Destination Spotlight: Bandhavgarh
There is story behind where did the name of this national park came from. According to Wikipedia
Bandhavgarh National Park (Devanagari: बांधवगढ राष्ट्रीय उद्दान) is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km². The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother’s Fort).
Bandhavgarh is relatively small national park as compared to some of the other national parks in india, however the density of royal bangal tiger makes it a prominent park where chances of tiger sighting is relatively very high. The park itself has a large biodiversity and not only has a good population of tigersbut also boast of other wild animals like leopard and spotted deers, gaurs, Indian bison along with some of the most popular indian birds like red necked vulture.
With the tiger at the apex of the food chain, it contains 37 species of mammals. According to forest officials, there are more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, a number of reptiles. But many people have the species’ list of about 350 birds along with photographs. The richness and tranquility of grasslands invites pairs of Sarus Cranes to breed in the rainy season.
The park is civided into four zones namely Tala, Magadhi, Khitauli and Panpatta of which Tala and Magadhi are the major tourist zones. These four ranges forms the core of national park which is spread over district of Umaria and Katni.
Coming Back to Royal Bengal Tiger, two most famous names which captivates the senses of any wildlife enthusiast in the world are Charger and Sita. They are no more but played a prominent role in bringing bandhavgarh on world map.
An excert from Wikipedia
Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world, and is home to some famous named individual tigers. Charger, an animal so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and tourists (whom he nonetheless did not harm), was the first healthy male known to be living in Bandhavgarh since the 1990s. A female known as Sita, who once appeared on the cover of National Geographic and is considered the most photographed tiger in the world was also to be found in Bandhavgarh for many years. Almost all the tigers of Bandhavgarh today are descendants of Sita and Charger. Their daughter Mohini, son Langru and B2 also maintained their tradition for frequent sighting and moving close to tourist jeeps.Mohini, became prominent following Sita’s death. She mated with Mahamn Tiger. She later died of her wounds from the vehicle accident.Charger died in 2000 and his body was buried at Charger Point where he was kept in a closed region at his old age. Between 2003 and 2006, many of his descendants met with a series of unfortunate ends. B1 was electrocuted and B3 was killed by poachers. Sita was killed by poachers. Mohini died of serious wounds to her body. After the death of Charger, the fully grown B2 survived as the dominant male in the forest between 2004 and 2007. He also became the strongest tiger in the world. Mating with a female in the Siddhubaba region of Bandhavgarh, he became a father of three cubs. One of them was a male. He was named Bamera. He was first sighted in 2008 and is now Bandhavgarh’s dominant male. In November 2011, B2 died. Postmortem studies suggest that he died a natural death. But many other professional people, who know more than the officials, say that he was injured by the villagers of the village in the buffer area.Now, the most prominent tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park is Bamera, who has territory in all the four zones of the park. The females are Kankatti and Panpatti who both have three and two cubs respectively.
Although it’s a small little village town, it boast some of the finest resorts like Mahua Kothi from Taj group.Wildflower Resort. One of the upcoming resort in Bandhavgarh is Tiger Garh and is our personal favorite particularly because of great host in Gagan Gahlot.
Things to do:
- Tiger Safari
- Bandhavgarh fort
- Visit to Climber’s Point in Bandhavgarh National Park, gives you a wide view of the entire park can be seen from this point.
- The nearest railway station is umaria which is 32 kms, however not all trains stop here, so one should look out for trains to jabalpur, satna and katni and look to drive to bandhavgarh. All the hotels should provide you taxi pickup service.
- The nearest airport is jabalpur and Khajuraho, If you travelling from delhi, you can club Khajuraho with bandhavgarh making it a memorable trip.
- By Road, It’s connected to all major destination by road. however public transportation will be difficult and one has to depend on taxi.
Tips and Tricks
- You can book tiger safari online through MP Online
- If you can’t get booking online, don’t be disheartened, There are a few Gypsy which are released at the last moment and you can book them at the counter itself.
- To keep the cost down, you can share Gypsy with others as the maximum allowed person per Gypsy is 6.
- Make sure to keep your binaculars, Camera on tiger safari.
- Keep your caps and sunglasses in your backpack, it can get really hot during summers.
- One can club either jhansi and Khajuraho with bandhavgarh to make it an itinerary with variety of flavour.
- One can club bandhavgarh with Panna and Pench national park park which makes it a grand tiger trail.
- If you are driving from Khajuraho, the best route will be Satna > Rewa > Govindgarh > Beohari > Lakhanwar > Deori > Bandhavgarh. his road is good all the way. If you are coming via Maihar, be ready for bad roads in last 15-20 kms as it passes through core area.