Bandipur National park

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Here’s a lucrative destination you will surely regret missing out on, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located in Karnataka’s Western Ghats and runs along the Mysore-Ooty highway. The prime location of this park makes it highly feasible for numerous visitors to plan their getaways to Bandipur every year. The popularity of this park is further boosted by its significant role in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. 

Shared by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Bandipur has enjoyed fame due to a number of reasons, from its vastness to the epic management of the forest; these woods are just perfect for an exodus. The strange yet fruitful combination of lands and rivers at Bandipur makes the flora and fauna here truly unique. A protective haven to Asiatic elephants and Bengal Tigers, a visit to this jungle is surely worth every penny. 

Good To Know

Nearest Airport
Bangalore Airport
Wildlife Sighting Index
7/10 for Tiger sighting
Beauty of Forest Index
9/10 for Beauty of Forest
Standard of Infrastructure Index
9/10 for Stay & Amenities
Bookings Open
60 Days in advance
Consider Securing
60 Days in advance
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History of Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Historically, the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore used to use Bandipur as a hunting ground, then in 1931 the latest Maharaja created a sanctuary of 90 square kilometres out of it and named it Venugopala Wildlife Park.

In 1973, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve was established under Project Tiger by adding a whopping 800 square kilometres to the Wildlife Park. Since then, the commendable efforts of the forest department at managing the park have bore fruit as Bandipur is the most famous park of South India. Apart from efforts made by man, Bandipur itself also has certain charming attributes especially the presence of different biomes like dry deciduous forest, moist deciduous forest and shrub lands leading to an exhaustive list of habitats and enriched biodiversity. 

Flora of Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Topography and biodiversity are closely linked in ecosystems. The wide range of habitats offered at Bandipur supports a diverse spectrum of species, all unique and beautiful in their own ways. The park is flanked by Kabini river in the north, Moyar river in the south and Nugu river in the centre further enhancing the scope of habitats and species.

The eastern limits of the park is dominated by backwoods, speckled with stunted trees and open grassy patches. Towards the northwestern periphery a gentle shift is noted from dry deciduous forest to tropical mixed forest and eventual moist deciduous forest. As the seasons change and soft showers begin to set in, Bandipur comes alive in all its bewitching glory. Bandipur is a paradise from April to October. With spring comes the blossoming of the arresting flowering trees including Kadam tree, Indian gooseberry, crape-myrtle and golden shower tree.

  • Teak, rosewood 
  • sandalwood 
  • Indian kino tree 
  • Indian laurel 
  • clumping bamboo 
  • giant clumping bamboo 
  • Axle wood 
  • black cutch 
  • indigo berry
  • golden shower tree 
  • black myrobalan 
  • flame of the forest 
  • kadam tree 
  • Indian gooseberry 
  • tamarind 
  • mango

Fauna of Bandipur Tiger Reserve

The resident birds start their mating dances and sprouting grasses tempt Asiatic Elephants and Gaurs in large numbers. As seasons shift, different animals are sighted but the best sightings remain Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Elephants, usually spotted during summers. Other interesting mammals that lure tourists include Dhole, Bonner Macaque, Flowerpeckers, Four horned antelope, Indian hare red, Hanuman langur and many more. In winters, migratory birds can also be seen flying overhead but bird watching remains a popular pastime for travellers throughout all seasons.

Some stunning birds are almost always present at the park for you to capture in interesting snapshots. Peafowl, Junglefowl, Drongos, Red Headed vultures, Kingfishers, Ospreys and many more are waiting for you. And so are the aquatic species like Indian rock python, common rose, common jay, lime butterfly, blue Mormon and others. 

  • civet 
  • Tiger
  • jungle cat 
  • Indian palm 
  • giant flying squirrel 
  • striped hyena 
  • rusty-spotted cat 
  • Nilgiri tahr 
  • leopard 
  • Hanuman langur 
  • leopard cat 
  • four horned antelope 
  • Indian hare 

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Explore The Known and Unknown of Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Safari at Bandipur is as exciting as everything else, especially because the options are countless. Tourists can opt for a simple Keep Safari with 6 persons or Van Safari for around 20 persons, Tata Safari for 4 persons, Camper Safari and even Gypsy Safari. Elephant Safari has now been discontinued, thankfully, but visitors can still view the camp elephants near the tiger safari office or visit the Bandipur Souvenir shop and select cute trinkets to remind themselves of the unforgettable vacation at Bandipur. 

Apart from wildlife there are many prominent places to visit inside and around Bandipur. The Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is one such majestic and lofty hill located in the park’s core area. This famous hill, which is also the park’s highest peak, is surrounded by mist and dense forest all year and makes for a truly magical experience. These foggy mystic hills are often frequented by wildlife, especially elephants. 

Continuing, Wayanad is a famous hill station near Bandipur, popularised for its paddy fields and cozy location between the western ghat mountains. It is known for being Kerala’s most beautiful hill station and is also a great place for trade, souvenir shopping, or just for exploring nearby wildlife sanctuaries. 

Mysore, Karnataka’s second largest city, is a happy visiting spot for architecture lovers as the city is beguiled with palaces. Earning it the nickname of “City of Palaces”, it is also known as the state’s cultural capital and is a must-see destination stop. 

If you’re a fan of picnics and tea gardens, I have another recommendation for you: Ooty. Ooty is the queen of hill stations and Nilgiri’s capital. The vivid plantation, open meadows, stretches of tea gardens and majestic mountains as a backdrop make this spot perfect for making memories with your friends, family or lover! 

Countless other treats are nestled in Bandipur, visitors can enjoy virginal nature sceneries in the Kabini forests or witness the serpentine course of the Nagarhole River as it flows through the forest or enjoy other famous places like hill station Coorg, man-made lake Thekkady or even India’s main IT hub, Bangalore. 

Bandipur Safari Booking

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Safari Timings (including Bus and Gypsy) 

Morning Timings: 6:10 AM – 9:45 AM 

Evening Timings: 2:30 PM – 6:30 PM

How to reach Bandipur

Bandipur is well connected to other cities by road. Bus services are available from Bangalore and Mysore. The nearest major airport to Bandipur is the Coimbatore airport. From there, you can take a private car or cab to reach Bandipur. The nearest railway station to this park is in Mysore city which is located at a distance of 80 km. From this station, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Bandipur national park. The road to Ooty from Mysore via Bandipur is a picturesque one, with the Western Ghats and rivers in sight. You can drive your car, hire a taxi or take a KSRTC Mysore to Ooty bus via Gundlupet that should drop you near Bandipur Park. If you’re driving, note that the highway to the Reserve is closed between 9.00 pm to 6.00 am. 

Resorts at Bandipur

Bandipur is bejewelled with amazing accomodations owing to its immense fame and prime location. From dwellings offered by the forest department for a cheap and cosy stay to luxurious and thematic experiences, all is available here. Let me introduce you to some of the most famous choices tourists before you have opted for. Options include: The Serai – a traveller’s delight and known for its exquisite cuisine, Tiger Ranch Resort – filled to the brim with the thrill of Wildlife, Bush Betta Wildlife Resort – a perfect resort that can fit in your budget, Tusker Trail Resort – known for its lavish stay and run by none other than the princess of Mysore and finally The Windflower Jungle Resort & Spa – a perfect blend of countryside and modern life. 

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