Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is situated in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The park is popular among the wildlife enthusiasts for containing the highest density of tigers in India. The mere name of the park conjures up the images of lush forests, serene atmosphere and of course the tigers – pride of the jungle.
The 450 square kilometres of national park area is reported to have over 45 tigers. Like many other tiger reserves in India, Bandhavgarh National Park was formerly the hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa and contains much evidence of its royal associations, most spectacular being the ruins of a huge hilltop fort which dominates the centre of the reserve. The Sal Forest, which predominates in the park, is replaced by mixed forests at the higher elevations and there are also expanses of grassland and bamboo in the north.
Wildlife at Bandhavgarh
The core of the Bandhavgarh National Park is hilly and dominated by the ancient natural fort which towers at an altitude of around 800 metres above the forest. The Fort is also worth a visit. Bandhavgarh being an arid region has an abundant number of pools and streams where many animals come to quench their thirst.
Although Tigers are the star attractions of the park, the list of other mammals and birds that have made Bandhavgarh their home is very impressive too. The list of birds includes such species as Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Plumheaded Parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Asian Paradise Flycatcher among a total of over 250 species recorded in the district.
Besides tigers, the other species found here include; Chinkara, Chowsinga, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac and Nilgai. Mammal sightings always require a degree of luck, particularly when the species is essentially nocturnal or reclusive but each outing in the reserve will at least provide a chance to meet one of the rarer inhabitants such as Sloth Bear, Indian fox, Jackal, Wolf, Ratel, Striped Hyenas, Jungle Cat or Indian Pangolin. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaques are also plentiful, the former enjoying an elevated view of the forest as they devour their favourite leaves and often the first creature to bark out a warning at the appearance of a tiger.
Safari in Bandhavgarh
Two kinds of wildlife safari rides are conducted in the park, which are elephant and jeep safari. For an elephant safari ride, special permission of the Field Director of Bandhavgarh is necessary. Jeep safari can be carried out twice a day that takes the visitors to the Tala and Magadhi zones, containing a huge population of wildlife.
Best Time to Visit
The park remains open for visitors from 16th October to 30th of June every year. The best time to visit Bandhavgarh would be from November to March.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airport to the Bandhavgarh National Park is Jabalpur, which is 220 kms / 4 hours away.
By Train : The nearest railway stations are Umaria (35 kms) and Katni (100 kms). One take private cabs or state transport buses from outside the station to reach the park in hassle-free manner.
By Road : Bandhavgarh is excellently connected with the prominent cities and states of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Jabalpur, Satna, Khajuraho and so on.