Bandipur National Park is one of the beautiful forest reserve situated in the state of Karnataka in India. Located amidst the scenic surroundings of the Western Ghats, the park sprawls over an area of about 870 Square Kilometres. The Bandipur National Park forms a part of the famous Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and holds a special place in the efforts towards Eco-conservation by the government of India. The Bandipur National Park is known for the abundance of tigers and other wildlife inhabitants like sambhar, langurs, chital, wild boar, four-horned antelope, Malabar squirrel, black-knapped hare, porcupines and many more.
Being a rain forest, the lush greenery of the park is maintained all through the year. The wildlife of the park is well known to tourists from all over the world who come to Bandipur National Park in large numbers. Prior to becoming a park, the forest area was built as a sanctuary by the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1931. It was then named as Venugopala Wildlife Park and was spread in an area of only 90 Square Kilometres. The Bandipur National Park was declared as Tiger Reserve in the year 1973 by adding an area of approximately 800 Square Kilometres to the former Venugopala Wildlife Park.
Attractions at the Park
Gopalaswamy Betta is the highest peat at Bandipur National Park and a prominent tourist’s attraction. The site offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding valley. There is a temple located at Gopalaswamy Betta that is dedicated to an incarnation of Lord Krishna known as Lord Venugopala Swamy. Visitors can trek up to the temple to get the stunning view of sunrise and sunset.
Bird Watching is a famous activity at Bandipur National Park that offers visitors an opportunity to spot uncommon species of birds from close distance. The park has a sizable avian population that fills the atmosphere with the beautiful songs of the bird. During the birding tour, bird watchers can glance at the Peafowl, Red Spur Fowl, woodpecker, fly-catcher, warbler and Jungle Fowl to name a few.
Information about the Safari
The safaris are the best means to explore the Bandipur National Park and also observe the diversified flora and fauna of the place.
Jeep Safari is an ideal way to get an insight into the untamed wilderness. There are open jeeps that can accommodate a maximum of six people and these tours are organised by the Forest Department. Jeep Safaris operate in two shifts daily.
Elephant Safaris are also enjoyed by the tourists especially children. It is one of the most excited and awaited event of the Bandipur National Park. These elephant safaris take you inside the jungle to catch the glimpse of wild animals and birds. The safari lasts for a total of 10 minutes.
The duration of Jeep Safari is for three hours in the morning and two hours in the evening close to sunset time.Timings:
The morning timing for Safari starts from 6am to 9am while the evening safari starts from 4pm to 6pm.
The Safari timings can vary or even be cancelled due to heavy rains, bad weather conditions, non-availability of vehicles or any other reason. Hence it is best to contact the Karnataka Forest Department and then plan your day.Entry Pass and Permits:
The entry pass to the park is obtained from the Forest Department and the rates vary for national and International tourists. Visitors can book jeep or van safari rides for exploring the Bandipur National Park. Private vehicles are strictly not allowed inside the park.
Dos and Don’ts Within the Park:
- Feeding the animals inside the park is not allowed
- Do not cross the speed limit
- Chasing animals or shouting to teasing them is not allowed
- Maintain silence all through the safari
- Do not park the vehicle on the road side
- Do not litter inside the park and use a garbage bag and dispose it later
Things to Carry Along:
- Id Proof
- Camera and extra batteries
- Sun screen
- Mosquito repellents
- Raincoats during the monsoons as umbrella are not very functional during the showers thlit are accompanied with breeze.
- Light cotton clothes during summers and light woollen clothes for brief winters.
Safety Measures to be Followed
While entering the park, tourist must follow the instructions given by their trained guide. Getting down from your vehicle at any point of time can turn to be dangerous. Getting unwanted attention inside the jungle should also be avoided. The safaris should only be considered a chance to view the life inside jungle without causing any disturbances.
Best Time to Visit the Park
Bandipur National Park with its myriad attractions can be visited nay time of the year. Sumer time from the months of March to May is ideal if you wish to observe wild animals at their watering holes. June marks the arrival of monsoons and continues till September. During this time the natural beauty of the place is at its peak and nature lovers fall in love with the greenery all around.
The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 12 kms from the Bandipur National Park. It is wonderful place to vacation close to the nature. The perfect atmosphere of the sanctuary draws visitors from far and wide to this destination.
Ooty also known as Udagamandalam is a crowned as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’ in India and is located at a distance of 80 kms from Bandipur National park. The place is famous for its picturesque plantations, wonderful hills and verdant valleys. There are plenty of sightseeing options is Ooty making it a must visit destination for tourists.
Mysore is a popular historical heritage site located at 80 kms from the Bandipur National Park. It is known worldwide for attractions like the Chamundi Hills, the impressive Mysore Palace, the Mysore Zoo and Brindavan Gardens to name a few.
Monkeys are found in abundance at Bandipur National Park. While staying at the safari lodges inside the park, make sure to lock your windows and cottage doors before stepping out. Also when you are out in the jungle in your vehicle do not keep your windshield low, as the fearless monkeys may enter the vehicle and look out for something to eat.