BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK

Tiger Reserve

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km2. The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km2. The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon), Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort). This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India.


The park has a large breeding population of leopards, and various species of deer. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa. Bandhagarh National Park is a park with a rich historical past. Prior to becoming a national park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve, of the Maharajas and their guests.


In 1947 Rewa State was merged with Madhya Pradesh; Bandhavgarh came under the regulations of Madhya Pradesh. The Maharaja of Rewa still retained the hunting rights. No special conservation measures were taken until 1968, when the areas were constituted as a national park. Since then, numerous steps have been taken to retain Bandhavgarh National Park as an unspoilt natural habitat. The four main zones of the national park are Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli, and Panpatta. Tala is the richest zone in terms of biodiversity, mainly tigers. Together, these four ranges comprise the 'Core' of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve constituting a total area of 694 km2. The buffer zone is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals another 437 km2. The legal status as a national park dates back to 1968, but was limited only to the present Tala range for a considerable length of time.


Flora & Fauna

With the tiger at the apex of the food chain, it contains 37 species of mammals. According to forest officials, there are more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, a number of reptiles The richness and tranquility of grasslands invites pairs of sarus cranes to breed in the rainy season.

One of the biggest attractions of this national park is the tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and its sightings. Bandhavgarh has a very high density of tigers within the folds of its jungles. The 105 km2 of park area open to tourists was reported to have 22 tigers, a density of one tiger for every 4.77 km2. (Population estimation exercise 2001). The population of tigers in the park in 2012 is about 44-49. There is a saying about the Park that goes: "In any other Park, You are lucky if you see a tiger. In Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you don't see (at least) one.

Bandhavgarh tiger reserve is densely populated with other species: the gaur, or Indian bison, are now extinct or have migrated elsewhere; sambar and barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the open areas of the park. There have been reports of the Indian wolf (canis lupus indica), hyena, and the caracal the latter being an open country dweller. The tiger reserve abounds with cheetal or the spotted deer (Axis axis) which is the main prey animal of the tiger and the leopard (Panthera pardus).


Wildlife Viewing

There are two main ways of getting about in the park in a motor vehicle or an elephant-back. Jeep safaris are best undertaken from dawn until about 10am and from 4 pm until dusk, as the animals are most active during these periods.Elephants are used every morning by the Forest Department for tiger-tracking.If a tiger is found then elephant will take you directly to the tiger either from the lodge or from a nearby point.


Places of Interest

Sidhbaba

This place is named after the holy temple of sidhbaba(god of indian worship). This is the most common point from where you can see the tiger near this temple. There is a large marshy meadow behind this temple where wild fauna can be easliy witnessed. Here you will find almost guranteed sighting of sambhar, chital, painted stroke and sometimes wildboars. The sidhbaba region was the territory of some the main tiger of bandhavgarh such as charger and bokha.


Charkadhara

Charkradhara area is a large meadow area inside the park popular for the tiger sighting. During the summers this meadow looks like a open hunting ground for the predators. The charkradhara meadow is surrounded by hilly regions. It is a marshy meadow which is rich in flora and fauna. As the availability of food, water and hiding grass is through out the year, so the wlid animals can be easily sighted in this region.


Gopalpur

Gopalpur region is at the north east region of bandhavgarh national park. This region is a marshy area always filled with river water. The aquatic plants and mammals are rich in this area which makes the area suitable for bird watching. So of the birds which can be easily sighted in the gopalpur region is Kingfishers, painted storks, lapwings and stilts.


Shesh Shaiya

This 65 ft horizontally laid idol of lord vishnu is the origin of river charanganga. The reclining statute of lord vishnu on the seven hooded serpent is the architechture of the past. the vicinity is rich with fruit bearing trees. On the ocassion of Diwali , the biggest festival of hindus, people use to decorate lamps around the vishnu Idol. Watch out for the malabar pied hornbill near shesh shayia.


Bandhavgarh Fort

No records are available to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed. However, it is thought to be some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the “Narad-Panch Ratra” and the “Shiva Purana”. it is also believed that Lord Rama visited Bandhavgarh and gave this fort to his younger brother Laxmana ( bandhu) resulting in the name- Bandhavgarh.


Badi Gufa

'Badi Gufa' in english means the biggest cave. This cave is one of the biggest caves in the bandhavgarh national park region which dates back to the tenth century. This caves is being made by carving the solid rock of sandstone. These caves were the shelters of the army of the king during the medivial period. Now the caves are home to wide variety of bats. The badi gufa is a man made cave not a natural one.


Ketkiha

This wet region inside the bandhavgarh reserve is full of aromatic plant "Pendanus". That why it is also known as pendanus point. The indian name of pendanus plant is kewra. This region is surrounded by the shadows of lofty Jamun and Arjun trees.


Three Cave Point

The three cave point is visible from the ganesh hillock road. It is a classic example of the prevalent architechural techniques used during the past. The caves now porvied the shelter for the wild animals like tiger, sloth bear and even for the leopards.


Sita Mandap

The name of this region resembles the wedding ground of the wife of lord rama. The meaning of Mandap itself wedding ground. It is a single rock which arches over like a bridge. The mandap also looks similar to this rock arch. The Name of the famous tigress sita is being named after this place. sita is the mother of the most of the tigers and tigeress in bandhavgarh reserve area.


Ghorademaon

This is a natural deep george which is a result of geographical processes The water flows continuously in this region. You can listen the song of the jungle near this waterbody.


The Photographer's Point

This point is on the way when we drive back from the Route B. This point is the mountain top which gives a paniramic view of the bandhavgarh widlife sanctuary. The Photography from this point is not allowed for every visitors. Special permission is to be taken from the forest director for the photography purpose.


Andheri Jhiria

The Tigers during the summers spend their afternoon in this region as this area is mostly covered with the shadows of the trees. There is a spring water source in this area from where the water comes out through out the year even during the summer. As the region is darkened by shadows, it is commonly difficult to see the tiger in Andheri Jhiria.


Raj-bahera

The rajbahera region is a marshy meadow which feeds the chitals, sambhar and wild boars. The river damnar originates from Rajbahera. Different species of birds can be easily sighted from this area. You can also see the bandini hills from this region.


Charger's Place

Charger the dominant male in bandhavgarh who ruled the jungle for over a decade. This place was the resing ground of Charger. Charger holds the record to the most photographed male tiger in the world. he died due this natural death. When he died it was very difficult to locate as during the last time of their life they hide in a very secret place where no boady can approach.


Getting there

164 km from Jabalpur, 102 km from Katni, 120 km from Satna.


Best time to Visit

November to June.