Bandhavgarh National Park

Establishment Year
Park Area
694 sq. km.
Special Attraction Good Tiger-sighting, Historical Hill-top fort
Location Vindhya Hills, Dist. Umaria, Madhya Pradesh, Central India
Nearest Airport Jabalpur (200kms/04:30hrs), Khajuraho (250kms/05:30hrs)
Nearest Railway Station Umaria (37kms), Katni (100kms), Jabalpur (200kms)
Best time to visit February - March - April
Park closed From July to 30Sept, Every Wednesday Evening, Full day on Holi & Diwali Festival day

Bandhavgarh India Bandhavgarh national park is a famous tiger reserve in Cental India. It lies in same Madhya Pradesh state in which Kanha national park is located. It is situatued in 260kms North of Kanha national park, in Umaria district. The word " Bandhavgarh" literally means “Fort of Brother”. Bandhav-garh comprises two hindi language words "Bandhav" means Brother and "Garh" means Fort. Cradled between the Vindhya ranges and the eastern flanks of Satpura ranges of Central Indian Highlands, majority of the park area lies in Umaria district and partly in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh State. Because of great probability of tiger sighting, it is best known as the ‘tiger's country’ of India.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve lies on the extreme north-eastern border of the Madhya Pradesh State and spread over Vindhya mountain range. Earlier forest was used as personal hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. Bandhavgarh is famous as the home of the white tiger "Mohan" which was found in this jungles, and is now lies stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharaja of Rewa. It was from this tiger that captive breeding of white tigers was started, and now you have approximately 500 of them world-wide, of which pure bred are approximately 40 most of which are in India. White tigers are simply white coloured Bengals, and not a separate subspecies as many people think. Mohan was not the only white tiger in this forest but earlier also white tigers were found but unfortunately they are shot down.

Park is managed on Core-Buffer zone strategy. Buffer zone is the area allowed for mixed purpose like for resorts, lodges, villages, farming etc. Core zone is prohibited for commercial activities and is used for safari only. In order to visit Tiger Reserve area, forest department has offered two time slots to visitors. Tourists can visit park in Morning safari and in afternoon safari. Their is separate safari offered to visit Bandhavgarh Fort. Park has 04 safari zones for jungle safari, namely – Tala, Magadhi, Khitauli and Panpatha. Here safari is done in open 4-wheel driven jeeps with guide. These were added later and together these five ranges comprise the ‘Core’ of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve – a total area of 694 sq kms. There is then the ‘buffer’ which is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals another 437 sq kms.

The geology of Bandhavgarh is soft feldspathic sandstone with quartzite. Here soil is generally sandy to sandy-loam. Because of this, rain water percolates through the ground, forming a number of perennial streams and springs. More than 20 streams flows through the forest. Among them Umrar river forms the western boundry and is the largest. Some other important streams are Charanganga, Johilla (eastern boundry), Janadh, Damnar, Banbei, Ambanala and Andhyari Jhiria. River Charanganga has its source at the Fort and is the same that we cross while entering into the park from Tala Gate. All these streams eventually flow into the river Sone, which is an important tributary to the Ganges.

How to reach Bandhavgarh
How to reach Bandhavgarh By Road: Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is well connected with many important tourist points and cities. Among them prominent ones are: Jabalpur (190kms), Khajuraho (250kms), Kanha National Park (260kms), Katni (100kms), Umaria (37kms), Allahabad, Varanasi (330kms), Panna National Park210kms etc.
By Train: Important railway station to reach Bandhavgarh National Park are: Umaria, Katni and Jabalpur. These stations have direct train connectivity from Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Sawai Madhopur, Pachmarhi etc.
By Flight: In order to reach Bandhavgarh through Flight, Jabalpur Airport is the most suitable one. Jabalpur Airport (IATA Code: JLR) has direct flight connectivity from Mumbai & Delhi. Next option could be Khajuraho Airport having flight connectivity from Varanasi & Delhi. Those who are traveling by Charter Planes can reach air-strip in Umaria town which is just 38kms from Park.

Mammals commonly seen in Bandhavgarh

Common Name Scientific Name
Leopard Panthera pardus
Tiger Panthera tigris tigris
Sambar Cervus unicolor
Indian Muntjac Muntiacus muntjak
Indian Gazelle/Chinkara Gazella gazella
Dhole/Wild dog Cuon alpinus
Nilgai or blue bull Boselaphus tragocamelus
Wild Boar Sus scrofa
Hanuman Langur Presbetys entellus
Jungle Cat
Felis chaus
Indian Porcupine Hystrix indica
Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis
Golden Jackal Canis aurius
Striped Hyaena Hyaena hyaena
Chital Cervus axis
Four-horned Antelope/Chausinga Tetracerus quadricornis

In addition to mammals, their are over 13 species of snakes identified in Bandhavgarh among them the common ones being the Rock Python (Python molurus), the Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja), the Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus) and the Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosus). Apart from this over 73 species which have been identified here. The most commonly seen are the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya), Common Wanderer (Pareronia valeria), Leopard (Phalanta phalantha), Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe), Common Crow (Euploea core), Danaid Eggfly (Hypolimnas misppus) and the Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae).

Birds in Bandhavgarh
More than 100 birds species have been identified in Bandhavgarh. Month of December - January - February & March are considered good time to do bird watching in Bandhavgarh as during this time migratory birds arrive here and in the months of Feb. & March forest has plenty of flowers and fruits for Birds. Chakradhara, Garhpuri dam, Sehra dadar marshy meadows are some importnat points to do bird watching in Bandhavgarh. From fort hill, one can enjoy birding from bird wathcing point. Prominent bird attractions of Bandhavgarh are: Treepie, Grey Heron, Black Strok, Lesser Adjustant Strok, Painted Strok, Shikra, White Ibis, Spoonbill, Barheaded Goose, Comman Teal, Common Pochard, Lesser Whistling Teal, Honey Buzzard, Black-winged Kite, Crested Hawk Eagle, King Vulture, Indian Longbilled Vulture, Whitebacked Vulture, Parsh Harrier, Crested Serpend Eagle, Black Drango, Common Kingfisher, Strokbilled Kingfisher, White Brested Kingfisher, Green Bee Eater, Red Junglefowl, Jungle Bush Quail, Spotted Dove, Yellow wattled Lapwing, etc.

Bandhavgarh Fort
Forest get its name Bandhavgarh derived from this fort. Bandhavgarh comprises two words: "Bandhav" means Brother and "Garh" means Fort. Bandhavgarh fort is actually a garrison on hill-top of 811mtr. height. Fort is located at a height of 2662 Feet high from sea level in Bandhav Hills. It surrounding area is also hilly consists 32 other densely forested hills like Bandhaini, Badi Dogari, Seeta Mandap, Gahesha Hill etc. In addition to fort, one can also find 12 water reservoir of varying sizes which ensures water supply. Among them some reservoirs are man made. On the way to Bandhavgarh Fort, we can find a mid-way point called Shesh-shaiya having 32 feet long & 14 feet wide stone-carved statue of Hindu Gods Lord Vishnu covered by 07 hooded snake. From this point Charan-ganga river originates and flows through Bandhavgarh forest. As we move ahead to steep high, we will pass through Karn Pol Gate, Kalchuri Gate followed by Vaman idol of 18 feet high made by carving sand-stone. Vaman statue is another import statue that represents Bandhavgarh Fort. In this idol, we can see Lord Vishnu statue having human body with head of wild-boar. Similarly other constructed historical things are Kabir Temple, Fish idol, Lord Ganesha Statue, Tortoise Idol, Lord Buddha Statue, Treasury building, Bandhav-dheesh temple. One can also enjoy watching Vulture nest and bird-watching from this height. Fort remain occupied by human society till 1617 and after this year it was left abandoned for wildlife growth. Here Bandhavdheesh temple beside fort, is still active & maintained by priest.

Best time to visit
Bandhavgarh National Park remain tourist attraction through out the season and withnesses tourist from all over the world. Park remain open for visitors from 16-October till 30-June. For 04 months: July-August-September-Oct15, park remain closed for visitors as it is a rainy season.
Months of Feb-Mar-Apr-May are considered good for Tiger-sighting. During this time most of the tiger photography tour dates lies. Month of December is considered as peak season in Bandhavgarh due to intense arrival of Domestic tourists and foreigner tourists. At the time of Christmas festival & New Year week-end, Bandhavgarh remain fully packed with tourists during which accommodation & safari remain un-available due to advance booking by tourists.
Months of April-May-June are considered good for budet category travellers. During this time resorts usually come-up with some special discounted packages as this is a time of summer holidays in India and also due to heat, tourist arrival remain low.

Worst time to visit
For wildlife lovers, one should avoid this time due to over-crowding in & around park. But those who are visiting park for leisure, they should go to enjoy the week-end. During this time, resorts remain occupied by domestic tourists as the prefer to celebrate New Year in forest and make best use of their winter holidays. During this time, prices of every service remain over-charged.
During Holi festival day, usually park remain open for morning safari only and closed for evening safari round.One should avoid 2-3 days of holi festival as local people, in the name of Holi festival, usually consumes alchohal and put color powder, ask for donation etc despite of protest. One should avoid this time to avoid such inconveniences.

Bandhavgarh Safari
To visit Bandhavgarh National Park, park management allows 02 safari rounds in a single day. All the safaris are done on open 4-wheel driven jeeps which are registered to park management. Minimum 01 and maximum 06 passengers are allowed in a single safari jeep, excluding guide & jeep-driver. Safari charge is vehicle-wise not at per person-wise which means weather their is 01 visitor or 06 visitors, charge will remain same. Safari timming:
Morning Safari: From 06:00hrs to 10:15hrs
Evening Safari: From 15:00hrs to 18:00hrs
Safari time may vary as per conditions like sunrise-sunset timing, festival, climate etc. Each safari zone has limited tickets offered to visitors that can be purchased online. In addition to safari ticket, one has to pay guide fee and vehicle charge. For every safari-round, one can do safari only in the zone for which he/she has ticket. Guide is compulsory to visit with every vehicle. In addition to normal jungle safari, their is also option to do Fort Safari in which one can visit hill-top Bandhavgarh Fort. This safari is dedicated to Fort visit only.
Elephant Safari: From year 2010, forest department has decided to offer any kind of elephant safari only in Magadhi Zone of Bandhavgarh Forest, not in Tala Zone.In Bandhavgarh, 03 types of Elephant safaris are offered to visitors. First one is of 10-minutes elephant ride offered in Tiger Show. It is offered only when tiger is located successfully. Here tiger is shown form tiger back but it optional as it depends on success of tiger tracking. Second type of Elephant ride is of 01 hour called "Joy Ride". It is not optional as one can avail Joy Ride by making advance booking from park management. Third type is full-day safari which is costly and usually preferred by documentary or film-makers.
Elephant ride during Tiger Show is booked on the spot (no advance booking). Where as elephant ride for "Joy Ride" and full day elephant safari is need to be booked in advance (15-30 days) due to limited availability of elephants.

For more information on Bandhavgarh, visit: Our Bandhavgarh Website
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