Part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Bandipur National Park was set up in 1973. About 80 km south of Mysore on the Mysore-Ooty Road elephants take the lead role in the reserve. Bandipur was once the Mysore Maharaja’s private hunting ground. Some of the other fascinating elements of the park include a temple atop Himvad Gopalaswamy Hill, the highest peak in the Bandipur range.
Bandipur is flanked by Karnataka’s Gandhi National Park (Nagarhole) to its northwest, Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary to its southwest.
Apart from elephants other worthwhile sightings include tiger, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, Asiatic wild dog, striped hyena, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, mongoose, and the slender loris. Over 230 species of birds have been identified. Some of the most notable ones are the heron, stork, egret, kite, eagle, falcon, peafowl, lapwing, sandpiper, woodpecker, drongo and the warbler.
Permits: Information can be gathered from The Field Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
When to visit: March to June and September to November.
Accommodation: Windflower Resort and Spa Bandipur, Country Club Wildlife Resort, The Serai Bandipur, Bandipur Safari Lodge.
How to reach:
Air: Bengaluru International Airport
Road: Mysore -80 km, Gundlupet -20 km, Bengaluru -220 km, Ooty -60 km