Bannerghatta national park is a wild park located in Bengaluru, India. It is situated on the northern terminal point of Mysuru Elephant Reserve.
The park plays a crucial role in preserving various flora and fauna and sequestering carbon in the city’s atmosphere and in sustaining hydrology in the region.
A large portion of it is dedicated to various kinds of trees and greenery and a portion of it acts as a zoological garden, where all the fauna can be seen. This portion is called Bannerghatta Biological Park.
The park is considered to be a place for education and recreation rather than entertainment or amusement. Many schools bring their students here for guided tours here, to educate them with an example on the conservation of natural resources, animals and maintaining ecological balance.
The animals that can be spotted here include Indian elephants, jackal, fox, deer, boars, porcupines, pangolins, tiger, leopard, crocodiles, peacock, flamingos, lion, hyena, Indian wolf, black buck, snakes (python, cobra) to name a few.
Bannerghatta National Park was founded in 1970 and declared as a national park in 1974. The Bannerghatta Biological Park was just a small area inside it that was picked out in 2002 and made the zoological garden portion.
The area covered by this national park is 65,127.5 acres or 260.51 km s, and it is located about 22 km south of Bangalore in the hills of the Anekal range. Resting on an elevation of 1245 – 1634 m, the park has a hilly terrain of granite sheets under moist deciduous forest valleys and scrubland on higher areas.
About sixteen rural villages border the national park area and it has three large enclosures for sheep and cattle farming, that adds to the diverse wildlife here.
There are a few ancient temples in the park for worship and it is also a favourite destination for trekking and hiking for many people in the city.
It also consists of a butterfly park, trekking trails, biological park. Being a national park, it also offers safaris to visitors, to have a closer but safe look at the various fauna here.
The fee for entering the Bannerghatta National Park is INR 80 per head for adults and INR 40 per head for children. Other fees may apply for other things inside like the biological park, butterfly park, safari and others. These may be anywhere between INR 30 to INR 50.
The fee for safaris though is a bit on the higher side. There are jeep safaris and bus safaris. Jeep safaris include 6-seater jeeps, 7-seater jeeps which may cost anywhere between INR 3500 to INR 5500. Non-AC bus safari can cost Rs. 300 for adults and Rs.150 for children, while AC Bus safaris are priced at around Rs. 600 for adults and Rs. 400 for children (per head). The prices are a little more (adding INR 50-100) on the weekends for the same.
The park is situated at about 72 km away from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda in International airport which can be reached in about 1 hour 45 mins by road; and at a distance of about 25-30 km from Cantonment railway station – Bengaluru’s main train terminal, which can be reached in around an hour or so by road.