tigers, the lands of Nagarahole are walked by several other enigmatic species. You will find the elusive leopard resting high up on a tree, an elephant herd drinking water from the Kabini backwaters, gaurs grazing in the thickets and deer galloping through the lush landscape. But there is one species that seems to build the most intrigue for this park; the black panther or the melanistic leopard. As soon as a sighting is mentioned on social media, the gates of Nagarahole are thronged by photographers in hopes of documenting the elusive cat.

Over the last month, we have received many such wonderful entries that showcase the well-known and the lesser-known inhabitants of Nagarahole. Sit back and enjoy the views as we bring the national park to your screens. A big shoutout to everyone who contributed to the #NagaraholeInFocus chapter of #TheWildNation. We will be travelling to many more interesting locations along with our photographers. Make sure to keep your eyes open for our monthly prompts. Alright now, off to Nagarahole! 

Anirudh Vidyabhushan | Arvind Karthik

Tiger in Kabini, Nagarahole       arvind karthik                  | Nature Infocus
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The big cats of Kabini! Photographers travel to Nagarahole to photograph the charismatic leopards and tigers. The national park not only provides great close-up views of these felids, but also an understanding of how they behave in their natural habitats.

Smriti Mahesh

A female tiger with her litter of sub adult tiger cubs
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A tigress accompanied by her two cubs from her current litter as well as a sub-adult male from her previous litter (pictured sitting in the centre). Tigers usually venture out on their own when they are about two years of age. This sub-adult male was observed helping his mother take care of the new cubs.

Arvind Karthik

A leopard sliding down a tree in Nagarahole
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Leopards are skilful tree climbers and can even jump from one tree to another to navigate their way through the forest or attack their unsuspecting prey. They are capable of hauling large-sized prey up a tree to feed on them away from the eyes of other predators.

Arvind Ramamurthy

Black panther or melanistic leopard in Kabini, Nagarahole
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Consider yourself lucky if you spot the elusive melanistic leopard. Denizens of evergreen forests, black panthers can easily hide in the dense vegetation. Their melanism comes to aid when they hunt for prey at night.

Bharath Srinivasan

A pair of Dholes or Asiatic Wild Dogs in Kabini
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Dholes live in social units called packs, and pack sizes often vary based on location, season and prey availability. Packs have one alpha male and female that mate and reproduce while the other members aid the alpha couple in raising the young ones and hunting.

Rishabh Lohia

A herd of elephants drinking water in the backwaters of River Kabini
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While on a boat safari on the Kabini backwaters, the photographer saw a herd of 40 elephants emerge from the forest behind. The herd decided to stop for a drink of water. Elephants are creatures of habit and exhibit known patterns of movement.

Ganesh Namasivayam

A herd of spotted deer or chital in the mist
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Spotted Deer or Chital are usually seen in groups of 10 to 20 individuals. They are seen in heavily forested areas as well as regions with sparse vegetation. They feed on grass, leaves, herbs, fruits and flowers.

Prajwal KM

A baby grey langur
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Although they are initially dependent on their mothers, once they reach two years of age, Gray Langur infants are also parented by the other females in the group. This is referred to as alloparenting. They learn essential survival skills by observing the adults.

Kishore AK

Indian Black Turtles in Kabini, Nagarahole
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Indian Black Turtles are usually active at dawn and dusk and spend their day basking in the sun. Unlike their name, their shells vary in colour from black to dark brown and red.

Karthik Rugvedi GR

A pair of Malabar Giant Squirrels in Kabini
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Indian Giant Squirrels or Malabar Giant Squirrels are tree-dwelling species rarely found on the ground. They move around by jumping from one tree to another; their dazzling, multicoloured fur serving as camouflage.

Nandhagopan Potti Rajan

A peacock showing off its feathers to peahens
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Peacocks are polygamous and live in small family units. During the mating season, which coincides with the monsoon, both sexes let out distinct meowing calls. The iridescent feathers help peahens spot a potential mate across distances, and peahens seem to prefer impressive feathers with more eyespots on them.

Rupesh Kukade

Crested Hawk-eagle in Kabini forest
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Crested Hawk-eagles can be identified by their streaked white and brown body, broad wings and prominent crest. They inhabit broad-leaf deciduous forests and open well-wooded regions.

Balaji Narayanan

A pair of Indian Gaurs in Nagarahole National Park
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Gaurs are found in habitats with an abundance of forage like shrubs and grasses, and close to water bodies. They are an essential part of the tiger prey base in Nagarahole.

Ganesh Namasivayam

Golden Jackal in Kabini Forest
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There are several subspecies of the Golden Jackal distributed throughout Asia as well as in parts of central Europe. One of them is the Indian Jackal which can be distinguished by its black and white fur and its black tail.

Mainak Ray

A Sloth Bear in Kabini, Nagarahole
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Sloth Bears are nocturnal by nature and live solitary lives. They are known to climb trees when they are trying to access a honeycomb. They also feed on termites, ants, fruits and flowers.

Rupesh Kukade

A group of tigers in Kabini, Nagarahole
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Nagarahole is the 37th tiger reserve in India and has also been declared a Heritage Site by UNESCO. The national park is a part of one of the 32 major corridors for tigers in the country. As we conclude this chapter of #TheWildNation, we hope that like the tiger family in the image, several others also gain access to a haven where they can thrive.