Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for its tigers and leopards. A wide variety of other wildlife is also found here. Hemmed in by the Vindhyan mountain ranges, the Park is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Covering an area of 437 sq km, the Parkencompasses dense forest, open meadows, wetlands and steep ridges. The Park is named after an ancient fort located in the area. It has the highest density of tiger population, which makes it a big hit with wildlife lovers. There are more than 45 tigers in the Park. It was once the hunting reserve of the kings of Rewa. Bandhavgarh was earlier the hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, the region was a major hunting ground of animals where Maharaja Raman Singh himself shot a stupendous figure of 111 tigers by 1914.
Declared a National Park in 1968, the Park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1993. In the year 1951 Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa caught a white tiger in this area. It was named Mohan and now it has been put on display in his palace. This is the reason why the Park is called the 'White Tiger Jungle' as first white tiger was discovered here and also known as the birth place of white tiger. However, there are no white tigers in the Park.
Wildlife in Bandhavgarh:-
The Park houses boasts of 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Some of the inhabitants here include the, Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Large Indian Civet, Wild Boar, Chinkara or Indian Gazelle, Nilgai or Blue Bull, Cheetal or Spotted deer, Sambhar deer, Chausingha or Four Horned Antelope, Kakar or Barking deer, Ratel, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Dholes or Wild Dogs, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Small Indian Mongoose, Wild Pigs Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur, Dhole, Small Indian Civet Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, , Spotted Deer, Sambar, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose,
A wide variety of avian species are also spotted in the Park such as white browed fantails, black and white Malabar hornbills (quite a rare sighting, steppe eagles, green pigeons, grey Malabar hornbills), blossom headed parakeets, parakeets, blue bearded bee eaters, green bee eaters, white bellied drongos, owls, Jordon’s and gold fronted leaf birds, minivets, woodshrikes and paradise flycatchers.
Jeep Safari / Elephant Ride-Jungle Safaris on Jeep and Elephant. You can enjoy Jungle Safaris in 4 x 4 Open Suzuki Jeeps with front facing elevated seats. Morning safari is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the evening safari is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., The Park permits entry only after sunrise and exit before sunset, so the timing tends to change with the season.
Village visits and workshops- with bamboo weavers are organized to get to explore and learn aboutthe village life in forest areas. Bandhavgarh also offers great opportunity for picnics at water bodies and in the reserve forests.
The Bandhavgarh Fort- After morning jeep safari day excursion can be organized to the Bandhavgarh Fort which is inside the national park and forms the heart of it. It offers great birding opportunity and incredible views from the top. The fort is also prime habitat for the tiger and other wildlife.
Best Time to Visit: Best time to visit the Park is from November to June.
How to get there:-
Fly to Khajuraho, the drive from Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (6 hours – 250) km (via Satna)
Fly to Jabalpur; the drive from Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh is approximately 4 hours - 190 km
By train to Umaria, then drive from Umaria to Bandhavgarh approximately 30 M.n/ 35 K.M
By train to Katni, then drive from Katni to Bandhavgarh approximately 2.5 hrs - 75 km