A Nilgiri tiger reserve, the Bandipur National Park is located in Karnataka. This forest region is one of the famous tourist attractions in South India among the nature lovers.
The Western Ghats give the scenic beauty and fertility to this land. Bandipur shares it boundary with three other parks namely, the Wayanad, Nagarhole, and Mudumalai parks. Home to numerous wildlife and floral species, this place is a verdant beauty for those who are looking to savor a nature vacation.
History of Bandipur
The prolific and deep jungle of Bandipur was once a game ground for hunting for the royal families of Mysore. The king of Mysore created a small sanctuary that covered just 90 square km, in 1931. He named it, the Venugopala wildlife park. The name was derived from the deity of a famous temple in this park, Venugopala. The areas around the sanctuary were added to the Venugopala wildlife park in 1974, making it about 874 sq km. It was taken under the Project Tiger and was named as Bandipur National Park.
Why is Bandipur Famous?
- The Western Ghats richens the place with lush foliage and bounty of wildlife. The place is famous for its serene beauty.
- Along with the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Nagarhole Park, Mudumalai National Park, the Silent Valley, and others, Bandipur is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
- Bandipur holds the second largest population of tiger and the largest habitat in Asia for wild elephants.
- Tourists frequent this place for wildlife safari, birdwatching, and other adventure activities.
- Bandipur is one of the tiger reserves in the country. Thus, those who wish to spot royal Bengal tigers, choose to visit Bandipur.
- Bandipur is famous for souvenirs like honey, Lantana furniture, handicraft items, bamboo articles and others.
- Bandipur is famous for its huge butterfly population, which thrive on a wide variety of wildflowers and seasonal flowers that carpet the land.
- Bandipur does not have tall grasslands or many tall grass species. Thus, the visibility of the park is very high than most of the national parks in the country. This is the main reason why Bandipur is a famous nature photography destination.
The Region of Wildlife
The Bandipur National Park covers more the 874 sq km of sandalwood and teak forests, woodlands, and much more. This lush and thick forested landscape allows a good balance between prey and predator. You can find small herbivorous and predatory mammals in good population.
The common wildlife to spot here apart from Indian elephants and royal Bengal tiger are muggers, jackals, gaurs, sloth bear, dholes, antelopes, and others. When it comes to the colorful birds, the park is home to more than 200 species. The park is also home to numerous species of butterflies and other insects.
Interestingly, Bandipur is not just about wildlife. The cuisine of Bandipur is quite similar to the rest of Karnataka. The palate favors sweets and delicacies. Top items to enjoy in Bandipur are Kesaribath, Jolada roti, Mysore pak, bisi bele bath, and others. The culture of Bandipur is very closely linked with the indigenous tribes. This is why the souvenirs of the land are quite unique. If you wish to enjoy and explore the lifestyle of these aboriginal people of Bandipur, you ought to take a village safari.
Things to do in Bandipur
In the past, the kings of Mysore used to visit Bandipur to enjoy the beauty of the nature and also for hunting. After independence, it became a land of nature and wildlife, before turning into a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger initiative.
Are you looking for a quick getaway to spend time with nature and wildlife?
- Visit Bandipur National Park to take bus, boat or open jeep safari. Apart from spotting animals, this place is also famous for the tranquility of the Western Ghats. Inside tip – visit early in the morning or right by sunset to increase the chances of spotting a tiger.
- Drive up to Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hill. This is the highest point of the park. There is a 14th century temple on top of the hill. However, the grand beauty is getting a panoramic view of the park from the top. You can easily spot herds of elephants from the top. Some people stay back to enjoy sunset from the top of the hill.
- Biligiriranga Hills is land of diverse flora beauty. There is something about its balmy fresh air that carries the aroma of the wild flowers around you. The 20 minute drive from the hill's base to the top is a mesmerizing experience. You will find a small Lord Vishnu temple on top.
- Bandipur is a part of the Nilgiri biosphere. Just 20 km away from Bandipur, you will find the Mudumalai Park, which is the tiger reserve with the highest density of Bengal tigers. Also, it is famous for birdwatching.
- If you wish to craft a complete vacation out of Bandipur, do not forget to cover Ooty (around 100 km away from Bandipur National Park). Ooty is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the country, and a serene hill region to spend time, closer to the nature.
Are you planning a simple weekend getaway to Bandipur? Do you want to take back to back safari to explore the region? Or, do you want your vacation to combine both wildlife and cultural aspects of Bandipur? Below is the list of Bandipur tour packages of varying themes and time frame. Check out the most recommended and highly chosen trip to enjoy regret-less vacation in Bandipur.