Location : Umaria District, Madhya Pradesh
Nearest Access : Umaria (34 kms)
Coverage Area : 450 sq. km
Climate : Winter- between 0° to 20° C and Summer- 36°C to 46°C
Major Wild life Attractions – Tiger, Leopard, Striped Hyena, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Nilgai, Chausinga, Dhole, Jackal, Indian Fox
Open : Mid October to June
Situated in the north eastern border of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is spread across the Umaria-Shahdol district bordered by the Satpura mountain ranges in Central India. The park is filled with more than 20 radiant streams; mainly, Damnar, Banbei, Ambanala, Johilla, Janadh, Charanganga, and Andhiyari Jhiria. These streams merge into the son river forming an important southern tributary of the river Ganges. Many caves and lakes are found near the fort which is the most grandiose part of Bandhavgarh.
History of Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh has thrived through the centuries and is even mentioned in the legends of Ramayana. Bandhavgarh is a fabulous place with great historical significance. Even early books like the Narad Panch Ratra and the Shiv Purana mention that Bandhavgarh is associated with Ramayana. The word Bandhavgarh is a combination of two words: Bandhav & Garh, Bandhav means brother and Garh means Fort. The name of the Park is taken from the olden fort. It is believed that Lord Rama gifted this amazing fort to his younger brother Lakshmana. The Bandhavgarh fort displays many substantial signs of human activity and architectural practices. Interestingly, one fable explains that the abandoned fort was at one time rebuilt by two monkeys who also built a bridge between Sri Lanka and the mainland. In the fort you can see the sights of several many manmade caves with engravings and rock paintings.
The travellers visiting Bandhavgarh National Park must make a visit to the fort to sight the written proofs of the Bharihas and Vakatak eras who ruled over this land. This region also tells us the history of other major dynasties that ruled the Bandhavgarh regions including Sengars, the Kalchuris and the Baghels. Out of all the Baghels ruled the region for the longest period.The Baghels shifted the capital to Rewa as their rule grew in power and area pushing Bandhavgarh to a corner of the territory, eventually dividing it and later abandoning it due to the thick forests and the tigers. Bandhavgarh became a game reserve for the royal families to hunt. The royals of Rewa killed 109 tigers due a sudden rise in tiger attacks. Raja Gulab Singh Baghel personally shot 83 tigers in a single year to restrain the hazard of increasing tiger attacks.
Ever since Bandhavgarh has been the private hunting ground for the Maharajas of Rewa and in 1968 it was handed to the state government and declared a national park.
Bandhavgarh has a large populace of tigers & is one of the significant Tiger Reserves of India. The park was a victim to innumerable cases of poaching and the density of the animal population had begun to deteriorate at one time, but several measures have been taken to improve the living conditions of the wild animals in Bandhavgarh National Park. Small dams were constructed to create watering holes for animals and act as shelters. All the villages were relocated from within the boundaries of the park and strong vigil was undertaken at the buffer zones as well as core areas for the wildlife protection.
In this manner, the majestic journey of the Bandhavgarh National Park led to declaring it a tiger reserve in 1993 under the Project Tiger network at the neighboring Panpatha Sanctuary.
Bandhavgarh National Park, is one of the most popular national parks in India. It is situated in the Vindhya Hills of the Umaria district in Madhya Pradesh. Declared a national park in 1968, Bandhavgarh is spread across an area of 105 sqkm. The name Bandhavgarh is taken from the most noticeable hill of the area of Umaria & is famous for the highest density of tiger population in India. Bandhavgarh also beholds the leading breeding population of leopards and various species of deer. Over the years, the park has increased the count of the tigers.
Bandhavgarh has been divided into three major zones named Tala, Magdi and Bamer, the Tala zone attracts the major number of tourists and then Magdi for tiger spotting. Elephant shows are also organized to spot the elusive king of the jungle. Bandhavgarh national park provides sufficient chance to spot the regal Indian tiger and other subtle animals like leopard and sloth bear.