Detailed Travel Guide To Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Bandipur is one of the most famous biospheres in South India, formed by extending the Venugopal Wildlife Park, set up in 1931 by the Mysore Maharajas, Bandipur National Park is one of India’s most famous Tiger reserves for tiger sightings, spread over an area of 880 sq. km. Bandipur is located in the Chamarajanagar & it shares borders with the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) in the North-West, Madumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) in the South and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in the South-West, altogether forming the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve; which is one of the last refuges of endangered Asiatic wild elephants.
The park has a variety of flora and fauna, including dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrublands. The wide range of habitats of Bandipur supports a diverse range of organisms.
The park is surrounded by the Kabini river in the north and the Moyar river in the south. The Nugu river runs through the park. Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hill is the highest point in the park. Bandipur has typical tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry and hot period usually begins in early March and can last till the monsoon rains in June.
Enjoying the natural beauty of the Bandipur jungle mounting on the safari jeep is a truly wild experience. Proudly existed on the Mysore – Ooty road, this national park allows you to go deep into the jungle to explore the wild world around you.
History Of Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park was once a hunting ground for the rulers of the neighbouring kingdom of Mysore. It was established in the year 1931 by Venugopala Wildlife Park by the maharaja of Mysore. Initially it was 90 square kilometers and was then expanded with the name Bandipur Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1973 adding approximately 800 square kilometers to Venugopala Wildlife Park.
Flora and Fauna Of Bandipur Tiger Reserve
The park has various biomes including dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrub-lands. The wide range of habitats help support a diverse range of organisms. supports a wide range of timber trees including teak wood, rose wood, sandalwood and a variety of bamboo. There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including Indian gooseberry, kadam tree, golden shower tree.
Bandipur is home to a lot of endangered species like e Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, jackals and dholes. One can usually spot chital, grey langurs, Indian giant squirrels and elephants while on public access roads.
Bandipur is home to over 200 species of birds in which peafowl is the most spotted here. Other species of birds include honey buzzards, red-headed vultures, Indian vultures, flowerpeckers, hoopoes, Indian rollers, brown fish owls, crested serpent eagles, changeable hawk-eagles, bee-eaters and many kingfishers and ospreys are a common sight in winter. Reptile species include spectacled cobra, Indian rock python, vipers, rat snake, muggers, monitor lizards, Indian chameleon, Indian pond terrapin, agamids and flying lizards.
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Facts and Figures Of Bandipur Tiger Reserve-
The Mysore-Ooty highway road that passes through Bandipur forest will be closed every night from 9 PM to 6 AM. Apart from safari, Nature walks, Birdwatching, Star Gazing, Visit to lantana Furniture manufacturing unit are the various activities at Bandipur. Bandipur National Park is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere which is in the Western Ghat region. There are over 382 tigers in this region which constitutes the single largest Wild population of Tigers in the world.
Different Kinds Of Safari At Bandipur :
Option 1: Exclusive jeep safari:
An open Bolero which can accommodate up to 6 passengers(no-sharing). An expert tiger tracker from WildTrails will be assigned to the customer who prefers to choose this option. Pickup and drop from the accommodation can be scheduled.
Option 2: Shared jeep safari:
An open gypsy which can accommodate up to 6 passengers, however, it
will be shared among other tourists. There would be no expert tiger tracker,
instead a guide shall be assigned by the forest department. There is no option
to escort the customer from the accommodation.
Option 3: Canter safari:
The canter can accommodate up to 20 tourists. There would be no expert tiger tracker, instead a guide shall be assigned by the forest department. There is no option to escort the customer from the accommodation.
Accommodation needs to be booked at Bandipur Safari Lodge in order to get the permit for safari. BOOK JEEP SAFARI AT BANDIPUR
Safari timings At Bandipur:
Morning safari starts at 6 AM and evening safari starts at 3 PM. The duration of the drive will be for 3 hours.
Zones And Gates Of Bandipur National Park
The forest area is divided into 11 parts-
- N Begur
- Gopalswamy Betta
Out of these areas, safari is conducted only in the Bandipur sub-area in the whole of Bandipur National Park. However, there are plans by the government to add a new buffer zone in the park around Bandipur sub-area for better sightings.
The temperature from March to May will be humid and is the best time to view the sightings. The rainy season will be from June to October and is not recommended to visit Bandipur during this time of year. November to February is the time where the temperature will be lowest and dry which is an ideal time for bird watching. Bandipur forest reserve will be opened throughout the year.
Bandipur Recent Sightings :
You can get complete session to session, day-to-day sightings info of Bandipur here and ofcourse across all national parks & tiger reserves here. We compile these data of all mammals, birds, reptiles across all these parks and calculate what we call historic and predictive sighting index numbers (eg Tiger Sighting Index) which helps you to pick your park and your zone properly.
How to reach Bandipur
The best way to reach Bandipur and enjoy the beauty is to take a route from Mysore to Ooty via Bandipur and Mudumalai forests. You will see a small mountain river divide the state of Karnatak and Tamil Nadu and also the forest will change its name from Bandipur in Karnataka to Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu.
Nearest Airport: Bangalore, which is 255 km away from the park. Coimbatore airport is located just 84 km away from the park.
Nearest railway station: Mysore, which is just 80 km away from the city.
Private and government buses run from all major cities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to Bandipur. Road route via Mysore is a six-lane bypass road. It is the most opted one.
Approximate distance between major cities:
Distance from Bangalore – 213 km
Distance from Mysore – 73 km
Distance from Coimbatore – 126 km
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