Well known for the white tiger which was found in the jungles some distance away Bandhavgarh is a paradise on Earth. It is home to many tigers which people come to see and admire in its natural habitat. Home to ancient monuments and relics the wilderness has an esoteric feel. When you plan a tiger safari at Bandhavgarh find details here in the fact file. You can enjoy wild animals sightings and bird watching here like nowhere on this Earth. Come discover paradise...
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Factfile
Discover Bandhavgarh a tiger reserve in Central India. Popular for tiger safaris and bird watching a large number of tourists from all over the world visit this destination.
Bengal Tiger Photo
The park is situated in Central India in the districts of Shahdol, Umaria, and Katni. These districts lie in the State of Madhya Pradesh. The park is in Zone 6A Bio-Geographical Range of Deccan Peninsula - Central Indian Highlands. These are the same high lands that James Forsyth mentions in his book "The Central Indian Highlands". Madhya Pradesh also known as the heart of India is a state situated in the middle of the country hence the name. It is a densely forested region with spectacular wilderness besides it is also known as the tiger state with the largest population of big cats.
The forests are connected with Siddhi and Kanha tiger reserves by a weak link. The stretch is pockmarked by a number of human settlements that have come up. While Bandhavgarh is in Vindhayan Range Kanha is in Satpura Range both merge at Maikal Hills in Satpura.
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Tiger Stroll Photo
National Park Management
Bandhavgarh is a tiger reserve and a National Park it is under the aegis of the Project Tiger Program a Central Government Initiative. The administration is under the State Government of Madhya Pradesh subject to the PCCF wildlife and the Forest Minister.
The Filed Director is the administrative head while under him is the whole team comprising of senior-level officers, rangers, and forest guards. In the case of certain activities, locals are hired on a temporary basis.
The Field Director Office is at Umaria Township
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve FD
Umaria, Madhya Pradesh
Email: [email protected]
Joint Director - Umaria
Area & Conservation
Department & Activities
The total area of the park is 1593.26 sq. km of this Core Area is 716.90 sq. km. while buffer area is 820.03 sq. km
The core is the critical tiger habitat where no human habitation and activities are allowed. However, forest staff stays in the forest house and patrol staff stay in jungle camps all over the park.
Buffer is the outer ring of the tiger reserve and here human habitation, agriculture, and marketplaces are allowed subject to some limitations.
Bandhavgarh is a tiger conservation unit but the benefit flows to the whole ecosystem as the animal is the top predator and an indicator species. The whole web of life is conserved.
Research is a continuous process and many activities and programs are conducted to augur conservation and wild animal well fare.
There are many jungle camps within the tiger reserve that are active in fire prevention, anti-poaching, and assisting in conservation work. They also keep an eye on tourism and movements of animals especially with an eye on any emerging situation.
Park elephants are also deployed in patrolling. They also play a role in tourism by conducting one-hour joy rides. In the case of filming with special permission, the pachyderms play an active role.
All the staff of the reserve are employees of the forest department of Madhya Pradesh.
Fort on The Hill
Forests & Terrain
Sal tree forests abound at Bandhavgarh other associates are Indian crocodile bark tree, harra, bahera, dhawa, palas, bel, kosum, ber, and salai. At places, there are mixed forests and bamboo which add to the biodiversity of the reserve.
Swamp grasslands are the unique features besides the steep cliff and tabletop mountains. The rivulets like Charanganga and Umrar create slush which in turn gives rise to swampy grasslands. Park is inundated by mountain rivulets or streams which are the lifeline of this ecosystem.
The hilly terrain and the plans are well covered with flora hence offer a unique habitat for the deer, wild boar, and bison to thrive which are the main prey base of the predators.
Animals & Birds
Rich in biodiversity Bandhavgarh is home to many mammals and birds. Most targeted among the mammals are the tiger, leopard, wild dog, sloth bear, and bison.
Among the birds Malabar Pied Hornbill and Indian Pitta are the most sought after besides the paradise flycatcher, shama, painted francolin, red and painted spur fowls, raptors like the crested hawk eagle, serpent eagle, honey buzzard, white-rumped vulture, and Indian vulture, numerous passerine birds, flycatchers, minivets, parakeets and owls are also seen during the safaris. Winter migrants are warblers, pipits, and larks besides migratory fowls.
Among the reptiles, almost twenty-two species exist here but they are hardly seen. Commonly seen are the cobra, python, rat snake, trinket snake, and the vine snake. Butterflies and insects abound and are found everywhere.
Wildlife of Bandhavgarh
Reclining Vishnu Idol
Script on the Wall
Idols at Fort
Bandhavgarh Fort is the focal point of the historical landscape of the park. Built more than two thousand years by Gond Kings the fort changed hands as dynastic turbulence was constant. The last to rule were the Baghels who eventually shifted their kingdom to Rewa nearby.
The declaration of forests as protected areas completely brought the presence of human civilization to a halt. Only the tiger rules from the steep mountains that overlook the quaint reserve.
Visitors can see Lord Vishnu idols at Shesh Shaiya and elsewhere but Fort visits are not allowed. An amazing esoteric piece of historical landscape is totally out of the human purview. The fort is in ruins but the Ram Janki Laxman Bandhavdeesh Temple and zoomorphic idols of Lord Vishnu now lie forlorn totally neglected besides many artifacts and structures that stood proud enamoring the visitor and extolling the creativity of this magical land called India.
Open Jeep Safari
In twenty percent of the core area, tiger safaris on open jeeps are organized. The tourism area is divided into three zones namely:
- Tala Zone
- Madgahdi Zone
- Khitauli Zone
A permit is required for excursions in these zones. The permit is issued by the Forest Department for a charge. Each permit is for a specific zone and binds you there.
Similarly, tourism takes place in the buffer zone as well and the rules applicable as the same as that of the core zone. Tourism zones in buffer zones are:
Entry Permits are available at the gates. For online booking visit the link below;
Entry in the core zone for tourism is limited to 111 jeeps per day. Safaris are organized in the early morning and evening. One should book much in advance. They can do this online or request their hotel to book timely.
Visitors can hire the whole jeep or book a single seat. Full-day safaris are also available. Excursions on twelve-seat canter are also available the booking has to be done at the gates.
Resort at Bandhavgarh
Nature Heritage Resort
Every year people arrive in large numbers to see the tiger in its natural home. Tiger safaris are exciting with so much to experience on a holiday. The park receives a large number of overseas visitors who usually stay for a longer period.
In order to accommodate a large number of people, many resorts and hotels have been built. The accommodations conform to various categories ranging from budget to luxury. All the properties are situated outside the reserve in serene and enchanting locations.
There are many independent restaurants and some homestays for budget travelers. Government accommodation is in form of a high-end resort managed by MPTDC. Some rest houses are also available but they are servicing only the departmental visitors.
Wildlife Resort BTR
Reaching Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Tala is the entry point for reaching Bandhavgarh National Park in Umaria District in MP. The park is connected by road from all nearby places. It is well connected by a rail network with an overnight express train halting at Umaria Township which is at a distance of 32 km.
Jabalpur the nearest airport and major railhead is 190 km by road. It is connected to Mumbai and New Delhi both by air and rail. Most of the visitors prefer this route.
Katni is at a distance of 97 km and is midway between Jabalpur and BTR.
Satna is at a distance of 117 km and is connected by train to Katni and Jabalpur.
Shahdol is at a distance of 97 km. It is connected by Road.
Kanha National Park is connected by road at a distance of 200 km a five-hour road journey.
Khajuraho Temple City Airport is at a distance of 275 km. The distance from Panna National Park near Khajuraho is approx 250 km.
Traveling to Bandhavgarh
The National Park is closed for tourism in the core area from 1st July to 31st September every year. During this period the tourism in the buffer zone is permitted.
Winters are cold and need substantial warm clothing. The average temperature is around 10 degrees C but can dip down to 3 degrees C or even 0 degrees for a day or two. The windblast on an open jeep can cause shivering hence warm clothing, gloves and warm caps are a must.
In peak summer the temperature could rise to 42 degrees C (May & June). Tiger sightings are best in this period. Air conditioning during travel and stays at luxury resorts are available.
Delicious Indian cuisine is available at the resorts besides some dishes of Intercontinental Food.
Tala is a small town hence carry all the essentials with you. Carry cash albeit ATM is available at Tala. Banking is unreliable at times please note. Card payment could be possible in certain hotels.
For budget travelers bus service is available but it is discomforting.
Naturalists are available at the resorts. The forest guide is a compulsory accompaniment during the safaris.
Safari jeeps are usually arranged by the hotels but you can hire them from the roster.
Taxi services are available at Tala.
Please do all your travel arrangements in advance.
|Wild Tigers of Bandhavgarh: Encounters in a Fragile Forest|