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Bandhavgarh , Madhya Pradesh - India
The reserve named after the highest hill Bandhavgarh (807 m) in the centre of it, falls between the Vindhyan hill range and the eastern flank of Satpura hill range and is located in Shahdol and Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.

A chain of smaller hills, 32 in all, surrounds this hill, forming a number of valleys and spurs interspersed with low lying areas, such as Chakradhara, Rajbahera, Sehra-Dadra, Bhitri bah, Kolua bah etc. Since the main formation is of sandstone, water percolates through it forming a number of perennial streams and springs. The hills are mainly flat topped. The meadows in certain areas are marshy.

The Sal & bamboo covers plain tract and degenerates in growth and quality as it ascends the hill slopes, further giving place to mixed forest on upper slopes, mainly due to edaphic factors.

Few rare species like insectivorous plants Drocera peltata and medicinal plant like Buch (Acorus calamus) are found in some isolated patches of Tala ranges of the Reserve.

Rivers Johilla and Son flowing on the boundary on the eastern side, river Umrar passing through western fringes and the Bandhavgarh hill, which is visible from as far as 30 km, are some of the landmarks of the Reserve.

There are a number of man made caves (35) in Bandhavgarh with inscriptions and carvings, which date back between about 129-168 A.D. Statues of various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, which were carved out of single rocks are found in the fort. "Sheshshaiya" the statue of lord Vishnu in reclining pose is the biggest of all and attracts every tourist. These statues date back to 10-11th Century A.D.
The Bandhavgarh Fort, in the centre of the Reserve, atop the Bandhavgarh hill, was the seat of rulers of Rewa State, until they shifted to Rewa town in 1617 A.D. After independence and abolition of the princely States, the process of degradation of forests started due to relaxed control. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa, was deeply moved by the destruction of forests. On his proposal an area of 105 sq. km. was declared as National Park in 1965. The area of the park was increased to 448.84 sq. km. in 1982.

Bandhavgarh has been an excellent habitat of tiger and is known for the highest density of tigers in the world. Considering the importance and potentiality of the National park, it was included in the Project Tiger Network in 1993. The adjoining Panpatha Sanctuary too was declared as a part of the Reserve.

The area of 105 sq. km. of old National Park was finally notified in 1968. The remaining part of the National Park i.e. 343.842 sq. km. is yet to be finally declared though State Government had made the initial notification in 1982. Panpatha Sanctuary with an area of 245.847 sq. km. was declared in 1983.
Bandhavgarh national park:
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km². The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort).

This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of Leopards, and various species of deer. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.

Set amongst the Vindhyas, in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is a small national park, but with the highest known density of tiger population in India. This is also known as White Tiger territory. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The other species found in abundance in Bandhavgarh are the gaur or Indian bison, the sambar, the barking deer and the nilgai.

The terrain is made of rocky hills, sal forests and grazing areas, formerly agricultural land. The finest of these hills is the Bandhavgarh hill, and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort. Though no records remain to show when the fort was constructed, it is believed to be about 2000years old. Several dynasties have ruled the fort: for example, the Maghas from the 1st century A.D, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century; the Sengars from the 5th century, and the Kalachuris from the 10th century.The oldest signs of habitation, are the caves dug into the sandstone, near the fort. Several of these contain Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century B.C. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forest range around the region had been maintained as a Shikargarh, or game preserve, of the Maharajahsof Rewa. It was only in 1968, that the area was declared as a National Park. Since then, stringent steps have been taken to retain it as an unspoilt natural habitat.
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