Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in India. It is surrounded by Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. The Kabini River separates Bandipur National Park with Nagarhole.
Bandipur was identified as one of the Tiger reserves by the “Project Tiger”. This park has one of the highest population of tigers in India. However, spotting a tiger on a safari is not so regular. Other wildlife in this national park that can be easily spotted include elephants, Indian Gaur (Indian Bison), Sambar deer, spotted deer, cheetal, wild boar, wild dog (dhole) sloth bear, porcupines and so on.
Bandipur National Park is around 230 km from Bangalore and 80 km from Mysore. This National Park is midway between Mysore and Ooty. In fact, the Mysore-Ooty National Highway passes right through the middle of Bandipur National Park. About 10 km from Bandipur forest office is the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu state border after which the forest continues as Mudhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The national highway remains closed from 9 PM to 6 AM to let the animals in the wild wander through freely in the forests. This wise decision was made about a decade ago when it was observed that speeding vehicles on the highway had run over many wild animals including a few tigers and other endangered species!
Bandipur National Park also has diverse bird life. If you are a bird enthusiast, then carry a good pair of binoculars. I am bad in identifying birds and hence cannot get into the details of the various species of birds found here, however, the common ones that you can find are peacock/peahens, eagles, Indian Rollers, sparrows, various varieties of parrots and so on.
At the forest office at Bandipur, you can take a bus safari twice in the morning, and twice in the evening. You can also opt for jeep safari, however, since there are limited jeeps, it is difficult to get a booking for the same. The forest office also organizes few treks (but is on and off), so if you are interested, you can contact the forest office to get more details.
Very close to the forest office, you can also find many forest guest houses. If you are planning to stay overnight, it would be a thrilling experience to stay in one of these guest houses. However, please do not venture out in the night as the carnivores may be very close to you. Leopards are often spotted very close to the guest houses!
Wild Dog / Dhole
Where to stay?
- Forest Guest House, Bandipur
- Few Resorts on the outskirts of Bandipur
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