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Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park
September 09
11:03 2019

Crown in the wildlife heritage of Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park is located around 195 km off Jabalpur and 210 km off Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. Considered as the crown in the wildlife heritage of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is known for the Royal Bengal tigers, cheetahs, leopard, gaur, sambhar, and many more faunal species.

Bandhavgarh National Park is nestled in the Vindhya mountain range of Central India full of hills and ravines. Though very small in comparison to Kanha or other parks of Madhya Pradesh, it hosts almost the same number of tigers or any other wild animal. Apart from tigers and leopards, Bandhavgarh is also extremely productive for medium-sized bison herds.

Bandhavgarh came into existence as a national park in 1968 with a core area of 105 sq km, which was later extended to include two adjoining sal forests in 1986. Before becoming a national park, it was the game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa. But due to loss of royal patronage, it remained neglected for a long time until the government declared it a national park to control rampant poaching in the area.

BEST TIME TO VISITBandhavgarh National Park1

Summer starts here in April and continues till June. The temperature touches a high of around 42°C. But these are also the months when you can look forward to sighting tigers and leopards. December to February are the best months climate wise, when the weather is cool and pleasant. The park is closed during the monsoon season, which also coincides with the breeding season, from June till November. Another reason for closure during this season is the torrential rainfall washing away most of the jungle tracks.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

At Bandhavgarh, you can find a moist deciduous forest, as at Kanha National Park. At higher altitudes, the flora tends to move towards mixed forests. With the highest density of tigers, Bandhavgarh is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in India for the wildlife preservers and enthusiasts.

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, grey 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 small Indian civet, palm squirrel and lesser bandicoot rat are seen occasionally.

There are two main ways of getting about in the park – in a motor vehicle or on elephant back. Many of the animals are now accustomed to both; even so, it is best to talk quietly and not make rapid movements. Jeep safaris are best undertaken from dawn until about 10 a.m. and from about 4 p.m. 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.

The park is also home of the white (albino) tiger.

There are interesting cave shrines scattered around the park, with Brahmi inscriptions dating from the first century B.C.

Bandhavgarh National Park2Bandhavgarh Fort: Built by the Maharajas of Rewa, Bandhavgarh Fort is located well within the Bandhavgarh National Park. It is believed to be 2,000 years old. The fort is situated at an altitude of 800 m and gives a panoramic view of the wildlife preserve as well as the surrounding countryside. There is a small stream called Charganga that flows beside the fort. In the way to the fort you can also see a number of statues and temples, the most famous of all is a rock-cut statue of Lord Vishnu.

Places around: There are very few places around Bandhavgarh that offer much in the way of the excursion. Katani and Umaria are two important urban habitations around Bandhavgarh National Park. Major tourist attractions in the region include the world-famous temples of Khajuraho, Jabalpur – a major business center of Madhya Pradesh – and Bheraghat on the river Narmada.

HOW TO REACH

By road: Bandhavgarh is located equidistance from the city of Jabalpur and world famous tourist spot of Khajuraho. You can reach Bandhavgarh by using roads from both these places.

By rail: Katni at a distance of 120 km on the South-Eastern Railways is the ideal railway connection for reaching Bandhavgarh.

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