Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the most popular national parks located in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which was said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother’s Fort). The park was a Shikargarh (game reserve) for the Maharajas of Rewa (an earlier princely state). In 1968, the jungle areas were constituted as a national park. The protected region was gradually increased to the current area of about 1598 kilometres square.
The parks are open from 01st October to 30th June every year. The peak season to visit is from October to March with summer temperatures often being unbearable. However, the months from March-June are ideal for better Tiger sightings due to drying of most vegetation in Bandhavgarh.
With the tiger at the apex of the food chain, it contains 37 species of mammals. According to forest officials, there are more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, a number of reptiles. The park is teeming with mammals like leopard, wild dogs, jackals, jungle cat, fox , hyena and Indian wolf to name a few. The herbivore population consists of Blue bulls, Gaur, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar and the shy four horned antelope. The most prominent omnivores of the forest are Wild Pigs and Sloth bears with their shaggy black coat and a white ‘V’ mark on the chest. The Malabar pied hornbill, Emerald dove, golden Oriole and the very colourful Peafowl and Red jungle fowl are a few that are spotted year round. The park resounds to the calls of the Common Hawk Cuckoo and the Indian cuckoo heralding the onset of summer.
The Bandhavgarh landscape is undulating with large rocky outcrops interspersed with water holes, huge grasslands and tree thickets. Towering Sal trees dominate the forest, making the jungle appear lush and cool year round. Forest includes Red and Yellow Silk cotton trees with spiny trunks, Indian ebony, Flame of the forest with bright flaming flowers, wild mango and several species of figs, creepers like Butea and the Strangler vine.
The national park is well connected with major cities and towns.
|Delhi||880 Kms (approx.21 hours)|
|Khajurao||280 Kms (approx.6 hours))|
|Satna||112 Kms (approx.4 hours)|
|Katni||95 Kms (approx.2 hours)|
|Kanha National Park||240 Kms (approx.6 hours)|
|Jabalpur||220 Kms (approx.4 hours)|
|Varanasi||475 Kms (approx.9 hours)|
|Rewa||225 Kms (approx.2 hours)|
|Umaria||34 Kms (approx.1 hour)|
Nearest railway stations connecting to major cities in India are- Umaria, Katni, Satna & Jabalpur.
There are daily flights to Khajuraho from Delhi by Jet Airways and Indian Airlines and from Khajuraho it is a 5-6 hour road journey. There are also daily flights to Jabalpur from Delhi and Mumbai by Spice Jet and Indian Airlines, from Jabalpur it is a 4 hour drive.