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Bandipur National Park |
Bandipur National Park About
Bandipur National Park
The Bandipur National Park is one of the most intriguing
wild-life locales. Established in 1931 by the Mysore Maharajahs, this park is
nestled in the foothills of the Nilgiris. Stretching along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu
border, the park lies on the Mysore-Ooty highway. It has an excellent internal
network of roads through its hilly, forested landscape, and the many water holes
and salt licks that provide wonderful opportunities for wildlife viewing.
The scrub jungles towards the eastern limits of the park consist of stunted
trees, interspersed with bushes and open grassy patches. Towards its north-western
fringes, there is a gradual shift in the vegetation from open dry deciduous forests
to tropical mixed deciduous forests. These diverse habitats support an enormous
diversity of animal life.
It is one of the largest habitats in south
India for the elephant which may be encountered regularly. The elephant rides
are a wonderful way to get a feel of the jungle and view the avian wildlife. The
flora and fauna here exist in perfect harmony, one of the major reasons why the
site was chosen as the centre for Project Tiger, a step which has shown a positive
impact on the Tiger population in the area.
Attractions in Bandipur National Park
The landscape of the park is generally even with the exception of the north-eastern
part where it is mostly rocky and barren with thorny vegetation. The Kabini, Nagu,
Mule-hole and Moyar rivers criss-cross the entire park providing irrigation for
the thick vegetation that include trees like Teak, Honne, Tadasalu, Mathi, Nandi,
Rosewood, Sandalwood, Bamboo, Nelli, Kooli, Kadu Tega, Dindalu, Bende and Randia.
The park houses a large variety of animals which make
your chances of animal sighting brighter, while at the same time the thick forest
cover may prevent you from having a dekko at the king of beasts, the Tiger. Some
prominent denizens of the park include Leopards, Elephants, Gaurs, Sambar, Chital,
Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Black Napped Hare, Sloth Beer, Wild dog, Langur, Bonnet
Macaque, Indian Giant Red Squirrel, 4 Horned Antelope, Porcupines, Slender Loris,
Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Common
Otter, Wild Boar, Jackal, Mongoose, Flying Squirrels, Pangolin, Giant Fruit Bats
and Striped Hyenas. Commonly sighted reptiles include Marsh Crocodiles, Monitor
Lizards, Rock Pythons, Russel's Vipers, Cobras, Rat Snakes, Wolf Snakes, Vine
Snakes, Common Kraits, Green Keelbacks, Bamboo Pit Vipers, Turtles and Flying
Besides a large variety of animals, the park
also has a thriving bird population, prominent among those are Serpent Eagles,
Shaheen Falcons, Crested Hawk Eagles, Ospreys, Gray Headed Firhings, Honey Buzzards,
Malabar Pied Hornbills, Hill Mynas, King Vultures, Malabar Trogon, Gray Partridges,
Black Woodpeckers, Indian Pittas, Paradise Flycatchers, Pea Fowl, 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.
Jeep and elephant safaris are two major means of
moving around inside the park. A jeep safari lets you experience the thrill of
watching the wild animals at close quarters but it may sometimes be a deterrent
as the noise it creates may scare away the animals or still worst may make them
aggressive. Elephant safari is the best and most exciting option to get at close
proximity to animals. It is the best option for bird watchers as there is no noise
that would scare away the avians of the park. Rides into the park on especially
laid out roads, called the 'game roads' that offer excellent views of wildlife.
The visitors can enjoy safaris twice a day, once in the morning and then during
National Park is suitably located for wildlife enthusiasts as it is close to three
other wildlife reserves of Mudumalai, Nagarhole and Wayanad. The important tourist
destinations of Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore are also located nearby. The
Vrindavan Gardens, located en route to Mysore is also a good option with its dancing
fountains and multi colored lights. The enchanting hill towns of Ooty and Wellington
are a good getaway option during the hot summer months. A visit to the fort of
Tipu Sultan at Shrirangapatna provides useful insight into the history of the
How to Get there
Air : The nearest airport is situated at Bangalore. Indian Airlines flies
to Bangalore from Delhi and Mumbai seven days a week. The departure timings from
Delhi are 6:15, 16:30 and 19:55 and from Mumbai 6:15, 9:30, 13:30, 17:30 and 20:45.
From Bangalore one can drive down to Mysore and take one of the frequently operating
buses or a private taxi to reach Bandipur. The taxi charges range between Rs.
1200 to 2000.
By Rail : The nearest railhead is Nanjangud
town (55 km/ 1.5 hrs) but it is advisable to travel to Mysore which is the most
convenient airport. The Swarna Jayanthi Exp. (Dep. 6:00, Mon) connects Delhi with
Mysore. Mumbai is connected through the Sharavathi Exp. (21:30, Tue), while Chennai
is connected through the Mysore Exp. (21:45, Daily). Another option would be to
travel to Bangalore which is conveniently connected to most of the Indian cities
through regular trains. Buses and private taxis can be easily hired from Bangalore
or Mysore to reach Bandipur. Taxi charges from Mysore range around Rs. 400.
By Road : Bandipur National Park is located on the main
Mysore-Ooty highway. The most convenient way to reach Bandipur from Bangalore
is to drive to Mysore and take the Ooty road from there and drive via Nanjangud
and Gundlupet from where the park is just a 30 min drive. A place worth visiting
at Nanjangud is the Nanjundeshwara temple. Regular KSRTC buses and taxis are easily
available from Bangalore. Taking an early morning bus to Mysore and changing to
an Ooty bus there is the best option. The average time taken to reach Bandipur
by road from Bangalore is around 5-6 hours.
from Major Cities
Mysore : 80 km (S)/ 2 hrs.
Ooty : 76 km (N)
Coimbatore : 164 km (NW)
Mudumalai : 11
Bangalore : 230 km (SW)/ 5 hrs.