Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Cushioned in the lap of Vindhya Hills, the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is one of the most visited tiger reserves in India. It is located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. With an abundant tiger population, rich biodiversity, and scenic beauty, this place has achieved a remarkable reputation for its tiger tours.

Bandhavgarh takes its name from that of the most eminent hillocks around. It is part of the government’s ambitious Project Tiger established with the sole purpose of conserving and propagating the tiger population in India.

Interesting Fact – Bandhavgarh

The name ‘Bandhavgarh’ is a concoction of two terms: ‘Bandhav’ meaning brother and ‘Garh meaning fort. A fort of the same name exists within the reserve complex and is believed to be Rama’s gift for his younger brother Lakshman on their way back to Ayodhya.

Prime Predators

Big Cats like Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards are on the top of the food chain in Bandhavgarh

Famous For?

Other than the Tigers, Bandhavgarh is famous for 65ft Long Lord Vishnu’s Sleeping Statue

Major Wildlife

Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Indian wild Dogs, Gaur, Barahsinga, Deers, Nilgai, Varieties of Birds

Flora & Fauna in the Park

Flora: The vegetation cover in Bandhavgarh is of dry deciduous type. The place has a moderate climate that supports the growth of several dozens of varieties of plants, shrubs, creepers, and trees.  The green cover is impressively floral. Amla, Ber, Dhok, Mango, Banyan, Jamun, Kadam are some trees frequently spotted here.

Wildlife: Bandhavgarh is well known for its very diverse wildlife population. It has the highest known density of Bengal Tigers in the world. These big striped cats are at the apex of the food chain here. Below them exist 37 mammals special including Nilgai, Sambar, Chausingha, Spotted Deer, etc.

Avifauna: Bandhavgarh skies remain vibrant and colorful with the presence of more than 250 bird species and 80 varieties of strikingly beautiful butterflies. There are also endangered species like Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and Sarus Crane Grus antigone sighted in the park  

Mammals

  • Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Indian Leopard
  • Indian Wild Dog
  • Indian Wolf
  • Sambhar deer
  • Spotted Deer
  • Bison / Indian Gaur
  • Jackal
  • Nilgai

Birds

  • Indian Pitta
  • Indian Roller
  • Racket-tailed Drongo
  • Peafowl
  • Indian Black Ibis
  • Asian Openbill
  • Indian Scops Owl
  • Crowned Woodpecker
  • Rufous Treepie

Reptiles

  • Indian Rock Python
  • Sand Boa
  • Checkered Keelback
  • Banded Kukri Snake
  • Russell's Viper
  • Common Vine Snake
  • Common wolf snake
  • Spectacled Cobra
  • Indian Flapshell Turtle

Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park

Both, Jeep and Elephant Safaris are available at Bandhavgarh. Even though the denizens of the park are now accustomed to both, it is crucial that proximity to them is guided by an expert watcher who is familiar with the ways of the wild.

The safaris are available in the early morning and late dusk. These are relatively cooler parts of the day when animals stroll out of their safe spaces. The forest department makes use of elephants to track tigers. These elephants can then take you directly to tiger-spotting.

Charger – Most famous Tigers of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Bandhavgarh is home to some of the very famous tigers. Charger, so named because of his habit of charging at elephants, was the first popular male tiger that lived here in the 1990s. He was the second most photographed tiger in the world and had made an appearance on the cover of National Geographic. His partner was the tigress Sita.

Almost all tigers in Bandhavgarh today are descendants of Charger and Sita. Their immediate next generation of Joita, Langru, and B2 kept well with the tradition of moving close to tourists and being photographed. Charger died in the year 2000.

In recent times, Bamera has been the most prominent tiger in Tala zone of Bandhavgarh. Blue Eyes and Mukunda are dominant males in Magdhi and Khitauli Zones.

Safari Zones or Gates

The reserve is divided into three core zones: Tala, Magdhi, & Khitauli. Out of these, the Tala zone is said to have the largest variety of wildlife. Tigers are also more frequently spotted here.

Buffer Zones of the parks include Dhamokhar, Johila & Panpatha.

Tala Zone

Tala Zone (Gate 1) is the most visited zone by tourists as the zone has the highest population of wildlife. Being the largest zone, Tiger sightings are frequent in this zone. The Safari limit is 20-20 for morning and evening safaris.

Magdhi Zone

Adjacent to Tala Zone, Magdhi Zone (Gate 2) is also a popular core zone for big cats sightings. This zone is also adorned by beautiful nature and deep forests. So, you can enjoy your tiger safari in this zone too.

Khitauli Zone

If you are a nature lover or like bird watching, then you may prefer doing a safari in Khitauli Zone (Gate 3). You can also spot tigers in this zone but the frequency is lesser. You need patience and luck to spot a tiger.

How to book Safari in Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh Safari can be booked using the government forest department site. We help our guests book their safari, accommodations, and their internal travel (road/air/rail travel) in the country.

You can book Bandhavgarh Safari online from mahaecotourism and mp tourism website. However, these websites only book your safari permits, not the jeep, accommodation, and internal transfer to the reserve gates.

To book an end-to-end Bandhavgarh safari package including airport transfer, accommodation, and internal transfer, you may contact Big Cats India.

It is advised to plan well in advance to get the best zones for sightings. If you are not sure which gate(s) to choose from, you can contact Big Cats India for your end to end safari booking in Bandhavgarh, or schedule a free discussion with our experts to understand the best safari zone of your Interest

Open Jeep Safari

Open Jeep Safari

Enjoy sighting the wildlife from closer while taking the wind on your body in an open jeep safari. You may even see a tiger blocking your path sitting in the middle of the road staring at you.  Sounds like a victory for a tiger enthusiast, right?

Canter Safari

Canter Safari

Canter Safari is also available for larger groups of up to 16 members. It is a thrilling experience to witness together the diverse flora and fauna while travelling through the canter. These safaris are available in the mornings and evenings.

Morning Safari Timings
Summer Pre-Winter Winters
06:00 to 11:00 Hrs 06:00 to 11:00 Hrs 06:00 to 11:00 Hrs
Evening Safari Timings
Summer Pre-Winter Winters
15:00 to 18:30 Hrs 15:00 to 18:00 Hrs 15:00 to 17:30 Hrs

Visiting Park in Winter

Bandhavgarh in Winters

Just after the monsoon when the winter season starts in November, the enhanced beauty of Bandhavgarh pleases your eyes. This is why winter is the peak season to visit Bandhavgarh National Park. With freezing cold temperatures & lush grasslands, witnessing nature’s beauty and spotting big cats on sunny mornings is a thrilling experience. What would a nature lover want?

Visiting Park in Summer

Bandhavgarh in Summers

With the temperature rising above 40 degrees Celsius, summer is the perfect season to visit Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to spot the big cats near water resources. So, if you can tolerate the excessive heat to capture the best shots of the predators, consider visiting the park between April and May. It would be a great delight for wildlife photographers, right?

Visiting Park In Monsoon

Bandhavgarh in Monsoon

During the monsoon (July – September), the park gets lush green but the core park is not open for tourists. However, safaris can be done in buffer zones.

Best time to spot tigers at Bandhavgarh National Park

It all depends on three things: Tiger’s mood, the expertise of the guide, and Your patience level. Tiger will come only in the area that has the capability to keep his mood happy.  This means the area must have his favorite prey, weather condition, vegetation, and most importantly water holes. Generally, the guide will try to make it easy to take you toward the tiger. His expertise in tracking the pugmarks, droppings, and how well he knows that specific tiger and the safari zone will determine the time to track this big cat. So now, after reading this, you might have come to know that it will take a lot of patience to track the Bengal tiger of Bandhavgarh national park. However, if you are lucky then spotting tigers in Summer might test your patience at a low level as compared to other seasons. Because during the summer, tigers are majorly seen near the water holes as they come there to beat the heat. 

 How to Reach the Park

Reach by Air

By Air

Jabalpur and Khajuraho are the closest airports to Bandhavgarh National Park. Jabalpur is a 04-hour drive while Khajuraho is a 05 hours drive from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.

By Road

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is well connected to nearby major towns of Umaria, Satna, Khajuraho, Jabalpur by roads. Both govt. buses and private cabs operate to Bandhavgarh from nearby cities

By Rail

By Rail

Umaria and Katni are the nearest railway station to Bandhavgarh National Park. Umaria is half an hour drive while Katni is one and half hour drive from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. 

Bandhavgarh's distance from important cities

From By Air+Road (Hrs) By Road By Rail+Road (Hrs)
New Delhi 1.5 Air + 5.00 Road 11.28 Hrs   14.5 Rail + 00.35 Mins Road
Nagpur NA 6 Hrs

NA

Khajuraho NA 3.5 Hrs NA
Satna NA 2.00 Hrs NA
Jabalpur (Nearest Airport) NA 2.5 Hrs NA
Varanasi NA 5.5 Hrs 6.5 Rail + 1.5 Road
Prayagraj NA 4.00 Hrs 3.5 Rail + 1.35 Road
Rewa NA 2.5 Hrs NA
Mumbai 2.00 Air + 3.00 Road 17.5 Hrs 16.5 Rail + 1.5 Road
Pune 2.00 Air + 3.00 Road 16.5 Hrs 18.00 Rail + 1.5 Road
Umaria (Nearest Railway St) NA 0.31 Mins NA
Katni (Railway St option) NA 1.5 Hrs NA

 

Distance from other Parks & Reserves
From Time to arrive
Kanha Tiger Reserve 4.30 Hour
Pench Tiger Reserve 7.50 Hours
Tadoba Tiger Reserve 8 Hours
Ranthambore National Park 4 Hrs Air + 7 Hrs Road
Corbett National Park 3.25 Hrs Air + 6 Hrs Road
Gir National Park 6 Hrs Air + 6 Hrs Road

Things you should carry with you

Essential things to carry for your Bandhavgarh Tiger Safari

Your DSLR or Camera to capture your memorable safari moment.

Binoculars to view the wildlife from a safe distance.

Plenty of water to keep you dehydrated on a sunny day.

Hat & Shades to protect from direct sunlight.

Bandanna or Cotton Scarf to cover your face and avoid dust.

Winter wear or jacket if you are doing safari during winters. It really gets cold very quickly after sunsets in Jungle.

Rain Cover to save you and your gears from water during rain.

Bandhavgarh can get really colder very quickly in the evening so consider carrying woolens in the afternoon safari in Bandhavgarh during winters season

Items to carry in Jungle Safari

India’s first Hot Air Balloon Wildlife Safari

On December 25th, 2020, India’s first Hot Air Balloon Wildlife Safari has been introduced in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. It is the country’s first hot air balloon safari and it would be restricted to the buffer areas of the park only.

It seems that this Hot air balloon wildlife safari will become one of the main attractions at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve for wildlife lovers.

News is there that the hot air balloon safari will get introduced soon in the other Tiger Reserve of MP like Pench Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve, and Panna Tiger Reserve.

Bandhavgarh Hot Air Balloon Safari

 

To know more about Hot Air Balloon Safari visit Sky Waltz

Bandhavgarh Safari Tours

Bandhavgarh Tiger Tour

Bandhavgarh Tiger Tour

Witness the tigers in all their majestic beauty through our Bandhavgarh tiger tour that bundles safaris with one or two other tiger reserves, and get ready for surprises on every path in the woods

Bandhavgarh Budget Tour

Bandhavgarh Budget Tour

Explore the thrills of wildlife without going wild on your budget with our Bandhavgarh budget package that consist of 4 or 6 safari tour options to give you an amazing experience

Bandhavgarh Weekend Tour

Bandhavgarh Weekend Tour

With our Bandhavgarh weekend safari, your busy schedule will not stop you from witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime experience of exploring wildlife. With only 2 tiger safaris, your weekend will be exciting

Why visit Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve?

The most and best tiger sightings occur in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Enjoy the majestic walk of big cats through the wonderful lands of the forest. Have fun by watching it closer on an open jeep or canter safari. You can also see the thrill from the top view through Bandhavagarh hot air balloon wildlife safari.

Bandhavgarh General Info Card

Total Area: 1,536 Sq Km

Location: Madhya Pradesh

Notified as National Park: 1968

Notified as Tiger Reserve: 1993

Nearest Airport: Jabalpur (2.35 Hours)

Nearest Railway Junction: Umaria (31 Mins)

Bandhavgarh Wildlife Info Card

Carnivorous: Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Indian Wolves

Herbivorous: Sambhar, Nilgai, Chital, Gaur

Omnivorous: Sloth Bear, Rhesus, Mongooses

Birds: 250 Species of Birds

Bandhavgarh Tour Info Card

Ideal Tour Length: 3N4D or 6 Safaris

Can extend with: Kanha, Tadoba, Pench

Tour Starting points: Jabalpur, Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi

Is tour Customizable?: Yes

Safari Options: Open Jeep, Canter, Hot Air Baloon

Bandhavgarh FAQs

Can we visit Bandhavgarh during Summers?

Every season has its own merits, Summers in the most favorable time to visit Bandhavgarh, and the chances to spot a tiger near a water body are more as compared to any other season.

How far is Bandhavgarh from Kanha

Bandhavgarh is just 216 Km from Kanha. You can reach it in just 4.30 Hrs.

How far is Bandhavgarh from Jabalpur

Bandhavgarh is just 165 Km fro Jabalpur. You can reach it in just 2.35 Hrs.

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