The National park at Bandipur (Bandipore) is located in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka in Southern India. It
spreads across an area of 874 sq kilometres. Bandipur is part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Due to its altitude (600m - 1400m),
it enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. A number of other renowned national parks can be found neighbouring Bandipur. These are
Nagarhole Game Reserve, Mudumalai National Park and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary. It forms one of the largest protected wildlife reserves in
South India. As of 2011, the area is under consideration by UNESCO to be selected as a World Heritage Site.
The Park which was originally set up in 1931 by the Maharaja of Mysore, in 1973 the Government took over and expanded it to what it is today. Gundlupet , a small hamlet, is a stone's throw away ( 19km). The closest town, Mysore, is 80km away while the Karnataka capital, Bangalore, is around 220km. The park can be reached by road from any one of these towns. The nearest railway connection is at Mysore. Bangalore would be the best option for air travel. From thereon, hiring a vehicle into Bandipur is suggested.
Bandipur National Park is nestled between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris Hills. In 1973 it became one of India's first Tiger
Reserves under Project Tiger. All flora and fauna are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
There is an entrance fee that is charged at the forest check post. Since private vehicles are not allowed inside the reserve, pack light while travelling from your place of accommodation to the Park. There are guided tours conducted in the Park, get in touch with the local authorities who will be able to suggest the best schedule for you and your family. At all times please remember to respect nature and your surroundings, do not litter the place or feed the animals. And never tease or provoke the animals, least you are harshly fined for the offence.
The Park is mainly dominated by evergreens, deciduous and scrubland vegetation. Sandlewood trees too dot the landscape.
With the onset of Monsoon the place is transformed into a lush green paradise.
Some of the interesting places to visit around the area are:
An interesting thing to do here is to go on a Coffee Plantation Tour. There are a number of coffee plantations where one can go for a visit and see at close quarters where that refreshing brew comes from.
Over the years a number of resorts have sprung up in the area. The close proximity to the different Sanctuarys has made the
area a popular weekend getaway. Many offer international amenities and lodging, but at a price. There are also government
owned accommodation viz a viz cottages and dormitories which are more reasonable. All the resorts have their own restaurants.
Make sure you book your lodging in advance especially if you are planning a weekend trip. Many Bangaloreans visit these parks, hence the weekends can get quite crowded. Some of the resorts have their own tours like the Guided Nature Tours, Coracle river trips, tribal village visits and elephant rides.
Situated at the foothills of the Western Ghats, the weather here is very pleasant. Many rivers flow through the Park, the
Kabini, Moyar and Nagur rivers are the main source of water, especially for elephant herds. The park is open all year round,
though one of the best seasons to experience the greenery and abundance of wildlife, is during the Monsoons (June to September).
The mercury levels during the summer months (March - June) reach a modest 28°C while the cooler months (October - January) have a
milder range (11°C - 19°C). Carrying a raincoat during the Monsoon months is a safe bet as the rains are erratic and the winds can
make a mockery of even the toughest umbrella.
BookCab has special seasonal discounts for trips to the area. Give them a call at (092) 4100 4100, to enquire about how these packages can work for you. We can organise round trips from Bangalore to Bandipur and back. We are a convenient and reliable rental cab service and due to their tie-up with local taxi operators, you are guaranteed a vehicle of your choice most of the time.
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