Bandipur national park is a national reserve which is located in the southern state of India that is Karnataka. It is one of the oldest national reserves in India. The year of establishment for this reserve is 1931. It was established with the sole aim of protecting some of the most endangered species of animals as well as birds in India. Since then, it has been fulfilling this goal pretty actively. The State government also has taken a lot of initiatives in order to protect animals as well as birds in the national park. The national park also helps the central government in conserving the Tigers in the park.
Owing to its natural beauty as well as wildlife, it is one of the most famous and attractive tourist destinations when it comes to exploring wildlife in India. We would today share with you a complete guide to exploring the Bandipur national park.
How to reach Bandipur
Bandipur is a popular tourist destination in India, located in the state of Karnataka. Here are some ways to reach Bandipur:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Bandipur is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, which is about 230 km away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Bandipur.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Bandipur is the Mysore Junction, which is about 80 km away. From the railway station, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Bandipur.
- By Road: Bandipur is well-connected by road to major cities in Karnataka and neighboring states. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Bandipur. It is about 215 km from Bangalore and about 80 km from Mysore.
- By Private Car: You can also drive to Bandipur in your own car. The route from Bangalore to Bandipur is via Mysore and takes about 4-5 hours depending on the traffic.
Note: It is important to check the current travel restrictions and guidelines before planning a trip to Bandipur, especially in the current pandemic situation.
Bandipur National Park is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in India, known for its diverse wildlife and scenic beauty. Here are some details about the wildlife in Bandipur:
- Animals: The park is home to a variety of animals, including tigers, leopards, elephants, spotted deer, sambar deer, barking deer, wild boars, langurs, sloth bears, and Indian gaurs (bison).
- Birds: The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds. Some of the common bird species in Bandipur include peafowl, Indian roller, Malabar pied hornbill, crested serpent eagle, and jungle fowl.
- Reptiles: The park is also home to a variety of reptiles, including several species of snakes such as king cobra, rat snake, and python, as well as monitor lizards and crocodiles.
- Flora: The park is covered with deciduous forests, which are dominated by teak trees, sandalwood, rosewood, and Indian laurel. There are also several grasslands and bamboo forests in the park.
- Safari: Visitors can take a safari ride in the park to spot the wildlife. The park offers both jeep safaris and elephant safaris.
It is important to note that while visiting the park, it is necessary to follow the rules and regulations to ensure the safety of both wildlife and visitors.
Where to Stay
Bandipur has a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the options:
- Jungle Lodges and Resorts: The Jungle Lodges and Resorts offer luxurious stays amidst the serene natural surroundings. They have well-furnished rooms, restaurants, and a variety of activities such as guided nature walks, birdwatching, and safaris.
- Government-run Forest Guest Houses: The Forest Department of Karnataka runs several guest houses in Bandipur, offering basic amenities and comfortable stays. The guest houses are located in the park and provide a great opportunity for wildlife lovers to stay close to nature.
- Private Resorts and Homestays: There are several private resorts and homestays in and around Bandipur that offer comfortable stays with local hospitality. These properties range from budget-friendly to luxurious, and some of them also offer organic farming and village tours.
- Camping: Visitors can also opt for camping in Bandipur, which is a great way to experience the wilderness of the park. There are several camping sites available that provide tents, campfires, and other camping amenities.
It is recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid any inconvenience.
The safari timings in Bandipur National Park vary according to the season. The park remains open throughout the year, except for the period between June and September when it is closed due to the monsoon season. Here are the general safari timings in Bandipur:
- Morning Safari: The morning safari in Bandipur starts at around 6:30 AM and ends at around 9:30 AM. This is a great time to spot several animals and birds that are active in the morning hours.
- Afternoon Safari: The afternoon safari in Bandipur starts at around 3:30 PM and ends at around 6:30 PM. This is another good time to spot wildlife, especially animals that come out to drink water in the late afternoon.
It is important to note that the timings may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Also, visitors need to follow the rules and regulations set by the park authorities during the safari, including not getting off the vehicle and not disturbing the animals in any way.
Things to do
Bandipur National Park offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Bandipur:
- Wildlife Safari: One of the top things to do in Bandipur is to take a wildlife safari. Visitors can choose from jeep safaris or elephant safaris, and explore the park to spot tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, and other wildlife. The safari timings are typically in the early morning and late afternoon.
- Trekking: Another popular activity in Bandipur is trekking. Visitors can go on guided treks through the park to explore its natural beauty and spot wildlife. Some popular trekking trails in the park include the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta Trek and the Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary Trek.
- Birdwatching: Bandipur is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds. Visitors can take a guided birdwatching tour to spot some of the rare and exotic bird species found in the park.
- Nature Walks: Visitors can also take guided nature walks in the park to explore the flora and fauna up close. The walks provide an opportunity to learn about the park’s ecosystem, medicinal plants, and the lifestyle of the tribal communities in the area.
- Photography: With its scenic beauty and diverse wildlife, Bandipur is a great place for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can capture stunning images of the animals, birds, and landscapes in the park.
- Visit Nearby Attractions: Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta temple, which is located within the park, or the nearby towns of Ooty and Coorg, which are popular tourist destinations.
It is important to note that visitors must follow the rules and regulations set by the park authorities to ensure the safety of both wildlife and visitors.