About Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh is a Tiger reserve spread at Vindhyachal hill in state of Madhya Pradesh with a declared area of 448.55 sq.km. It was included in Project Tiger Network in year 1993 as very soon it gained publicity as a Tiger Reserve with highest density of Tigers in India. It is counted among highly appreciated tiger reserves of Central India after Kanha National Park. As it is a Tiger Reserve (under Project Tiger), it is based of core-buffer strategy: core area of 105sq. km.(Tala range) and buffer area of approximately 400 sq.km.. Park ride is conducted in core zone area and most of the resorts and villages are situated in buffer-zone area. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. Bandhavgarh is a National Park since 1968 and is included in Project Tiger Network in 1993.
More than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds found in Bandhavgarh National Park. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai(Blue-bull), Chinkara. Mammals such as Dhole, the smallIndian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally. Gaur(Indian Bison) was found here before 1998 and now forest dept. is trying to reinstate them.
Bandhavgarh was declared as national park in 1968. It was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. This is also White Tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was captured by Maharajah Martand Singh in 1951. This White Tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajahs of Rewa. The last known White Tiger was captured by Maharajah Martand Singh in 1951.
History Bandhavgarh National Park :
Fort of Bandhavgarh is counted among oldest forts of India. It was always been the desire of Muslim rulers and great Kings to conquer the fort. The fort was very important from defensive point of view. The natural surroundings had made the fort unique and unconquerable. Record of 2nd and 3rd century of Bandhavgarh tells us that this area was ruled by Magh rulers whose Kingdom was spread towards north river Jamuna & Koshawi. Here several caves are prepared by engraving and cutting rocks by humans beings which shows that in past Bandhavgarh was important religious centre of Hindus, Jains. These caves are used by monks for meditation and other purposes.
After Magh dynasty, Bhar-Shiva-Nag dynasty rulled this area. In 5th century Sengar Dynasty rulled this area followed by Kalchuris. The rule of Haihay Kalchuris can be called the golden period of this area. Kalchuris arrival in Baghelkhand was in 9th century.
How to reach Bandhavgarh National Park
Nearest Railway Station
Nearest railway sataion other than umaria is Katni - Murwara railway station. It is on Mumbai - Howrah track. Trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata stops here. Katni railway station is at a distance of 100 kms from Bandhavgarh Tala village.
For those who are coming by their own vehicle, they can reach either Umaria via Katni, Rewa or Satna. Regular bus service is operating between Umaria (often called Chandia-Umaria) and Katni. From Umaria one can reach Bandhavgarh bus seperate mini-bus service regularly operating between them. Their are more than one town with name of Umaria in Madhya Pradesh so in case of any confusion, call it as Chandia-Umaria..
Bandhavgarh Park Safari Timing :
Generally park remains open from 1st of Oct. to 30th of June, every year. But form October, 2009 Bandhavgarh National Park is likely to open from 16th of October every year. In special conditions these dates may vary like park roads are under repair.
Elephant Safari in Bandhavgarh
Their are two types of Elephant Safari offered to visitors in Bandhavgarh National Park. First one is on Tiger Show in which tiger is shown to tourists on elephant back. Tiger Show is a special program organized by park authority when tiger is somewhere away from specified safari track for safari-jeeps. It is a optional chargable service offered to tourists. Here maximum 04 tourists can allowed sit on elephant back and are taken close to tiger for 5-10 minutes. Tiger Shows are occasionally organized and is not pre-determined as it depends on successful tiger tracking by trackers. Tiger Show is organized in Morning Safai only. Their is no advance booking system for this safari as their is no gurantee of successful tiger tracking every-day.
Similarly second type of elephant safari offterd is full-day safari means during the specified safari time-table of a day, visitor/s can do full jungle safari on lelephant back. Such safaris are usually opted by film-makers or professional photographers as it is very costly and requires special permission from Forest Department (Field Director of park). In order to get writter permission letter, first a written application is to be submitted to Field Director office specifying the purpose, date, duration of elephant safari. Officials will scrutinize the application and check the elephants availability on requested dates and accordingly take decision. Usually 15-20 days past in such process. Once permission is obtained, tourist can do the elephant safari from the specified point inside the park. Fee for elephant safari is collected in advance which includes security fee & safari charge. Security charge is refundable on condition that visitor has not voilated any safari rule and has to submit copy of film or photography to forest department.
Bandhavgarh Fort Safari
Bandhavgarh is indeed an example of natural beauty and conservation history. Bandhavgarh name is derived from two hindi language words: "Bandhav" means Brother and "Garh" means Fort or Garrison. Fort is located in 811mtr high hillock which can be visited through Fort Safari. Forest is located in Vindhyan range with many hills and very dense forest, even sun rays could not reach the surface of earth. Bandhav Bandhaini are very famous hills. Many tanks, springs and waterfalls are present here. Atleast 39 caves are found within 5 km. surrounding of Bandhavgarh. After visiting following unmatched Tourist spots inside Bandhavgarh National Park, every visitor, whether it is Indian or Foreigner tourist, concludes its visit: cost-efficient, memorable and suggestive.
Hotels & Resorts in Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve have number of luxury wildlife resorts and lodges. Among them Taj's Safari Lodge Mahua Kothi in Bandhavgarh is best among luxury properties. Taj's Mahua Kothi do not require any introduction. Recently many new resorts and logdes were introduced in Bandhavgarh to cater huge accommodation requirement of visiting tourists. Usually domestic visitor visits Bandhavgarh during October-Novermber-December & in second phase during April-May June. They prefer medium to budget category resorts & lodges. During this time 3-star and budget resorts do good business. December is peak season for Bandhavgarh especially year ending weekend in which tariff increased by approx.20%. For budgeted visitors or backpackers April-May-June is good time as during this time animal sighting is good and almost all resorts & lodges offers lucrative discounts and packages.We recommend Kumkum lodge as best among low tariff and Taj Safari Lodge: Mahua Kothi in luxury category.