Bandhavgarh national park is known world wide for its good tiger sighting, during jungle safaris. It is located at eastern region of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. Whenever we talk about Indian wildlife, tiger is the first animal that comes into our mind. Wildlife lovers from various corners of the world, comes to India to have a glimpse of tiger at its natural habitat. Capturing tiger in their camera is their prime aim for visiting India. Due to healthy tiger population and high density, tiger safaris are very successful in Bandhavgarh. Its high tiger sighting probability that makes tourists to place Bandhavgarh in their tour plan. Here we are offering various safari tour packages which includes Bandhavgarh. In given section, we have shared important travel information required for planning a perfect wildlife trip of Central India. Please read the information carefully and take note of important details.
The forest of Bandhavgarh national park is a historical place indeed. During Tala zone jungle safari, we can find many marks of past human establishments. On visit to Bandhavgarh fort or Sheshshaiya point, we can see lot of prominent examples of human establishment in the form of gateways, caves, rock-cut statues, old scripts etc. Bandhavgarh history can be divided into two parts. One is pre Baghela kingdom and second one is post Baghela period. Majority of present history revolves around Baghela dynasty rule which ruled in this region from 16th century till freedom of India. Still they have their political influence in this region. Pre Baghela period is long, considered from 2nd century to 15th century when this region was under rule of various influential dynasties like Magh, Nag, Guptas, Sengars, Kalchuries etc. While doing jungle safari in Tala zone, we will have chance to see the historical evidences in the form of rock-cut caves. Some of these caves are natural and many are man-made. In addition to this, statues, Hindu god rock-cut statues, ruined temples, rock-cut shelter houses, man-made rock-cut waterholes, ancient scripts are all evidence of its glorious past. After Kalchuri rule, Bandhavgarh fort came in the control of Baghela rulers, with the beginning of 16th century. From here Baghela period begins and it continued till freedom of India till 1947. During Baghela rule, famous historical personalities like saint Kabir, Birbal etc. registered their presence in this region and thus it get noted in history of Bandhavgarh.
Every national park has something special in it that distinguishes itself from other surrounding national parks. If somebody ask me to the question as what is so special about Bandhavgarh forest then our answer will be as follows. First of all Bandhavgarh is popular for its high tiger density. High tiger density is different from tiger population of any national park. It simply means, in a given area, we can find more number of tigers in compare to other national park. Survival of more tigers in limited area indicates towards healthy survival conditions of that forest.
Here main jungle safaris are operated in between sunrise & sunset. As per change in season, timing of sunrise and sunrise changes thus accordingly Bandhavgarh national park management changes the timing of morning safari entry and evening safari exit.
|Period||Morning Safari||Afternoon Safari|
|01 Oct - 31 Dec||06:00 - 11:30 Hrs||15:00 - 17:30 Hrs|
|01 Dec - 28 Jan||06:30 - 11:30 Hrs||15:00 - 17:30 Hrs|
|01 Feb - 31 Mar||06:30 - 11:30 Hrs||15:30 - 18:00 Hrs|
|01 Apr - 30 June||06:00 - 11:00 Hrs||15:45 - 19:00 Hrs|
Jungle safaris in Bandhavgarh national park is mainly done on safari vehicles. Walking safari inside core safari zones is not allowed. Here safari vehicles used for jungle safaris are mainly of two types i.e. open jeeps and open bus called canter. Seating capacity of open jeep is of 06 tourists, 01 driver & 01 safari guide to be allocated by forest department on mandatory basis. All the tourists are required to carry their original ID document (Passport, PAN card, Adhar card, Driving License, Voter ID card, Government approved ID card, OCI card of NRI's). For foreigner tourists, only active passport will be treated as their ID document. These ID's, of each tourist is verified at the time of safari entry. During one jungle safari, we can visit only the safari zone allocated to us, during booking of safari permit. It means, by any reason, safari vehicle can't take any route, which goes to any other safari zone. Here safari guide has the authority to take which route to explore which part of safari zone. Area of each safari zone is very large thus, one jungle safari is not enough to cover up whole safari zone. Due to high demand, here jungle safari tickets are need to be booked far in advance (60-120 days) so that we can explore best part of jungles in desired safari zone. In between jeeps and canter, jeep is more popular in between tourists due to its small size, better accessibility to narrow safari trails, swift movement and advance booking provision. Canter is a open bus thus comparatively large in size. Canter is on sharing basis and its seats are offered offline to walk-in tourists. It can't be booked in advance thus same day we can take its ticket which creates scope of uncertainty. Safari route of canter is also fixed due to its size. But canter safari is good for those tourists, who reached national park, without prior booking and have low budget. Here night safaris means late-evening safari, offered after completion of afternoon safari. It is offered only in buffer zone.
Bandhavgarh tiger reserve offers shelter to more than 30 mammal species. Some of the prominent mammal species that can be seen during jungle safari drives are Spotted Deer, Sambar, Indian Gaur, Tiger, Leopard, Common Langur, Wild Boar, Jackal, Four-horned Antelope, Procupine etc. In late evening hours, sighting of Striped Hyena, Sloth Bear, Honey Badger is also possible. While driving through roads, passing through national park like route connecting Umaria town to Tala village, passes through forest area thus late night or early morning sighting & jungle calls can be experienced. Similarly Bandhavgarh is home of many birds and reptiles species. In below given table, we have shared some prominently seen trees, mammals, birds and reptiles.
Forest of Bandhavgarh tiger reserve gives shelter to more than 260 species of birds. This much count is impressive thus birding in Bandhavgarh is considered good. Normally in search of tigers, we overlook this topic and allocate very less time of safari in birding. If our interest is in birding and want to enjoy it than we need to be more patient and focussed towards bird-watching safaris. Period of October to February is considered good for birding. Safari zones like Khitauli, Tala, Panpatha are good for birding. Here some of the commonly seen birds are Brown Shrike, Long-tailed Shrike, Black-naped Monarch, Little Green Bee-eater, Black rumped flameback, Common myna, Oriental Turtle, Red-vented Bulbul, Tree-pipit, King Vulture, Crested Serpant Eagle, Crested Tree Swift, Barn Swallow, Racket-tailed Drongo, Indian Bushlark, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Mottled Wood Owl, Barred Jungle Owlet, Indian Roller etc. Birds like Hoopoe, Black Ibis, Grey Hornbill, Jungle Babbler, Cattle Egret, Bellied Drongo, Black Drongo, Sarus Crane, White-throated Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Tree Pipit can easily be seen on those resort compus areas which are spread over large area and have some tree cluster in their campus. Morning jungle safari is best time to enjoy the birding in Bandhavgarh.
Here you can read the basic information on how to reach Bandhavgarh national park by various means of transports i.e. by bus or cab, by train and by flight. Bandhavgarh national park forest is spread on the Vindhya hills of Central India. It lies in Madhya Pradesh state of India in South Asia.
By Flight: Its nearest airport is Jabalpur Airport (JLR), about 180kms/03:30hrs. It lies in south-west of national park. It is having good flight connectivity from Delhi and Mumbai.
By Train: Its nearest railway stations are Umaria station (37kms), Katni station (100kms) and Jabalpur railway station (190kms). These railway stations have good train connectivity from all important cities and tourist destinations like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Agra, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kolkata, Gaya etc. Further journey from station to national park is possible by locally available tourist cabs.
By Road: Surface transport connectivity of Bandhavgarh is good. Its nearby cities are Umaria town, Katni, Jabalpur, Satna, Rewa, Shahdol. Direct bus service is available from Umaria only. Due to poor bus connectivity, we don't recommend anybody to consider bus journey for visiting Bandhavgarh. Better to reach Umaria by train and use bus or cab, as per your convenience. If you are coming by bus, then visit in day time only as night bus service is unavailable and many popular resorts are away from main road thus must consult your hotel or agent, before such journey.
Best time to visit Bandhavgarh national park varies as per motive of trip. If you are leisure traveller then consider November to March as the best time to visit Bandhavgarh. If you are more interested in wildlife photography, then consider period of Feb to May as good time for photography. Whenever you plan, just make sure to book your safari permits in advance periof of 60 to 120 days.
Success of tour plan for Bandhavgarh will depend upon our planning for the tour. Their are many different factors, that plays important role in ensuring success of safari holiday trip or in other words, these are the factors that will avoid our future inconveniences or regret to do better for own safari trip. Let's check out those important factors:
Duration: Once it is decided to visit Bandhavgarh national park for safari trip then we have to decide duration of our stay in this national park. As per our interest and our budget, we can decide the stay duration. Travel time from our home land to Bandhavgarh may also effect this decision. In order to get basic feel of stay in jungle, we recommend to stay for at least 02 nights. If budget allows, have interest in wildlife photography then stay for at least 04 nights.
Travel Dates or Timing: It is important factor in planning for Bandhavgarh trip. National park core zones are open for jungle safaris, from October to June month. During this period, we can experience mainly season like autumn (Oct-Nov), Winters (Dec-Feb mid), Spring (Feb mid - Mar), Summers (Apr-June). In leisure visit, climatic condition could be a deciding factor. If you are cause for visit is wildlife photography then choose the period from Feb to May month. During this time, visibility and probability of tiger sighting remains high. Whatever month you plan, just plan 3-4 months in advance to get safari permits of desired or popular safari zones. During late bookings, it is very much possible that popular safari zone permits get sold out and this may become a reason of average or disappointing trip experience.
Budget: Due to high cost of jungle safaris, costing of safari tours are always higher than heritage or cultural or leisure tours. Our budget allocated for jungle safari tour will influence the decision of tour duration and number of safari rounds. If budget is low then go for short duration trip. If budget is low and still want to do more safaris for photography, then stay in budget hotel and may spend more on jungle safaris. You may choose the option of sharing safari options like single-seat permit, canter safari option or come with 2-4 sharing partners.
Number of Safaris: For casual visit with low budget, we recommend at least 02 rounds of jungle safaris. If budget is not an issue and on family holiday, then take at least 03 safari drives. If you are wildlife photographers, then we recommend to take 4 to 8 safari drives in different safari zones. Include some buffer zone also in such case as each safari zone has its own speciality. Here safari booking should be on first priority, before hotel booking process. If safari permits are secured, then only proceed further for other bookings.
Stay Themes: Best thing of Bandhavgarh is that here we can find resorts and safari lodges with different themes and tastes. Their is high competition in between hotels in terms of service and hospitality thus majority of resorts are providing good hospitality. Here we no resort is with any river bank as no river is passing through region in which resorts are located. Water bodies are still available in some resorts. Some resorts are in eco-friendly theme, some are in boutique theme, some are luxury with local village theme, one resort is basic but location extremely good as surrounded by core zone forest from 3 sides and we can easily hear jungle calls in late evening & early morning hours. Some resorts are on main road where as some are in seclusion.
Bandhavgarh national park is blessed with variety of resors and safari lodges in all budget categories. Here major cluster of hotels is within and surrounding to Tala village. Being an old village of Bandhavgarh, resorts can be found in 7 kms radius of Tala village. In addition to this, now some new safari lodges are coming close to Magadhi and Khitauli entry gates.
Bandhavgarh has many tourist destinations at radius of 300 kms. These destinations are of different categories like heritage tourism, nature tourism, wildlife tourism, spiritual, cultural tourism. For wildlife lovers, they have option of Sanjay Dubri national park, Panna national park, Kanha national park as best safari destinations. If your interest is in spiritual or cultural destination then we have option of Amarkantak hill station. It is a holy destination at hilly region with many ancient temples, river origin points and scenic natural beauty. For heritage tourism lovers, they have option to visit UNESCO world heritage site Khajuraho temples. If you are looking for excursion option, then Sanjay Dubri national park is best place to explore, at 100kms/01:30hr distance. Here do bare foot walk, birding and jungle safaris.