The Abode of the King of Jungle
|State||: Madhya Pradesh|
|Type of Tourism||: Wild Life|
|Area||: 446 sq km|
|Altitude||: 811 meters|
|Languages spoken||: Hindi, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (07627 / 07653), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 484661|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to April|
|Clothing recommended||: Cotton in summer, woolen in winter, dark colored (black, green and beige) clothes while visiting the National Park.|
|Must Carry||: Water Bottles, Caps, Sun Screen Lotion, Binoculars, Cameras, etc.|
|Must Do||: Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari|
|Pin Code||: 484661|
|What to buy||: ‘Save the Tiger’ t shirts, caps, mugs, key chains, ashtrays, framed photos of the Bengal Tiger, other tiger souvenirs, posters, wildlife books, maps, etc.|
|Local Transportation||: Jeep & Elephant Safari|
About Bandhavgarh National Park
One of the most aggrandized wildlife conservation areas of the country and predominantly acclaimed for its highest tiger population in the whole of India, Bandhavgarh located in the Umaria District of the state of Madhya Pradesh is a National Park and a Tiger Reserve where aside from the royal Bengal Tigers, numerous rare and endangered wildlife species are provided a safeguarded abode in their natural habitat. Shrouded in luxuriant Sal, Salai, Saja and Dhobin Woods, intermittently dotted with dense bamboo thickets, blanketed with the long stretches of linear grasslands and crowned by the mixed deciduous forests at its highlands, the undulating landscape of the Bandhavgarh National Park nestled amidst the Vindhya & Satpura Ranges is nourished by Son, Johilla and Umrar rivers. Conspicuously rich in its biodiversity, the Bandhavgarh National Park shelters over 37 species of mammals, around 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies and an assorted variety of reptiles within its fortified premises. The estimated tiger density of Bandhavgarh is 1 tiger for every 4.77 sq km with the total tiger population being 44 – 49 (approx.). Renowned for its varied wildlife resources and its eco-tourism disposition, the Bandhavgarh National Park is divided into 4 primary zones that is to say Tala, Khitauli, Panpatta and Magdhi. According to the prevalent folklore the sanctuary receives its name from the epithet of the ‘Bandhavgarh Fort’ which is believed to have been built under the benefaction of Lord Rama and later gifted by him to his younger brother Lakshmana. The stronghold came to be known as ‘Bandhavgarh’ meaning ‘the brother’s fort’ and Lakshmana got coroneted as the ‘Lord of Bandhavgarh’, also called ‘Bandhavadhish’.
History Of Bandhavgarh
The oldest amongst the 39 prehistoric caves of Bandhavgarh discovered within the Bandhavgarh Fort as well as the adjoining hillocks is estimated to be dating back to 1st century AD. Thus, the earliest available accounts of the human existence in and around Bandhavgarh vouch that this province has been inhabited for past 2 millenniums. The mythological background of Bandhavgarh (the fort of the brothers) proposes that the Fort of Bandhavgarh was established by the monkey architects in the army of Lord Rama. The fort was gifted by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana later.
The ancient Indian scriptures such as ‘Shiva Purana’ and ‘Narad-Panch Ratra’ cite the subsistence of Bandhavgarh since the antediluvian epochs. Over the centuries, Bandhavgarh was ruled by various royal dynasties such as Mauryans (from 3rd century BC), Vakatakas (from 3rd century AD to 5th century AD), Sengars (from 5th century AD), Kalachuris (from 10th century AD), Baghels (from 13th century AD) and so on. The descendants of the Vaghela Kings of Gujarat ruled Bandhavgarh till late 16th century AD when in the year 1597 during the absentia of H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya the state as well as the Bandhavgarh Fort was subjected by the Mughals.
On his return from Delhi, H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya was compelled to establish a new capital for his state at Rewa. Before being declared a National Park, Bandhavgarh and the surrounding region was developed and maintained as a game preserve (Shikargah) where the Maharajas of Rewa and their guests used to indulge in the sport of hunting. Though after the Independence of India the state of Rewa was annexed to the state of Madhya Pradesh, the Maharaja of Rewa retained his hunting rights till 1968. The first white tiger of Bandhavgarh was captured by Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa in 1951 AD which is now stuffed and exhibited in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
The Bandhavgarh Conservation Area was affirmed as a national park in 1968 AD while the ‘Project Tiger’ was introduced in the year 1972. Later on, in 1982 AD Khitauli, Kallawah and Magdhi ranges were merged with the Tala Range (the initial Bandhavgarh National Park) thus making the total area of the Bandhavgarh National Park; 448 sq km. Bandhavgarh was taken over by the Project Tiger in the year 1993 and the Bandhavgarh National Park along with the Panpatha Sanctuary was officially recognized as the ‘Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve’.