In earlier times, the forests around Bandhavgarh were maintained as a Shikargah (game preserve) of the Maharaja of Rewa Bandhavgarh, and were famous for tiger sighting.
Now, the designated Tiger Reserve covers an area of 1537 square kilometers with a core area of 717 square kilometers that is dominated by extremely rugged terrain. Many hills and hillocks dot the area amidst valleys, meadows and marshes. The Charanganga is the prominent river that flows through the park, with a number of old tanks and water holes that provide reliable water sources for the current fauna. With tropical dry and moist deciduous forests interspersed with grasslands, the vegetation is chiefly of sal forest in the valleys and on the lower slopes, with bamboo found in abundance throughout most of the park.
At the centre of the park is Bandhavgarh Hill, where you can also visit the remains of the 200 years old Bandhavgarh Fort which sits atop the rocky outcrop, and is surrounded by a large number of smaller hills separated by gently sloping valleys. Concentrated around it, as well as in other parts of the park, are numerous cave shrines with ancient Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to the 1st century BC.
Bandhavgarh has a good relative abundance of tigers and other wildlife species. Among mammals chital, sambhar, barking deer, wild dog, leopard, wolf, jackal, sloth bear, wild pig, langur, monkey are seen occasionally. Reptiles include cobra, krait, viper, python, chameleon etc. The reserve is also rich in birds. Some 250 species of birds are found in the park. The common ones are egret, jungle crow, peafowl, grey hornbill, red wattled lapwing, crested serpent eagle, quails, owls, parakeets, common teal etc. The Tala range rich in water and food resources harbours most of the wildlife.
How to reach
By road from neighboring parks, or the closest airports at Khajuraho (237 kilometers) and at Jabalpur (195 kilometers) which provide direct air service to/from Delhi or Mumbai.
Open: Oct 1 - Jun 30. The best time to visit Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is from October to December and April to May.