The Bandipur National Park lies at the heart of an extended forest at the meeting point of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills. Located in the State of Karnataka, Bandipur became one of India’s first Tiger Reserves and in 1974 under the Wildlife Protection Act, was designated as a National Park. Its proximity to Bangalore makes it relatively accessible and therefore a popular destination for both domestic and International tourists.
Apart from wildlife, the park also houses hundreds of unique types of flora and fauna. It is covered with a mix of deciduous and evergreen forests, and is famous for its Sandalwood trees.
Several natural rivers flowing through the park add to its beauty. It is also possible to visit year round, unlike many other parks in India. The Summer months from March to May offer the best chances of seeing large animals as they do not stray far from the watering holes, and during monsoons, between June and October, Bandipur blooms with greenery all around.
The Park houses around 70 tigers and over 3000 Asian elephants, along with dholes (wild dogs), leopards, sloth bears, and gaurs. The park also has over 200 species of birds.
Safaris are conducted by the Forest Department in all-wheel drive vehicles, and elephant rides are also available.
How to reach
Open year round, Nagarhole & Bandipur National Parks are easily incorporated into most itineraries that include South India. They are located adjacent to each other, in close proximity to many of the other most important sites in the region, such as Belur & Halebid, Mysore, Ooty, and the Coorg district.
Mysore is the closest airport with non-stop air service to/from Bangalore 5 days a week.
What to wear
The temperature in Bandipur hovers between 82°F in summer and 50°F in winter. If you’re travelling in summer, take tees and shorts, except for the evenings when mosquitoes are more abundant. In the winter, come in with woolens and mufflers and light shawls. Always wear clothes in earthy colours of khaki or brown, and not bright colours as they distract animals. Except for the monsoons, this is a dry region, and dusty. Come prepared. Carry water and tissues with you (which you need to take back, used or not). Wear sneakers and caps and sunscreen lotion.