Bandipur National park:
Best time to visit: October-May
Open: On all days
Bandipur national park is considered as one of the most beautiful tiger reserve located in Karnataka. The state has the highest number of tiger population in India. It is the most important park formed in the year 1974. The park is part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve along with Mudumali National park, Silent Valley, Nagarhole, Mukruthi, Aralam national parks Wayanad, Satymangalam wild life sanctuaries.
Bandipur National park is located on Mysore-Ooty highway. The tiger reserve covers an area of 874 sq km which is home for many endangered species of animals and flora. The park has different altitudes as it is located in the Deccan Plateau where it meets the Western Ghats. Due to its different altitudes the park is gifted with different habitat including dry deciduous, moist deciduous and Shrubslands.
Due to different altitudes the park is gifted with comfortable climate for most part of the year. The temperature ranges from 240 C to 280 C except during the winter when the minimum temperature drops to 190C. The park has dry and hot climate till the arrival of monsoon. Some major rivers flowing are Kabini River to the North and Moyar River to the South and Nugu river flows through the park. Himavad Gopalswamy Betta (hill) is the highest summit in the park.
Bandipur has some breath taking flora and fauna. It can be said as heaven on earth. The flora consists of dry deciduous forest, evergreen forest and the scrubs and open grasslands. The park has variety of timber trees including teak, rosewood, and sandalwood and kino tree. It is also home for variety of flowering and fruit bearing plants like kadam tree, gooseberry, golden shower tree, black cutch, black myroblan, tamrind tree and many more.
Fauna in Bandipur is just amazing to watch. The park is famous for some wonderful animals like elephants, tigers bonner macaque, jungle cat, four horned antelope, cat, leopard, Langur. I am sure that Wild life lovers would thoroughly enjoy the visit. The thrill of exploring the dense forests and witnessing a large variety of animals in their natural wild habitat is beyond words. .
The park is also home
for many beautiful birds like junglefowl, drongos, flower peckers, Indian
Vultures, Brown fish owls, crested serpent eagles, bee eaters, ospreys. The
park also has varieties of reptiles, ant’s species and butterfly species like
Indian rock python, Indian pond terrapin, flying lizard, rat snake crocodiles,
frogs verities of pansy like lemon pansy, chocolate pansy, orange pansy and
many more. If you have knowledge of fauna then you may be lucky to identify
some species of ants and butterflies like common gull, Lepcha bush brown,
polyrhachis exercita Polyrhachis exercita, Solenopsis geminate,
Copris furciceps, Copris, Heliocopris
dominus, Pseudonthophagu, Sisyphus
neglectus, Caccobius inermis, Caccobius meridionalis., Caccobius torticornis
and the list goes on. Bandipur is famous for it's large fauna.
Bandipur national park offers three different safaris for the tourists to enjoy.
Jeep Safari: This accommodates six people. The jeep safari takes you inside the jungle where chances of spotting tiger and other wild animals are more. Jeep should be hired from the park.
Bus safari: This safari takes around the park. It is a 45 minutes drive. One can see deer’s, monkeys and other animals. The bus can accommodate up to 20 -25 persons.
Elephant safari: This safari is one hour and is available during peak season. This safari takes deep in to jungle for 20mins.
Bus safari is available from 6:30 am -9am and 3:30pm-5:30pm
Elephant safari is from 10am-11am
Jeep safari is from 6am-9am and 4pm-6pm
No safari is available after 6pm to protect the interests of the tourists and the animals. The timings and the availability of safari also depends on the season, availability of the vehicle and weather conditions.
Tourists cannot take their own vehicle for safari. There is no night safari or trekking. There is a ban for traffic from 9pm to 6am to protect the animals and the tourists. The park is open through out the year but the best time to visit the park is from October-May. Spotting of animals is easy during summer season as the trees would have shed the leaves and animals would come near the rivers to thirst he quench. Summers are from March-June. The weather would be pretty warm and dry. Winters are pretty cold where the temperature may reach up to 15oC.
How to reach:
By Air: Bangalore international airport is the nearest airport. Bandipur National park is 255 Km from Bangalore.
By rail: Mysore is the nearest railway station. Mysore is 80 Km from Bandipur. From mysore one can taxi to drive till Bandipur National park.
By road: good transport facility is available from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Cabs can also be hired from Ooty and Mysore.
It is very important that we maintain and follow the rules of the park to protect the animals and safety of the tourists. Keep the nature in good condition. There are lot of resorts and hotels near the park. Enjoy the trip.