States of India
Bandhavgarh National Park
Set amongst the Vindhyas, in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is a small national park, but with the highest known density of tiger population in India. This is also known as White Tiger territory. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The other species found in abundance in Bandhavgarh are the gaur or Indian bison, the sambar, the barking deer and the nilgai.
The terrain is made of rocky hills, sal forests and grazing areas, formerly agricultural land. The finest of these hills is the Bandhavgarh hill, and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort. Though no records remain to show when the fort was constructed, it is believed to be about 2000years old. Several dynasties have ruled the fort: for example, the Maghas from the 1st century A.D, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century; the Sengars from the 5th century,and the Kalachuris from the 10th century.The oldest signs of habitation, are the caves dug into the sandstone, near the fort. Several of these contain Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century B.C. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forest range around the regionhad been maintained as a Shikargarh, or game preserve, of the Maharajahsof Rewa. It was only in 1968, that the area was declared as a National Park. Since then, stringent steps have been taken to retain it as an unspoilt natural habitat.
There are more than 22 species of mammals, and 250 species of birds. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the rhesus macaque, the black-faced langur, jungle cats, chinkara, and the chital. The Park attracts many migratory-birds in the winter months, that include the steppe eagle and a variety of wildfowl. Reptilian fauna include cobra, krait, python, turtle and a variety of lizards. The Bandhavgarh National Park has excellent game and bird viewing to offer, coupled with a fascinating historical element to it, thus satiating those adventurous at heart, completely.
The park can be explored on elephant back (also, a much preferred means of tiger-tracking) or in a vehicle. Jeep safaris are best undertaken, from dawn till about 10a.m, and from 4 p.m till dusk, as the animals are quite active during these periods.
When To Visit :
The ideal time to visit Bandhavgarh is the November to June period. The Park is closed from 1st July to 31st October, due to the monsoon, and as the breeding season also comes around at this time.