Bandipur National Park / Bandipur Tiger reserve Park


This article is to give the details of Bandipur National park one of the biggest reserve forests of South India in Karnataka State. This article gives details about the park, the trekking facilities. Ideal time to visit, safari tour in the forest, the flora, fauna, avifauna, reptiles, butterflies and reptiles etc which may be seen during the stay and safari, the accommodation facility, food facility and how to reach there is also given in the article.

The National Park/ Tiger Reserve

Bandipur National Park or also known as Bandipur tiger reserve is a different world altogether, in fact, a blissful world in the Hangala hobli of Gundalpet Taluk in Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka State in India. The park cum reserve is an expanse of 880 sq km adjacent to the Nagarahole National Park separated by the river Kabini a tributary of the River Kaveri. This park combined with Nagarhole of 640 sq km, the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary of Tamilnad of 320 sq km and Wynad sanctuary of Kerala State of 344 sq km is a part of the vast reserve national park is a continuous stretch of about 2200 sq km of forest for animals. This is the largest protected area of the South India. The animals migrate from one area to the other depending on the availability of food and water. While the Karnataka lifeline Kaveri and tributaries are crisis crossing the National park cum important Tiger reserve the Nilgiris (Blue Mountain) of the Western Ghats gives picturesque background making the Wildlife sanctuary an ideal and desirable holiday destination. This is a spot much sought after by the foreign tourists especially. It is one of the best National Parks in the world.

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee is considering selecting the Nilgiris portion of the Western Ghats which include the Bandipur National Park as the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve (conservation of biodiversity) and a World Heritage Site (of around 6000 sq km).

Bandipur National Park or Bandipur tiger reserve

TigerBandipur National Park or Bandipur tiger reserve and Nagarahole are a favorite hunting place for the erstwhile Mysore Maharajas of the Wodeyar dynasty. For the wildlife enthusiasts, this is a natural paradise. It is also ideal for the people who want to be with nature as this reserve forest is one of the nature's best spots. It is one of few most popular National parks of India where people are sure of the sighting of a number of wild lives in their natural habitat. The sanctuary has a very large population of about 5000 elephants and has become the home for about 70 of the world famous Bengal tigers and a very large number of predator species of animals like Leopard, panther, Sloth Bear, Chevrotain, Dhole and Hyena on the one hand and their prey the grazing gaur, chital, wild boar, sambar and other innumerable wild lives of the wild jungle. It is a dwelling place for wild animals like panther, jackal, Malabar squirrel, barking deer, porcupines, and the black-naped hare langur, four horned Antelope, Crocodiles, Mouse deer, Python and Osprey etc; and avifauna like Robbins, jungle fowl, tits, bulbils, partridges warbles, peacocks, pigeons, Woolly-necked Storks.

The Bandipur National Park / Bandipur Tiger Reserve Park have large varieties of Flora,fauna, avifauna, reptiles, insects, butterflies. This is one of the 15 tiger projects to protect the endangered species with about 70 tigers inside the forest. These are mentioned at the bottom of this article.

Read All in all the Bandipur Safari National park is a tourists' paradise or a mysterious treat one will be giving to self and family. It is a 365 days safari park. The overall peak period is from April to October. But an ideal time for the safari is during March, April and May for those who are mainly interested in wildlife. For those who are interested more in the natural lush greenery, the time is from October to February. Summer will give opportunity to see large animals like the elephants and gaur.

Watch Nature Spreading Wings at Bandipur National Park

ElephantsBandipur National park and Tiger Reserve is vast stretch of nature at its best with the only intrusion of the tourist and the tourist departments intruding into it. If one spends a few days it will be possible to understand the wonders, awes and the suspense with periods of calm in between.

Bandipur AntelopeIn this park we can observe with thrills the wildlife by going in the tours of the forest arranged through the special vehicles of the forest department and by walk inside to the limit permitted during the early mornings and in the evenings under the guidance of the trained personnel of the forest force. We can glance at many varieties of trees, plants, bushes, creepers of the flora; some of the fauna like the barking deer, antelope, 4 horned antelopes, wild pigs and others; and the peacock, Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Nilgiri Fly Catcher, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Little Spiderhunter etc of the avifauna; Water Snake, Marsh Crocodile, Lizard, Chameleon, Monitor Lizard, Frog etc of the reptiles; Rose, Crimson Rose, Common Jay, Tailed, Lime Butterfly, Malabar Raven, Common Mormon, Red Helen etc of the butterfly families and several insects. Those who want can have photos of whatever they like to capture in their cameras or video recorders to their heart's content. The balance of the forest which they could not see can be seen through the slide shows; films etc and enrich the knowledge about nature. There are elephant rides arranged beside the vehicle trips.
Perhaps with special arrangements with the officials at the Bandipur National Park, it may be possible to have safari by boats and coracles at the Nagarahole National Park. Otherwise, they can adjust the stay in such a way to include both the places in their trip.

Trekking Paradise

For those tourist who want some trekking time Bandipur National Park has facility to trek along the gorge at the slopes of Moyar just at 18 km from the jungle safari lodge of the Government, there is also a laid out track at a distance of 10 km from the lodge which stretches from 7 km to 26 km. Then there is the Gopalaswamy Betta peak at a distance of 12 km. Any of these should satisfy the trekker to the fullest extent.

The Safari facilities available at Bandipur National Tiger Reserve


Bandipur National Park Safari by vehicle

GaurThe Bandipur National Park has jeep and other vehicles specially altered to suit the jungle travel for taking the guests around the park and also into the Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary. On booking these vehicles, depending on the number of persons in the group, will take inside the forest area of both the Parks where the guests will have the opportunity to see a number of animals, birds, insects, butterflies, crocodiles etc on the tour. The Nagarhole National Park has the highest concentration of herbivores (animals that eat plant-based foods which are more than 5 kgs in weight) in the entire Asian continent. The density of the animal population in Nagarhole is 110 per sq km consisting among others the Muntjak, Chital, Sambar, Four-horned Antelope, Gaur, and Wild pig, Asian Elephant, Common Langur and the Bonnet Macaque etc. The safari is of about 2 hour's duration. If the group is lucky they can even spot some predatory (hunting animals – animals which kill other animals t eat) but they are rare during day time. In summer the chances of sighting them are more as they come to drink water to the water holes. The water holes at that time will be few and all animals have to come there to drink water. They will have plenty of birds to sight during the safari.

Safari by elephant

Safari on elephant back is arranged for those who like to watch the forest and its flora, avian and fauna while riding on the elephants. While on this the park wardens may explain about the huge and biggest mammal on earth with its association with man and the methods of capturing the wild ones and train them to understand our language and obeying the commands etc. Sometimes it may be possible to get an opportunity to bathe and feed some of the elephants.

Bandipur National park at evening times if booked at the Bandipur safari lodges

There will be tribal dances on alternate nights by the kaadu kuraba tribe troupe. These dances are normally performed by them during their festivals or times of stress as an invitation to their gods. Of course in the forest guest house, it is exclusively for the benefit of the guests. The dance will be around the campfire which provides the light and heat.

The lodges are equipped with all modern fittings and fixtures except for TV and air conditioners as they will not be required as we will be engaged otherwise. The lodge will have a natural blending with the greenery around. Even the names of the lodges are on the animals of the forest.

The lodges have an open to the sides banquet area. From here one can have a beautiful view of the surrounding hills and the Gopalaswamy Betta the highest one around the area with a height of around 4500 feet. There are campfire settings with multi cuisine restaurant. There is also a lounge with a collection of CDs and Books on nature and wildlife. Buffet food of Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and some Chinese food area available for the lodgers.

The forest department in collaboration with the KSTDC has different tour packages with stay, Lunch, Dinner & Breakfast, Jeep safari into Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Guided Nature Walk, Forest Entry Fees, Camera, Fees and Taxes to suit the tastes of the tourists.

General Information Bandipur National Park / Tiger Reserve

Tour by vehicle other than that of the forest department is not allowed. There are different modes of tours arranged by the Forest department to suit the tastes of the visitors.

Machans (a sort of hut like arrangement built on tree branches) are available for hire near the water holes to observe animals from close quarters.
There are picturesque places nearby to the park. They are the Gopalaswamy Betta (hill) and Rolling rocks.

Bandipur National Park (BNP) was established in 1931 in the Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka on the border to Kerala and Tamilnadu.

The BNP is in the Nilgiris (part of the Western Ghat mountain) region fed by the Rivers of Kabini, Moyar and Nugu and many other streams. This is the first Biosphere Reserve of the country under the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.

Bandipur is a site chosen by the Government of India to protect the endangered species of the Royal Indian Tiger and made this as Bandipur Tiger Reserve Sanctuary. Besides the tiger the Park houses a number of species of flora, fauna, avian, Reptiles, butterflies and insects besides exotic trees as describe earlier.

There are 3 other wildlife sanctuaries one of Karnataka State itself, the Nagarahole and one each of Kerala (Wayanad) and Tamilnad (Mudumalai). This was the hunting and haunting ground of the brigand Veerappan of Tamilnad who was killed.

Check out the
budget resort in Wayanad.

Inside the Reserve forest area there are no human settlements though the area is surrounded by several villages and hamlets.

There will be documentary films shows on Indian wildlife on alternate days in the check – in – Lounge of the Bandipur National Park cum Bandipur Tiger Reserve Park. Leopard


Bandipur National Park's attractions for children

The Bandipur National Park cum Bandipur national Tiger Reserve Park has provided many board games like Carrom, Chess, and Pictionary etc and Table Tennis. Those of the children who are interested in Children's books, comics, art material and puzzles etc can find plenty of them in the children's library section. In the lounge special children's film shows will be arranged depending on the responses.

Conflicts & threats

While all the above will appear that everything is fine and smooth at the Bandipur national Park/Tiger Reserve there are tensions, anxieties, anticipations and conflicts to the villagers on the border of the park all around. There are about 200 villages on the borders. The park is the source of fodder to the villagers' cattle and source of firewood and other products of the forest. While this is on the one side, on the other side is the fact that there a large number of cattle of the 1.5 lakh cattle population in the area affected with diseases. The wildlife may be affected by these diseases transmitted from the cattle. During the year 1968 large number of gaur animals were killed by the rinderpest spread from the grazing cattle of the villages. During the Britishers time, they planted Lantana bush. This bush has spread fast in the forest stifling the natural trees, plants and creepers of the forest. This Bush introduced by the British is with thorns breeds mosquitoes and the herbivores cannot eat them due to the thorn. The spread of the bush has reduced propagation of the natural flora of the area which is the main fodder of the fauna in the forest. This has caused for some species of the herbivores to disappear from the Park. The Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) weed has spread in the forest and has damaged the biodiversity changing the beautiful forest into an ugly one with these invasive weeds and the thorny bush.
When fodder is scarce the forest animals wander into the human habitats and damage the property and the crops like paddy and sugarcane etc.

The national Highway 212 between Bangalore and Ooty passes through the Bandipur national Park / Bandipur National Tiger Reserve Park and the reckless drivers of the vehicle have caused the death of many animals in the park stretch of the road. Now there are restrictions of movements of the vehicles during the time from 9 pm to 6 am.

Bandipur National Park History

The present sanctuary started with a 90 sq km area in the year 1931. Since it was very small for the wildlife it was extended to over 880 sq km. During the year 1973 the Bandipur Tiger Reserve was established under project tiger. This park is abundant with Sandalwood. From outside the National park may appear with less greenery but it is very thick forest inside.

How to Reach Bandipur National Park

For Air travel Bangalore International airport is the nearest one at a distance of 220 kms away from Bandipur.

By Rail travel, the nearest railway station is Nanjangud at 55 kms away followed by the Mysore station at a distance of 80 kms.

By Road travel the Bandipur National Park is 220 kms from Bangalore; 80 kms from Mysore and 80 kms from Ooty; 55 km from Nanjangud; and the Gundulpet town is 20 kms away. The national park is well connected by buses from most of the big or small town. Taxis are available from any of the towns mentioned. The Mysore – Ooty National Highway passes through the Bandipur National Park/Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Bandipur National Park / Tiger Reserve Park accommodation and food

There are many lodges, safari lodges, cottages and suites providing accommodation and other facilities depending on the package selected. The average charge will be Rs 3500 per person per day basis. Children below 5 years are allowed free of charge. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 are charged at 50% of tariff. Most o f the modern amenities are available in the lodges. There will be no A/C accommodation or TV facilities in the lodges.

Check in time is 12 noon. The package for Rs 3500 includes Stay, Lunch, Dinner & Breakfast, Jeep safari into Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Guided Nature Walk, Forest Entry Fees, Camera Fees & Taxes. Buffet of South Indian, North Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are included in the food menu. There may be concessions in the fares during offseason.

Some of the institutions proving accommodation are


Jungle home: +91 80 41230008; 9900087611; stay@deepjunglehome.com

Bandipur Safari Lodge: 91-80-40554055; junglelodges.com

Bandipur Safari Lodge: Skyway International Travels - +91 80 22111401; +91 821 2444444

Karnataka Tourism: thekarnatakatourism.com

Bandipur Safari Lodge: +91-22-6150 6363; bandipur@nivalink.co.in

Interested persons may also check up with the KSTDC.

On the internet, there may be details of other accommodation providers.

Also, if you are planning to visit Wayanad, a nearby tourist destination in Kerala, read Wayanad tourist information.

It Is better to get the full details of the tariff, the items included in the packages, Extra facilities and the extra charges etc to avoid unpleasantness later.

Flora of Bandipur national Park

There are several species of valuable timber trees including: Teak (Tectona grandis), Rosewood (Dalbergia Latifolia),Sandalwood (Santalum album),Indian Laurel (Dendrocalamus strictus), Indian Kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), giant clumping bamboo(Bambusa arundinacea) dindal, honne, matti, nerale, tadsal are some to name.

There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including: Kadam tree (Adina cordifolia), Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata), Axle wood (Anogeissus Latifolia), Black Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, Flame of the forest (Butea monospermous), Golden Shower tree (Cassia fistula), Satin wood (Chloroxylon swetenia), Black Cutch (Acacia catechu), Shorea Talura, Indigo berry (Randia uliginosa)

Fauna of Bandipur National Park

Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Gaurs, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Black Napped Hare, Sloth Beer, Wild dog (Dhole), Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Indian Giant Red Squirrel, 4 Horned Antelope (Chausingha), Porcupines, Slender Loris, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Common Otter, Wild Boar, Jackal, 4 varieties of Mongoose, Flying Squirrels, Pangolin, Giant Fruit Bats and Striped Hyenas.

Avian Population in Bandipur National Park

Peacock

For the bird lovers Bandipur is again a paradise. The park has a whopping 300 + species Among birds, Robbins, jungle fowl, tits, bulbils, partridges warbles, peacocks, pigeons, Woolly-necked Storks, grey jungle fowl, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Honey Buzzard, Red Headed Vultures, Grey Headed Fish eagle, Brown Hawk Owl, Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Nilgiri Fly Catcher, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Little Spiderhunter, Peacock, Plain Flowerpecker etc are some of the birds found here. In the water bodies in the park birds like the cormorants, ducks, herons, teals, and waders can be seen. In the wooded areas one can easily see birds like the hawk eagle, serpent eagle, the collared scops owl, the yellow-legged green pigeon, parakeets, woodpeckers and barbets, hornbills, drongos, scarlet minivets, and diverse warblers.

Reptiles

Some of the reptiles found in the Bandipur National Park are King Cobra, Common Cobra, Python, Adder, Viper, Rat Snake, Water Snake, Marsh Crocodile, Lizard, Chameleon, Monitor Lizard, Frog, Treefrog, Toad and Tortoise etc.


Butterflies at Bandipur National Park

Some of the butterfly varieties found in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve are Common Rose, Crimson Rose, Common Jay, Tailed, Lime Butterfly, Malabar Raven, Common Mormon, Red Helen, Blue Mormon, Southern Birdwing, Common Wanderer, Mottled Emigrant, Common Grass Yellow, Spotless Grass Yellow, One spot Grass Yellow, Nilgiri Clouded Yellow, Common Jezebel, Psyche, Common Gull., Caper White or Pioneer, Small Orange Tip or Lesser Orange Tip, White Orange Tip, Large Salmon Arab, Common Evening Brown, Great Evening Brown, Common Palmfly, Common Bush brown, Glad Eye Bushbrowm, Red Disk Bush brown, Red Eye Bush brown, Lepcha Bush brown, Nigger, Common Threering, Common Fourring, Common Fivering, Tawny Coster, Rustic , Common Leopard, Indian Fritillary, Common Sailer, Colour Sergeant, Chestnut streaked Sailer, Grey Count, Red Baron or Baronet, Angled Castor, Common Castor Aridane merione, Yellow Pansy, Lemon Pansy, Peacock Pansy, Chocolate Pansy, Orange Pansy, Blue Pansy, Grey Pansy, Blue Admiral, Glassy Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Plain Tiger, Striped Tiger/ Common Tiger, Danaid Eggfly, Great Eggfly, Common Crow, Brown King Crow, Common Pierrot, Angled Pierrot, Banded Blue Pierrot, Striped Pierrot, Dark Pierrot, Red Pierrot, Lime Blue, Zebra Blue, Gram Blue, Common Cerulean, Tiny Grass Blue, Dark Grass Blue, Indian Cupid, Large Four-Line Blue, Common Silverline, Plum Judy, Plain Scupid, Pea Blue, Metallic Cerulean, Chestnut Bob, Dark Palm Dart, Brown awl. There are about 50 types of ants and a similar number of dung beetles found here.


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