Bandhavgarh National Park - Spectacular Wilderness

by pateluday

Find a page on Bandhavgarh National Park and its wildlife that is an amazing display of biodiversity. Discover the home of Bengal Tigers as they flourish and breed here.

Bandhavgarh. Set among the Vindhyan Hill Range is home to the tigers in Central India or Madhya Pradesh. It is a cherished destination for those in search of a tiger in the wild. But the excursions lead to the discovery of amazing life forms besides the big cat.

Ensconced amid the dense canopy, tabletop mountains and deep valleys are ruins of ancient past that enthrall and surprise visitors on a wildlife safari. The exotic ruins and the wild animals, birds, and reptiles are the unique features of Bandhavgarh National Park that are rare in the World. The conservation unit has been remarkably successful in protecting the top carnivore amidst the maddening mass of humanity.

Bengal Tiger

Male Tiger
Gagan Gahlot

National Park

Tiger Reserve

Spread over 1100 sq km the parking area is under the aegis of Project Tiger hence it is also known as a tiger reserve. The forests received early protection as they were the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa Estate. In order to maintain a robust number of animals, wood logging and hunting by locals and commoners were not allowed.  

Somewhere near these forests now known as Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve, the white tiger was discovered by the then Ruler H.H.Martand Singh. All the white tigers are the progeny of this male tiger who was named Mohun.

The park is home to many mammals typical to Central India. More than 250 avian species are found in the park some of which are migratory in nature.

The population of tigers is estimated to be above fifty. With greater conservation measures the population could rise much higher.

The park comprises rough terrain with about 32 hillocks or low-rise hills encompassing glens and marshy meadows. A number of rivulets run through the park creating a lifeline crucial to the survival of the ecosystem as a whole. 

For management purposes, the park is divided into core and buffer areas. The core comprises of critical tiger habitat while the buffer just acts as such. In the core area, no human habitation is allowed. 


Sambar Deer
Gagan Gahlot

Indian Bison

Gagan Gahlot

Flora & Fauna


Besides the tiger, a big cat like the leopard is one of the top predators. Other animals seen here are the sloth bear, rusty-spotted cat, gaur, Nilgai, dhole, chital, barking deer, Indian Gazelle, sambar, wild boar, Hanuman langur, jungle cat, jackal, fox, and many nocturnal animals that are rarely seen during the day time.

Reptiles abound with about more than twenty species. Except for the python and the keelbacks, most of the reptilians are nocturnal. 

The mind-boggling floral diversity is the key to the ecosystem and its numerous habitats. The main flora comprises of Sal, Saaj, Dhwada, Lendia, Salai, Khamer, Mahua, Bija, Harra, Tendu, Palas, Peepul, Baniyan, Bel, Char, Kosum, Arjun, Rasoda and Khair to name a few. Herbs, shrubs, and grasses abound making the park a major biodiversity hub.     



Tiger at Water Hole
Tiger at Water Hole
Gagan Gahlot

Video Bandhavgarh National Park

Wild Flowers

Flowers in Bloom
Flowers in Bloom
Gagan Gahlot

Bandhavgarh History

Ancient Ruins

Dating back to about two thousand years is an ancient fort atop Bandhavgarh Hill at 800 MSL. The park is named after the hill fort. The fort now lies in ruins but carries the scars of serving many warring dynasties. Originally it was said to have been built by the Gond Tribal who were the inhabitants of erstwhile Gondwana Land that split after the tectonic plate movement.  

The Fort is also attributed to Lord Rama who was supposed to have gifted it to his brother Laxman. The Ram Janki Temple is supposed to stand as testimony to the event. In that case, the dates would stretch way back in time. 

Scattered all over are magnificent idols of Lord Vishnu in zoomorphic forms. About eleven man-made reservoirs testify that the garrison was inhabited by warring civilizations. 

While ascending up to the fort there is situated a unique fairy tail-like pool surrounded by herbs, shrubs, and a verdant grove. Reclining near the pool is a twenty-foot-long Vishnu Idol which accords the name Shesh Shaiya or sleeping, Lord.      

The entrance though of recent origin is a massive wooden structure with few shreds of décor. The climb up is eerie for only tigers and other animals now inhabit the ruins. The whole complex sits atop this tabletop mountain and offers a magnificent view of the tiger reserve.  The descent to the plains is laden with stables and man-made caves. Most of the ancient temples in the reserved date back to the 9th or 10th century AD.   

Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear
Sloth Bear
Gagan Gahlot

Tourism at Bandhavgarh

Tiger Safari

During the safaris, the main attraction is the tiger albeit a holistic experience is what is appropriate. With such fantastic biodiversity, tourists enjoy much more than the sighting of the majestic tiger. Wild animals are charismatic nature's creations, and it is enthralling to see them in their natural homes.     

The park home to many avian species offers good birding opportunities. Though underplayed by the big cats the park is an exciting birding destination. Wintertime is best for this recreation whence migrants arrive.  

The park tourism infrastructure is well laid and two-game rides offer sightings of many animals and birds. Though Fort safari is not allowed anymore there are many ancient objects to see in and around the tourist area.  For Bandhavgarh Park excursions you should book a tiger safari at Bandhavgarh at MPOnline Portal well in advance. There is a limit to the entry of jeeps in the zones hence you should not wait.  

Birding is also good outside the park near many water tanks and open fields. The reserve is home to forest birds hence for shore and wetland species the tanks are ideal for spotting.

The presence of a trained naturalist helps, especially if he or she is good at birding. Hence many lodges in Bandhavgarh employ in-house naturalists. The interpretation centers and libraries in these accommodations are additional sources of knowledge.

Park interpretation centers and auditoriums are the best introductory media for understanding the ecosystem, habitat, and wildlife of the reserve.  

Tiger Photo

Tiger Family
Tiger Family
Gagan Gahlot

Nature Products

Wildlife Posters

Bengal Tiger, Panthera Tigris Tigris, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India, Asia
Bengal Tiger, Panthera Tigris Tigris, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India
Roller (Coracias Benghalensis)
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Updated: 02/21/2023, pateluday
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pateluday on 04/14/2021

People live in the buffer zone they are mostly tribal villagers doing agriculture while some are traders. Large number of people find occupation in the forest department and other tourist related activities. Small business also occupy local (not all tribal) jobs in hotels and resorts. Some provide services for excursions in the park by renting jeeps of through guide services. Overall local employment is robust in park surroundings. There is a cap om commercial enterprises up to 10/12 km from the core zone.

People living inside the core area are forest staff on duty.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/14/2021

pateluday, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
You mention under the subheading National Park Tiger Reserve that no human habitation occurs in the Bandhavgarh core area. Would there be human inhabitants of the buffer area, and if so, what would they be doing there? Would they be people, such as arborists and naturalists, who tend the park?

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