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Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Gaur in Bandipur © Anish Andheria

Common Langur © Anish Andheria

Bandipur Leopard © Dholes Den

Bandipur view © TOFTigers Library

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

South India

As you drive through the forests of Bandipur National Park, one sweet fragrance that greets you is of the sandalwood trees that are protected along with the wildlife that abounds here, most often seen in areas cleared of the irrepressible lantana bush. Bandipur National Park is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and stretches over 1,282 square kilometres of dense forests, rivers, mountains, gorges and open grasslands. Though part of one of India’s best known and densest tiger habitats (over 700 in the 2014 census) it’s far better for sightings of elephant herds, leopard and wild dog than these big cats. Together with the adjoining Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarhole and Mudumalai National Parks, it forms the largest Protected Area in Southern India, totalling 2,183 square kilometres. The Nugu, Moyar and Kabini rivers feed this area perennially with gushing waters and host a variety of aquatic birds that are a delight to spot. The Reserve was once the erstwhile Maharaj...a Voodiyar’s private hunting ground until 1941 when it became part of a larger National Park called Venugopal Wildlife Park. In 1973, it was recognised as Bandipur National Park and it became one of the fifteen sanctuaries brought under the umbrella of Project Tiger.
You can go for a wildlife safari in a government operated jeep or bus, but your wildlife experience is likely to be far better by opting for walks and drives with naturalists in the forested areas outside the designated tourism zone. For magnificent views, take a ride to Gopalswamy Betta, which is one of the highest peaks in the park at 1,454 metres and where you can also see the thirteenth century fort of the Palegars of Terakanambi. Don’t forget to visit the Mysore Ditch – a 260 metre deep gorge that has been eroded by the Moyar River.
Elephants, tigers, leopards, Indian pangolins, dholes and their prey now move freely between Nagarahole and Bandipur, so keep your eyes peeled. Spot some of the colourful birds chirping away such as the hill myna, yellow-footed green pigeon, white-bellied woodpecker, Malabar parakeet, great hornbill and the crested treeswift.
A popular attraction is the Mudumalai Elephant Camp – a government-run elephant resting camp where you can interact with the majestic pachyderms. For history buffs, the town of Sringapatnam is a must-visit. It is where Tipu Sultan fought and was defeated in 1799 by English Raj forces. It is also famous for the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - one of the best places in India to sight the marsh crocodile
For farmers in the 200 villages along the Bandipur forest periphery, the park is a vast pasture for grazing cattle and collection of forest produce, increasing the chances of man-animal conflict. The National Highway 212 passes through the park and speeding vehicles have killed many wild animals. Poor infrastructure and tourism planning could have adverse effects on elephant corridors connecting these areas. Your visit is crucial to support the local economy, but please also report abuse or poor practice at admin@toftindia.org and consider helping with funding or support: Bandipur Tiger Conservation Foundation

Destination Information

How To Book

Tour operators or your lodge can help book your visit or you can go online.

Park Timings

Winter: Morning: 06:45 am to 09:45 am Evening: 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm Summer: Morning: 06:30 am to 09:30 am Evening: 03:30 pm to 06:30 pm

Getting Around the Park

Jeeps are available to book through your lodge or at the gate. They come with a driver and park guide. No self-drive vehicles are allowed. Bolero Jeep Ride: R 2,600 for Indian Nationals R 5,500 for Foreign NationalsGypsy Ride: R 4,000 for Indian Nationals R 6,500 for Foreign NationalsVan Safari: R 75 per person for a 30-minute safari in a 25-seater bus

Entry Fees

R 250 for both Indian and foreign nationals. Safari vehicles have to be hired separately.
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bengaluru (200 km). Transport can be hired to drive to the park. By Rail / Road: The nearest railhead is Mysore (71 km). Transport can be hired to drive to the park.
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Wildlife Travel Guide

Eco-friendly properties in the area

Dhole’s Den Resort

Not unlike a very contemporary glassfronted Alpine villa, this is Karthik Davey and his wife Ingrid’s holiday home. Dhole Den gets its name from the Asiatic wild dogs that frequent the area, together with elephant herds and big cats from the bordering park.

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Bandipur Tiger Reserve

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Famous for its significant tiger and elephant population and protected sandalwood trees, Bandipur

Travel Here with the Best Travel Companies & Agents

Plan you Indian holiday, Nepal adventure, or Bhutan visit using one of a large number of the world’s best known travel companies, or Indian based agents to put your very own itinerary together. Every travel company here has committed to drive their own sustainable travel practices, seek PUG certified accommodation providers wherever possible and support our conservation efforts.

Now you can enjoy a flawless and carefree travel itinerary to many of Indian subcontinent’s greatest wilderness destinations and combine this with its rich cultural and historic heritage.

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