Bandhavgarh National Park is the most visited and tremendously famed tiger palace in Madhya Pradesh located in the Vindhya Hills of Umaria district. The park is recognized as one of the major destination opted for the tiger project on the wage of continuing the essential tiger project in India. by spreading across an area of 105 sq km the name Bandhavgarh has been acquired from the most prominent hillock of the area, flourished with high biodiversity and since the area is filled with large density of tiger population, Bandhavgarh stands among the most regarded national park preferably for tiger tours which is being visited at the best season of 15th of October to till 30th of June.
HistoryThe Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve has great connection with ancient legends and beliefs and the name also has ancient values with Ramayana, an old epic from Treta Yuga, which can be learnt from the ancient books of Narad Panch Ratra and Shiv Purana. The word Bandhavgarh is a concoction of two words: Bandhav & Garh where 'Bandhav' means brother and 'Garh' means Fort. So the meaning of Bandhavgarh is brother's fort.
The presence of an ancient fort bearing the same name has equivalent value to attract many archeologist and heritage lovers amidst the pristine jungle area. It is said that Lord Rama gifted this fort to his younger brother Lakshmana after returning from Lanka after killing Ravana on the way to Ayodhya. The Bandhavgarh fort is scripted with many convincing evidences of human activities and architectural techniques and interestingly, the legend also tells that the ruined fort was being reconstructed by the monkeys who built a bridge between Lanka and the mainland. The fort also brings several man made caves with inscriptions and rock paintings.
There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. Mammals such as Dhole, the smallIndian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally. Among the herbivores, Gaur is the only coarse feeder.
There are two main ways of getting about in the park- in a motor vehicleoron elephant back. Many of the animals are now accustomed to both; evenso,it is best to talk quietly and not make rapid movements. Jeep safaris are best undertaken from dawn until about 10am and from about 4pm until dusk, as the animals are most active during these periods. A Forest Department guide must always accompany you. This guide will be able to direct you and point out wildlife. Elephants are used every morning by the Forest Department for Tiger- tracking. If a Tiger is found, then the elephant will take you directly to the Tiger either from the lodge or from a nearby point reached by jeep/car.
An open jeep can accommodate 6 persons, above 5 years of age are counted as one person for safari rides in Bandhavgarh. Jungle safari in Bandhavgarh is accompanied by guide and driver. Morning & Evening Safari's are booked for tourists.
We call it Elephant Joy ride or Elephant safari and is allowed in tala zone in Bandhavgarh, Elephant safari has gained popularity among wildlifers, they travel to Bandhavgarh National park to appreciate the beauty of the forest and the glorious beast of Bandhavgarh. Elephant safari makes the tour more enjoyable and complete. The chances of Tiger sightings are high during elephant safari in Bandhavgarh Tala zone. For the professional photographers and filming this is the blessing as it offers half day safari. This is booked first cum first basis.
Jungle safari on canter is a new concept for Central India national park, this concept is already successful in Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. Safari canters are introduced in Bandhavgarh, Kanha national park and Pench national park in Madhya Pradesh. It is a open 12 to 24 seater bus. Canter safari tickets are booked through the booking counter at the gate of Bandhavgarh National Park. Online canter safari bookings are not allowed. Morning & Evening Bandhavgarh safari's are booked in the park.
Ideal for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts, this safari takes place from dawn to dusk. Apart from additional 15 minutes for entry and exit from regular permits, the additional benefit of opting for this safari is that you are not restricted to any particular zone or route. However, for these additional benefits, you need to deposit advance payment with the forest department of Bandhavgarh National Park.
This safari is available in the Panpatha (Pachpedientry point) and Dhamokhar (Parasientry point) buffer zones of the Bandhavgarh National Park from 7 PM to 9:30 PM in winter and 07:30 to 10:30 in summer season. It offers the tourists an excellent chance to observe the nocturnal animals in their natural surroundings. With luck, you might be able to spot deer and Royal Bengal tigers. However, a limited number of vehicles are allowed to enter the zone for the night safari, therefore making an advance booking is recommended. Available on same day at ticket counter only.
Best Time to Visit
Every year Bandhavgarh National Park is open for visitors from the 15th of October to till 30th of June. As per the climate of Central part of India, the peak season for Bandhavgarh National Park is during winters which is October to March. Most of the tourists visit the park between November and March, mainly because the summer’s heat is unbearable. The period between November and February is excellent for visiting Bandhavgarh national park as the rain fall during monsoon rejuvenated all the nature & vegetation. During the time period from March to May most of the vegetation at Bandhavgarh National Park gets dried & Tiger Sighting is relatively easier than it is in winters.
The climatic condition of Bandhavgarh National Park is moderate and experiences North Indian Monsoon. The park is located on the extreme north-eastern border of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the forest stretches across the Vindhya Mountain Ranges in Central India. The climate of this wonderful reserve area can be broadly divided into three main seasons, i.e., chilly winters, sweltering summer and over pouring rainy season. The summer season continues from end March to the end of June when temperature can go up to 44o c during May-June. By mid June, rainy season starts with light drizzle. The average rainfall of Bandhavgarh National Park is 1133mm. Sometimes between the months of November and February rainfall takes place due to the effect of southern cyclones.
Winter season starts approaching from mid November and lasts till the end of February. During this period the weather compels the visitors to wear heavy layers of winter clothes as the mercury might go down to 20C. The open marshy hollows get covered with frost and the greenery looks impressive.
Flora & Fauna
Bandhavgarh National Park is spread across the area of 446 sq km and the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department has considered it as the most vegetative part of the Umaria district. The foliage in Bandhavgarh National Park is mostly of dry deciduous type and is the only region which is quite rich in flora and fauna. The area brings relatively moderate climate and of course the favorable topography that uniquely supports the growth of a rich and varied flora in the park. Along with that the captivating landscapes are being spread over 32 hills, cliffs, plateaus and meadows. The vegetation of Bandhavgarh is specially filled with Sal forest in the valleys and Bamboo stretches on the lower slopes of the region. While half of the forest is being covered with fine trees of Sal and Bamboo, the forest also beholds the mixed species around the higher hills that also includes high grasslands which are the major specialty of the Bandhavgarh jungle.
Bandhavgarh National Park being a dry deciduous and tropical land brings amazing dense forest trails where one can discover many glittering species of wild creatures amidst the lush surroundings. Interestingly, there are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds in the area with common langurs and rhesus macaque representing the primate group.
Bandhavgarh Fort :
People say, this fort is 2000 year old and has been under the control of Maghas dynasties for 20 complete centuries but its pre-history still got its value when we learn that the legend of Ramayana also includes this ancient fort. This is being believed that the fort was being built by Lord Rama during his short stay at the area (jungle) of Bandhavgarh while returning from Lanka. He then gifted this fort to his brother Lakshmana who took the control of this fort to watch the activities of Lanka.
Bandhavgarh Fort :
This is an ancient fort located just 13 kms from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station. Founded in 944 AD, and initially named as "Ranath Bhawar Garh", which means "a place of Rajput warriors", the Bandhavgarh Fort was the territory of the most famous Bandhavgarh tigress - Machali, who died a few years ago. The tiger lovers, especially the fans of Machali, who was better known as the "Queen of Bandhavgarh", specially visited this fort to catch her mighty and royal moves. She was best known for her acts of bravery and expanding her territory by defeating the other tigers of Bandhavgarh.
This is the highest hill in the reserve area with an altitude of 807 m and includes around 32 hills. These small hills together with the Bandhavgarh hill form a number of low lying plains and valleys. The Bandhavgarh hill is formed of sandstones and the presence of different streams and springs are the source of water in the region.
The most appealing place in the Bandhavgarh National Park, Climber's Point brings an aerial view of the entire park which is being flourished with Sal and Bamboo trees. This place is also being surrounded by some of the faunal species like butea superba and bauhinia wahlii for much denser ambience.
the Baghel museum is composed of all the personal belongings of Maharaja of Rewa which is being displayed to the visitors to explore the royal and jungle life of Bandhavgarh. The museum also boasts ancient hunting equipments by the Maharajas along with some of the military equipments.
this is a natural water fall in River Johila, located at a distance of 50 km from Bandhavgarh and is also an ideal location for the tourists to enjoy picnic here.
How to Reach
By Air :
The nearest Airport for Bandhavgarh National Park is Jabalpur & Khajuraho. Jabalpur 200 Kms / 04 Hrs Drive & Khajuraho 250 Kms / 05 Hrs Drive from Bandhavgarh. The tourists will find regular flights for Jabalpur & Khajuraho from all major airports of India.
By Rail :
The nearest railway stations for Bandhavgarh National Park are Umaria & Katni. Umaria is 35 Kms (45 Minutes drive) & Katni is 100 Kms (02 Hrs drive) from Bandhavgarh.
By Road :
Bandhavgarh National Park is well connected from the nearby town & cities like Jabalpur, Satna, Umaria, Khajuraho etc.
Hotels in Bandhavgarh
Undoubtedly, people throng at Bandhavgarh National Park for the most magnificent tiger tours in India due to the presence of the greatest counts of the king of the jungle. But this is the only place where the tourists can also catch the most salubrious visit to the heritage & ancient places and museums along with some nature's attractions. Therefore, this is really vindicated to make a stretchable stay at the regions of Bandhavgarh. And the availability of multiple options of hotels and resorts at Bandhavgarh makes the whole trip more fantastic and rewarding. Whether it's for the pleasing services or about the attractions for the interiors, the accommodations at Bandhavgarh will impress anyone for making the tiger trip more successive.