Bandipur National Park is located in the state of Karnataka. Once upon a time, it used to be the hunting ground of King of Mysore as it is near to the city of Mysore. It was provided protection by the 1974 Wildlife Act. Since then, it has been serving as a popular tourist attraction. Due to hunting and poaching of wildlife, no one is allowed to enter into the park from 9 PM to 6 AM for the protection purpose.
This is one of the most popular national parks of India where you can find numerous species of bird and wildlife along with the most famous and precious sandalwood trees and teak. If you want to visit other national parks coming under the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, then the near and neighbouring National parks of Bandipur are Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park and Mudumalai National Park.
The natural beauty of Bandipur is unspeakable, which can be felt only when you visit this place. This place is a heaven for all the wild animals, birds and reptiles. Some of the fauna species include Deers, Tigers, Elephants, Python, Sloth bears, Hornbills, etc. If you are planning to visit Bandipur, then don’t forget to visit the popular hill station Ooty which is in close proximity.
More on Bandipur National Park
Long before it was recognised as a tiger reserve in 1974, Maharaja of Mysore turned it into a Sanctuary in 1931 for his own hunting purpose and spending time in the wilderness. The original area occupied by this area was 90 sq km, however, now the total area covered by Bandipur National Park is 900 sq. km. It was originally known as Venugopala National Park, but later when the Wildlife Act of 1974 was introduced, the name of this place was changed and became the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. It comes under the UNESCO recognised India’s largest Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Flora and Fauna
Bandipur National Park is blessed to have numerous species of flora and fauna. Among the flora species, you can find the most precious sandalwood trees, teak, Indian Kino tree, Indian laurel, rosewood, Grewia tibiae folia, and clumping bamboo, to name a few. Apart from the woody trees, you can come across many species of flowers and fruit trees such as Indian gooseberry, the flame of the forest, and golden shower tree.
The forest of Bandipur Sanctuary is also a place where large numbers of different birds, animals and reptiles live. Due to ruthless hunting, many of them are on the verge of extinction. Some of the popularly known and found animals are Tigers, Elephants, Bears, Rock python, gaurs, Muggers, Jackals, Four-horned antelopes, and Dholes.
It is estimated that there are about 200 species of birds reside in this national park. The popular bird species are crested serpent eagles, red-headed vultures, kingfishers, Peafowl, and Nilgiri pigeons. It is also a place where you can find different species of butterflies which will make you feel as if you are in the fairyland.
You will have to pay an entry charge of INR 250 to enter into the National Park. You have options to choose either to go for Jangal safari on bus or gypsies. The timing to set for your Jungle adventurous starts as follows:
1- 6:30 am to 9:30 am in the mornings
2- 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evenings
If you are a group of six people, then you can go for a gypsy safari with a price of INR 3000 whereas the bus ride will cost you INR 350. If you are looking for the best time to visit Bandipur, then it is the winter– from October to February. Due to the calm and cool weather, you will enjoy the view and wildlife without any problem which can be faced if you visit the summer.You can buy a camcorder at a price of INR 200 to enjoy the distant view of wildlife. You can also opt for a boat ride in the Kabini river for a duration of 2.45 hours. You can enjoy and will get lots of photogenic view of nature and wildlife from the boat safari. The cost for boat safari starts from INR 2000. If you have children, then you will not pay the full price. One trip can accommodate only 15 people. You can also go for an adventurous elephant ride at a price of INR 50/person. The timing is in between 10 AM to 11 AM. The above charges are only for the citizen of India, and it can vary for people outside India.
Madumalai National park
Mudumalai is the nearest neighbouring National Park of Bandipur National Park. Even though both the national parks are situated in two different states of India (Bandipur in Karnataka and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu), the wildlife and natural beauty are quite similar. This is also a National recognised Tiger reserve located on the bank of Moyar river. You will get fascinated by looking at the huge herds of elephants roaming in this safe haven. Apart from elephants, you can get a chance to see other animals such as the royal Bengal tigers, leopards, wild dogs, jackals, Sambar deer, spotted deer and many more. This place is also an abode to many bird species including some migratory birds. Some of the bird species include black woodpecker, falcons, king vultures, owls, hawk eagles etc.
Restaurants and Local Food in Bandipur National Park
You can’t find many accommodation and restaurants in the proximity of Bandipur National Park. However, those who are here for a weekend trip can stay in some local guest house and hotel where you can try some local cuisines and desserts. Some Of the local foods that are famous include idli, dosa, vada, rasam, sambar, mysore pak, kesari bath, bisi bele bath, etc.
Day 1- Check in and take a rest. Go to visit Gopalaswamy Betta, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, and Needle View Point
Day 2- Spend the whole day in the Bandipur National Park