One of the most picturesque wildlife heavens Bandhavgarh National Park is a sight to behold. The amazing grandeur of the panoramic spread is a mesmerizing realm of wild animals in Central India. Amidst dense canopy of lives the World’s most magnificent animal the tiger. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve situated in the District of Umaria in Madhya Pradesh best place to see the tigers in the wild.
Bandhavgarh National Park is now under the aegis of Project Tiger India and has an area of 1536 square kilometer. km, the core zone 720 square kilometer and Buffer Zone 820 square kilometer.
The characteristic flat-topped hillocks and steep valleys accord the park’s unique landscape, grasslands, dense forest, open forest, and marshy land. The tigers rule this little kingdom and they survive in impressive numbers. The high density makes this little tiger heaven the most visited tiger park in the world.
A unique characteristic feature of the park is the presence of remains of an ancient civilization. The tribal kingdom resulted in the creation of a vast fort, caves, shelters, courts, and reservoirs. The zoomorphic idols of Lord Vishnu and Ram Temple at the Fort are simply unbelieving of a man’s faith in the almighty and his representation in an utmost creative manner.
The reclining Vishnu on the ascent to the Fort is also known as Shesh Shaiyya carved out of the igneous rock it stretches twenty feet long beside a fairy pool under the shadow of huge Sesh Nag or King Cobra. The structure in stone is visited by many tourists and is the hallmark of this reserve.
Excursions in Park
On tiger safari in the park, one can come across these magnificent spectacles thriving among the wild. The time stands still amidst nature and extols the ingenuity of man.
Besides ancient ruins, the park is home to the tiger, leopard and wild dog as main predators. Jackals and fox constitute the common predator landscape and they scavenge as well. The vultures are the chief scavengers among the birds albeit in reduced numbers their population in bouncing back.
Other charismatic species are the sloth bear, bison, and antelopes namely the four-horned antelope and the huge Neel Gai. Wild boar, langur monkeys, and spotted deer are a common sight while sambar deer are encountered in large numbers as well. Rusty-spotted cat and jungle cat cousins of the big cats are seen rarely. Small creatures like the pangolin, civet cat, porcupine, ratel and mongoose are less seen as they are mostly nocturnal.
Among the avian peacock is most common but the targeted species are the Malabar pied hornbill, Indian pitta, Paradise flycatcher, orange headed ground thrush, Jerdon’s baza, goshawk, crested hawk-eagle, Griffon vultures, ashy minivet, scarlet minivet, white bellied minivet, a number of wintering warblers and ducks and teals. There are around 25O bird species that can be check listed during the safaris.
Conservation Unit & Tourism
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is a conservation unit but in twenty percent of core regulated tourism is conducted. The area is divided into three zones namely Tala, Magadhi and Khitauli. Besides these, there are few buffer zones where tourism is conducted. For safari or excursions in the park permits issued by the forest department of Madhya Pradesh are required. This has to be booked online or purchased at the gate.
The tiger reserve has a sound infrastructure with a large number of hotels and resorts for a comfortable stay. Independent restaurants and food stalls are available for cheaper meals.
How to Reach?
The access to the park is from Jabalpur Airport at a distance of four kilometers. You can also taxi down from Khajuraho and Panna at a distance of six hours. Bandhavgarh is accessible from nearby towns like Satna and Katni by road.
An overnight train that stops at Umaria (32 km) leaves New Delhi at 3 pm and reaches Umaria in the morning hours. Trains from Jabalpur to Umaria are also available.