Nature has always allured the human beings with its resources. But we, the human beings for some selfish interests of ours have always violated the norms of nature and as such have been suffering since ages. Wild animals are indeed some rich resources that can be the pride of any state or nation. Unfortunately these animals have been subject to various acts of poaching and killing. In order to incur the harm done to them, human beings have been taking various initiatives. Establishment of wildlife sanctuaries and park is one of the successful steps. Besides protecting the wild animals, these sanctuaries do also maintain the ecological balance. Bandipur wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, South India bears witness to this fact.
The sanctuary in the Western Ghats is regarded as one of the better-managed wildlife sanctuaries in the whole country. UNESCO World Heritage Committee is considering the Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster along with this park as a World Heritage Site.
This sanctuary along with Madumalai wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole national park in Karnataka form the biggest biosphere reserve in India. The picturesque settings and enriched biodiversity make the sanctuary a complete entertainment package for the visitors.
In the year 1931 this sanctuary with an area of 90 sq km. was first created in the Bandipur Forest Reserve. Afterwards it was felt that the area of the sanctuary is too small for proper wildlife conservation; so it was extended to 800 sq km. The area was renamed as Venugopalal Wildlife Park. Later in 1973, the famous Bandipur Tiger Reserve was created under Project Tiger in 1973 by carving out 880 sq km. from the park.
The sanctuary was declared as a wildlife park in 1974. It is a matter of pride for the park authority and the State Govt. as well that there has been a constant increase in the Tiger population since the time of its inception.
Located at the foothills of the Kabini River, the park forms a part of the Western Ghats. Many rivers like Kabini, Moyar and Nagur flow through the sanctuary. It is located on the Mysore-Ooty Highway in Karnataka.
It is situated between 75° 12' 17" E to 76° 51' 32" E and 11° 35' 34" N to 11° 57' 02" N. The park stands at an altitude of 680m - 1454m.
Flora and Fauna:
Bandipur wildlife sanctuary is a pride of Karnataka. It houses a host of flora and fauna. Sandalwood, Teak, Indian Kino Tree, Rosewood, Bamboo, Indian Laurel, Kadam Tree, Crape-Myrtle, Black Myrobalan, Flame of the Forest, Indo Berry, Black Clutch, Indian Gooseberry, Axlewood, etc. are the prominent floral species. You will notice stunted trees interspersed with bushes and open grassy patches. Dry deciduous forests and tropical mixed deciduous forests also grow here that support a number of wild animals.
Indian Palm Squirrel, Bonner Macaque, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Asian elephant, Golden Jackal, Bengal Fox, Ruddy Mongoose, Indian Elephant, Indian Pangolin, Indian Grey Mongoose, Tiger, Chital, Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Langur, etc. are the mammals. Reptiles like Vine Snake, Common Krait, Wolf Snake and Russell's Vipe live here.
Bird species include Cormorants, Crested Hawk Eagles, Blue-bearded Bee-Eaters, Gray Partridges, Gray Headed Firhings, Ducks, Malabar Pied Hornbills, King Vultures, Malabar Trogon, Ospreys, Hill Mynas, Park Malabar Trogon, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pittas, Red Spur Fowl etc.
You will also find many Butterflies, Ants and Dung Beetles.
Where to stay?
There are good accommodation facilities offered by the Forest Department. Greenwood Nature Camp and Jungle Home Bandipur Accomodation provide you affordable packages. The first one is an eco friendly wildlife nature camp that provides packages inclusive of accommodation, food, trekking, jeep safari, camp fire, etc.
When to visit?
The sanctuary experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 10° C in Winter to 28° C in Summer. Although the sanctuary remains open all throughout the year, yet the best time to visit is from June to September.
Bangalore is the nearest airport that is only 220 km away from Bandipur.
Mysore is the nearest railhead that is only 80 km away.
Well maintained network of roads connect Bandipur with Bangalore (220 km), Mysore (80 km) and Ooty (80 km).
Thus with so much of variety and diversity, a trip to Bandipur National Park will surely prove pleasurable.