Bandipur National Park
Then Bandipur National Park has some natural treats on offer for you. Located in Karnataka, this region is the residence for several animals like tigers, elephants, wild dogs, and many other rare and endangered species.
The lush green forests make for a fascinating destination, and the numerous tourist attractions make this place a favorite among travelers.
History of Bandipur National Park
Way back in the year 1931, the Maharaja of Mysore created a sanctuary. Initially known as the Venugopala Wildlife Park, it later came to be known as the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. This park served as one of the prominent tiger reserves in the country during Project Tiger.
Things to do and Major Attractions
There are plenty of places to visit in Bandipur National Park that will make your visit worthwhile. One of the highlights of the Bandipur National Park sightseeing would have to be the tiger safari.
You can watch from close quarters and admire the majestic tigers during this safari through the forest. Tourists also love to visit the Wayanad National Park and Mudumalai National Park since they are near to this place.
Mysore, the city, is also not very far away. And for most tourists, it is covered on their way to Bandipur. The Chethalayam Waterfalls make for amazing sightseeing and draws in thousands of tourists each year.
The scenic beauty around the place is exquisite, and this is truly nature at its best. Many travels to the Gopalswami Hills, as well, where the peace and serenity around the temple are sure to leave you spellbound.
Other notable attractions around the region include the Kabini Reservoir. It is famous for several water sports activities, and the Muthanga Forest, which is among the tourist’s favorite.
Flora and Fauna at Bandipur National Park
Bandipur houses a wide range of timber trees, including Grewia tiliaefolia, clumping bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea), giant clumping bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), teak (Tectona grandis), rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia), sandalwood (Santalum album V), Indian-laurel (Terminalia tomentosa), and Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium).
There is also a variety of fruiting and flowering shrubs and trees, including indigo berry (Randia uliginosa), Shorea Talura, black cutch (Acacia catechu), Kadam tree (Adina cordifolia), Indian gooseberry (Emblica Officinalis), crape-myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata), golden shower tree (Cassia fistula), axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), Schleicher trijuga, flame of the forest (Butea monosperma), and Odina wodiar.
Bandipur promotes a good population of vulnerable and endangered species like Dholes, Jackals, four-horned Antelopes, Indian rock pythons, Indian Elephants, Gaurs, Tigers, Sloth Bears, and Muggers.
People and Culture at Bandipur National Park
The people around here are simplistic in their approach and friendly towards the tourists. However, it is near the city of Mysore, and the local tribal population has developed with time.
Conflicts and Threats
From cattle to wildlife, there are fears of the possible transmission of diseases. Large numbers of gaur were killed in 1968 in an outbreak of rinderpest. The British introduced Lantana bush in tea gardens during the 19th century. That spread rapidly at the cost of valuable saplings and herbs.
This bush is thorny; hence it is not eaten by herbivores, attracts mosquitoes, and rapid spread has caused many species of animals to vanish, which is a staple food for wildlife. The rapid spread of Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) has severely damaged bio-diversity, and typical landscapes of this beautiful jungle are making way for this invasive weed.
Elephants that traditionally migrate from dry to moist zones now increasingly come into contact with human habitations, and farms are often damaged. Sugarcane crops are particularly attractive to them.
Elephant Trying to Cross the Highways
The National Highways NH-766 and NH-181 pass through Bandipur national park. This road has been a significant concern as speeding vehicles have killed many wild animals despite continuous warnings to travelers from the forest department officials and restrictions on the movement of vehicles in various parts between 6 P.M to 6 A.M. This has raised fears of the extinction of wild animals only found in Bandipur National Park.
The National Park lost one of its proudly owned possession on October 9, 2018. A tusker named 'Rowdy Ranga' was hit by a bus in the night, after which the government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka agreed to ban night traffic in the forest. However, Kerala condemns the 'Night Ban' and has asked for the ban to be lifted to save a reroute that increases the distance by 45 km.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items
The local food does stir up the taste buds with some unique items like Bisi Bele Bath, Jolada Roti, and the usual South Indian delicacies such as Dosa, Vada, Sambar, etc.
You could pick from the rich array of local artifacts such as Lantana Furniture, bamboo handicrafts, and other such items as a souvenir. These can serve as delightful gifts to carry home, and they carry the local essence and art with them. You could also buy some top-quality pure honey from this region.
Best Time to Visit Bandipur National Park
Ideally, there are two best times to visit Bandipur National Park. You could visit during the winter months of October to March for comfortable weather conditions. You could also travel during the rainy season from July to September to experience the forest in all its greenery.
There are some luxurious accommodations available in the heart of the forest, and you can stay in places like Kaav Safari Lodge, Jungle Hut. The Serai Bandipur and other such places offer the best of luxury amenities.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Bangalore International Airport, around 215 km away from Bandipur National Park. The airport connects to all the major cities nationally and internationally. Further, you can avail taxis or buses to reach this national park from the airport.
The nearest railway station is Mysuru Junction Railway Station at 80km away from the park. Further, you can take a taxi or bus from this station.
Roads well connect to the national park. Hire KSRTC state buses to Bandipur or any luxurious private bus to reach.