Situated in the Chamarajanagar district of south Bangalore, Bandipur National Park is one of Indias most famous protected sanctuaries for wildlife, and is a prime location for the protection and growth of tigers in India as part of Project Tiger. Bandipur is also associated with the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Along with its neighbouring parks, Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka, Mudumalai National Park of Tamil Nadu and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala, Bandipur National Park forms the largest protected area in South India.
Wildlife of Bandipur: Stretching over 874 square kilometres, this picturesque tourist spot and also one of the most well maintained national parks in India is the dwelling place for some exotic and several common varieties of wildlife. The pleasant weather condition that prevails throughout the year is a boon to the wildlife residing here. Asian elephants can be found in large numbers here. Other commonly found animals are the panther, sambar, leopard cat, stripped neck mongoose, gaur, four horned antelope and sloth bear. From among the 200 odd species of birds found here, the most popular ones are, hawk eagle, serpent eagle, the yellow legged green pigeon, woodpeckers and warblers. The sparkling Kabini River which flows right through this park attracts huge flocks of birds and thereby attracting bird watchers too.
The marshland of the national park is the home to several reptiles like the marsh crocodile, bamboo pit snake, and monitor lizard to name a few.
Adventure options at Bandipur: Its natural scenic beauty of lush greenery, grassy woodlands, magnificent mountains and mesmerizing wildlife noises, set the perfect stage for enjoying the adventure activities available at this park. The most exciting part of national parks is the safaris. Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary too offers to tourists vans and Jeep safaris. At nominal fare, these vehicles are available for hire for a group of visitors who along with an experienced trainer are taken further into the wilderness, to get up close with some of the wildlife of the sanctuary. The elephant rides that are a part of the adventure options at the park make the jungle experience absolutely unforgettable at Bandipur.
When to visit Bandipur: With weather pleasantly mild all year long it makes the protected park a picturesque destination for a family picnic. Summer months between April to October are the best.
How to get to Bandipur: Bandipur can be reached by road, rail or flight. Bangalore which is situated 215 km away is the nearest airport. Mysore is the nearest rail station, positioned 80 km away from Bandipur. A road trip from Bangalore or Mysore is also a good option for the ones who want to drive down.