The exotic Bandipur National Park which is located in the Chamarajanagar district in the state of Karnataka offers one of the most exciting destinations to indulge in the rush of adventure. The lone traveller finds it easy to connect with the natural beauty and aura of the National Park.
The Bandipur forest area is also home to many wild animals like the panther, bison, many species of deer, wild elephants, wild boar, jackal, etc but the main attraction of this reserve are the tigers whose population has gone up to 70 in number in the recent years.
Bandipur, being situated under the Nilgiri Biosphere, is surrounded by a number of rivers such as Kabini, Nugu and Moyar which serve the area. The park spans an area of 874 square kilometres (337 sq mi), protecting several species of India’s endangered wildlife. There are various resorts which cater to the needs of different categories of individuals. Some of them are best suited for a family holiday while some of them cater to the needs of the corporate in search of options for team outings and employee engagement programs.
Best time to visit Bandipur
Summer (March – June): Summers in this part of the country usually remain normal and pleasant, hence the temperature fluctuations vary in range from 32 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Monsoon (July – September): Humidity remains high throughout this time. The temperatures range between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius.
Winter (October – March): Winters in Bandipur remains misty and full of dew but the temperature remains 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.
How to reach Bandipur?
By Bus: It is easy to undertake Bandipur trip by bus as all the roads are well connected. Many state-owned buses operate from all the major cities located in and around Bandipur.
For a Bandipur visit by bus, one can also take up other private buses and the route which is generally followed is the highway SH 17 to Bandipur via Mysore, Maddur, Nanjangud, Begur and Gundlupet.
By Train: The closest major railway station is Mysore which is just 80 kilometres away from Bandipur. Another railway station which is situated close to Bandipur is the Nanjungud railway station which is just 5 km away.
There are a number of bus and taxi service operators available from the railway stations to the sanctuary as there are no direct trains to Bandipur.
By Flight: There are no direct flights to Bandipur and tourists coming to Bandipur via flight will have to alight at the nearest airport which is the, Mysore airport and after landing in Mysore, one must take either bus or taxi services to the sanctuary.
By Car/Cab: One can also drive to Bandipur by car or hire a cab either from Bangalore or Mysore. If one is heading to Bandipur car rental from Mysore, it is advisable to take the NH-212 towards Gundulpet, the town bordering Bandipur National Park. Just before getting to Gundulpet, turn off onto the NH-66 towards Bandipur. Another route that can be taken for Bandipur Travel is via Kanakapura, Shivanasamudram, Kollegal, Chamarajnagar and Gundlupet.
An important point to be noted for tourists travelling by road to Bandipur is that the Bandipur Forest Road is closed from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
Things to do in Bandipur National Park-
A great picnic spot and an amazing camping site, there are many exciting things to do in Bandipur. Nature and adventure lovers can keep themselves occupied with various interesting things like:
- bird watching
Some of the places for sightseeing in Bandipur are the Himvad Gopalswamy temple, Billigiri Rangaswamy temple, and the Sanctuary. There are many places to visit in Bandipur and it has close proximity with Bangalore, making it a perfect weekend getaway from the city.
Food and beverages are available only in the hotels, lodges and resorts near Bandipur. Freshly prepared authentic south Indian food is quite a speciality in the area.
Since Bandipur is located in a forest area, you will not find open food stalls and restaurants. However, street food is available on the stretch between Bandipur National Park and Masinagudi.
For your shopping experience in Bandipur, you can visit the Wildlife Souvenir shop that is located just half a kilometre before the Bandipur Tiger Reserve opposite to the Jungle lodges in Bandipur. You can shop for coffee mugs, coasters, t-shirts, pen stands, key holders, trays, book bins and tea tables made out of wood.
Book your stay in Bandipur at budget hotels like the Vana vihar, Dhole’s den, and resorts like the Windflower resort and spa and jungle lodges like the Bandipur safari lodge where you can unwind in luxury. You can consider visiting Bandipur during summers as it is the best time to observe the wildlife.