Famed for its tiger sightings, Bandhavgarh National Park is also known as one of India’s most beautiful reserves. With its high tiger densities, it is a prime destination for viewing this rare and beautiful animal. At only 437 km² (169 square miles) Bandhavgarh is not one of India's largest parks, but it is noted for its incredible diversity. Although it is best known for its tigers, the park is also home to 37 species of mammals, including leopard, chital (spotted deer), sambar deer, nilgai, wild boar, chinkara, sloth bear, rhesus macaque, grey langur, jungle cat, hyena, porcupine, jackal, fox and wild dog. It is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with more than 250 types of birds and 70 different butterflies.
Most of Bandhavgarh consists of jungle with mainly sal trees. The northern reaches of the park are covered with vast grasslands and bamboo forests. This bowl of thick forest is enclosed by cliffs and wooded mountains. Clear, tricking streams intersect the vast plains and create swampy meadows, known as bohera, in the gently sloping valleys. Kingfishers and hunchbacked egrets are often seen in the shallows. High above, vultures build their nests in the sheer cliffs. Great rocky hills rise from the densely forested depths of the valleys and it is from the largest one of these that the park derives its name. The Hindu Lord Rama is said to have given this hill to his brother Laxman as a watch post, giving rise to the name Bandhavgarh, which means 'brother's fort' in Sanskrit.
Known for more than just its natural diversity and beauty, Bandhavgarh is a park with a rich historical past. Long maintained as a shikargah, or private game reserve, by the maharajas of Rewa, it was also the site where the famous white tigers of Rewa, now extinct, were discovered. Guests to the park can also explore a 2 000 year old fort and a 10th century statue of Lord Vishnu.
“Two things stand out especially. First, the welcome and general attitude of the staff was so warm, excited and caring. I felt as if I had reached a fantasy home the minute I arrived. Second, I love having the company of naturalists at cocktails and dinners. They are superb company and this practice helps create a real sense of community. Bravo!”
Mahua Kothi Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge