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Bandipur National Park

The private hunting reserve of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur today is a mesmerizing wildlife sanctuary spread across mountains, forests and rivers. It supports a remarkable variety of flora and fauna that includes an incredible 3000 elephants and 70 tigers. Bandipur is probably the best place to see wild elephants in India.

Halfway down the Mysore-Ooty highway, where the Deccan Plateau rises to meet the slopes of the Western Ghat Mountains, lies India's best elephant country spread on medium sized hills with gentle slopes and shallow, heavily forested valleys with a remarkable variety of flora and fauna. The Gopalaswamy hill towers above the park at about 1454m – it is one of the highest peaks in the area. The Kannegals at 680m are the lowest.

Bandipur lies in the southern state of Karnataka and covers a forest area of 865km2. It was declared a National Park in 1974 and is one of the original 9 tiger reserves under the Project Tiger administration.

The park is bound by Nagarhole in the north-west, Kerala’s Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in the south-west and Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in the South; together they constitute the spectacular Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve - the first ‘Biosphere Reserve’ of India. Physically all three forest tracts are part of the same forest, but the federal structure of the Indian states have curved them into three different regions and given them different names.

The main perennial rivers of the Reserve are Nugu, Kabini and Moyar. The Nugu flows through the middle of the reserve and the Moyar forms the southern boundary with the Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The Kabini River, across which a major irrigation dam has come up at Beechanahalli, forms the boundary between this Reserve and Nagarhole. The reservoir has become the grazing area for hundreds of elephants during dry months. During summer months, the backwaters of the Kabini Reservoir host huge congregations of elephants and gaurs. This unique feature makes it a photographer’s delight.

This area receives two monsoons a year: the south-west Monsoon (Jun-Sep) and north-east Monsoon (Oct-Nov). A brief cool dry season (Dec-Jan) is followed by summer (Feb-May). However with the onset of pre-monsoon showers at the end of April, Bandipur starts unfolding its magical charms. The forests turn a glorious green with sprouting grass in the meadows that attract elephants and the majestic gaur.

Trekking at Bandipur
Bandipur is one of the few National Parks which allow trekking within the park. It is indeed a thrilling experience to trek through the forest up to Kullanbetta, which offers breathtaking view of the forest plains and close encounters with wildlife. Trekkers are always accompanied by guides. There are a few places where you can stay overnight in special camps built by the forest department.

Fauna:
Most famous for its elephants and tigers, Bandipur is also known for its large gaur (wild buffaloes) population. In 1968 the Gaurs here faced almost certain extinction from hinder pest, but survived and came back stronger.
Another attraction of Bandipur is the wild dogs (dhole). There is a healthy population of groups of dogs thriving in these forests. Many have returned enthralled with close encounters where they have witnessed the packs of dogs in hunting. 
In recent years, tiger and leopard sightings have increased dramatically. Bonnet Macaque and the more common Langur monkeys are found in large troops. Spotted deer and Sambar comprise the deer species. Sloth bear, Muntjac, wild boar can also be seen frequently.

Avi Fauna:
Bandipur is well known as a bird habitat attracting a large number of bird watchers. More than 230 species of birds have been recorded here that include birds of prey - Serpent Eagles, Shaheen Falcons, Crested Hawk Eagles, Ospreys, Honey Buzzard.
Other species include Cormorants, Egret, Grey Heron, and Spotbill, Red-wattled Lapwings, White-throated and Common Kingfisher, wagtails Gray Headed Firhings, 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, Malabar Whistling Thrushes, Scimitar Babblers, Green Imperial Pigeons, Nightjars and Owls.

The Moyar Gorge or Mysore Ditch
The Moyar Gorge or Mysore Ditch is located on the Bandipur side of the forest. The watch tower offers beautiful views of the gorge and the Moyar Falls. The Sigur Plateau on the Tamil Nadu side has extensive scrub and bamboo forests. One can also admire incredible views at Bison Valley Viewpoint on the Mysore-Ooty Road.
Kabini Reservoir
The Kabini reservoir is a good place for bird watching and spotting Marsh Crocodiles and Otters. Elephants, Gaur and wild pig can often be seen drinking, bathing or feeding at waterholes. Elephants are easy to sight in the park during the cooler months and on the banks of Kabini river during the hotter months. Tigers and wild dogs can be spotted when they venture out on the open areas and they are spread throughout the park.
Gopalaswami Bettaand
Gopalaswami Bettaand of the Rolling Rocks is the uppermost peak in the Bandipur range. Gopalaswami Betta provides a magnificent sight of the Mysore plateau and its adjacent hills.
The Rolling Rocks
The Rolling Rocks, to the south of the forest, present views of the 260m Mysore Ditch and the complete Moyar Gorge. During the Monsoon the water of the Kekkanalla causes boulders to roll down into the water, giving the spot the name of Rolling Rocks.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
HINDUSTAN AIRPORT 235 Km 04H 23m
Mysore Airport 70 Km 01H 15m
Mysore City Junction
Nanjangud Town 58 Km 01H 04m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
78 Km 01H 24m
78 Km 01H 24m
The city of Mysore is popularly known as the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka . Famous for its magnificent architectural structures, temples, gardens and Dassara festival, Mysore presents an impressive mythical and historical past.
215 Km 04H 02m
Bangalore is the IT hub of India and the capital of the state of Karnataka. In Old days Bangalore used to be referred to as the garden city of India in reference to the numerous well maintained gardens and green space within the city. Wodeyers were the rulers of Karnataka, Mysore used to be the prime city and capital of the erstwhile Mysore state, and Bangalore came into prominence during the British rule. At present it has evolved as large cosmopolitan city.
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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 20 °C 35 °C
Winter 11 °C 25 °C
Bandipur has a moderate climate , 32°Cin summer and 18°C in winter. Monsoon comes twice a year, southwest monsoon from June to September, northeast monsoon from November to February.
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