A four hour drive through picturesque Umaria Forests takes one to Bandhavgarh after landing at Jabalpur Airport. Albeit one comes across lot of denuded patches the remaining low lying hills with good forest cover create
a pleasing picture. Once teeming with wilderness and forests the region has lost its sheen. Like every where else the reserve forests are slowly turning into green deserts. The wildlife is badly decimated thanks to indiscriminate poaching which still goes
The long continues stretch takes an abrupt turn at Shahpura township. This place hosts the famous Ghagua Fossil National Park. The plant fossil date back to 60 million years whence the tectonic plates became active.
Another fifty km of drive takes you to Umaria rail head. Close to Bandhavgarh National Park the forests appear some distance from here. A good thirty two kilometer drive takes you to the Tala Gate. This is a premium tourism zone in the land of the tiger. The
tiger landscape stretches to about 1100 sq.km an area under the Project Tiger.
Bandhavgarh is one of the most picturesque park in India. Small as compared to many it contains high density of tigers. It is also an excellent breeding ground for the big cats and other mammals. The stunning biodiversity
encompasses all forms of wildlife from microbes to giant gaurs. The Indian bison as they are called had become locally extinct some years back due to disease prevalence.
Translocation of gaurs from nearby Kanha National Park is a major success story. The park is home to other mammals like the sambar, leopard, barking deer, sloth bear, spotted deer, four horned deer, langur, rhesus macaque,
wild boar, dhole and many small nocturnal ones.
Excellent bird life prevails especially the forest species. Unfortunately bird watching is much neglected under the shadow of the majestic tiger. Reptiles, insects and many other forms of diverse life thrives in this
Bandhavgarh is home to some ancient relics of civilizations dating back to two thousand years. The fort complex is magnificent, a visit offers sight of Vishnu Idols in stone in zoomorphic forms. The large reservoirs,
fort in ruins, Hindu temples and intervening forests and grasslands all create exotic ambiance. The low lying Bandhavgarh Mountain offers a view of the park. A panoramic grandeur which leaves the visitors spellbound. Midway up the ascent is Sesh Shaiyya esoteric
and remote the pool is surrounded by ferns and grasses with springs. The dense canopy and the grove accord amazing serenity to the visitors. The reclining Vishnu is carved out of an igneous rock and is twenty feet long.
Jungle roads enable the tourists to cover a large cross section of the forests. This is the tiger safari that lets you seen the beast in the wild. A drive yields much more deer, wild boar and langur the ubiquitous fauna
of the reserve. Three species of antelope can be seen here namely Nilgai, Four horned Deer and the Indian Gazelle.
For the more attentive plethora of avian species mesmerizes with their startling colors. More than two hundred and fifty species inhabit this National Park many of which are migrant.
The park is open throughout now but during the monsoon only buffer zone safaris are available. Post monsoon all the three core zones are open for tourism. While photographers tolerate the intense heat of the summers,
International visitors keep to the cooler months. Hence October to March are busy months here. Visitors should avoid festival days in order to gain a positive experience of the resort.
During holiday periods the
hotels in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve are nearly full. All type of accommodations are available near the Tala Gate. The park permits are also booked fully hence one should reserve much in advance for the busy period. Early Booking is possible on Internet
at MP Online Portal.
About three day safari offers holistic experience of the wildlife heaven. Winter clothes are required as it gets very cold. In summers khakis will do. Carry binoculars, good cameras and bird books for better understanding
of this magnificent ecosystem.