Tiger in a cave @ Nanak Dhingra
Tiger crossing track @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Tala meadows and plateau @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Tiger pair @ Nanak Dhingra
Brown Fish Owl @ Aditya Singh
Bandhavgarh National ParkMadhya Pradesh, India
Prior to becoming a National Park in 1968, Bandhavgarh was maintained as a Shikargah (game preserve) of the Maharajas of Rewa. Situated in Central India, the park is spread over ridges and valleys of the northern flank of the Vindhya Range. Its forested hills and lush low-lying meadows are dominated by a large, high rock plateau, which forms a natural fortress. According to local legend, the ancient fort atop its highest peak was gifted by Lord Rama to his younger brother Lakshmana, hence the name Bandhavgarh – bandhav means brother, garh-fort.
The forest has a complex tapestry of habitats dominated by tropical moist deciduous Sal (Shorea Robusta) and bamboo, interspersed with marshes and grassy meadows. Extending over an area of 437 sq km, the park has the highest density of tigers in the world. Bandhavgarh is indeed one of the best reserves in India for viewing tigers in their natural habitat, making it the preferred destination for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Other large predators are the Leopard, Sloth Bear, Indian Wolf and Indian Wild Dog or Dhole. The lesser predators include Jungle Cat, Golden Jackal, Indian Fox and Ruddy Mongoose. The prey base comprises an abundant population of Gaur, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Indian Gazelle, Wild Boar and the Chausingha – the only Four-Horned Antelope in the world. Primates found here are the Northern Plains (Grey) Langur and Rhesus Macaque.
The avian highlights of Bandhavgarh include the Mottled Wood Owl, Grey headed Fish Eagle, Shaheen Falcon, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Asian Openbill, White-naped and Yellow fronted Pied Woodpecker, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Spurfowl, Jungle Bush Quail, Gold fronted & Jerdon’s Leafbird, Blue bearded Bee-eater, Black headed Oriole, Zitting Cisticola, Indian Scops Owl, Orange headed Thrush, Tawny bellied and Puff throated Babbler, Indian Nuthatch, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Crested-tree Swift and Brown cheeked Fulvetta.
- State: Madhya Pradesh
- Area: 1161 sq km (Combining Core and buffer forest)
- Altitude: 440 to 811 m above mean sea level
- Vegetation: Tropical moist deciduous, dry deciduous and scrub
- Water resources: Son, Umrar rivers and numerous rain fed streams
- Winter: November to mid-February
- Summer: April to mid-June
- Monsoon: June to September