Apart from being a rich wildlife reserve, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh has other ways to beguile travel aficionados. One can be interested in noticing an age-old fort called the Hill Fort or Bandhavgarh Fort standing right in the middle of the national park. This majestic fort allows visitors to peep inside the rich history and shows the prominent influence of religion in the state. So, what exactly are we talking about here? Well, we are focusing on the priceless heritage that includes the cave dwellings, shrines, and several sculptures that indicate the strong faith in the power of Lord Vishnu here. Let us learn about some important edifices and sculptures:
Badi Gufa Cave:
Fortunately, it is one of the few places in Bandhavgarh National Park that are open to visitors. Set at the foot of the Bandhavgarh Fort, Badi Gufa is a protruding cave with a number of windows that may have been used by guards to keep an eye on the visitors in the Hill Fort. It is also believed that the caves were the shelter for hermits, who liked to meditate in isolation. These centuries-old caves have nine rooms that have articulate hand carvings; it is beyond one’s comprehension how long it would have taken to decorate each room. Some also believe that these caves date back to 2000 years, which makes them TRULY a work worth appreciating!
The Reclining Vishnu:
It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Bandhavgarh National park is the place for Lord Vishnu to rest as it is one of those places, where one can find a statue of Vishnu in a reclining position. This grand sculpture lies at the spring of the Chakradhara stream that waters Tala pond. Today, a large number of devotees throng here during the monsoon season.
The Sculpture of Elephant God Ganesha:
Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai
A standing statue of Lord Ganesha can be seen majestically presiding at Bandhavgarh Fort. Carved out from a huge stone, this sculpture has managed to pull a large number of devotees to the park from time immemorial. In fact, it constitutes one of the major attractions in Bandhavgarh National Park.
Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai
Almost every structure in Bandhavgarh Fort displays an unmatched quality of workmanship and the carved pillars are no exception. Strategically positioned at one of the entry gates of Hill Fort, the intricate carvings on the pillars catch the eyes of the visitors. These pillars are truly spectacular pieces of work that offer an insight into the passion and dedication for art centuries ago.
Various Incarnations of Vishnu:
Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai
The number of statues of Lord Vishnu evidently indicates that the reigning family here worshipped Vishnu as their prime God. There are many large stone sculptures of Lord Vishnu in his different incarnations. One can see a massive 7m high statue of Vishnu in the incarnation of Narsimha, in which he has the head of a lion and the body of a human. Other intriguing statues are of Lord Vishnu in pig and fish incarnations. Whereas the pig incarnation statue is kept under the open sky, the fish incarnation sculpture is seen peering out of a small temple in the Hill Fort.
The Carved Temple:
Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai
The majestic Hill Fort is festooned with many temples in its complex and some have intricate carvings that truly deserved to be praised. A small temple in the fort expresses the dedication toward religion and workmanship. This highly decorated temple is something worth seeing in Bandhavgarh Fort.
So, now you know, that Bandhavgarh is not only the best place to see wildlife in India, it is also amongst the best places to go for a heritage walk in the country. It is amongst those few places in India that make one learn about the passion for building and the vigor for creativity. Next time, when you are in Bandhavgarh National Park, make sure you visit this truly majestic place. Happy Exploring!!!
In today’s time and age, afforestation and increasing plant life are the main ways to save our planet. That is why forests are of utmost importance to protect our environment. With the growing industrialization, major cities in India also face deforestation regularly, but there are still some states that boast of their total forest cover area. Madhya Pradesh is one of the few states in the country where you will find most of the forest cover area in India. Among all the national parks in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is quite important. Most people love to explore Bandhavgarh national park because it is quite small and extremely photogenic. The park is also home to the maximum number of Royal Bengal Tigers in Madhya Pradesh. Tourists visit this sanctuary every season because the chance of seeing a majestic tiger is pretty high over there. The park has an area of only 105 square kilometers. So, you can understand that seeing a tiger is quite high in the park due to its less space. Apart from tiger, this national park is home to other wild animals. You will get to know about the other animals in the later part of this blog.
As the park has been in existence for the past 2000 years, it is significant to the historical aspect of Madhya Pradesh as well. Bandhavgarh National Park allows its tourists to take part in a large number of adventure-filled activities. In case you are a wildlife lover and an adventure-enthusiasts, you will find this national park extremely exciting. This travel guide will help you get all the necessary information regarding Bandhavgarh National Park.
Different Zones in Bandhavgarh National Park
As you know, every national park in India is divided into different zones so that tourists can explore them without disturbing the wild animals living in the park. Similarly, Bandhavgarh national park is divided into three distinct zones: Magadhi, Tala, and Khitauli.
The Magadhi zone is one of the best zones to spot a tiger in Bandhavgarh national park, and it is situated at the fringe of the sanctuary. Some of the important points in this zone are Charger point, Rajbhera, Climber’s point, Sehra Dadra, Sookhi Talab, Dabhadol Tank, Mahaman Pond, Baherha, Dahua Tower and others.
Tala zone is the most important zone in the park, which is mostly visited by tourists to witness tigers. The main points in this zone are Ketkiha, Gopalpur Pond, Badi Gufa, Shesh-Shaiya, Bhitari Wah, Bamania Hill, Bandhavgarh Fort, Rampur Hillock, and others.
Khitauli zone is the youngest zone among the list of zones in Bandhavgarh national park. The area is best for watching different species of endangered birds. The important points which can be seen in this zone are Marjadgarh tower, Kumbhi Kochhar, Nilgai Nala, Umrar river, Tedka Munara, and others.
Apart from the three primary zones mentioned above, Bandhavgarh national park has three buffer zones as well. They are Johila, Dhamokhar, and Panpatha.
Modes of Transportation to Bandhavgarh
There are different ways through which you will be able to reach Bandhavgarh national park. We have mentioned them in the following section of this blog.
By Air: The nearest airport from Bandhavgarh national park is located at Jabalpur or Khajuraho. You will be able to reach there from major Indian cities quite easily. The distance between Bandhavgarh to Jabalpur is 160 km, and it would take you around three and a half hours to reach there. The distance between Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh is approximately 220 km, and it would take you around five hours to reach the park.
By Rail: The nearest railway station from Bandhavgarh national park is located in Umaria. The distance between the national park and Umaria is only 35 km. You will be able to reach the park from Umaria within half an hour quite easily. Otherwise, you can also take a train to Katni railway station, which is located 100 km from Bandhavgarh. In that case, you will be able to reach the park within two hours.
By Road: Bandhavgarh railway station is connected to the entire state of Madhya Pradesh via MP state transport authority pretty well. You will be able to reach there from major towns in MP, including Jabalpur, Satna, Kanha, and others without any problem. Many people travel to Bandhavgarh national park from different cities of Maharashtra quite easily by availing public buses or renting cars.
Safaris Available at Bandhavgarh National Park And Their Timings And Prices
As we have mentioned earlier, Bandhavgarh national park offers different categories of safaris to its guests. The important ones are jeep, canter, and elephant safari. In the following part of this blog, you will get to know their timings and costs.
Most people prefer to avail jeep safari as it allows them to explore the park quite easily and affordably. If you use this safari, you will get to experience the wilderness of the park in depth. The jeep safari will help you increase your chances of spotting a wild animal even more.
In case you are a photographer, you will find this kind of safari most accommodating. You will be able to click pictures while traveling and exploring the park pretty easily. Mostly Jeep safaris will take you to the Magadhi, Tala, and Khitauli zone.
Timings: The timings for the jeep safari are different in summer and winter. For the summer season (16th February to 30th June), the jeep safari starts from 5.30 am and ends at 10 am and begins at 4 pm and ends at 7 pm.
During winters (15th October to 15th February), the safari starts from 6.30 am, and ends at 11 am and starts at 2.30 pm and ends at 5.30 pm.
Costs: In case you are an Indian tourist, you will have to pay INR 5550 for the entire jeep, and if you are a foreign tourist, you will have to pay INR 7550 for the vehicle.
Canter Safari is the most affordable way to explore the forests of Bandhavgarh. In this trip, you will have to get on an open-roofed minibus with other travelers. You will get to explore the forests quite easily as there are no windows or roofs of the vehicle. The vehicle will take you to Khitalui, Tala, and Magadhi zones to see wild animals increase.
Timings: Like we mentioned earlier, for this safari too, the schedules are different for the summer and winter season. For the summer season, the safari is available between 5.30 am to 10 am and 4 pm and 7 pm. In the winter season, it is open between 6.30 am and 11 am and 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm.
Costs: For every person, you will have to pay INR 535 for a canter safari.
One of the most adventurous and rustic ways to explore Bandhavgarh national park is getting on an elephant. You will have more chances of seeing a tiger or other wild animal, but it is also an interesting and exciting experience in itself. You will remember this ride for your entire life.
Timings: You will get to avail of elephant safari between 5 am to 10 am and 2.30 pm to 5 pm.
Costs: An elephant safari in Bandhavgarh national park will cost you around INR 3000 for a person.
Species of Floras And Faunas Available in Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh national park is mostly known in India for the presence of large flora and fauna varieties. The entire forest is covered with different types of trees, including bamboo, Sal, Arjun, Salai, Palas, Gamar, Dhaman, Khair, Kusum, and others. The excellent climate of Bandhavgarh makes it possible for so many species of plants to flourish.
Apart from trees, Bandhavgarh national park is famous for the presence of different categories of animals. There are more than 22 species of animals living in Bandhavgarh. Some of them are Gaur, Royal Bengal Tigers, Barking deer, Sambhar, Wild boar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Bengal fox, Grey mongoose, Hyena, jungle cat, and others. You will also get to see many uncommon birds in the park as it is home to more than 250 species of birds. Some of the most exotic birds visible over there are white-bellied Drongos, Kingfishers, Grey Malabar Hornbills, Parakeets, Green Pigeons, coppersmith barbet, orange-headed thrush and others.
Best Places To Stay In Bandhavgarh National Park
Amid the wilderness of Bandhavgarh, some of the most luxurious hotels are located where you can spend a few days. Some of the top resorts situated in Bandhavgarh are given in the following section of the blog.
TreeHouse Hideaway is one of the most interesting places to stay in Bandhavgarh. This establishment allows its guests to choose among tree houses named Banyan, Palash, Tendu, Mahua, and Peepal. You will be quite shocked to see the treehouses. All of them are excessively luxurious.
Moreover, the in-house restaurant of the resort named ‘The Watering Hole’ is quite famous among tourists because of the barbeque, continental and Indian cuisines served by the chefs over there. You will get to participate in interesting activities like cycling, jeep safaris, village visits, and others while staying at Tree House Hideaway.
Samode Safari Lodge is one of India’s most expensive resorts, and it is located in the Mardhari village near the Bandhavgarh national park. The property consists of 12 different villas which are extremely luxurious and filled with every possible luxurious amenity.
By staying at Samode Safari Lodge, you will be able to avail of the resort’s swimming pool, gym, in-house restaurant, bar, and spa. The makes sure its guests get to spend the best days of their lives in the lap of luxury and comfort.
Aryanak resort is one of the best places to stay in Bandhavgarh because it is comfortable and luxurious. You will get to experience the national park’s genuine ambiance by staying at this resort pretty vividly. All the cottages of the resort are pretty well-maintained and luxurious. You will be pretty impressed with the services provided by the staff of the resort.
The resort has a swimming pool, yoga room, amphitheater, in-house restaurant, and others. The best thing about the resort is that it is located quite close to the national park.
Address: Deori Dol, Bijariya Road, Village Kuchwahi, Bandhavgarh National Park, Tala, Madhya Pradesh 484664.
Syna Tiger Resort is another beautiful resort located in the Tala zone of Bandhavgarh national park. As there are eight different theme-based cottages located over there, you will get a lot of options. The resort is pretty luxurious, and it is filled with exciting features like in-house restaurant, swimming pool, café, library, and others.
If you stay over there, you will get to take part in different activities, including nature walks, barbeque, birdwatching trip, gala dinner, elephant safaris, and others.
There are many important places located close to the Bandhavgarh national park. Some of the most important ones are provided below:
To understand the history of the Bandhavgarh national park, you must visit the Baghel museum. You will get to see the tigers hunted by Maharaja of Rewa in the museum. Apart from the tigers, you will witness the instruments used to kill the animals.
Location: Near Tala Village, Bandhavgarh National Park, India.
While exploring Bandhavgarh national park, you will be able to witness the beautiful Mahaman pond. This spot is important for your trip to the national park because many animals gather near the lake to drink water. You might be lucky enough to witness tigers or leopards while visiting this pond.
Location: Inside Bandhavgarh national park.
The Bandhavgarh fort is one of the most important places to see in Bandhavgarh. It is located inside the premises of the national park and has an altitude of around 810 meters. The fort was constructed in the 10th century and is extremely beautiful. You will get to see sculptures, carvings, and statues inside the fort.
Location: Bandhavgarh National Park, Bandhavgarh Qila Trail, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh 484664.
Bandhavgarh national park is a majestic place to visit in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from being a national park, it is also the pride of India. That is why remember to follow this travel guide while planning your trip. You will gain a lot of knowledge by reading this thoroughly.