Bandhavgarh National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Total Coverage Area : 437 sq. kms / 44,884 hectares
Established : 1982 as a National Park. 1993 as Tiger Reserve
Location : 120 kms form Katni in the Shadol and Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
Set amidst the Vindhyan ranges and the eastern flank of Satpura hill range Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the best places to see and enjoy wildlife in India. The Reserve is named after the highest hill Bandhavgarh (807 m.) in the centre of the Reserve. A chain of smaller hills, 32 in all, surrounds this hill, forming a number of valleys and spurs in between. This park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers. White Tigers, now a major attraction around the world's zoos, were first discovered in Rewa, not far from here. The terrain is broken, with rocky hill ranges, running roughly east west, interspersed with grassy swamps and forested valleys. The rivers Johilla and Son flowing on the eastern side, the river Umrar passing through the western fringes and the Bandhavgarh hill, visible from as far as 30 km., are some of the landmarks of the Reserve.
Much of the park is covered in Sal forest, replaced by mixed forests in the higher elevations of the hills. There are extensive strands of bamboo, which flowered in 1984-85, and grasslands. Generally the forests have less undergrowth here, thus offering better sightings of wildlife, notably mammals, including the daylight sightings of Tigers in the grassy 'maidans'. More than 25 Tigers are estimated for the park.
Visitors can visit the park during the time period of November to June; still the best period to come is January-April. Park is open from October to June.
By Air : Khajuraho is the closest airport to Bandhavgarh (300 kms).
By Rail : Nearest railway station is Umaria after Katni, from there it is about an hours drive to Bandhavgarh.
By Road : Jabalpur is 180 kms on the Shahdol -Shahpura road and Umaria is 34 kms from Tala. It is also connected to the Mandla district through Dewas. Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh National Park is 250 Kms, (8 hrs drive).
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Park Safari Timings
Visitors can enter the core area only in the mornings on a jeep or in the afternoon. One needs to take a forest department guide to help one enjoy the park better. Touring is usually allowed on jeeps, which are available locally. Because of the rush of the tourist season hiring jeeps can become troublesome, so reserve the vehicle well in advance during the peak season.
|01 November - 15 February
|16 February - 30 April
|01 May - 30 June
Tiger Show at Bandhavgarh National Park
Tiger Show at Bandhavgarh National Park : The Forest authority of Bandhavgarh National park organizes a Tiger Show for tourists through tokens on strictly on first-come-first-serve basis. The vehicles take it in turns to drive to the location where one is taken by elephant to view the tiger. The elephants can approach the tigers at very close proximity, often as close as 3-4 metres without seemingly causing any distress to either animal.
Note : Tiger shows can't be guaranteed since they are strictly subject to the successful tiger tracking.
Accommodation and Facilities
Most of the tourist accommodation is available at or near Tala. There are quite a few jungle resorts in Bandhavgarh National Park where you can enjoy your stay, the recommended ones are:
CHURAT KOTHI : UPPER END
Churhat Kothi is a camp set in twenty-four acres of dense forest. There are 12 spacious safari tents, each with a luxurious bathroom. The tents are raised on a concrete platform and are custom made. The attached bathrooms are permanent with running hot and cold water. There is electricity at the camp, which is confined to public areas only. The tents are provided with kerosene lanterns. The camp has a dining room serving Indian food, besides a sitting lounge and a good collection of books on wildlife. A bonfire is organized every evening in the winters at the "Golghar" - a covered circular sitting area among the trees.
TIGER TRAILS SAFARI LODGE : MID - SEGMENT
Set amidst lush jungles, Tiger Trails Safari is a mere 2 kms drive from the National Park. It has twelve cottages spread over an eleven-acre site. The lodge overlooks a private lake, which attracts a variety of resident and migratory birds. It has a well-stocked library and audio-visual shows on wildlife are arranged on request. Each bedroom has a private bathroom with shower and/or bath and toilet and telephone.
BANDHAVGARH JUNGLE LODGE : MID- SEGMENT
Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge is situated 240 kms from Khajuraho Airport, 32 kms from Umaria and 200 Kms from Jabalpur Railway stations respectively. The Jungle Lodge has the facilities of Bar-Be-Que, Jeep for a jungle excursions, Resident Naturalist, transport facility, Nature Walk. The resort has 10 twin-bedded cottages and a 4-room house with en suite facilities.
ROYAL TIGER RESORT: MID - SEGMENT
Royal tiger Resort is an eco-friendly tented resort with basic modern facilities. The accommodation is offered in form of Swiss cottage tents, which consist of a sit out area, 14 x 14 square feet bedroom with fixed furniture and a concrete permanent attached toilet with modern facilities including running hot and cold water. The highlight of the camp is its well-maintained gardens, a swimming pool and multi-cuisine restaurant. The resort also has a good collection of slides and books on wildlife.
TIGER DEN RESORT, BANDHAVGARH
Located at a distance of 400 yards from the main gate of the Jungle, it is spread in 1.75 acres of lush green gardens. The resort has 14 elegantly appointed luxury cottages. Each cottage has a verandah overlooking the forests and the marvelous hills of Bandhavgarh. The jungle facing cottages are wall-to-wall carpeted with twin or large beds adding comfort to the atmosphere. All the cottages have attached bathrooms with luxurious fittings, bath, running hot and cold water. Cottages have 220 Volt of electricity (backed by generator) with standard 3-point plugs – adapters are available. The resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant.
WHITE TIGER LODGE : LOWER END
This budget category lodge is located quite close to the entry gate of Bandhavgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. There are 2 air-conditioned rooms and 24 non-air conditioned rooms. All rooms have attached bathrooms and showers done in a typical Indian village theme.
Mammals : Rhesus Macaque, Hanuman Langur, Golden Jackal, Wolf, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Small Indian Civet, Common Palm Civet,Smooth Indian otter, Indian Grey Mongoose Ruddy Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Tiger, Wild Boar, Indian Muntjac Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Four-horned Antelope, Indian Horse-Shoe Bat, Black -Naped Hare Indian Gazelle, Indian Pangolin, Northern Palm Squirrel, Indian Porcupine, Indian Hare.
Flora : Sal (Shorea robusta), Bija (Pterocarpus marsupium), Saja (Terminalia alata), Tendu (Lannia coromendalica), Palas (Butea monosperma), Aonla (Emblica officinalis), Dhawan (Terminalia bellerica), Garhi (Garuga pinnata), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), are the main tree species. The bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) is found in the higher and lower elevations both and the Moghania spp is also found in the lower elevations.
Birds : About 150 species of birds known from the Tala area are also found over here including the Brown Fish Owl, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Shahin Falcon.
Insects : The Giant Wood Spider can be found with the huge webs in the trees in the morning in winter. The forest also has a varied web of life including the whip-scorpion and many species of butterflies and moths and dragonflies.