Bandipur National Park
Area: 874 sq km
Major Wildlife Attraction: Gaur and Asian Elephants
Best Time To Visit: September to December (park remains closed during Feb and April on account of heavy forest fire)
How to Reach: Nearest airport is Bangalore (220 km), nearest rail head is Nanjangud, located on Mysore -Ooty highway local transport is available to reach the park
Accommodation: Forest Department Cottages, Tusker Trails, Jungle Home
About Bandipur National Park
On the Karnataka -Tamil Nadu border, along the Mysore-Ooty Highway within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is located Bandipur National Park. Bandipur is India`s largest elephant zone and is counted as Western Ghat`s rich biodiversity hot spot. The area was once the hunting grounds of Wodeyar royals. It was a established as a hunting ground by the Maharaja of Mysore. The reserve was expanded in 1973 to become Bandipur National Park. The flora at Bandipur is a mix of deciduous forests to tropical mixed and varied intersperse of shrubs that supports a wide species of animal range. Safaris, tigers and avifauna are in store for you as you take jaunty excursion here.
Leopards, Slender Loris, Elephants, Gaurs, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Black Napped Hare, Sloth Beer, Indian Giant Red Squirrel, Wild dog, Langur, Bonnet Macaque, 4 Horned Antelope, Porcupines,Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Common Otter, Wild Boar, Jackal, Mongoose, Flying Squirrels, Pangolin, Giant Fruit Bats and Striped Hyenas. Commonly sighted reptiles include Marsh Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Rock Pythons, Russel`s Vipers, Cobras, Rat Snakes, Wolf Snakes, Vine Snakes, Common Kraits, Green Keelbacks, Bamboo Pit Vipers, Turtles and Flying Lizards.
Porcupines, Slender Loris,Wild Boar, Jackal, Mongoose, Flying Squirrels, Pangolin, Giant Fruit Bats and Striped Hyenas. Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet,Leopards, Elephants, Gaurs, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Black Napped Hare, Sloth Beer, Wild dog, Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Indian Giant Red Squirrel, 4 Horned Antelope, Common Otter, Commonly sighted reptiles include Marsh Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Rock Pythons, Russel`s Vipers, Cobras, Rat Snakes, Wolf Snakes, Vine Snakes, Common Kraits, Green Keelbacks, Bamboo Pit Vipers, Turtles and Flying Lizards.
A vast marshy land of variegated animal habitat, Bandipur has many activities and surprises in store for you. Bandipur is situated at short distance from the lodges and accommodation resorts. To travel up to this National Park you are provided the forest departments transport services used for traversing purposes. Your trip square one at the Interpretation center.
Halt 1: Interpretation Center
It is an excellent center located at the beginning of the park offering information on the wildlife of the region. The themes are well laid out, and there are some photographs of the wildlife hanged on the wall. The center is also a rich resource of information on animal census as well as research done in the area.
Bandipur mini bus safari: Rs 75 per head(45 mins)
Open jeep safari Rs 1,750(1 ½ hr).
Timings: 6.30-9 am, 3.30-5.30 pm
The Bandipur National Park offers you private jeep safaris in collaboration with Tusker Trails, Jungle Lodges running licensed to run jeep safaris. Rides into the parks on especially laid-out roads called as `game roads``, which pass through grazing areas, salt licks and water holes, which offer excellent views of wildlife such as deer, gaur, langurs which can be seen at a close distance. The forest department offer hour long mini-bus safari inside the jungle.
Halt2: Elephant Rides
Bandipur Elephant Riding Time: 10-11 am
Fee: Rs 50 per head
Short jungle rides (20 min) on elephant back are available at Bandipur in the morning and evening. Elephant safaris are best way to catch cheetals, tigers, cuckoos in their best natural proclivity.
Halt 3: Mayor Gorge & Sigur Plateau
The Mayor Gorge or Mysore Ditch, can only be reached jeep safaris/ trekking. This is a tower built like a lighthouse. The sigur plateaus, on Tamil Nadu side , harbours extensive scrub and bamboo forests, there are some incredible views awaiting you at the Bison Valley Viewpoint on Mysore Ooty Road.
Halt 4: Trekking
Trekking inside the Park leashes out some promising feathery joints over a long trek. You can hire some guide as there are chances that you might get lost. The moment you are in the denser part of the region deep whoops of langurs announces your presence inside the jungle. Partridges, peacock, hoopoes, bulbuls, babblers, bee eaters, doves, noisy parakeets and mynas are some bird species those will welcome your presence with their mates.
Other Attraction Near Bandipur National Park
Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad National Park, Mudumalai National Park, Bangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore.
- Important distances from Bandipur Base camp: Bolgudda (2.75 km), Dhanahatti (5.75 km) Mastimuki Circle(7 km) and Kullanbetta Anti poaching Camp (8.5 km)
- Entrance fee might vary on what you are carrying inside the park and how do you wish to explore the park
- Avoid wearing strong perfumes or bright colored clothing
- Trekking inside the park is a difficult task and not recommended for first time visitors