Bandhavgarh is a small region of protected forest area in the Shahdol district that covers an area of around 437 sq. km shaped somewhat like Britain. The core area is around 106 sq. km. Rest 331 sq. km is buffer zone protecting the park. The park was recognized as a national park in the year 1986 and was included in Project Tiger in the year 1993. This once called 'shikargarh' meaning game reserve. This was a favored hunting ground of the Rajas and Maharajas of Rewa. Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest density of tigers than any other park in India. And that means, the chances of spotting a tiger are the highest in this park. This has made the park synonymous with tigers just like Ranthambore or Kanha National Park. The park is also famous for the number of heritage buildings that are there, inside the park. There is a fort and around 35 sandstone caves towards the north of the park.
Bandhavgarh has become one of the most visited national parks in India and most of the visitors come here to get a glimpse of tiger, the most majestic beast that roams on the face of this earth. Along with the king, other resident of the park you can get a sight of are leopards, nilgai, Sambhar deer, rhesus macaques, sloth bears and many more. The species of wild boars, Sambhar deer and Barking deer are larger than their counterparts in other parts of the country. The place is a virtual heaven for the bird watchers as well. Migratory birds as well resident birds are found in ample here. There are 150 species of birds that have been seen here and are registered officially. The main birds that are found here are warblers and steppe eagles, teal, sarus crane, black ibis, kingfisher, Egyptian vulture and white eyed buzzard. Many rare species of birds also have their nest in the Bandhavgarh fort. Head the grand fort to explore the heritage richness along with special sightings of the birds. The fort is around 2000 year old that is situated on a huge cliff. This is the only area in the park where you will be allowed to walk on foot. Also visit the sandstone caves which have Brahmi inscriptions carved on the walls which date back to 1st century BC.
Safaris in the wild lands is an experience that cannot be forgotten very quickly. You can take a jeep safari as well as an elephant safari into the deep jungles of Bandhavgarh. If possible, don't miss even a single safari tour as sighting a tiger is not at all guaranteed. Most of the safaris are organized in early mornings or in the afternoons. The best thing about roaming inside the park is that you can take your own four wheeler but only in company of an authorized guide. You can also take up a tiger show tour on an elephant, that is a stage managed encounter with the tiger. The position of the tiger is kept track of, and you are taken to the place where the tiger might be resting.
For your stay, there are ample of Jungle resorts that are situated in the nearby villages. Most of these resorts are well equipped to give you a comfortable stay. They arrange for both, jeep and elephant jungle safari with their own trained guide. When not in jungle shooting the beasts with your camera, enjoy a delicious barbecue and a folk performance by local tribals. Many hotels also organize audio visual presentations in the evening that give a lot of information about the park and wildlife as a whole.
Useful Information on Bandhavgarh National Park.
Best time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park is from the month of November to the month of June. The season is ideal for tiger spotting. Even the temperature is on the favorable side. The timing of entry into Bandhavgarh National Park varies according to the seasons. In every season, there are both morning safari as well as afternoon safari. In winters (October-March), timing for morning safari is from 7.30 AM to 10.30 AM. And for afternoon safari, timing is 3 PM to 5.30 PM. In summers (March-October), morning safari starts from 6.30 AM till 9.30 AM and afternoon safari is from 4 PM till 6.30 PM. The park is closed from July 1 to September 30.
Carry clothes according to the seasons. In summers a hat and dark glasses are very useful. Try not to wear very sharp and pinching colors as they might turn away animals. Here, summers are extremely hot whereas winters are chillingly cold. So carry light cottons during summers and heavy woolens during winters.
Get ready to experience an out of this world feeling by visiting the scintillating Bandhavgarh National Park Whoever comes here, expects to find the most beautiful creatures in their untamed best, and not one who visited this vast land, has left disappointed. Come and explore the kingdom of animals that confines many wonders and many surprises.