Enveloped by the breathtaking surroundings of the lofty Western Ghats on the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka, Bandipur National Park is known as one of the most picturesque and well-managed national parks of the country. Endowed with a wide range of plant and animal species, the park attracts a horde of visitors throughout the year. Bandipur National Park is a part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve that comprises Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarahole) of Karnataka to its Northwest, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu to its South, and Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary of Kerala to its Southwest. The Bandipur National Park is spanning across an area of 873sq. kilometers and is situated partly in the Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district and partly in H.D. Hote and Nanjangud taluks of Mysore district.
Perched in the foothills of the Nilgiris, the area was used by the Maharajas of the then princely states as their hunting grounds and thus has always had a long rendezvous with Tigers. The park is one of the thirty tiger reserves across the country and one of the safe places for the threatened Asiatic Elephants. Apart from the infamous tigers and elephants, the park also inhabits some of the other exotic wildlife species such as sloth bears, muggers, jackals, antelopes, the rare flying lizard, etc. Over 200 species of birds and vibrant flora add to its spectacular visuals.
Declared as a National Park under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1974, Bandipur National Park is abode to 70 tigers and over 3000 Asian elephants along with other diverse fauna species. The forest department also organizes jeep safaris and minibus safaris which is the highlight of the park excursion and must be experienced when you visit the park. The HimavadGopalaswamy Betta is the tallest peak in the park premises which is a great spot for some Instagram-worthy shots. A Hindu temple is also located in this spot adding a cultural touch and historical facet to your nature exploration.
The flora found in the park consists of a wide range of trees such as teak, rosewood, sandalwood, Indian laurel, Indian kino tree, giant clumping bamboo, and Grewia tibiae folia. Other flowering and fruiting trees include flame of the forest, Indian gooseberry, golden shower tree, ShoreaTalura, Indigo Berry, Satinwood, and black cutch.
Mammals and Reptiles: Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Four-Horned Antelope, Gaurs, Sloth Bears, Muggers, Indian Rock Pythons, Jackals, Dholes, Indian Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Muntjac, Sambar Deer, Chital, Vipers, Flying Lizards, Spectacled Cobra, Monitor Lizard, Indian Chameleon, Bengal Fox, Indian Civet, Indian Red Hare, Cat Leopard, etc.
Birds: Peafowl, Jungle Fowl, Indian Rollers, Bea-Eaters, Kingfishers, Osprey, Changeable Hawk-Eagles, etc.
The region has moderate temperature that ranges from 17 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit the park is during winters between the months of October and March when the weather is pleasant and the park is covered with lush green grass. The park can also be visited during the monsoons but it makes the excursion a bit slow, while the summers are a little hotter to be comfortable.
Nearest Train Station: Mysore Railway Station is the nearest railhead from the airport which is at a distance of 73km from the park.
Nearest Airport: The closest airport from the park is the Mysore Domestic Airport at about 73km away. Taxis and buses are available from the airport to the park.
Road Accessibility : The park can be reached from all the major cities of the country through the well-connected road network. The distance from Bengaluru to the park is about 220km.