Part of the Project Tiger initiative, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh is named after the highest hill Bandhavgarh. The region is flanked by the Vindhyan Hill range and the Stapura Hills in Shahdol and Jabalpur districts. Rivers Johilla and Son flow on the eastern boundary, river Umrar passes through western fringes and the Bandhavgarh hill, which is visible from as far as 30 km. Atop the hill is the Bandhavgarh Fort ruled upon by the Rewa state. Post independence the forests underwent degradation; seeing this Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa, proposed that an area of 105 sq km should be declared as a national park which was sanctioned in 1965. The area of the park was increased to 448.84 sq km in 1982. Bandhavgarh was included in the Project Tiger Network in 1993. The adjoining Panpatha Sanctuary too was declared as a part of the Reserve.
Apart from the tigers, other fauna sightings include, Spotted deer or Chital, Sambar, Barking deer or Muntjac, Chausinga or Four-horned antilope, Nilgai or Blue bull, Indian Gazel or chinkara, Leopard, wild dog or Dhole, Wolf, Hyena, jackal, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Common Langur, Rhesus monkey, etc. Bird species include 242 species. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red Jungle fowl, Grey Hornbill, Common Teals, Red Wattled Lapwing, Crested Serpent Eagle, White Breasted Kingfisher, Lesser Adjutant Stork, etc.
Permits: A park permit is required. The number of vehicles allowed in the park from October 2012 – Tala zone – 40; Maghadhi zone – 40 and Khitauli zone – 31.
When to visit: February to June. The park is closed from July 1 to September 30 because of the monsoon.
Accommodation: Tiger Trails Resort, Samode Safari Lodge, Mahua Kothi.
How to reach:
Air: Nearest airport is at Jabalpur (164 km).
Rail: Jabalpur (164 km), Katni (102 km), and Satna 120 km) and Umaria (35 km).
Road: State and private transport buses ply between Katni and Umaria and from Satna and Rewa to Tala (Bandhavgarh). Taxis are available at Satna, Jabalpur,Katni, Umaria, Bilaspur (300 km) and Khajuraho.