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Indian Wildlife Tours : Wildlife Parks in India

Bandipur National Park
The Bandipur National Park is a beautiful forest reserve located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It lies Bandipur National Parkin the shadow of the Western Ghats on the Deccan plateau, and spreads across an area of about 875 sq km, 780-1455 m above sea level. The region is well endowed with vegetation and flora that ranges from dry and tropical deciduous and evergreen forests to open grassy woodlands. Valuable hardwoods, including rosewood and teak, are found here. The Moyar River runs through this national park and irrigates it, together with two other minor rivulets. The river also acts as a boundary between the park and the Madhumalai Sanctuary. Bandipur is one of the finest and most accessible habitats of the Asiatic elephant. Its vast open spaces make it a pleasant and convenient outing for visitors to see the elephant in its natural surroundings.

Bandipur National Park is a single ecological ‘continuum’ that comprises Wayanad-Nagarhole-Mysore-wildlife reserves. Due to geographic, climatic and vegetation commonality, these wildlife reserves share common wildlife. One of the best ways to experience the jungle is to take a ride on elephant back, or try a night vigil in a watchtower or machan and have a clear view above the tree cover. Boats and angling facilities are also available inside the park.

Bandipur National Park was the private game reserve for the Maharajas of Mysore. It was created in the 1930s on the local Maharaja of Voodiyar’s hunting lands, and was named Venugopal Wildlife Park. It was expanded later in 1941 to adjoin the Nagarhole National Park, and the Wayanad and Madhumalai Sanctuaries. The entire area now constitutes the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one of India's most extensive tracts of protected forest. It was designated a tiger reserve in 1973, and was declared a national park in 1990.

The wildlife population of the Bandipur National Park is dominated by wild Asiatic Elephants who are habitual of seasonal migration. The wet season is the best to see herds of this majestic creature. There are an estimated 1,900 elephants in this park. Bandipur also has a sizable number of tigers. According to a census conducted in 1993, there are 66 tigers in the park. It is one of the 15 sanctuaries selected across India for Project Tiger, a scheme launched in 1973 by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) together with the Indian Government. The project is designed to save the tiger and its natural habitat from potential dangers. Other natural inhabitants of this forest are gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, barking deer, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, Malabar squirrel, red-giant squirrel, porcupines, and the black-naped hare.

The Bandipur region is also rich in avian population, and oftentimes, the avifauna alone can be an eciting prospect of enjoyment for bird watchers. It is well known for the shaheen falcon, the honey buzzard and king vulture. Peafowl, the most common ground bird, is excessively shy and alert and is usually seen in the forest along with other game birds like the grey jungle fowl and the quarrelsome red spur fowl, while the grey partridge prefers the scrub on the margins. The backwaters of the Kabini and the larger tanks attract cormorants, ducks, herons, teals, and waders. Among the woodland birds that dominate the avifauna are the crested hawk eagle, serpent eagle, the collared scops owl, the yellow-legged green pigeon, parakeets, woodpeckers and barbets, hornbills, drongos (Dicrurus macrocercus; also called devil bird), scarlet minivets (Pericrocotus flammeus), and diverse warblers. The hill myna and the racket-tailed drongo are the loudest during the day, while owls and nightjars can be heard at night.

Bandipur National Park forest reserve also has some beautiful landscapes that are a delight to roam about and explore. The Rolling Rocks, to the south of the forest, offer panoramic views of the weather-beaten 260-meter-deep Mysore Ditch and the entire Moyar gorge. Gopalaswami Betta provides a majestic view of Mysore plateau and its adjoining hills from an elevated ridge. Places such as these are a photographer’s delight.

General Information
  • Weather
    This region is warm and comfortable for most part of the year with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 28°C. The brief winter lasts from October to January when the temperature falls to about 19°C. Monsoons are erratic, but it generally rains from June to September. The park is open from the May to February.
  • Best Time to Visit Bandipur
    The best months to visit the park are from May to July and in the months of September and October.
  • Where to Stay
    Bush Betta Wildlife Adventue Resort.

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