national park bandhavgarh
A Click of Tiger

Bandhavgarh National Park is among the top most popular national parks in India that are situated in the Vindhya Hills of the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh.

It is declared as a national park in the year1968 and spread across the area of 105 km². The Bandhavgarh National Park is flourished with a large biodiversity of flora and fauna.

It has the highest density of the tiger population in India. Sal and bamboo trees in the park increase natural beauty. The area is full of tigers, deer, leopards, monkeys, foxes, and various kinds of birds.

Bandhavgarh National Park's Flora & Fauna

Bandhavgarh National Park is situated in the central India region so the animals found in central India can be seen majorly. You can see here more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds.

Tiger, Nilgai, Chinkara, Chausingha, great Gaur, or Indian Bison, Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, and Deer easily would be seen here.

The common birds that easily seen here is the Little Grebe, Egyptian Vulture, Common Peafowl, White-eyed Buzzard, Black Kite, Parakeets, Kingfishers, Egret, lesser Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal,  Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Vulture,  Red Jungle Fowl, Dove, etc.

The Flora of Bandhavgarh forest can be classified as moist deciduous. Sal and bamboo forest occurs throughout the valleys, giving way to the mixed forest. There are grassy meadow patches that occur in the valley.

The common floral species that you can see here are Saj, Dhaora, Tendu, Arjun, Amla, Palas, Salai, Mango, Jamun, Babul, Banyan, Ber, Dhok, Jamun, and many more.

Bandhavgarh National Park Trip Review

The silence is deafening. There is not a whisper in the Sal and Bamboo trees save an itinerant crow's unhappy crowing. I find myself mumbling, 'perhaps the birds don't like the cold that's ready to rip my nose apart…' Suddenly the focus shifts – from rubbing of palms and chattering teeth to shadowy figures at the edge of the grassy bit.

The guide is pointing at a group of Chinkara, spotted deer – who lift their heads at the sound of the Gypsy's engine and resume doing whatever they were doing. They are used to it all, the cold, the men, the Gypsy, the morning ritual.

But to us, they are significant – they mark our first wildlife spotting in the forests of Bandhavgarh, deep in central India. The deer are followed by more deer, the gaur (Indian bison), and nilgai. The birds too wake up eventually and we are able to spot egrets, jungle fowls, parakeets, and kingfishers.

The forest is swampy, dry, thick, grassy, and rocky in turns. And the variety of vegetation and habitat has allowed a diverse range of species to flourish. But the Big Beast is elusive…

It is not before we have been to the forest thrice that we get our share of the completely hair-raising, powerful experience of watching a tiger in the wild. The mesmerizing stripes and the incredible size create deep awe – it is easy to understand why famous shikaris couldn't lift their rifles faced with a specter as this.

how to reach Bandhavgarh national park
A Click of Spotted Deer

They say the jungles of Madhya Pradesh – Bandhavgarh in particular – are the best places to see the tiger. That may just be true – the population of the beast is good and the undergrowth is manageable. But even it were not for the tiger, the experience of the forest, whether Bandhavgarh, Kanha, or Panna, does something strange to you. You become part of the Creation, the Natural, and the Original.

And there are associations galore. Are you remember Mowgli? The small-sized child, and his friend Bagheera, the Black Panther? Or the horrible tiger - Sher Khan? The Jungle Book was born here. This is the original Kipling Country. The kind of place that inspires, holds mysteries, makes you wonder.

There are Kanha sal & bamboo forests, grasslands that spread over 940 square km were created under Project Tiger in the year 1974. You can see here the rare Hardground Barasingha. Bandhavgarh is smaller, but denser with wildlife and it is somewhat special as the former hunting grounds of the maharaja of Rewa.

Bandhavgarh is situated in Shahdol district that covers 448 square km, among the outlying hills of the Vindhya Range. At the center of the park is Bandhavgarh hill, with a fort that has been there since anybody can remember. There are references to it in ancient texts, the Narad-Panch Ratra and the Siva Purana.

Here many dynasties have ruled the fort, from the Maghas from the 1st century AD then Vakatakas from the 3rd century after Vakatakas the Sengars from the 5th century, and from the 10th-century Kalchuris ruled on the fort.

In the 13th century, the Bagels took over the fort and ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617. When the king Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last rulers deserted the fort in 1935.

You can see here a large number of small hills that surrounded the fort. There are caves also that have inscriptions that tough to understand for normal visitors.

Panna is the third major tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The proximity to Khajuraho gives it a special quality and it is an easy excursion from the temple town. The beautiful Ken river flows through the forest, and it is easy to spot nilgai, chinkara, sambar, chital, Chausingha, wild boar in the sanctuary. The tiger is elusive comparatively, but a patient man usually earns his due.

Of all the three places, the best accommodation is perhaps at Bandhavgarh – which is another reason why it is preferred. There are luxury camps run by quite a few operators – amongst them scions of erstwhile Rewa royalty.

Wildlife viewing is either on elephant back or in a jeep. A guide always accompanies. Night drives are not allowed. Though February to June is the period when wildlife viewing is best, the colder months are better. The parks remain closed from July 1 to October 3.

For those who plan a visit to Bandhavgarh National Park, a stay of a minimum of three nights is recommended so that possibility of seeing the more exclusive animals will increase – although, of course, a brief visit is also would be special. 

Do remember that the forest can be extremely cold in the mornings and evenings, especially in a moving jeep and in the winter months, so pack your bags accordingly. Respect the jungle, avoid loud colors, speak softly and don't throw garbage around. And, of course, don't forget that pair of binoculars

Places to Visit in Bandhavgarh National Park

At the Bandhavgarh National Park, there are lots of key places you should visit during your Bandhavgarh trip. There are some more places you should visit in Bandhavgarh.

  • Bari Gufa - The Giant Cave
  • Three Cave Point - Ideal home of wild animals
  • Rajbahera - Bandhaini Hillock View
  • Sidhababa - The Holy Meadow
  • Chakradhar - The Sprawling Meadow
  • Gopalpur - A Place for Bird Watching
  • Shesh Shaiya - Origin of River Charan Ganga
  • Ketkiha - Pandanus Point
  • Bhitari Bah - Tranquility in Wilderness
  • Climber's Point - Nature's Beauty
  • Sehra - The Fort View
  • Mahaman Pond - Place to Quench the Thirst
  • Baghel Museum -Personal items of King of Rewa
  • Village Tala - An Indian village
  • Jwalamukhi Temple- Goddess Jwalamukhi Temple

Tips for Jungle Trip in Bandhavgarh National Park

  • The best time for Jeep Safari from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • A forest department guide with you keep your Jungle safari safer and enjoyable.
  • You should choose the Elephant safari that is a good option to visit the Jungle.
  • Select the clothes that are normal and comfortable for you according to the weather. Don't wear so attractive colors such as red that attracts the animals to you.
  • Just watch the normal Jungle life of the animals in their natural habitat, don't disturb them.
  • Unnecessary luggage can disturbs you so keep only essential items with you.
  • You must keep a first aid box with you, you are in the jungle and don't know what to happen next.
  • Jungle safari will be incomplete without photography so you must carry a good quality camera to click the movements of the wildlife to keep memories for the future.
  • You are in the Jungle, not in Zoo. So be patient to see the wildlife animals.

Bandhavgarh Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Bandhavgarh national park would be from February to April when the weather would be pleasant and suitable for visiting the place. At that time animals easily can be seen to get body warming in sunlight. September to October time period also a good time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park.

During May to June is the best time to see tigers and other animals. Due to the summer season, animals come near the water sources. Jungle safaris in summer can be tiring but worth it as vegetation is dry and less dense also the animals stick around water sources so it becomes very easy to spot them.

Bandhavgarh How to Reach

Bandhavgarh National Park is situated in the Umaria district. Bandhavgarh is well connected to nearby towns & cities such as Umariya, Khajuraho, Indore, etc. that making it easily accessible for tourists and travelers.

Bandhavgarh National Park is only 35 km far away from the Umaria district and it will take one hour to reach thereby road-ways. Katni will be the second nearer city that is about 102 km far away from the Bandhavgarh. The best option to go there is to book a taxi or cab or use your private vehicle to go to this place.

By Road: Reaching to Bandhavgarh by road is more convenient ways as the destination is easily accessible from nearby cities such as Umaria, Jabalpur, Katni, and Khajuraho.

By Air: The nearest airport is situated in Khajuraho from the Bandhavgarh national park. Here you can get many flights from nearby cities such as Delhi, Agra, or Varanasi, Lucknow, Indore, etc. This distance of Bandhavgarh is 270 Kms from the Khajuraho district.

By Rail: Bandhavgarh's nearest railway station is Umaria. This distance of Bandhavgarh is 35 Kms from the Umaria city.

TouristBug's Recommendations

  • Visit the park calmly and slowly, don't disturb the wildlife animals, and watch the natural beauty.
  • Drive on the tracks or roads only. Off-road driving can be harmful to both sides.
  • Keep a safe distance from the wildlife animals. Keep in mind that you are in the Jungle, not in a zoo.
  • Be a good tourist or visitor keep the park pollution-free and avoid spreading garbages here and there.
  • Avoid using fire items in the forest. Smoking must be avoided during the visit to Jungle.

1 Comments

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  1. This Article is sent by the Vimal Patidar from the Khandwa district. This article is published under the TouristBug Travel Writing Competition 2020

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