Bandipur National Park - Karnataka
One among the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the erstwhile hunting playground of the Mysore Maharaja is located on the Mysore-Ooty road. Bandipur is flooded with elephants and has a blend of deciduous, scrubland, and evergreen forest.
The misty Nilgiri hills on the backdrop create a picturesque atmosphere. Located on the Chamarajanagar district, Bandipur has Nagarhole to its Northwest, Kerala’s Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to its Southwest, and Tamilnadu’s Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary to its South. It became a Tiger Reserve in 1974 under Project Tiger and continues to take care of the wild cats.
Bandipur is a beautiful home to some of the highly endangered wild species. The area of Bandipur covers 874.2 square km and is one among the major contributor to the title - the country’s first and largest Biosphere Reserve (2183 square kilometer).
At the foothills of the Western Ghats, it connects with the Nilgiri Hills creating a diverse and rich environmental stretch. The altitude of this national park ranges from 680 - 1454 meters and is south of the perfect Kabini River.
It contributes to one of the largest protected areas in South India.
It is the same as the Nagarhole National Park when it comes to ecological balance.
A safe haven for more than 70-80 Bengal Tigers.
River Nugu, a tributary of Kabini River flows through the heart of the park.
River Kabini flowing here separates Nagarhole and Bandipur National Park.
Sandalwood and Teakwood are famous components of this enormous area.
Flora and Fauna:
The eastern zones are full of stunted trees, dry and grassy-patched surroundings. The vegetation sees a major shift from dry deciduous forest to the tropical mixed deciduous forest on the Northwestern limits.
The Indian Bison on the IUCN’s Red List since 1986, Indian Elephant, endangered Muggers, Jackals, Four-horned Antelopes, Dholes, and Indian Rock Pythons invade the territory along with leopards and langurs.
Commonly red-headed vultures, Peafowls, Crested Serpent Eagles, Kingfishers, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Osprey, Brown Hawk Owl, Little Spiderhunter are some among the 200 species of birds in this region.
Marsh Crocs, Giant Lizards, Monitor Lizards, Common Cobra, King Cobra, and Tortoises are abundant in this national park.
Activities to do
- Jeep Safari
- Elephant Camp
- Trek to Tribal Colony
- Elephant Ride
- Visit Himmavad Gopalswamy Betta Peak
- Visit the 2000-year-old Dodda Sampige Mara (a famous tree)
Other Attractions Near Bandipur National Park:
Biligiriranga Hills: At the confluence of the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats, this hill is a holy region for Nature loving people. (89.5 km away)
Mudumalai National Park: Yet another National Park of the Biosphere Reserve in Tamilnadu. (5.3 km away)
Malai Mahadeshwara Temple: The unknown holiness of the sprouting water in this temple attracts Lord Shiva devotees to take the sacred dip. (159.4 km away)
Sultan Bathery: The Tipu Sultan’s erstwhile corridor has major attractions like the famous Edakal Caves filled with neolithic inscriptions on rocks. (19.7 km away)
Coonoor: Tea, Photos, and Trekking are the must-try things in Coonoor. (60.7 km away)
Best Time to Visit:
Like most of the Indian destinations, this national park follows the October to March schedule. Unlike many national parks, monsoon visits are beautiful, but travelers need to be cautious. The temperature is scorching during summer but the best time to see wild animals. Winters are good for Safaris, monsoon for exploring the luscious surroundings, and Summers for sighting wild and rare animals and birds. Temperature can go as low as 15-18 in Winter, 22-28 during Monsoon, and 32-38-degree Celcius in Summer.
NH 67, Hangala Village, Gundlupet Taluk, Bandipur, Karnataka 571126.
Way to Reach:
By Air: Bangalore Airport is the nearest International Airport (260 km away). However, for locals, Coimbatore Airport is the nearest domestic Airport which is at a distance of 64 km from the National Park.
By Rail: The Nearest railway station is at a distance of 80 km in Mysore. Taxis and buses are available from the railway station.
By Bus: Local buses from major cities and towns are available to Bandipur.
Local Transport: Private vehicles invade the Bandipur territory, but they are not allowed inside the park. However, Bus Safari, Gypsy ride, Elephant Safari, and Jeep ride are available inside the Bandipur National Park.