State : Karala
Total Area : Bandipur 87,420 hectares
Bandipur National Park
is a beautiful forest reserve located
in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. This national park occupies
a special place in India’s efforts towards natural conservation.
It was created in the 1930s from the local Maharaja Voodiyar’s
hunting lands, and named Venugopal Wildlife Park. Bandipur National
was expanded later in 1941 to adjoin the Nagarhole National
Park, which lay towards its northern edge, and Wayanad and Madumulai
Sanctuaries, which lay towards its southern edge in the states of
Kerala and Tamilnadu, respectively. The entire area now constitutes
the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one of India's most extensive
tracts of protected forest. It has been a designated tiger reserve
in 1973. It became one of the sanctuaries selected across India
for Project Tiger Scheme by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature.
The project is designed to save the tiger and its natural habitat
from potential dangers. In 1974, the Bandipur was declared as a
National Park under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Bandipur National Park
lies in the Indian Deccan plateau
area, thus being totally in the shadow of the Western Ghats. The
region is well endowed in terms of vegetation and flora that ranges
from deciduous and evergreen forest covers to open grassy woodlands.
Valuable hardwoods including rosewood and teak are also found here.
The lifeline of the forest is the Moyar River, which irrigates the
area along with two minor rivulets. The river also acts as a boundary
between the Park and the Madumulai Sanctuary. Bandipur is one of
the finest and most accessible habitats of the Asiatic elephant.
Its vast open spaces make it a pleasant and convenient outing for
visitors to see the elephant in its natural surroundings.
Some of the main animal species found in the park are Tigers, Leopards,
Elephants, Gaurs, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Black
Napped Hare, Sloth Beer, Wild dog (Dhole), Langur, Bonnet Macaque,
Indian Giant Red Squirrel, 4 Horned Antelope (Chausingha), Porcupines,
Slender Loris, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small
Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Common Otter, Wild Boar, Jackal, 4 varieties
of Mongoose, Flying Squirrels, Pangolin, Giant Fruit Bats and Striped
Hyenas.A lot of these species are seen close to the accommodation
facilities available in the park. To get a closer view of the animals,
one can book a 'Machan' near the watering hole.
Over 230 species of birds have been identified in the park. Some
of the most notable ones are the Serpent Eagles, Shaheen Falcons,
Crested Hawk Eagles, Ospreys, Gray Headed Firhings, Honey Buzzards,
Malabar Pied Hornbills, Stork, Egret, Kite, Peafowl, Lapwing, Sandpiper,
Drongo and the warbler, Hill Mynas, King Vultures, Malabar Trogon,
Gray Partridges, Black Woodpeckers, Indian Pittas, Paradise Flycatchers,
Cormorants, Teals, Ducks, Herons, Waders, Gray Jungle Fowl, Red
Spur Fowl, Blue Bearded Bee-Eaters, Parakeets, Lesser Coucals, Scarlet
Minivets, Fairy Blue Birds, Scimitar Babblers, Malabar Whistling
Thrushes, Green Imperial Pigeons, Nightjars and Owls.
The Reptile family is represented by marsh Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards,
Rock Pythons, Russel's Vipers, Cobras, Rat Snakes, Wolf Snakes,
Indian python, Vine Snakes, Common Kraits, Green Keelbacks, Bamboo
Pit Vipers, Turtles, Flying Lizards and many other varieties of
Besides the animals, the park provides other interesting tourist
places such as the Gopalaswami Betta and the Rolling Rocks the highest
peak in the Bandipur range. Gopalaswami Betta provides a view of
the Mysore plateau and its adjoining hills. The Rolling Rocks, to
the south of the forest, offer views of the 260-meter-deep Mysore
Ditch and the entire Moyar gorge. The entire park is well irrigated
by four rivers, which are Kabini, Nagu, Mule-hole and Moyar. Kabini
dam separates Bandipur from the Nagarhole reserve where as The Moyar
River acts as a boundary between the park and the Madhumalai Sanctuary.
Climate (Bandipur National Park)
The region is warm and comfortable for most parts of the year with
temperatures ranging from 24 to 28°C, except for the brief winter
that lasts from October to January when the temperature hovers around
the 19°C mark. Monsoon is erratic, but it generally rains from
June to September.
How to Reach
: The nearest airport to the park is located
at Mysore situated 80 kms from the park.
: The nearest Railway Station to the park
is located at Nanjungud 55 kms away followed by the Mysore station
at a distance of 80 kms.
: Bandipur National Park is located on
the highway connecting Mysore and the hill station of Ootacamund
(Ooty). Reaching Bandipur by bus is very convenient. All regular
and express state transport buses plying between Ooty and Mysore
pass through the park fringes and the Forest Department Center is
a designated bus stop. It takes 2½ hours to reach Bandipur
forest from Mysore and about 3 hours from Ooty.