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
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.
Wildlife 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 Lizards.
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 the evening.
Bandipur 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 area.
How to get there
By 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
Distances from Major Cities
80 km (S)/ 2 hrs.
76 km (N)
164 km (NW)
11 km (S)
230 km (SW)/ 5 hrs.
Travel Tips/Important Information
- The forest department maintains lodges, rest houses and cottages,
which provide good accommodation at reasonable prices.
- Various park charges include Entry Fee : Rs. 25 (Indians) & 150
(foreigners), Camera : Still free, Rs. 200 (Video), Elephant ride (10-11
AM) : Rs. 50/head
- Park timings are 6:30 to 9 & 15:30 to 17:30. Do not worry about
park timings and charges, just pack your stuff and get into your flight
to experience the finest holiday of your life. Click Here!
- Rather than taking the van safari (Rs. 75/head, 45 min) offered by
the Karnataka forest dept, choose the open jeep safari (Rs. 1750) which
is really worth the bucks.
- Some of the distances within the park from the Bandipur base camp are
Bolgudda (2.75 km), Dhanahatti (5.75 km), Mastimuki Circle (7 km) and
Kullanbetta Antipoaching Camp (8.5 km).
- The entrance fee depends on what you are carrying along and how do
you intend to travel around inside the park.
- Do not wear strong perfumes or bright colored clothing.
- Trekking inside the park is a difficult task and not recommended for
first time visitors.
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Resorts in Bandipur
in 2 acres of lush greenery, Jungle Home is located on the edges of
Bandipur National Park.
Trails resort is located in serene and calm environs and boasts of
tastefully decorated cottages that dwell well with the surroundings.