Once the hunting
preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, where an alarming number of tigers were hunted down in pre-independence India, Bandhavgarh was mercifully declared a National Park in 1968. Today, the Bandhavgarh National Park is a compact reserve (448 sq. km) of sal trees, bamboo thickets and grasslands, teeming with birds and animals and the highest population of tigers anywhere in India. The park is now home to 22 species of wildlife, including the regal "��gaur"��, umpteen varieties of deer, and carnivores such as the striped hyena, jungle cat and sloth bear and over 250 species of birds. Within the park itself is the Bandhavgarh Fort, now in ruins and largely overrun by the surrounding forest. It is said that nine times out of ten a visitor will be able to sight a tiger at Bandhavgarh. Because of the abundance of watering holes, tigers are most likely to come out in the Tala range, though the other two ranges of Magdhi and Khitauli are also popular for tiger sightings.
If you wish to experience beauty and wildlife all together then Bandhavgarh National Park is the perfect place for it! The park is home to 22 species of mammals including the regal "��gaur"��, umpteen varieties of deer, and carnivores such as the striped hyena, jungle cat and sloth bear along with 250 species of birds.
Historically SpeakingThe Park has a rich historical background. It is believed that many pilgrims, rulers and sages came to live in the caves. The discovery of very rare inscriptions of Brahmi language used in the 4 "�" 9th century, found in the lower part of the caves are evidence of the traders who visited these caves. The
fort of Bandhavgarh looms over the entire park.
The fort dates back to the time of the famous Hindu epic Ramayana. Rama and Hanuman used the fort on their return journey to their kingdom from Lanka.
ShoppingThere is no scope for shopping in Bandhavgarh unless you want to buy souvenirs to take home with you.
Night OutThere are no fancy restaurants here. It is recommended that you don"��t eat from the local vendors but preferably at the hotel you are staying in.
ActivitiesThe high point of your trip to Bandhavgarh would be the safaris into the jungle and sightings of the animals, especially tigers. There is the choice of a jeep or elephant safari. The jeep safaris are undertaken early morning or the late afternoon. There is a forest guide who accompanies
the visitors driven into the park. If interested you can also track the tiger on elephant back "�" this normally happens early mornings.
SightsThe Baghel Museum houses a stuffed white tiger and the personal belongings of the Maharaja of Rewa. Climber"��s Point offers a spectacular view of the superb flora and fauna of the area. Bari Gufa is the biggest man made cave and dates back to the tenth century.
How to get there by AirThere is no airport here. The closest ones are at Khajuraho (210kms) or Jabalpur (190kms). Buses from Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh do the trip in about five hours.
How to get there by RailThe closest railhead is the town of Umaria, which is 30 km from Bandhavgarh; it"��s linked by train to cities in Madhya Pradesh and other states, including Delhi. Private and state owned bus services operate regular buses to Bandhavgarh from Umaria, Jabalpur, and other towns in Madhya Pradesh. Taxis
too can be hired to get to Bandhavgarh.
How to get there by BusFrom Jabalpur: Drive up to Katni taking NH7. Go East on NH78 towards Umaria. Follow signs for Bandhavgarh.
Best time to VisitLike many of India"��s other wildlife preserves, national parks and sanctuaries, Bandhavgarh National Park too closes for visitors during the monsoon months, July to October. Between November and June is the best- and only-time to visit the park.
Hotels in Bandhavgarh
Accommodation is available in plenty with the majority of the hotels being at Tala at the entrance of the park. The Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge is a 5 minute walk from the park"��s gate and has cottages and accommodation to suit the budget traveler. Other options would be Tiger Trail Resort which is
situated on an 11 acre plot some 2 kms away. The Madhya Pradesh Tourist department has a forest lodge in Bandhavgarh; the PWD and the Forest Department also have guest houses within the park, where the accommodation, though not the height of luxury, is adequate. Rooms range from some interesting cabins on stilts to individual cottages.
Nearby PlacesKhajuraho is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its archeological slendour and popular for the sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Jain patriachs.The temples are richly carved with sculptures that are sensual and at times, sexaully explicit. Khajuraho gets its name because
of Khajur or date palms that are found in abundance in the area. Jabalpur was the capital of the Gond dynasty in the 12th century but an administrative and busy commercial city today.It has a beautiful collection of Marble Rocks known as Bhedaghat along the Narmada River and this is a huge tourist attraction in the region.
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