Bandhavgarh National Park

FAST FACTS

Topic Short Description
Safari Season  01st October to 30th June
Best time to visit November to April
Nearest Airport Jabalpur (180kms), Khajuraho (260kms)
Nearby Railway Stations Umaria (37kms), Katni (100kms), Jabalpur (180kms)
Best time for Tiger Safari Mid January to May months
When to plan 4 Months in advance
Safari options Open Jeep & Canters
Core Zones Tala Zone, Magadhi Zone, Khitauli Zone

INTRODUCTION

Bandhavgarh is a famous Tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh state of Central India. It lies in North-East regions of state. It is around 900 kms south-east from Delhi and 1250 kms north-east of Mumbai Airport thus quite far from most popular arrival points of India. It spread over Vindhya mountain ranges in Central India which is well known for its tribal population and hidden wildlife treasures. In terms of Administration, forest area lies in Umaria Forest Division of Madhya Pradesh state. Here Umaria is the nearest township for all sort of purchasing. Just catch flight for Jabalpur Airport and drive to this national park. Being a Project Tiger Reserve, forest area of Bandhavgarh is divided in to Core-Buffer zone where its declared core area is 452.66 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. This region was earlier ruled by Kalchuri rulers and later acquired by Baghel rulers. Till year 1968 it remains a private game reserve of Baghela rulers from Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. Till this period, its private owners maintained the forest area, restricted the hunting activities for general public but organized hunting expeditions for their special guests. So we can say that actual wildlife conservation begins when this forest came into control of Forest Department. Since that time, Bandhavgarh moved into positive direction of wildlife conservation and registered significant imporvement in population of tigers and other animals. From tourism point of view, it gained popularity after it was included in Project Tiger by declaring this forest as "Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve" in year 1992-93. This was major milestone in journey of Bandhavgarh, resulted into major turnaround in its exposure to rest of the world. Actual tourism begins from this time, in this area and today no tiger safari itinerary is considered complete without inclusion of Bandhavgarh national park.

More than 32 species of mammals and 250 species of birds & 70 species of butterflies are found in Bandhavgarh National Park. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Jackal, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Bengal Fox, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai(Blue-bull), Chinkara. Mammals such as Dhole, the small Indian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally. It is said that India's first white tiger was found in forest area of Bandhavgarh due to which it is also called 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 is a historical place where human society left space for wildlife to survive, grow & flourish. In first eye view, we will find it a hilly area where 32 hills are located and in one of the hill, we will find the ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort from which name of tiger reserve is derived. Don't compare it with forts of Rajasthan as it is very small fort but apart from fort, their are many other historical buildings in good condition. Unfortunately it is closed for visitors. Fort has a history that goes back to 2nd & 3rd century when region was under Magh rulers. The flat platform over hill top where current ruins of fort and other monuments are located was considered very defensive location surrounded from steep natural rocks with water sources on hill top. About 3 Magh rulers ruled here as per inscriptions written on caves present in nearby hills.

After Magh rules, Sengar dynasty came into ruling position since 5th century. Sengar's do not retain the region for long time and later Kalchuris took over the area under their possession in 9th century. Kalchuris were fond of art & sculpture. During their tenure, many temples and monuments were made in Baghelkhand. Kalchuris made their capital in Tripuri which was in between Jabalpur - Bhedaghat. Here Tripur Sundari Temple is actually Tripuri of Kalchuris. During Kulchuri time, Rewa was called as "Dahal Desh" in their inscriptions. After Kalchuris, this region was ruled by Baghels of Rewa. These Baghels are Raghav Agnivanshi clan of Rajputs. They were originally from Anhalwada in Gujarat, who migrated to Sone river valley in Central India which was known as Bhat Gonda during that time. Later this region was called Baghelkhand. Till year 1562 Badhelkhand capital was at Gahora, situated on Allahabad - Karvi road in Chitrakoot region. It was Baghel king Raja Ramchandra who shifted the capital from Gahora to Bandhavgarh in 1562 and started ruling from Bandhavgarh fort. Here it is important to know that famous Indian music legend "Tansen" had also spend time in Bandhavgarh and later gifted from Baghel ruler to Mughals. Baghel rulers have treaty with powerful Mughal dynasty but when their interference increased in Bandhavgarh, Baghels were compelled to shift their capital from Bandhavgarh to Rewa in year 1618. From that time, Bandhavgarh become abandoned place except the Bandhavdheesh temple which is still active where priest live on regular basis. With the passage of time nature reclaimed the area and more tigers became the frequent visitors of the temple. During Bandhavgarh safari, we can notice some marks of human establishment in this area and during fort visit, it can be observed more prominently.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Main tourist attraction of Bandhavgarh is its jeep safari. Whole area is surrounded by forests and some villages thus safari drives are the activity thing to do here. Apart from this we can do some nature walk and birding. Fort safari was also available in past but now a days, it is closed for visitors. In a day, two safari drivers are offered to visitors where as in every Wednesday, park is closed for evening safari drive. Park is divided into different zones. In a single safari drive, vehicle remains in one particular safari zone. Inside Bandhavgarh, their are different popular spots which are mostly visited by tourists like meadows, water-holes, hills, tree-clusters etc. In addition to jungle safaris, tourists can do nature walk inside resort or main roads and also visit to nearby villages to understand culture and lifestyle of local people.

JUNGLE SAFARI

Jungle safari drive is the main activity to do at Bandhavgarh. Here main safari season is from October to June month when core safari zones remain open for tourism. They get closed in monsoon, from July to September. It doesn't means that jungle safari is not possible in monsoon. During monsoon season, buffer safari zones remains open for tourists to do jungle safari in buffer zones only. In short & simple words, Core zone is central forest where as buffer zone is forest surrounding to core zone. For Bandhavgarh safaris, we always recommend to do advance booking as on most of the travel dates, it gets soldout in advance. Here, on record, two types of jungle safaris are offered to tourists i.e. jeep safari and elephant safari. As elephants are mainly used for patrolling purpose thus denied for tourism. Thus tourists rely on jeep safaris and recently introduced hot air balloon safari drives. At Bandhavgarh 4 types of jungle safari modes are offered i.e. Full-jeep (non-sharing) safari, Single seat (sharing) safari, canter safari and balloon safari modes. Full-jeep safari mode means to book complete safari jeep booking. In this mode you will be accompanied by safari guide and driver. In Single seat safari mode, you may book seat in a jeep i.e. sharing mode. In such drives, you will be accompanied by other tourists also. It is cheaper then full-jeep safari mode. Taking guide service, during each safari drive is mandatory. Canter safari is another low cost safari medium. Canter is actually an open bus of 18-seater in which per seat tickets are offered to tourists. It can't be booked in advance thus mostly for walk-in tourists who reach Bandhavgarh, without advance safari booking. It is offered from ticket counter thus tourists have to reach the ticket counter by own or with help of hotel management. Another recently introduced unique safari mode is "Hot Air Balloon Safari". In this mode, tourists can do ariel safari and witness the jungle from sky. It is costly mode of safari but offers adventureous & thrilling safari experience. For park visit, tourists are required to book safari ticket/s as per their schedule. Safari ticket contains travel date, morning/evening round detail, visitor name/s, father/husband name, gender, city name, identity document number. Tourists are required to do safari in jeep with company of registered guide. Tourists are required to pay separately for jeep and guide also. We offer jungle safari booking in Bandhavgarh. Their are 3 core-zones & 03 Buffer zones in Bandhavgarh for jungle safari drives. At one time we can do safari in one safari zone only. Here core zones are Tala zone, Magadhi Zone and Khitauli zone. Where as buffer zones are Dhamokhar, Panpatha and Johila. At present, safaris are done on these three safari zones.

Safari Timing

Here in Bandhavgarh National Park, safari timing is basically begins 30 minutes before sunrise in Morning round which lasts for 4:00 hrs and Evening safari round begins from after noon till 30 minutes after sunset with duration of approx. 3:00hrs. As sunrise and sunset timing varies with season thus accordingly safari timings also changes with season. Here we have share safari timing as per our past experiences:

Duration Morning Safari Evening Safari
October to November 06:00 - 11:30 Hrs 15:00 - 18:00 Hrs
December to January 06:30 - 11:30 Hrs 15:15 - 18:00 Hrs
February to April 06:00 - 11:30 Hrs 15:00 - 18:00 Hrs
May to June 05:30 - 10:30 Hrs 16:00 - 19:00 Hrs

MAMMAL ATTRACTIONS

Here we have tried to make a checklist of Bandhavgarh mammals. Given checklist  shows the list of mammal species that can be seen during jungle safaris in safari zones. Many mammals can be seen in day safaris where as some noctornal species, which can be seen during late evening buffer safaris. It is not possible to see all of them in few rounds of jungle safaris.
BANDHAVGARH MAMMALS LIST
Common Name Local Name Scientific Name
Tiger Bagh / Sher Panthera tigris
Leopard /Panther Tendua / Gulbagh Panthera pardus
Jungle Cat Junglee Billi Felis chaus
Blue Bull Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus
Chinkara Chinkara Gazella gazella
Four-horned Antelope Chowsingha Tetraceros quadricornis
Indian Gaur Gaur Bos gaurus
Wolf Bhediya Canis lupus
Indian Wild Dog Dhole/Sone Kutta/Jungle Kutta Cuon alpinus
Jackal Gidhar / Siyar Canis aureus
Indian Fox Lomdi Vulpes bengalensis
Sambar Sambar Cervus unicolor
Spotted Deer Chital Axis axis
Muntjac/Barking Deer Kakar Muntiacus muntjak
Striped Hyaena Lakar-baggha Hyaena hyaena
Sloth Bear Bhalu / Reech Melursus ursinus
Common Langur Langur Presbytis entellus
Rehus Macaque Bandar Macaca mulatta
Wild Boar Junglee Suar Sus scrofa
Small Indian Civer Kasturi Viverricula indica
Common Palm Civer Kasturi Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
Honey Badger Kabar Bijoo Melivora capensis
Ruddy Mongoose Nevla Herpestes smithii
Common Mongoose Nevla Herpestes edwardsi
Indian Pangolin Chinti Khor Manis crassicaudata
Indian Tree Shrew Bans Gilahri Anathana ellioti
Grey Musk Shrew Chachunder Suncus murinus
Fulvous Fruit Bat Chamgadar Rousettus leschenaulti
Flying Fox Chamgadar Pteropus giganteus
Indain False Vampire Chamgadar Megaerma lyra
Indian Pipistrelle Chamgadar Pipistrellus coromandra
Five-striped Squirrel Gilahri Funambulus pennati
Indian Porcupine Sehi Hystrix indica
Indian Mole Rat Chuha Bandicota bengalensis
Indian Hare Khargosh Lepus nigricollis

BIRD ATTRACTIONS

Their are about 250 bird species in Bandhavgarh national park forest area. These birds can be categorized in 53 bird families like Eagrets, Storks, Herons, Grebes, Ibises, Cormorants, Ducks, Vultures, Hawks, Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Sandpipers etc. This list includes both residents and migrant birds. Their are about 138 residents birds, 26 local migrant birds and 86 migrant birds in Bandhavgarh birds checklist. During jungle safari drives, one can enjoy the tiger tracking with bird watching. Birds can be seen in all the forest areas but some points are favorite places for birds and their probability of good birding in high. Bird-watching areas in Bandhavgarh are Bamera dam, Garhpuri, Majhuli, Khitauli reservoirs, Panpatha road, Bandhavgarh fort etc. Some of the frequently seen Bandhavgarh birds are: Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Jungle Babblers, Indian Oriole, Blue-jay, Kingfishers, Baya Weaver, Crested Hawk Eagle, Shikra, Spotted Dove, Red-wattled Lapwing etc.

HOW TO REACH

By Air :
Nearest airport for reaching Bandhavgarh is Jabalpur Airport (180kms/03:30hrs). It is connected with Delhi and Mumbai airports. We offer Jabalpur airport taxi service from this airport to nearby destinations like Bandhavgarh, Kanha national park, Pachmarhi, Satpura national park, Pench tiger reserve etc. Second option is Khajuraho Airport at a distance of 250kms. It is connected with Delhi and Varanasi airports. We offer Khajuraho airport taxi service for reaching Bandhavgarh, Khajuraho temples, Panna national park, Orchha, Chanderi, Gwalior, Varanasi etc.

By Train/ Railways :
Nearest railway stations for reaching Bandhavgarh are Umaria station (37kms/45mins), Katni railway station (100kms/02:00hrs) and Jabalpur railway station (180kms/4:00hrs). We offer taxi services to Bandhavgarh from all these railway stations.

By Road :
Bandhavgarh is best accessible by road. It lies in East of Madhya Pradesh state in Umaria district. Its nearby cities are Umaria, Satna, Katni, Jabalpur, Sahdol. Their is regular bus service between Umaria and Bandhavgarh. For reaching Bandhavgarh from Katni/Jabalpur/Satna, their is no direct bus service but by changing buses, you can reach. Otherwise, best options is to hire a taxi for easy and direct transfers.

BANDHAVGARH TAXI SERVICE

For reaching Bandhavgarh national park, taxi is the most preferred way. More than 95% of arrivals and departures in Bandhavgarh are done by taxi vehicles. As their is poor bus connectivity from prominent arrival points thus car hire is the best way for reaching Bandhavgarh. We maintain office in Bandhavgarh to cater the immediate requirements of resorts booking, ground transfers, safari arrangements etc. Our Bandhavgarh car rental office take car of cab hire requirements. You can have taxi services in prominent routes like Bandhavgarh to Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh to Kanha national park, Katni to Bandhavgarh, Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh,Bandhavgarh to Sanjay Dubri National Park (Parsili) etc. In addition to this, we also offer services to uncommon transfers like Bandhavgarh to Varanasi, Agra, Kundalpur, Pachmarhi, Satpura national park. Here in Bandhavgarh, medium cabs, large cabs and mini-bus are available. Here large AC Coaches are unavailable as large groups rarely visits wildlife destinations thus their is no scope for business by large coaches.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Bandhavgarh national park is open for visitors from 01-October to 30-June and in remaining time, core zone of national park remains closed for visitors due to monsoon season. In addition to this, park remains closed for evening safari drive on every Wednesday. In Holi festival day, usually park remains closed for full-day. These dates may vary as it is decided every year by Madhya Pradesh forest Department. This tiger reserves is popular for best tiger sighting in India due to which from beginning to end of a season, tourists arrival remains constant. Usually most of the tourist arrival has been registered from November to April month. This is the best time to visit Bandhavgarh for normal tourists but if you are wildlife photographer and ready to sweat for tiger sighting then we recommend to visit Bandhavgarh from April to June first half. This is peak summer time so safaris will be definitely challenging but you will be rewarded equally with good tiger sighting and better chances for tiger photography. Here it is important to note that for visiting park area, one should must do safari ticket booking in advance. Tickets is the main challenge for visitors as tickets limit is much less than the visitors demand.

KABIR DARSHAN YATRA

It is a holy trip, organized in December month in which you will get the chance to visit Bandhavgarh fort and other surrounding historical buildings, including ancient Kabir temple. As mentioned, it is a holy trip thus, their is no fee or advance booking requirement for this journey. Just go with your original ID documents. In this day, normal public is allowed to walk through Bandhavgarh forest area to reach Kabir temple, near fort, spend sometime their and return back on same day. As Bandhavgarh fort is closed for tourists thus who want to see the fort area, they should must be the part of this yatra and experience for tiger reserve journey by walk.

CLIMATE & WEATHER

Bandhavgarh have moderate climate. Here Winter season starts from November to March during which morning temperature dips to 5°C and day temperature remains as 18°C. From April to June, we can experience the summer season when straight sunlight and heat waves poses challenge in safari drives. In peak summers i.e. May-June, temperature reaches 45°C level. With the end of June or beginning of July, monsoon clouds arrives and pours good rainfall. Monsoon season prevails from July to October. During this time, park remains closed for visitors and get prepared for new beginning. Here at Bandhavgarh you will experience significant difference in day and night temperatures. Due to straight sun-light effect, here day temperature raises swiftly and after sun-set and in early morning hours, we will experience cold. This difference is well experienced in morning safari drives when vehicle enters just before sunrise and exits after sunrise.

Months
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Minimum (°C)
05
14
22
28
30
36
25
23
22
22
18
10
Maximum(°C)
18
31
35
40
44
45
36
34
32
34
30
20


Above temperature chart of Bandhavgarh is based of past experience. Here we have gathered the average temperatures during each season so that user can get an rough idea.

ACCOMMODATION

Their are number of hotels and resorts in Bandhavgarh. According to budget and requirement, tourists can have all category of resorts and safari lodges. Here resorts are available from range of 2500 INR. per night to 60000 INR. per night. Here you can find 15% resorts in Luxury category, 25% resorts in Deluxe category, 40% resorts in Standard category and 20% resorts in Budget category. Some of the popular luxury safari lodges are Mahua Kothi, Samode safari lodge, Treehouse Hideaway etc. Popular deluxe resorts in Bandhavgarh are Kings Lodge, Bandhav Vilas, Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge etc. In standard category popular resorts are Tiger Den, Aranyak resort, Nature Heritage, Tiger Trails etc. Similarly we can find some good budget hotels like Wild Haven, Sun Resort etc. Now home-stays are also coming up but good one is still awaited. Resorts and lodges are developed in different themes thus variety can be seen here.

NEXT TO BANDHAVGARH

Bandhavgarh national park is surrounded by many popular Central India tourist attractions. After visiting Bandhavgarh, their are number of connecting tourist destinations like Kanha national park, Khajuraho , Panna national park, Amarkantak, Jabalpur, Varanasi etc. We would like to introduce upcoming wildlife destination i.e. Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve which is just 100 kms from Bandhavgarh. First White Tiger of world was found in this same forest and it is connected with Bandhavgarh. Its bare-foot walk is very popular activity to do here. We are providing all travel services to all these tourist destinations. Our services includes tour planning, hotels booking, jungle safaris booking, taxi service, sightseeing arrangements etc.

LATEST UPDATES from BANDHAVGARH

10/July/2021 : Monsoon Safari in Bandhavgarh

Monsoon safari is possible in Bandhavgarh. Tourists can do buffer zone safaris in Dhamokhar zone, Panpatha zone etc. Due to less rainfall, weekends are going full and tiger sighting is also occurring in frequent intervals.

22/Sept/2020 : Elephant Festival (Hathi Mahotsav) is going on.

With 15 elephants, park management is celebrating elephant festival in national park in which elephants are fed with their favorite food, massage given, no routine duty.

20/Sept/2020 : Online Safari Booking is open

Online safari permits booking for all major tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh are now open. Do online safari booking for Bandhavgarh.

29/Aug/2020 : Elephant dies due to electrocution

Here in Bandhavgarh, one wild female elephant due accidently when she same into contact with high-tension electricity wire, in Panpatha range. Accidently on raising the trunk upward. Their is no foul play, it is just an accident.

17/Aug/2019 : Cub death reported

One of the 4 month old tiger cub passed away, due to illness. He was found in abandoned condition in Bandhavgarh buffer area and seems ill due to which captured & provided medical aid but unfortunately, not able to recover and ultimately passed away..

09/Aug/2019 : Here 17 years old tigress T-23 died in enclosure. She was under treatment but due to old age could not recovered.

24/June/2019 : Bandhavgarh Tigress in Satpura National Park

Bandhavgarh tigress was shifted to Satpura tiger reserve in March 2019. For four months, she was put in enclosure and now released in open forest of tiger reserve with radio collar, installed on her neck.

01/May/2019 :Wild Elephants returned back

With the increase in temperature, two herds of wild elephants, active in Bandhavgarh region, returned back, towards Chattsigarh state. They are expected to take the same route from which they reached Bandhavgarh.

15/Mar/2019 :Wild Elephants in Bandhavgarh Tala Zone

At present, a group of wild elephants has entered into forest area of Tala zone due to which it is closed for visitors till undisclosed period or till departure of that wild elephant group. It means if you are having Tala zone safari ticket then you can't enter in this zone and will be offered other zones i.e. Magadhi zone or Khitauli zone. Decision will be taken by park authority.

01/Jan/2019 :Wild Elephants in Bandhavgarh Khitauli Zone

Here in Bandhavgarh, a group of Wild Elephants has entered into Khitauli zone. They are around 28 in number and came from Chattisgarh state. Due to their presence, Khitauli zone is closed for park safaris and thus ticket holders of Khitauli zone are now sent to either Magadhi zone or Tala zone. Khitauli zone is likely to remain closed for rest of the season as Elephants are not likely to move on in near future, as some baby elephants are with them.

02/Oct/2018 :Increment in Safari Tickets

In recent development, Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh has introduced additional quota of safari tickets for all popular national parks, including Bandhavgarh national park. Increased safari tickets will increase the probability of getting safari tickets in different safari zones of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

 

MADHYA PRADESH DISTANCE CHARTS
Amarkantak Distance Chart Bandhavgarh Distance Chart Bhopal Distance Chart
Gwalior Distance Chart Indore Distance Chart Jabalpur Distance Chart
Kanha National Park Distance Chart Khajuraho Distance Chart Madhya Pradesh Distance Chart
Maheshwar Distance Chart Mandu Distance Chart Orchha Distance Chart
Pachmarhi Distance Chart Pench National Park Distance Chart Satpura National Park Distance Chart
Ujjain Distance Chart
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