|Location||Chamarajanagar district in the state of Karnataka|
|MajorTourist Attractions||Asian Elephants , Gaurs and the endangered Tigers|
|Area Covered||874.20-sq kms|
|Established||Given park status in 1974|
|Best time to Visit||April to October|
The Bandipur forest reserve is located towards the southern region in the state of Karnataka. The Wildlife sanctuary located in the Chamarajanagar district exemplifies ample advancements towards India’s strive for natural conservation. It was earlier the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Voodiyar and later created in to a park in 1930. The sanctuary was initially given the name of Venugopal wildlife sanctuary.
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The park was expanded in 1941 to merge with the Nagarhole wildlife Sanctuary lying to its northern edge and the Madumalai sanctuary lying to its southern edge. In the present context, the entire area constitute the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which comprises the tracts of protected forest. Designated a Tiger reserve in the year 1973 to protect the dwindling Tiger population, the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary lie in the Deccan plateau totally shadowed by the western ghats.
Wildlife Attractions at Bandipur National Park
Flora : The floral vegetation includes the deciduous and the evergreen forests while the woodlands are grassy and moist. The Moyar river is the life blood of the living species of the jungle. It also act as the boundary between the park and the Madumalai Sanctuary. The sanctuary have vast open spaces making it a wonderful habitat for the species. The open grassy woodland with exotic sceneries of mountains, gorges and undisturbed forests filled with thick bamboos make the Bandipur National Park an interesting place for nature lovers.
Fauna : Favourite home to the Asiatic slephants, the Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary houses a sizable number of Tigers. There are 66 tigers found according to the 1993 census. It was one among the 15 sanctuaries selected under Project Tiger to save the Tiger population launched by the World wildlife Fund for Nature in association with the Goverment of India. Herds of Elephant can be spotted during the rainy seasons and their strength stands to about 1900 elephants including the babies. Other inhabitants found are gaur, sambhar, chital, deer, antelope, wild boars, jackals, sloth bear and the Malabar squirrel. The reptile population includes the Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizards, Rock Python, Bamboo Pit Snake, Wolf Snake, Vine Snake and the common Krait besides a variety of turtles.
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Avian Species : The avian species includes about 200 types of Birds including the migratory birds. The jungle fowl , the green pigeon are specially loved by the ornithologists and bird lovers. The back waters of the Kabini rivers as well as the Kabini Dam flowing north of the Sanctuary attracts a lot of Birds. The commonly found birds are Hawk eagle, Serpent eagle,Parakreets, Wood peckers, Barbets, Hornbills and the warblers. Ducks , Gray Patridges, Firhinges, Falcons can also be seen within the territory of the vast Sanctuary.
The place of Gopalaswamy Betta, near the park forest office base, provides a panoramic view of Mysore plateau and its adjoining hills from an elevated ridge, while the “Rolling Rocks,” situated to the south of the forest, offer a clear picture of the weather-beaten 260-meter-deep Mysore Ditch and the entire Moyar gorge. These interesting places are a great delight for the tourists as well as the photographers.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airport is situated at Bangalore, which lies 220 km away from Bandipur National Park.
By Rail : Mysore is the nearest railway station at a distance of 80-kms from the Sanctuary.
By Road : The National Park at Bandipur is 220 km from Bangalore; 80 km from Mysore and 80 km from Ooty. Regular buses are available from these places to and fro.