Bandipur National Park is a national reserve located in Karnataka. This reserve, which is a few kilometres from Bangalore, is a well-liked destination for weekend getaways. Established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, Bandipur Tiger Reserve boasts the second highest density of tigers in any national park in India. Elephants can be seen grazing among the foliage and verdant greenery, and you can also see different birds and exotic animals. Additionally, this reserve features an animal care facility that deals with the health and breeding issues of the animals. At this facility, injured animals are treated. The Moyar, Nugu, and Kabini rivers provide the natural water for this reserve. In this reserve, you can embark on bird viewing tours and wildlife safaris. You can employ escorted safaris, either on foot or in a vehicle.
Once renowned as Nagarhole National Park, a premier safari park in India and also the hunting reserve for the ruler of Mysore, Bandipur is the upgraded version of the former park. It was once the private hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore, the landscape of Bandipur Tiger Reserve is now a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one that beholds India's conservation success stories. Dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrublands collectively form the biome of Bandipur. The park hosts a rich bio-diversity and is bordered by the Kabini river in the north & Moyar river in the south. The vastness of Bandipur makes it suitable for large mammals such as Elephants, Indian Wild Dogs and other species to thrive in peace. Kabini river separates Bandipur from Nagarhole National Park yet tourists can cross freely between the two. Why Bandipur National Park is famous? It is the second national park in India with the highest tiger population in India, a perfect tiger safari park. Additionally, the association with Nilgiri Biosphere makes Bandipur the largest protected area in southern India & largest home to Wild Elephants in South Asia.
Types of Safaries
Big 5 Animals
The roads that run through Nagarhole National Park are open daily from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., year-round.
If you're embarking on a safari, expect to pay a DSLR camera fee with rates indicative of the size of your lens.
The best time to spot animals is during the summer, in March and April when the waterholes are dry and the animals congregate near the lake. However, the temperature outside is more pleasant from November through February.
During the monsoon season (July through October) safaris may not operate due to muddy, impassable roads, and wildlife sightings are minimal.
You can find a lot of monkeys in this park. It is better to keep your windows closed while travelling to avoid any hazardous action from monkeys. These monkeys just attack you for food. So, keep your distance from them and avoid eating during the safari.
You can camp inside the park with permission from the department. There are traveller bungalows inside the park but, check the water facility inside the house before renting it.
Frequently Asked Questions
The summers at Bandipur starts in March and the temperature rises up to 38-degree celsius. The monsoon season starts in July with high humidity. Due to pouring, safari in a few regions is restricted. Winters here are pleasant with temperatures dropping as low as 15 degrees celsius. The best season to visit the park is from October to May. However, summers are ideal for wildlife spotting and winters are ideal for birders.
Bandipur is connected to major cities via road, rail and air.
Nearest Airport: Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore Railway Station
Road: The park has good connectivity through roads from the major nearby cities such as Mysore, Bangalore, Coorg, Ooty, Calicut and more. One can take private or government buses to reach the park or can book a taxi. Commuting through a private vehicle is also a good option to reach the park.
Flora: The major flora at Bandipur includes teak, rosewood, sandalwood, Indian kino tree, Indian laurel, clumping bamboo and giant clumping bamboo. The flowering and fruit-bearing trees include axle wood, black cutch, indigo berry, golden shower tree, black myrobalan, the flame of the forest, Kadam tree and others.
Fauna: The popularity of the park is the Elephants and Tigers population. However, one can also spot bonnet macaque, dhole, civet, jungle cat, Indian palm, giant flying squirrel, striped hyena, leopards and more. The Bandipur National Park is not just famous for its big species but birds as well. Birds that can be spotted here are junglefowl, drongos, red-headed vultures, flowerpeckers, Indian rollers, crested serpent eagles, kingfishers and more.
The breeding season starts before the monsoon. Apart from animal and bird species, one can also find reptile species such as Indian rock python, Indian pond terrapin, flying lizard, mugger, monitor lizard and more such species here. A wide range of butterflies can also be spotted here.