Traveling to Bandhavgarh National Park in Central India

by pateluday

Bandhavgarh National Park a pristine jungle is the best place to witness wildlife in the most exciting manner. It is home to the tiger and many other life forms that thrive here...

Traveling to Bandhavgarh has always been an exciting proposition. It is like visiting a paradise on Earth albeit small the place engulfs your senses and the sights and smell mesmerize you to no end. The superlatives never cease especially if an exciting safari has been made.

The park is near the city of Jabalpur which provides air connectivity as well as rail connection from New Delhi and Mumbai. The drive from Jabalpur is four hours...the highway passes through pristine forests, quaint hamlets, and small towns. The experience is pleasing with all the cynosures and the serenity that prevails. The story is about getting away from the rabid clamor of the busy towns.

City Scape

Leaving  The City
Leaving The City

Journey Begins

Early Morning Rise

Flight to Jabalpur from New Delhi is at early morning schedule, and you have to get up a predawn. Taking into account the time taken to traverse Delhi roads...leave early as suggested by your agent. 

Flights from Mumbai and Nagpur take nearly the same time as that from New Delhi i.e.about one and half hours.  The schedule is usually on a later day. Book air tickets in advance to get the best fare or to avoid the rush. 

The taxi at Jabalpur awaits you at the Dumna Airport which is on the outskirts in extremely pleasing surroundings. If you need, use the toilet facility at the airport. If you plan to have breakfast or tea then visit one of the hotels in the town before departing for the National Park. 

The trains may arrive at Jabalpur anytime. They usually do arrive in at early morning and you can follow the same routine.  There is a popular MPTDC property nearby called Culchuri Hotel which is an ideal place for a sumptuous breakfast.  

Rail reservation is difficult to get during festivals and other occasions hence book your tickets in advance. 

Tigress on The Move

Fort at Jabalpur

Madan Mahal
Madan Mahal Fort
Madan Mahal Fort


District Town

Jabalpur is a large town with more than two million inhabitants. Picturesque, peaceful, and safe it is a tourism destination. Two major places of interest are Marble Rocks and Madan Mahal Fort. Marble Rocks is most visited for a unique boating experience through a gorge on River Narmada it is walled by colorful marble rocks with striking hues a melange that stands in clear contrast with placid blue waters. 

Hand-rowed boats take you around the gorge at a leisurely pace amidst the various rock formations.  The experience is thrilling whence you come across the rapids and serene whence you are on still waters. In the moonlight, it is a romantic rendezvous. Do visit the destination without fail. The 11 AD fort is on the way back and the whole journey will take about five hours. Plan your visit may not be staying overnight.  

There are some picnic spots like Pariat, Dumna a nature reserve but you need to stay longer for visiting them. If you do you can go shopping as well in Sadar and City Area. Good enough restaurants are there which offer South Indian, Chinese, and Mughlai cuisines. Coffee Houses are the best means of meals and snacks along with a sizzling cup of coffee or chai!  


Jabalpur is the last stop in a major town hence purchase what you may not get in smaller ones. Medicine, beverages, warm clothes, and whatnot. Get your banking done for the necessary cash at the ATM. There not be many reliable ATMs later on.   

Pariat Lake

Pariyat Lake Jabalpur
Pariyat Lake Jabalpur

Tiger Stalking

Route Bandhavgarh National Park

On The Highway

The best route from Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh is via Kundam, Shahpura, Umaria. The latter is just thirty kilometers from the National Park. 

The road is in very good condition - safe and sound. There are plenty of dhabas or local eateries if you decide to have a meal. But please choose vegetarian and recently cooked recipes. This drive takes about four hours and you will like it. 

There is a fossil park with plant fossils dating back to sixty million years or more. This is near Shahpura town and will consume a couple of hours. But it is worth a visit. Another place of interest is an ancient temple somewhere before Umaria township near the park, this is like the Khajuraho Temples and probably dates back to the 10th AD.   

There is no stopping on the highway besides all this, hence gear up to reach in time if you drive straight. After Umaria, your next destination is Tala Village on the periphery of Bandhavgarh where most of the wildlife resorts are situated. This is a very small township with some eateries and a little bit of shopping. There is an art shop selling wildlife paintings and another selling curios and related art. Make a purchase in order to support the local economy as your stint in being responsible.

Bengal Tiger

Big Cat
Bengal Tiger Bandhavgarh
Bengal Tiger Bandhavgarh

Hotel Booking & Tiger Safaris


Book your hotel accommodation well in advance at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. You need safari permits in order to explore Bandhavgarh...ask hotel people to do it for you or do it yourself on MP ONLINE Portal. This has to be done much in advance even before you set foot on an airplane to India. 

Without permits, you will not be able to go on safaris. Make sure you have them.  The jeep for excursions are available readily but the property you are slated for a stay should be able to assist. Keep warm clothes in winter, and books on Indian wildlife. A good pair of binoculars would be required for bird and animal watching. Hire a naturalist if the hotel does not provide one. You can search online to book one.  

In summers air conditioning and a swimming pool would be a preferred amenity hence stay at a luxury resort even if the tariff is high.  

Updated: 07/12/2021, pateluday
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pateluday on 12/21/2019

Tiger population is on the increase in India. But I have no idea where C 1 is going to be located.
Tourists must support the local economy. Thanks for the comment.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/20/2019

patuleday, Thank you for the photos, practicalities and products.
Did you read about the two- to three-year-old Maharashtran tiger, known as C1, who was tracked by radio collar on the longest, 1,300-kilometer amble through Maharashtra and Telangana states this year? If so, do you know where he is going to be relocated once the monsoon rains cease?
I read this article the other day, and the computer crashed before I could leave a comment alongside my vote. I've read all your previous writings and particularly value what you write about tigers. Is the tiger population decreasing, increasing or keeping steady?
You mention supporting the local economy, which is a great idea sometimes lost in the fervor to visit an area's famous sites.

pateluday on 12/11/2019

Permits is for limiting vehicles in the park. Government also collects fees for conservation purpose.

blackspanielgallery on 12/11/2019

Is the permit to keep track of how many people are in the area? Or is the government collecting a fee to help with the preserve?

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