Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Timings, Entry Fee, Safari Online Booking & How to Reach)
Previously the personal game reserve of the Maharajas of Mysore, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located in the state of Karnataka in the District of Mysore. Spread across an area of 800 sq. km, Bandipur was declared a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. In the year of 1973 it came under the Project Tiger by the Government of India.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve is amongst the first nine Tiger Reserves of India created in the 1973 under the Project Tiger. It is adjacent to the Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu to south and to the south west Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala along with Nagarhole National Park in the north-west. It is part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which is the first bio-reserve in India.
Along with presenting rich and exotic flora and fauna, the reserve boasts of mesmerising natural beauty as well. The park has three main rivers namely Nugu, Kabini and Moyar. The River Nugu crosses the reserve in the middle while the River Moyar creates the boundary between Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the south western side and the River Kabini creates boundary between reserve and Nagarhole.
For safaris, tourists can opt from options like open top jeep or bus safaris. Elephant rides are also available making the experience all the more enjoyable.
Flora @ Bandipur Tiger Reserve
The main kind of forest in the reserve is dry deciduous forest along with other kinds like dry deciduous scrub, moist deciduous and mixed forests. Some of the commonly found trees are teak, math, hand, honne, axlewood, sandalwood, jamun, silk cotton, etc.
Fauna @ Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Along with the obvious Tiger, the Bandipur tiger reserve has various other mammals inhabiting in its region. Some of these are leopard, dhole, common palm civet, stripe-necked mongoose, small Indian civet, Asian elephant, gaur, sloth bear, giant squirrel, four-horned antelope, Indian porcupine, mouse deer, barking deer, Sambar, Eurasian otter, Indian pangolin, etc.
Marsh crocodile, Indian monitor, Indian cobra, Indian rat snake, common bronzeback tree snake and Indian rock python are few of the reptiles found in the reserve.
The area boats of umpteen numbers of rare birds making itself one of the popular spot for bird watching. Some of these are Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Rufous-bellied Hawk Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Hill Myna, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Woolly-necked Stork, Great Hornbill, etc.
Best time to visit Bandipur Tiger Reserve
The best time to visit the reserve is during the months of October to May as during this time of the season animals can be seen in groups searching for water sources.
Reaching Bandipur Tiger Reserve
- By air: The nearest airport to the reserve is Bangalore International Airport which is well connected to the rest of the country and the world. It is at a distance of 215 km from Bandipur. One can hire a taxi from airport to the reserve.
- By rail: The nearest rail head is in Mysore which is at a distance of 80 km. The Mysore railway station is connected to Bangalore and other cities. Another nearby railway station is Nanjangud which is 20 km away.
- By road: There are many bus services operating from various nearby places to Bandipur. Tourists have the option of KSTRC buses as well as private buses to choose from.
Accommodation @ Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Tourists can choose from various ranges of hotels and cottages present in Bandipur and other nearby places. Most of these accommodation options offer tourists with the facility of daily safaris to the reserve.