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Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh, the land of the tiger, is a magical forest steeped in ancient history of the Chandela and Rewa dynasties that exudes an aura of mystery and mystical charm.

The forest comes alive with the barking of deer and shouts of the Langur monkeys. The tiger walks down the centre of the road, sunlight glistening on his rich golden orange coat, massive head swaying, unmindful of the excitement it is creating in the jeeps and the constant sound of camera shutters clicking. Welcome to Bandhavgarh... the land of the tiger. Few other places on earth provide the opportunity to watch the majestic tigers from close quarters, like Bandhavgarh does. The Tala region of the national park has the highest density of tigers per km2 in the world.

Bandhavgarh National Park spreads across 448 km2 in the Shahdol District and comprises of many small 200-800m hills of the Vindhya range, separated by gently sloping valleys. These valleys end in small, swampy meadows, locally known as 'Bohera', Sal forests, bamboo groves and grasslands. Three perennial streams meandering through the forests offer a lifeline to flora and fauma alike during the summer months. Naturally the wildlife is more frequently found near these water sources during the dry months.

The central portion of the park consists of hills, marshes and grasslands and a few water sources and supports a large number of herbivores - it is the main wildlife sighting area. The safari tracks run mainly through the open grasslands where the tigers are frequently sighted hunting.

Some of the tigers of Bandhavgarh have become legendary in their lifetime and have been propelled to international fame by wild life film makers. The legendary Badka, Lakshmi, Sita, Charger and B2 all are known names across the world to wildlife officiandos.

History:
Looming high over the entire park and located in the heart of its core area at an elevation of 800m, is the impressive Bandhavgarh fort built on a virtually unassailable area. It has never been clearly established as to who built this impressive fort. Bramhini inscriptions on the fort walls dating back to 300 AD attribute the construction to King Bhimsen. Later the Chandelas, who built Khajuraho, ruled Bandhavgarh in the 12th Century. However Bandhavgarh probably reached its zenith during the rule of the Bhaghelas and later the Rewas, who made the fort their capital.
The rundown fort still legally belongs to the Rewas. Bandhavgarh was the hunting preserve of their royals. The successive Rewas Kings followed a tradition of killing 119 tigers to acquire good luck. One of them reportedly killed 480 tigers in his life time. Obviously the luck of the tigers ran out in the process.

After Independence the princely states were abolished and Bandhavgarh became a part of Madhya Pradesh. It was converted into a National Park in 1968. This brought an end to hunting in the area and has given the local tigers a chance to recover in numbers.

Fauna
Bandhavgarh is home to a huge variety of animals beside Tigers; other wildlife of the forest include leopards, Chital (spotted deer), Sambar deer, Dholes, Nilgais, wild boar, Chinkaras, sloth bears, Rhesus Macaques, black faced Langurs, jungle cats, porcupines, jackals, foxes, Chausinghas and Ratels.
Avifauna:
Bandhavgarh has an interesting and rich birdlife. Migratory birds, ranging from Warblers to Steppe Eagles visit the park in winter, when its wetlands resound with the calls of wildfowl. The birdworld here includes white browed fantails, steppe eagles, green pigeons, grey Malabar hornbills, black and white Malabar hornbills, blossom headed parakeets, parakeets, blue bearded bee-eaters, green bee-eaters, white bellied Drongos, owls, Jerdon's and gold fronted leaf birds, Minivets, Woodshrikes, lovely paradise flycatchers and many varities of colourful kingfishers.

Bandhavgarh Fort
No records remain to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed. It is believed, to be some 2,000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient scriptures. The fort, enclosing an area of 560 acres, stands at a height of 800m, is surrounded by forest and is an awesome sight. The view of the surrounding areas from the fort leaves the visitors mesmerized. Tourists are allowed to walk around here, but tigers frequent this area! Vehicles are not permitted to go to the top and the final ascent must be done on foot. The route rises at a sharp gradient beginning from a spot known as "Shesh Saya". There are temples on the way up to the fort. Most of them depict the various reincarnations of Lord Vishnu, the most impressive amongst them is the tall statue of Narasimha, in the form of half human, half lion. The fort is dotted with small water bodies and patches of grasslands. Vultures, Blue Rock Thrushes and Crag Martins have made the ramparts of the fort their permanent home.
Shesh Shaiya
Shesh Shaiya is a beautiful place and a must visit for everyone. It has a 10m long statue of a sleeping Lord Vishnu, carved from a single block of stone sometime in 10th century A.D. At the base of the statue is a large pool which is fed by forest streams. It is said that this is the starting point for all the streams and rivulets in Bandhavgarh. The availability of water at this pool attracts animals, including tigers especially during the night.
Baghel Museum
This museum houses many precious and beautiful belongings of the King of Rewa. The King maintained Bandhavgarh National Park as his hunting grounds. There is a stuffed white tiger in the museum amidst certain personal belongings of the King of Rewa.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
KHAJURAHO
JABALPUR 84 Km 01H 42m
Jabalpur Junction 85 Km 01H 37m
Katni 38 Km 00H 57m
Satna
Umaria 65 Km 01H 30m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
84 Km 01H 36m
84 Km 01H 36m
Seasons
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 25 °C 42 °C
Winter 2 °C 25 °C
Bandhavgarh climatic conditions vary to opposite extremes in summers and winters. In winters it gets quite cold and in summer the temperature touches 44C. During the monsoon (July - 15 Oct ) the park remains closed.
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