Bandipur National Park is situated in the Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka, Southern part of India. It is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India established in 1931 and a protected reserve for tigers. It was built under the Project Tiger for the preservation of the tigers in their natural habitat. The park covers an area of 874 sq km (337 sq mi).
It was established by the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1931 with an area of only 90 sq kms. Later, it was expanded to 800 sq kms and was named the Venugopala Wildlife Park then. The place Venugopala is named after the Lord of the local shrine located at Gopalswamy Betta. The park was re-named in the year 1973 when the Government of India took over this property, under the Project Tiger establishing it as a Tiger Reserve.
It is located very close to the cyber city, Bangalore. This makes the Bandipur National Park one of the most visited places. Other than wildlife, Bandipur Sanctuary is home to hundreds of rare varieties of flora and fauna. It is also famous for Sandalwood trees and aromatic wood. The National Park is has 3 natural rivers, Moyar, Kabini and the Nagur.
Bandipur National Park Holidays makes a great vacation spot with number of exciting things to do, like boating, fishing, bird watching and trekking on the visit to the Bandipur National Park. The spectacular locations make it an ideal place for a great vacation complimented with lovely weather.
Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary is also known as the “connecting link” as it connects the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, forming a long stretch of natural beauty. It is now under the consideration for selection as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Bandipur can be visited at any time of the year. However, it is best for animal lovers and photographers to visit during the summer months, which is March to May.
|Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka
|Mysore & Ooty (80-kms)
|Asian Elephants and Gaurs
The Bandipur National Park is covered with a mix of deciduous forests, evergreen forests and scrub, which is provided by the waters of the Moyar River. The major types of fauna in this reserve are the Asian elephant, gaur, sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four horned antelope, wild pig, black naped hare and the Indian porcupine. Apart from being home to the Asiatic elephant, Bandipur also has a large number of tigers, which count around 66 in number. The scrub jungles consist of stunted trees, bushes and open grassy patches. In the northwestern area, the vegetation contains the open dry deciduous forests to tropical mixed deciduous forests.
The Bandipur region is also rich in avian population. Peafowl and the game birds like the grey jungle fowl, red spur fowl etc. are the most common avians found in the national park. The Kabini backwaters and the larger tanks attract cormorants, ducks, herons, teals, and waders. Among the woodland birds 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 can be easily seen in the national park.
Bandipur is a tourists' paradise from April to October. During summer, the backwaters of the Kabini Reservoir provide the best opportunity to the tourists to observe large mammals, especially the elephant and the gaur. The best time to spot elephant herds is in the rainy season. Other animals found in this forest are gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, Malabar squirrel, porcupines, and the black-naped hare.
The Bangalore airport is the nearest airport and is 220 kms away from Bandipur.
The nearest railhead is Nanjangud, 55 kms away followed by the Mysore station at a distance of 80 kms. One can easily hire a taxi or catch a bus or train from Mysore or Ooty.
The Bandipur National Park is 220 kms from Bangalore; 80 kms from Mysore and 80 kms from Ooty. The Gundulpet town is 20 kms away from Bandipur and is the nearest road head in Bandipur. The national park is well connected through road with every big or small town.
You cannot tour the national park in your private vehicles are not allowed to tour the park. The tourists can go around the park in the forest department jeeps and vans. The elephant rides are also organised by the Forest Department for an hour (or more) or so. One can also book a 'Machan' near the watering hole to have a close view of the animals. The tourist places near the Bandipur National Park are Gopalaswami Betta and Rolling Rocks. These places are certainly picturesque and photogenic.