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Bandhavgarh National Park

USA, Oregon, Ashland, 6 year old Christian Rego aka Buddy Backpacker hikes a section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Ashland Oregon with his mom Andrea Rego and Dion, Christian will be the youngest hiker to complete the Pacific Crest Trail in a single season

Approach

This compact park with a core area of 105 sq. km and a buffer zone of 437 sq. km.is in the Vindhya hills (Alt. 800m). The main entrance and park office is at Tala to the North of the park.

Best time to visit: Feb.-June
Closed: 1st July to 31st Oct.
Temp range: 42? C to 2?C
Rainfall: 1,500 mm

Background

Bandhavgarh (pronounced Bandogarh) is not very far south of Rewa, famous as the place in which the (albino) white tiger originated. Now it is only found in zoos. Before becoming a National Park in 1968, it was the game preserve of the maharajas of Rewa. Though it involves quite a journey, you may be rewarded with sighting one of the few tigers. The management has embarked on a programme of conservation. Protection from disease, fire, grazing and poaching have all been factors in its recovery as a wildlife area. The park is set in extremely rugged terrain with many hills. The marshes which used to be perennial now support a vast grassland savanna. There are also interesting cave shrines scattered around the park, with Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century BC. You can visit the archaeological remains of a fort believed to be 2,000 years old where you may spot crag martins and brown rock thrush.

Wildlife

The park has a wide variety of game and has a longer `season’ than Kanha. Its main wild beasts are tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, chital, muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, wild pigs. In 1990, a census revealed that the tiger population had grown from nine in 1969 to 59, sambar from 111 to over 4,500 and spotted deer from 78 to over 7,000. The tigers, whilst elusive, are increasingly seen. The flowering and fruit trees attract woodland birds, which include green pigeon, Jerdon’s leaf bird, crested serpent eagle and variable hawk eagle.

Viewing

Jeeps are available from dawn to 1000 hrs. and 1600 hrs. until dusk when the animals are most active. Visitors must be accompanied by a Forest Dept. guide. The short round is 18 km., the long, 37 km. The Fort, 18 km away, requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Forest Dept. elephants are available from 1600. Viewing machans are available during the day; Bhadrashila Watch Tower attracts gaur..