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Bandipur National Park

Location : Karnataka
Nearest Access : Mysore & Ooty (80-kms)
Main Wildlife Found : Asian Elephants and Gaurs
Coverage Area : 874.20-sq-kms

Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary forms the connecting link between the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary in Tamilnadu and the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary in Kerala and thus, is a long beautiful stretch that you would fall in love with.

There are three beautiful rivers that flow through the Bandipur sanctuary namely the Moyar river, the Kabini river and the Nagur river. The weather is ideally suited for a great vacation amidst nature. Bandipur is a lovely destination that can be visited all year round.

The summer months from March to May would be a great time to watch the animals at the watering holes. However, the period between June to October (during the monsoons) is when Bandipur comes alive with greenery all over.

History

A sanctuary of 90 km² was created at this site in the Bandipur Reserve Forest in 1931. As it was realised that this was too small for effective wildlife conservation, leading to the instituting of the Venugopala Wildlife Park at this site, extending over 800 km².

The Bandipur Tiger Reserve was constituted in 1973 by carving out 880 km² from the Wildlife Park. Recognised under Project Tiger in 1973 this park has boasted constant rise in Tiger population. Also famous for Sandalwood trees and rare species of Flora.

Major fauna

Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar (deer), Chital, Sloth bear, Mouse deer, Wild dog, Wild boar, Barking deer, Four horned Antelope, Hyena.

Endangered species: Tiger, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, Elephant, Panther, Sloth bear, Crocodiles, Mouse deer, Python, Osprey,

Birds
Grey Junglefowl, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Honey Buzzard, Red-headed Vulture, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Brown Hawk Owl, Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Little Spiderhunter, Plain Flowerpecker.

Reptiles
King Cobra, Common Cobra, Python, Adder, Viper, Rat Snake, Water Snake, Marsh Crocodile, Lizard, Chameleon, Monitor Lizard, Frog, Tree frog, Toad and Tortoise.

Geography

Bandipur National Park's altitude between 680-1454 metres and is situated south of the Kabini river at the foothills of the Western Ghats.The rivers of Kabini, Nagur and Moyar flow through the reserve. Climate - Winter minimum 10, Summer maximum 28 degrees, Monsoon from June to September and best time to visit is open throughout the year but preferably in monsoon when wildlife is plenty and forest is green. Greenery is quite lean when viewed from road but gets thicker as we proceed into the forest.

Attraction

There are several lovely locations close to Bandipur National Park that you may visit while staying at Bandipur.

The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary located just 12 km is to the south of the Bandipur National Park and is yet another wildlife sanctuary that provides the perfect ambience for a holiday close to nature. With the best that nature has to offer the Mudumalai Wildlife sanctuary is a wonderful location worth visiting.

Ooty or Udagamandalam

Ooty or Udagamandalam is often referred to as the “Queen of Hill Stations”. The hill station plays host to several thousands of tourists all year round. The beauty of this hill station with verdant hills, picturesque valleys and lovely plantations is simply beyond words. The season here is from April to June and from September to November.

In and around Ooty too there are several picturesque locations worth visiting like the Pykara lake, the Botanical Garden, Ooty Lake, the Rose Garden, Dodabetta, Kothagiri and the plantation town Conoor. Located at a distance of approximately 80 kms from the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary it is well connected and can be accessed easily.

The beautiful city of Mysore

The beautiful city of Mysore is located at a distance of approximately 80 kms from the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary. The city is known for it glorious historical past and is truly spectacular. There are several beautiful locations at Mysore that you would love visiting.

Some of the major tourist destinations include the Brindavan Gardens, the Chamundi Hills, the Mysore zoo, The Jagmohan Palace (which has a lovely collection of Ravi Varma paintings) and last but not the least the Towering Mysore Palace which is a significant landmark of Mysore standing testimony to its glorious past.


The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is yet another beautiful location that you could visit from Bandipur. It is located just 88 kms away from the Bandipur National Park and is a beautiful location that is home to several exotic species of birds. The climate is also suitable making it a sought after tourist destination located close to Bangalore.

Safari In Bandipur

You can go around seeing the park in open jeeps which are available on hire inside the park. The facility of open vans with guides who would make it an interesting experience for you is also available. The much sought after elephant safari is an exciting feature of the Bandipur National Park wherein you could actually tour the park sitting on the back of an elephant.

The Bandipur van

The Bandipur van safari is a 30 minute drive in a 25 seater van costing Rs.75 per person. The timings for the same are

Morning
6.30 AM to 9AM

Evening
3.30 PM to 6PM


The jeep safari

The jeep safari is for a maximum of six people at a time and there are two trips in the morning and two in the evening which costs Rs.1750/- for a jeep (for a maximum number of 6 persons) and Rs.2000/- for foreign nationals. The timings for the same are:

Morning

First trip 6.30AM to 8AM
Second trip: 8am to 9.30am

Evening

First trip
3.30PM to 5PM
Second trip: 5PM to 6.30PM


The Bandipur Mudumalai elephant safari

The Bandipur Mudumalai elephant safari includes a 10 minute ride on the elephant in Bandipur which would cost you Rs.50/- per head. In Mudumalai, the elephant safari is for 30 minutes. The tickets for the same are sold at the Ooty forest office and half the tickets are sold at the Mudumalai Theppakadu reception counter.

A maximum of four persons are taken on one elephant costing Rs.100 per head. The tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis and so do make your bookings in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tourist's dos and don'ts

The BandipurNational Park is a Tiger Reserve and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to several species of flora and fauna. Nature is truly at its best here and we must ensure that we do not harm the delicate balance that is maintained. Thus, it is important that we follow a code of conduct while we are here to make this holiday a wonderful experience memories of which we would cherish for life.

*We must respect nature and the delicate balance that is maintained and must not act in any way that disturbs or harms it.
* Booking accommodation in advance would be the best way to enjoy your holiday or else you may be disappointed on your arrival here.
*Preserve the available resources and ensure that you switch of all the switches and taps during your stay here.
*Enjoy your holiday here but don’t make it too conspicuous that the animals get alarmed or are disturbed in any way.
*You must listen to the guide or the concerned authority and follow instructions. Stay in groups. Do not venture to unknown locations or try following animals. The jungle is a dangerous place and so to make it a safe and enjoyable vacation do as you are instructed.
*Entry before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.
*Please stop and let the animals cross the road, they definitely have the right of way as this is their home. Do not try feeding the animals it can make them sick.
*Keep to the road.
*Do not make too much sound. Musical instruments, tape recorders are strictly prohibited.
*Smoking must be avoided, as one careless act can lead to a huge uncontrollable forest fire.
*Do not litter or damage the place. Use the dustbins provided for the purpose.
*Do not tease or try to interact with any animal it could have very serious consequences.
*Guns and inflammable material is strictly prohibited.