Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is located in the Umaria and
Shahdol districts of north-eastern Madhya Pradesh state, and is a part of the
Central Indian Highlands falling between the Vindhya and the Satpura hill
ranges. The area under the National Park is rugged and is marked by sharp
crested hills, Sal forests and grassy pastures. The altitude varies between 440m
to 811m above msl and the impressive Bandhavgarh Hill is the highest place in
the Reserve. The hills are mainly composed of sandstone and the soil is sandy.
Vegetation is varied, and includes a blend of grasslands and forests that
support large herbivore populations and an impressive diversity of birds. The
reserve is also justly famous for its tigers.
The total area of the Tiger Reserve covers 1161.47 square kilometers, and
includes the 446 sq. kms of the Bandhavgarh National Park and 245 sq. kms of
Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary. The core area of the reserve is 624.75 sq. kms.
Bandhavgarh Hill - a
The ecoregion represents the dry deciduous forests along the Narmada River
Valley and the flanking Vindhya Mountain Range and the western part of the
Satpura Mountain Range in central India. As per bio-geographic classification,
the area is part of the Deccan Peninsula, Central Highlands (Rodgers, Panwar &
Bandhavgarh is a
rich blend of grasslands and forests
According to Champion and Seth (1968), forest types include Moist Peninsular
Low-level Sal Forest, West Gangetic Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest, Northern Dry
Mixed Deciduous Forest and Dry Deciduous Scrub Forest.
Sal (Shorea robusta) dominates in the valleys and on the lower slopes,
gradually changing to mixed deciduous forest on the hills and in the hotter
drier areas of the park. Other major tree species found here include
Diospyros melanoxylon, Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia arjuna, Terminalia
coriacea, Terminalia chebula, Aegle marmelos, Anogeissus latifolia,
Lagerstroemia parviflora, Syzygium cumini, Syzygium heyneanum, Boswellia serrata,
Buchanania lanzan, Ficus bengalensis, Ficus religiosa, Zizyphus xylopyrus, Salix
tetrasperma, Homonoia riparia, Bauhinia roxburghiana, Vitex negundo and
Emblica officinalis. The most commonly found species of bamboo is
Bandhavgarh supports a variety of bird species that
in central India. Over 300 species have been listed here. The Park is an
important area for the conservation of the severely endangered vulture species
including the Indian, White-rumped, Red-headed and Egyptian vultures – many of
which breed here.
Birdwatching in Bandhavgarh is a pleasure with significant bird density. You
will come across many good birds like White-naped Woodpecker (image left) ,
Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Spurfowl, a variety of raptors, Lesser Adjutant,
Mottled Wood Owl and other sought after birds relatively easily from the comfort
of your open-top jeep. Being a 'Tiger Park', the birds are often overlooked. But
the birders will have a rewarding time here if they look for them.
39 mammal species are known to occur here
and there are 96 types of butterflies in these forests.
Most people visit Bandhavgarh to catch a
glimpse of the apex predator
(image right) and Gond are the two main tribal communities found in the area.
Bharias are agriculturists and cultivate maize, millet, paddy, wheat etc. They
use the 'Dahiya' method of cultivation where they dig the soil by their
own hands using a metal instrument instead of ploughing it.
Places to visit
Bandhavgarh is close to many major tourist attractions. It is 230 kms away from
the Kanha Tiger Reserve and Khajuraho. The famous marble rocks of Jabalpur is
just a 150 km drive away and Amarkantak 210 kms from the Park.
Where to stay
Samode Safari Lodge (pic
above) – High end but top
class! Beautifully designed and managed with some of the best Naturalists
in the business. Highly recommended.
White Tiger Lodge,
The Manager, Central Reservation Tours Division MP
State Tourism Development Corporation Gangotri T.T. Nagar,
Forest Rest House,
Field Director Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Umaria phone: 07653
Taxis to Tala are available at Satna, Jabalpur, Katni, Umaria, Bilaspur and
Railway station: Umaria
- 30kms; Katni - 80kms.
Airport: Khajuraho - five and a half hour
drive, 237 km; Jabalpur Airport - 164kms.
Important Facts and figures
Area: 1161.47 sq. km. (Bandhavgarh National
Park - 446 sq km)
410 - 811 m asl
Location: Between 23° 30' to 23°46' N and 80
° 11' to36' E
Average annual rainfall:
Temperatures: High 46C; Low -1.4C.
Winter November - February.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Umaria, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh
There are 4 tourist zones in Bandhavgarh National Park
– Tala, Khitauli, Magadhi & Panpatta.
October to May. Closed July to September.
Forest Deptt. Madhya Pradesh
Project Tiger Reserves in India - Reserve Guide
Corbett Foundation page
Sanctuary Asia pages
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregion IMO0207
Samode Safari Lodge
White Tiger Forest Lodge (PDF)
A Birdwatcher' Guide to India by Krys Kazmierczak and Raj
All images on this page copyright
©Sumit K Sen