Bandhavgarh National Park located in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh is one of the popular parks of India. The Park has mythological significance. It derives its name from a hillock which is said to have been gifted by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch over Lanka. Hence the name Bandhavgarh(meaning brother’s fort). Constituted in 1968, it is spread over forest divisions of Umaria and Katni, the park enjoys profuseness of flora and fauna. It has perhaps the highest density of tiger population in India.
The park has been divided into three major zones named as Tala, Magdi and Bamera out of which the Tala zone attracts maximum number of tourists for sighting the tiger. Elephant shows are also organized in Magdi zone of the Bandhavgarh national park.
The park consists of mixed vegetation ranging from tall grasslands to thick sal forests and bamboo stretches. The varied topography and moderate climate supports a variety of flora and fauna. Bandhavgarh is popularly known as ‘white tiger country’. Other major animals include Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Gaur, Chausingha and Chinkara, the Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, ratel, grey mongoose, striped hyena and jungle cat. Besides, the lush vegetation bordering marshes and streams is a home to a rich avian species like Black Ibis, Brown Shrike, Long Tailed Shrike, Bay Backed Shrike, Common Iora, Lesser White Throat, Wooly Necked Stork, Crested Serpent Eagle and the like.
When to go
Best time to visit the park is from February to June. Having the largest density of tigers, its sightings are bound to trigger a sense of awe in you.
The Park has great historical significance. Prior to being declared as a national park, the forests around Bandhavgarh has been maintained as a Shikargarh or game preserve of Maharaja of Rewa and his guests. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951.