About Bandhavgarh National Park.
How to Reach.
Safari & Timing.
Facilities Bandhavgarh National Park.
Nearby Tourist Attractions.
About Bandhavgarh National
The Bandhavgarh national
park have a very long history. Set among the Vindhya hills of
Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168 sq miles (437 sq km), it
contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of
game, including a large number of tigers. Bandhavgarh was
declared Project Tiger Reserve in 1993.
Geography, Flora and Climate:
When originally formed in 1968, Bandhavgarh was a
comparatively small park of only 40 sq miles (105 sq km), but
in mid-1986 it was extended to include two large areas of
forest adjoining it on the northern and southern sides. These
extension areas consist mainly of sal forest. In the north a
series of ridges, inter cut by perennial streams, runs
parallel to the main Umaria road which runs through the park.
To the south, gently undulating forest is interspersed with
grazing areas, formerly agricultural land.
central area of the park the original 40 sq miles - remains
the principal viewing area. There are 32 hiils in this part of
the park, which has a large natural fort at its canter. The
fort's cliffs are 2625 feet (800 meters) high, 1000 feet (300
meters) above the surrounding countryside. Over half the area
is covered by sal forest although on the upper slopes it is
replaced by mixed forest of sali, saj, dhobin and saja.
Towards the north there are large stretches of bamboo and
grassland. Most of the bamboo flowered in 1985 and the old
clumps died, leaving the ground covered with new bamboo
growth. Many streams run through the valleys but only three
are perennial. One of them, the Charanganga, has its source at
Winter temperatures (November-mid February) vary from almost
freezing at night to around 68 0 F (20 0 C) in the daytime.
Summer nights are also cooler than the daytime temperature
which rises to 104 0 F (40 0 C). The park is closed during the
breeding season, which coincides with the monsoon
(July-October). Rainfall in the park averages 50 inches (120
cm) per year.
Bandhavgarh has been a canter of human activity and settlement
for over 2000 years. Legend has it that Rama, hero of the
Hindu epic, the Ramayana, stopped at Bandhavgarh on his way
back to his homeland after defeating the demon king Ravana of
Lanka. Two monkey architects, who had engineered a bridge
between the isle of Lanka and the mainland, are said to have
built Bandhavgarh's fort. Later Rama handed it over to his
brother Lakshmana who became known as bandhavdhish, "the lord
of the fort" - a title still used by the present "lord of the
fort," the former Maharaja of Rewa. Lakshmana is the
particular god of the fort and is regularly worshiped in a
The oldest signs of habitation in the park are the caves dug
into the sandstone to the north of the fort. Several contain
Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century B.C. From that
time onwards Bandhavgarh was ruled by a succession of
dynasties including the Chandela kings of Bundelkhand who
built the famous temples at Khajuraho. The Baghel kings, the
direct ancestors of the present royal family of Rewa,
established their dynasty at Bandhavgarh in the 12th Century.
It remained their capital till 1617 when the canter of court
life moved to Rewa, 75 miles (120 km) to the north. Without
royal patronage Bandhavgarh became more and more deserted
until forest overran the area and it became a royal hunting
reserve. This helped to preserve the forest and its wildlife,
although the maharajas made full use of their rights. Each set
out to kill the auspicious number of 109 tigers.
At independence Bandhavgarh remained the private property of
the maharaja until he gave it to the state for the formation
of a national park in 1968. After the park was created
poaching was brought under control and the number of animals
rose dramatically. Small dams and water holes were built to
solve the problem of water shortage. Grazing by local cattle
was stopped and a village within the park boundaries was
relocated. The tigers in particular prospered and the 1986
extension provided much needed forest to accommodate them.
Within the Park:
Bandhavgarh is justifiably famous for its tigers, but it has a
wide range of other game. The undergrowth is not as dense as
in some northern terai forests, but the best time to see the
park's inhabitants is still the summer months when water
becomes more scarce and the undergrowth dies back.
Chinkara, still rather shy, can be sighted on the grassland
areas of the park, particularly on formerly cultivated land
in the southern extension area, on the edges of the main
viewing area. Also to be seen in the grasslands are nilgai,
chausingha and sounders of wild boar, as well as the
occasional jackal or fox. In March and April gaur, or Indian
bison, move down from the higher hills to the southeast of the
park and make their way through the southern extension area to
the central meadows of the park to graze. The need for water
and good grazing draws them to the park and they return to the
southeastern hills at the onset of the monsoon.
Muntjac and sambar prefer denser vegetation. The main prey
animal, however, for the tigers and the park's rarely sighted
leopards are the chital, which now number a few thousand.
There are two types of monkey common in the park - the rhesus
macaque and the black-faced langur. Drives can also reveal
jungle cats, hyenas, porcupines, ratels and a variety of other
mammals. At least one small pack of wild dogs inhabits the
central area of the park.
As the park is relatively new, there is still a good chance of
adding birds to the checklist of some 150 species already
compiled. Bandhavgarh attracts many migratory birds in the
winter months, including birds of prey like the steppe eagle
and a variety of wildfowl. However, as it has limited water
surfaces it cannot compete with parks with large areas of
wetland. While you aren't allowed to go into the park on foot,
the park headquarters and the Jungle Camp offer excellent
opportunities to watch the smaller birds. Attracted by
flowering and fruiting trees, some very attractive and less
common birds can be seen - for example the blue-bearded bee
eater, the white-bellied drongo, Tickell's blue flycatcher,
the white-browed fantail, both the gold-fronted and Jerdon's
leafbirds, minivets and woodshrikes. Any large fruiting tree
generally reveals a population of green pigeons and some of
the noisiest residents - blossom-headed parakeets. Gray and,
less often, the magnificent black and white Malabar hornbills,
fly across. On roads through the sal forests it's worth
looking out for the large racket-tailed drongo and the dipping
plumes of the paradise flycatcher.
The Fort The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and
permission is required to visit it. However permission is
available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh can really be
complete without making the effort to climb up to the fort.
There are two ways up on to the plateau, a jeeptrack and a
footpath - both steep. It is far easier to see the fort by
jeep but much more rewarding to make the journey on foot.
There is a convenient place to park vehicles on the southern
side of the fort in the lush jungle which surrounds its base.
This point is known as Shesh Saya, named after a unique
35-foot (II-meter) long statue of a reclining Vishnu carved
around the 10th Century, from whose feet the Charanganga is
said to flow. A rectangular pool of springwater lies just
beneath the statue and the path to the main gate of the fort,
the Karn Pol, leads off to the left of the pool. On the other
side of this imposing gateway lie 560 acres (227 hectares) of
grassland, over which are scattered turtle-filled tanks and
the many remains of the human inhabitants of the fort from
ancient statues to the barracks occupied by Rewa's troops up
to independence. At a brisk pace the walk from the Shesh Saya
to the southern side of the fort need only take an hour, but
if you stop to see the statues and temples on the way it can
easily take much longer. As you follow the path southwards,
the most remarkable sights are the 10th-Century rock images of
the incarnations of Vishnu. A statue of Narasimha (half-man
half-lion) towers almost 22 feet (seven meters) above the
There is a carving of Sarah Bhagwan (the boar
incarnation), and a small temple enshrining a large image of
Vishnu in his fish avatar. The tortoise incarnation stands
unenclosed and flanked by later carvings of Ganesh, the
elephant god, and other deities. The charm of this walk lies
in discovering these monuments in the jungle, unspoilt and
unexploited. Some of the statues lie off the main path and so
it is best to take a guide. Apart from the avatars, well worth
seeing are three small temples of around the 12th Century.
These temples are deserted but the fort is still used as a
place of worship. Kabir Das, the celebrated 16th-Century
saint, once lived and preached here.
HOW TO REACH
BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK
The nearest airports are Khajuraho and Jabalpur, which are air
linked with the major cities of India. Perhaps the most
convenient to take the air route to Khajuraho from where it is
about a six-hour drive (280Km) to Bandhvagarh National Park.
The drive though long affords the pleasure of traveling
through interesting places like the Panna town, famous for its
diamond mines and by the Ken River, which has a crocodile
Bandhavgarh can be reached from a number of railway stations
near Bandhavgarh-Jabalpur (170 kms), Katni (102 kms), Satna
(112 kms) on the central railway and Umaria (35kms) on the
You can reach Bandhavgarh from Jabalpur (3-4 hrs), Satna
(3.5hrs), Katni (2.5), Kanha (7hrs), Katni (2.5hrs) and
Khajuraho (6hrs). Bandhavgarh is located equidistance from the
city of Jabalpur and world famous tourist spot of Khajuraho.
Both state and private transport buses ply between all these
places and Bandhavgarh..
Timing - Bandhavgarh National Park
WINTER (Oct to Jan)
MORNING - 06 : 30 to 10 : 30 AM,
EVENING - 01 : 30 to 5 : 30 PM
SUMMER SAFARI TIMING (Feb to June)
MORNING - 06 : 00 to 10 :00 AM
EVENING - 02 : 30 to 06 : 30 PM
Facilities - Bandhavgarh National
Park Safari by
Knowledgeable English Speaking Naturalist
Drive to Bandhavgarh Fort
Elephant Ride in Jungle
Visit to Villages to experience local culture
Transfer facilities to and from Railway Station and Hotel
Transport Arrangements to any part of India by Ac / Non Ac Car
Accommodation Arrange at Hotel of your choice.
Assistance on arrival and departure
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