Bandhavgarh National Park
A wildlife retreat where history and nature meet. Set amidst the Vindhya ranges, the park has a series of ridges running through it. BANDHAVGARH is very rich in forests and has the highest density of tigers in the world.
The terrain is broken, with rocky hill ranges, running roughly east west, interspersed with grassy swamps and forested valleys. Bandhavgarh has about 32 mammals, 250 birds and 72 butterflies providing an excellent outlet for tourists looking for adventure and wild life. Total Coverage Area: 437 sq. kms / 44,884 hectares/ 168 sq. miles.
In addition to the wildlife, Bandhavgarh also has a rich heritage. There are evidences of human settlements dating back to 2000 years old and later rulers from the Kalchuri and the Baghel clans have left their rich culture for us to see.
Much of the park is covered in Sal forest, replaced by mixed forests in the higher elevations of the hills. There are extensive stands of bamboo and grasslands. 40+Tigers are estimated in the park.
The Park is spread across an area of about 437 sq. km with an altitude range of 440 m to 810 m (MSL). It experiences winter from November to February, summer from March to mid-June and monsoon from Mid-June to early October with an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm with temperature ranging from 2°c to 44°c.
A lot of migratory birds visit the park during the winter months from November to February. The foliage is mostly green and the weather is extremely pleasant. March is a great month for wildlife viewing and the temperatures are not very high. During the summer months from April to June, as a lot of the water holes dry up, Tiger sightings are relatively easier than in winter months.
What to look for
Bandhavgarh has three zones for tourists – Tala, Magadhi and Khitauli with their own wildlife viewing experiences.
Some of the best known locations of Bandhavgarh such as the Chakradhara Meadows, Rajbahera and Sidhbaba all fall in the Tala Zone. The Bandhavgarh Fort, the Shesh Shaiya and the ancient caves also fall in the Tala Zone. The grassy meadows of Tala are always great for Tiger sightings. Apart from Tigers, Jackals, the occasional Sloth Bear and the shy and elusive Jungle Cat are the predators that can be seen here. The Gopalpur pond in Tala is excellent for birds such as Storks, Kingfishers and waterfowl. Tala is also very good for seeing and photographing Vultures.
Magadhi zone offers good opportunities to see the Tiger, Wild Dogs and Gaur among other wildlife and birds. The Khitauli zone is excellent for bird watching. Birds such as the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Oriental Turtle Dove and Lesser Adjutant Stork can be seen and photographed here. Khitauli is close to villages and also offers opportunities to see the Leopard and Sloth Bear.