About the Bandipur Tiger Reserve Park: If you ever care to spend your vacation in Ooty and drive down the spectacular highway from Mysore to the charming hill station and are not in a hurry to reach your destination, you must break your journey at Bandipur National Park which will be very much on your route. Luck favoring, you might meet the king of the jungle the tiger of Bandipur late in the evening. Had it been a few more years earlier, you could also have met Kenneth Anderson, South India’s Jim Corbett, who had shot many man-eating tigers in this region ages ago.
Previously serving as a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur National Park however got the recognition of a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1974. Along with neighboring Nagarhole National Park (643 km2), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2) and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2) it forms a part of the massive Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, aggregating more than 2,183 km2 or 843 sq miles of wilderness which is also the largest protected area in southern India.
Even though the Park (874 km2) is a safe haven for many of India’s endangered wildlife, it suffers badly from regular loss of wildlife as the principal highway from Mysore to Ooty passes through the heart of the reserve, resulting in frequent fatalities. Of course, there is a ban on traffic from dusk to dawn on this section of the highway to bring down accidental death of Park animals, but few really care to obey the rules.
Wildlife in Bandipur
Bandipur supports a variety of endangered and vulnerable species that include the Indian elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sloth bear, four horned antelope, hunting dog or dhole, mugger and the rock python. Most commonly seen animals in the Pak consist of chitals, giant squirrels and gray langurs.
How to reach
As earlier said, Bandipur National Park is situated on the National Highway that connects Ooty and Mysore, being around 80 km from Mysore city. Buses ply regularly on this route while there are taxis to take tourists to Bandipur also from Bangalore and nearby towns.
Where to stay in Bandipur National Park
There are a good number of hotels and resorts near the Park that cater to the needs of visitors. However, Bandipur Safari Lodge offers comfortable stay and good wholesome food for all its guests.
Additionally, the views from most of the rooms are indeed excellent all through the year. The Safari Lodge also provides campfire settings and an exclusive bar with multi-cuisine restaurant.
Tourist Places near Park
Mysore – Mysore, erstwhile abode of the Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, this ‘City of Palaces’ provides a true reflection of the cultural heritage and traditional splendor of India. Tourist destinations in Mysore include the Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo and Folklore Museum.
Nagarhole – Even though the Park offers jungle safaris throughout the season, it remains generally closed the when safari elephants develop musth as also during the monsoon months.
Coorg – an unique hilly region in Karnataka is nature lover’s paradise. Known for its sprawling coffee estates and nature trails, Coorg invites tourists from all over India and abroad.
Bangalore – Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka, which is known for its soothing climate all through the year, is a fast growing, contemporary and prosperous metropolis, also called the Silicon Valley of India. No doubt, the city leads in Information Technology and related issues in the country and so young people from all over India congregate at Bangalore in pursuit of computer related matters.