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.
Big Cats like Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards are on the top of the food chain in Bandhavgarh
Other than the Tigers, Bandhavgarh is famous for 65ft Long Lord Vishnu’s Sleeping Statue
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
- Royal Bengal Tiger
- Indian Leopard
- Indian Wild Dog
- Indian Wolf
- Sambhar deer
- Spotted Deer
- Bison / Indian Gaur
- Indian Pitta
- Indian Roller
- Racket-tailed Drongo
- Indian Black Ibis
- Asian Openbill
- Indian Scops Owl
- Crowned Woodpecker
- Rufous Treepie
- 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 (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.
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.
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
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 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.
|06:00 to 11:00 Hrs||06:00 to 11:00 Hrs||06:00 to 11:00 Hrs|
|15:00 to 18:30 Hrs||15:00 to 18:00 Hrs||15:00 to 17:30 Hrs|
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?
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?
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
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.
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
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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
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 Safari Tours
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
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 do I book elephant safari in Bandhavgarh?
Elephant safari has to be booked 24 hours before it begins. You can book it at the ticket counter in the Tala zone. It is the only zone where elephant safari takes place. You will get to explore those areas of the Tala zone which are inaccessible by vehicle.
How many tigers are there in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve?
There are more than 70 tigers in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve
How far is Bandhavgarh from Jabalpur
Bandhavgarh is just 165 Km fro Jabalpur. You can reach it in just 2.35 Hrs.
How many days are good in Bandhavgarh for wildlife safari?
2 to 5 days are sufficient to have a good wildlife safari in Bandhavgarh national park.
Which is the best zone in Bandhavgarh?
Tala zone is the largest core zone in Bandhavgarh having the largest concentration of Bengal tigers. Therefore Bandhavgarh is the best zone in Bandhavgarh.
Which buffer zone is best in Bandhavgarh National Park?
Dhamokhar is the best buffer zone in Bandhavgarh. You can spot Bengal tigers and Leopards in this tiger reserve.