8 To-Do Things which completes your Bandhavgarh National Park Tourism

Bandhavgarh National Park is among the special places to spot Bengal Tiger and it serves as a vital national park in Madhya Pradesh. The park is loaded with varied topography and wildlife to offer the ideal habitat to several animals. The best part is that “Bandhavgarh is not all about wildlife safari and sighting”, once you get there you will want to explore more every time you visit. Here are some of the best things you can explore in Bandhavgarh National Park.

No. 1 – Open Jeep Jungle Safari – Core Zone

Open jeep safari is the best option to get a close insight into its wildlife habitat. You can enjoy the pleasing wildlife watching experience with the elements of fun and adventure. Jeep safaris are available for four hours in two shifts. One shift is available in the morning and next at around 3 PM. Be sure to do advance booking if you are visiting the park.

The core area in Bandhavgarh is split into three zones –

Gate 1 – Tala zone
Gate 2 – Magadhi Zone
Gate 3 – Khitauli Zone
Tala zone is the most popular and oldest wildlife safari zone. Due to peer pressure to one safari zone and huge rise of tourist traffic, park management decided to open Magadhi and Khitauli zones. They were not explored well during the initial 2 years. They later started gaining popularity among wildlife enthusiasts.

No. 2 – Jungle Safari (Buffer Zone)

Buffer zones are the best choice for bird watching and are ideal for tourists who couldn’t get permits for core areas and visited when park is closed, i.e. Wednesday evening. Dhamokhar, Johila, and Panpatha are three buffer zones in Bandhavgarh. They are full of dense greens and you can explore scenic landscapes, waterfalls and natural spots.

No. 3 – Tiger Spotting at Chakradhara

Chakradhara is a very famous spot for tiger sighting as it is covered by the lush hilly areas. There are diverse flora and fauna species to explore. You can find huge population of tigers here. Some of the wild cats here are Bamera, Bheema, Kankati, Chandini, Dotty Krishna, Rajbhara, Marchaini, and Sukhipatia. You can also head to Bandhavgarh Fort from here.

No. 4 – Trekking to Bandhavgarh Fort

From Tala Zone, you can take a 1-hour trek to Bandhavgarh Fort, which you just can’t miss if you are heading to Bandhavgarh. You should have a guide as the trail also leads to the national park. The fort is located around 807m above the sea level at the heart of the park. Bandhavgarh Fort is dated back to over 2000 years and is one of the oldest forts in the country. It has caves adorned with intricate paintings.

No. 5 – Experience Rural Tourism

Tala Village is among the major entrances to the nature reserve. It has mud houses that represent the rustic living of the residents. It is filled with resorts where you can find plenty of souvenir shops.

No. 6 – Fulfill Wishes at Jwalamukhi Temple

Located on the bank of Charan Ganga River, the Jwalamukhi Temple is located only 10 km from the national park. Goddess Jwalamukhi is believed to fulfill all of the wishes of devotees who visit here with full faith.

No. 7 – Shop Souvenirs at Bandhavgarh Market

You can find a lot of shopping opportunities in Bandhavgarh as it has a lot of shops to buy some souvenirs like wildlife books, handicrafts, and t-shirts. You can also get photographs of wildlife inside the park. Shops are located behind the museum.

Bandhavgarh School of Arts – It is a tribal art gallery in Tala Village of Umaria district where you can explore the life of tribes and culture in Madhya Pradesh.

Malaya Café – This exotic café offers delicious pure veg brunches and breakfast for morning safari. Visit there to taste authentic filter coffee, fresh and dried fruits, homemade lemonade, porridge, and lentil pancakes. Also, taste light dishes and Western and Indian snacks here. It also as souvenir and crafts shop where you can buy some unique and rare artisan items.

Jaya Arts – They are the leading handicraft wholesalers in the Umaria district. You may get there for the best prices when you shop.
No. 8 – Stay around Exciting Wildlife (Resorts)

High – End Resorts

Taj Mahua Kothi – Stretched over 40 acres, this property offers the best and exotic accommodation to the tourists. It features 12 suites with combined facilities of sit-out verandas, twin beds, fireplace, and delicious food.

Syna Tiger Resort – Located around the entrance gate to Tala zone, Syna Tiger Resort is stretched over 15 acres. It has a treehouse and 15 world-class cottages. This eco-friendly resort offers all modern amenities and serves organic food. Hence, all ingredients are home-grown in this property.

Luxury Resorts

Kings Lodge Bandhavgarh – Located in Rancha Village, the Kings Lodge is spread over 8 acres and it caters to all the needs of guests. In addition, it offers all modern amenities in 18 cottages. It has a multi-cuisine hall to offer tasty and quality food.
Tree House Hideaway – Located around the Tala Gate of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Tree House Hideaway is beautifully covered by the jungle over 21 acres. It has all modern amenities in 5 AC tree houses. There is a living area, 24×7 hot and cold water, and a mini-bar, with continental, Indian and barbecue meals served.

Deluxe Resorts

You can find some great arrangements and facilities in these resorts if you are looking for great accommodation. In addition, they offer wonderful experience with security and comfort and quality food. Some of the best deluxe resorts are Tiger Trails, Nature Heritage, Maharaja Royal Retreat, Tiger Den, Bandhavgarh Meadows, Jungle Mantra, Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge, Tiger Lagoon and others.

Standard Resorts

They fall under basic category which fulfills the accommodation needs of guests. One of them is Mogli Jungle Resort, which is based on the forest theme.

Budget Resorts
If you are on a shoestring budget, you may prefer staying at Greenwoods, Salvan, Bagh Sarai, Tiger Inn, Jungle Inn, and Tiger Heaven for some decent food and amenities.

Conclusion
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the best places when it comes to exploring the rich biodiversity of nature. These are some of the best places to visit to improve the overall experience.

Flora and Fauna to Explore in Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh is a very popular national park in India as it is well regarded for having huge density of tigers. Bandhavgarh National Park is believed to have world’s highest density of Bengal Tigers. It also has rich diversity of flora and fauna to attract nature and wildlife lovers. From Chinkaras to Bisons and Nilgais grazing on the grasslands, Bandhavgarh houses a huge range of animals. 

There are three core zones in this national park – Tala, Khitauli, and Magadhi. The park is stretched over 694 sq. km in total. 

Fauna in Bandhavgarh

When you start exploring the dense jungles, you can easily spot the amazing fauna species like Chausingha, Nilgai, Chital, Langurs, Chinkara, Macaques, Muntjac, Jackals and Wild Boar. You can find different butterflies and birds which belong to the wildlife of Bandhavgarh. Nature lovers can explore the thick and dense forest regions of the national park and is well known for varied range of plant life and wildlife and is well regarded for varied topography. 

Tigers \Tigers are the heart and soul of this national park. There are also epic stories and tales regarding the tigers here, such as the story behind Charger, a popular tigress once known for her aggressive behavior. 

Leopard
You can find leopards mainly in the core area. But they are also found in buffer zone. They are quite smaller than tiger and their favorite prey are spotted deer, barking deer, chinkara, wild boar, langur, and livestock. 

Sambar

Another famous mammal which can be spotted easily here is Sambaar. They are the largest deer in Asia which can weigh up to 350 kg and around 150 cm high up to their shoulder. You can spot sambar only in the dense grasslands and canopy of the jungle. These antlers re-grow during the month of March and April. 

Sloth Bear 

As the name suggests, Sloth bear is like a mixture of bear and sloth. Its diet mostly depends on vegetation and mahus fruits and honey are its favorite. As compared to arctic bears, they are relatively small. 

Barking Deer 

They are relatively smaller than Sambar and Chital and are found basically around water bodies. As the name suggests, they are used to call alarm sounds like a dog is barking. They are pretty good at camouflage in the bushes whenever it feels any threat. 

Chital 

Also known as Axis Deer, Chital plays a vital role in ecological balance. The vegetation these mammals eat has great chances for survival as they are very fertile by nature. Their antlers are mostly detached once mating is done whenever monsoon season arrives. During winter, female mammals give birth to one or two fawns. 

Langur

They are easily found in temples and rural areas, along with jungles. They are usually found in groups and they bound well with spotted deer. Both tigers and leopards prey on langurs. 

Wild Dogs

Also known as Dhole in Central India, wild dogs also communicate by whistling along with barking. They are very flexible and are used to eat their prey alive. 

Wild Boar

In Bandhavgarh National Park, some wild boars were brought from Kanha National Park. They basically live on hills and come to the plain or downhill to have water and feed grass. They live in herds of cubs, females and other adult males. As compared to males, females are smaller and the size of the group can have up to 40 wild boars. Their mating season starts from winter. Later on, they live alone with a few male wild boars. 

Flora in Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh is known to be rich in diversity of flora thanks to the combination of different types of soils and landforms and the region remains very moist. Bandhavgarh is known to have Southern tropical moist deciduous and Moist peninsular sal forest, as well as Southern tropical dry deciduous forest. It has over 50 aquatic plant species, 600 flowering plant species, and 18 rare plant species. You can find different trees in the national park, such as – 

Sal Tree

This timber tree is found all around the tiger reserve. It is a slow and moderately growing tree and is found highly in the forest. Its anti-termite wood is widely used in making railway sleepers and furniture. The viscous paste (gum) releasing from its stem is used in marine yards and for making shoe polish. It is almost an evergreen tree. 

Mahua (Indian Butter) Tree

It has been used in villages for ages in Central India. Oil which comes out of its seed is widely used in soap industry as edible oil. Its fleshy flowers are high in sugar, calcium and vitamin for animals and birds. Local villagers also use its flowers to brew a strong alcoholic drink. 

Saj Tree

There are 200 species of shrubs and trees in the Terminalia Linn. It is a rich source of non-wood products, such as drugs, oil, and gums. It has unique patterns on the bark due to which it is known as crocodile bark tree. 

Palash Tree (Flame of Forest)

It is well known for vivid orange flowers which come in full bloom in February. Its flower is boiled and its color is used for making ink and dye. 

Stone Apple (Bel)

The outer crust of its fruit is very hard. Due to this reason, it is known as stone apple. Its juice is extracted to make healthy drinks to soothe all the problems of stomach like constipation and diarrhea. 

Banyan

This tree grows as a very giant tree which is stretched over several hectares. Its figs are good for mammals and birds like Indian mynas. According to the studies, the seeds which pass through its digestive system are known to germinate. 

Bottom Line

So here are some of the rich flora and fauna in Bandhavgarh National Park you should know. If you are planning to visit there next time, be sure to expect seeing these attractions.

A Quick Guide for Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park Before You Go

Bandhavgarh National Park is well regarded for its serene and lush green landscapes, which are ideal for highest density of tigers in India. Though it is quite challenging to reach, but it rewards the tourists with great chance to spot tigers in their own habitat.

The park features rocky hill terrain and dense green valleys and the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort is located on 800m high mountain. This tiger reserve is spread over 105 sq. km. You can explore a huge range of wildlife species like sloth bears, tigers, deer, jackals, leopards, and hundreds of species of migratory and local birds. A Guide for Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park Provides you best and latest Information’s.

A well known mystic saint poet on the 14th century, Kabir Das also spent some time for writing and meditating in the fort. Unfortunately, this fort just has ancient remains and is accessible only when temple opens a few times in a year.

Location
Bandhavgarh National Park is located around 200 km (124 miles) towards the northeast of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The main entrance to the park is in Tala village.

Getting There
You can take direct Spicejet and Air India flights from Delhi to Jabalpur. Then, you can book a cab to reach there by road, which takes around 4 hours. By rail, Katni Junction is located around 2 and half hours away and the nearest railway station, Umaria is just 45 minutes away.

Best Time to Visit
The temperature rises during March and April when tigers come out of their den to relax by the watering hole or in the grass. You may also visit the park during May and June to spot tigers, but be prepared because the weather is too hot to handle. Don’t visit during peak months as weather is too cold and the park is flocked by tourists.

Timings for Visiting and Safari
Safaris start early morning till noon and next safari lasts till sunset. To spot most of the animals, be sure to start safari early in the morning or after 4pm. The core area of the park remains closed from July 1 to September 30 because of rainy season. It also remains closed on Diwali and Holi, and on Wednesday afternoon. However, you may visit the buffer zone at any time of the year.

Safari Zones

There are three core zones in Bandhavgarh –

Tala – The main zone in the park which leads to Bandhavgarh Fort.

Magadhi – The adjoining zone on the fringe of the park, which is ideal for spotting tigers.

Khitauli – It is less crowded but scenic zone separated from the road. You can still spot the tigers here as well as different species of birds.

In order to allow people to explore the wildlife who can’t afford to explore the core zones and to control the crowd of tourists in core zones, the park management had started three buffer zones in 2015. The buffer zones in the park are stretched over the districts of Umaria and Katni. You can still find tigers in these zones –

Dhamokhar – This buffer zone starts from Parasi and it adjoins Magadhi zone.
Panpatha – It starts from Pachpedi and adjoins Khitauli zone.
Johila – It starts from Gajwahi/Cechpur. You can explore a few waterfalls here during the monsoon.

Jeep safaris are available in all core and buffer zones. In buffer zone, safaris are available also in the monsoon season.

Charges for Jeep Safaris
As of 2016, the charges for safari in all national parks in Madhya Pradesh, including Bandhavgarh, have been simplified greatly. The new fee structure has been effective since October 2016 when the parks opened for the tourists.

It means there are no premium zones with higher charges. In each of the park, the cost of visiting core zones has been similar. In addition, there are no separate charges for Indian and foreign tourists. You don’t have to book a whole jeep if you are visiting alone or with a partner. There are single seats available in 6-seater jeeps on sharing basis. Here is the breakdown of safari costs in Bandhavgarh –

Safari Permit – Rs. 1,500 per jeep (capacity of 6 passengers) or Rs. 250 per person. There is no fee for children under 5 years.
Hiring Vehicle – Rs. 2500 per jeep.
Guide fee – Rs. 480 per safari.

Booking in Advance
To book safari permit in all zones, visit the official website of MP Forest Department (https://forest.mponline.gov.in/Index.aspx). You can also book single seats for core areas online. It is recommended to book at least 90 days earlier as safaris are restricted in each zone and they are booked frequently.

When you are booking online, you can just pay the permit fee, which is valid for one zone only. You need to select the particular zone when booking the permit. You need to pay fee for hiring vehicle and guide separately at the park entrance. It will be equally distributed among the tourists in a vehicle.

You can also check how many seats are available in each safari zone while booking. There are also options marked with “W”. It refers to “Waiting List”. It means your booking will be confirmed only if the permit is cleared. You will have to wait for 5 business days. If it is not cleared, your booking will be cancelled automatically and you will get a refund. Safaris are also offered from all hotels but they charge higher. Luxury resorts also have their own gypsies to start their own safaris. They have their own guides available.

Other Activities
You can also opt for canter safaris (open mini bus) at Bandhavgarh. However, you cannot book them online and they don’t go through Tala zone. They are available only for Khitauli and Magadhi zones. You can book seats at Tala’s office by arriving early. If you stay at White Tiger Forest Lodge run by MP Tourism, the booking will be included and the gypsy will pick you up. If you are visiting Tala zone, don’t miss visiting 35 ft. long reclining stone idol of Lord Vishnu “Shesh Saiya”, which is dated back to 10th century.