Bandipur National Park

Bandipur National Park Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve: Bandipur National Park is one of India's best known sanctuaries, and is an important Project Tiger reserve. It is located in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka, and is contiguous with the Mudumalai National Park in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, the Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, and the Nagarhole National Park to the northwest. It is home to around seventy tigers and over three thousand Asian elephants (as per the 1997 census), along with leopards, dholes, gaur and sloth bears. Bandipur is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Bandpur National Park today is home to tigers, elephants, gaurs, sambars, spotted deer, black-faced monkeys, and sloth bears. Tigers are rarely seen.

Admission foreigners and Indians are for Rs 200 & Rs 35 respectively, which includes a bus tour of the park. Buses depart between 6 am and 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. Camera is charged Rs 20.

On elephant back, which is charged Rs 35 per person per hour. The minimum people required being 4. Private vehicles are not permitted inside the park, but jeeps may be arranged through the Forest Dept. The best place to see wildlife is from the raised platforms near the watering holes.

The best time to visit is between October and February, and from May to June. You have a good chance of see wild elephants during these months. It is best to avoid the park on weekends as it is crowded with tourists. Because the buses can make a good bit of noise they are not ideal for wildlife Safari.

Advance bookings for the bus tour and accommodations can be made be secured with:

Chief Wildlife Warden
Forest Department,
Aranya Bhavan, 18th Cross,
Malleswaram, Bangalore
Phone Number: 080 334-1993 (or)

Field Director
Project Tiger, Aranya Bhavan,
Ashokapuram, Mysore
Phone Number: 0821-2480901, 02480902

Elephants are trained to work at Kargudi Elephant Camp, 5km from Bandipur. The elephants do puja (worship) in a temple at 6 pm.

The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ sq km), including all of Bandipur National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta
Nagarhole Rajiv Gandhi National Park

Home Stay in Bandipur
Hotels in Bandipur
Picnic Spots in Bangalore
KSTDC Tour Packages

History of Bandipur National Park

A sanctuary of 90 sq km was created at this site in the Bandipur Reserve Forest in 1931. As it was realised that this was too small for effective wildlife conservation, leading to the instituting of the Venugopala Wildlife Park at this site, extending over 800 sq km. The Bandipur Tiger Reserve was constituted in 1973 by carving out 880 sq km from the Wildlife Park. Recognised under Project Tiger in 1973 this park has boasted constant rise in Tiger population. Also famous for Sandalwood trees and rare species of Flora

Bandipur National Park's altitude between 680-1454 metres and is situated south of the Kabini river at the foothills of the Western Ghats.The rivers of Kabini, Nagur and Moyar flow through the reserve. Climate - Winter minimum 10, Summer maximum 28 degrees, Monsoon from June to September and best time to visit is open throughout the year but preferably in monsoon when wildlife is plenty and forest is green. Greenery is quite lean when viewed from road but gets thicker as we proceed into the forest.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

Gopalaswamy Betta (GS Betta) is a hill is one of the popular tourist attractions in Bandipur. Situated near Gundlupet in the Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka, the destination is famous for a temple located on the top of the hill. Surrounded by wooded areas, the Gopalaswamy Betta is the highest peak in Bandipur National Park, which offers beautiful views of the valley.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Venugopala Swamy, one of the incarnations of the Hindu God Krishna. Constructed in 1315 by Perumal Dandanayaka, the temple has an architectural style of the Chola Dynasty. The gopuram of the temple is single-tiered and is supported from the compound wall of the enclosure.

Bali-peetam (sacrificial altar) and dhwajastambha (flag-pillar) are situated at the mukha mantapa (inner-porch) of the temple. The facade of the mukha mantapa has the sculpture depicting dashavatara, the avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu, along with Krishnavatara. The temple possesses various portraits and a garbha griha, which consists of a panel with an idol of Krishna. The idol depicts Lord Krishna holding a flute and performing raasleela under a tree. The portraits represent Lord Krishna dancing with his friends. The panel also displays scenes of milk sellers and cows. Lord Gopalaswamy can be seen accompanied with his companions namely Rukmini and Satyabhama.

Epics state that the destination was the site for intense penance chosen by sage Agastya. As a result of those prayers, the place is blessed by Lord Vishnu, who promised the sage to reside there for many generations. Often known as Hamsatheertha, the place is ideal for watching sunrise and sunset.

Government of Karnataka Accomodation

The government of Karnataka provides spacious and comfortable accommodation at Bandipur National Park. The rates charged are quite reasonable, but frequently all rooms are booked well in advance. There are many resorts near Bandipur including the Country Club, Tusker Trails, and Jungle Lodges etc. These are luxurious resorts with relatively high prices. Mudumalai is the Tamil Nadu part of the forest where accommodation is available at lower prices. Mudumalai is 20 km from Bandipur, and there are many resorts at Mudumalai. To name a few; Jungle Hut, Green Park, Jungle Retreat, Bear Mountain, Casa Deepwoods etc. Jungle home is near Bandipur on Mudumalai to Gudalur road in the crucial elephant habitat zone. It is a cottage near the forest which offers comfortable, clean accommodation at low rates. Elephant spottings are very common in this area. Leopards are also seen frequently; almost once a week. Jungle home also has a river attached campus surrounded by forest on three sides, making it especially suited for activities such as fishing and bird watching.

Bandipur forest department cottages cannot be booked at Bandipur. They need to be booked , at least two weeks in advance, by contacting the forest department at Mysore.

Accommodation at Bandipur National Park

Bandipur Tiger Reserve has 7 cottages and 4 dormitories - totaling about 95 beds, out of which 4 cottages and 3 dormitories (totaling 77 beds) are offered for online booking. The remaining is reserved for emergency and for officers on duty. The online bookings can be done by logging into the official website of Bandipur Tiger Reserve,

Hotels, Boarding, Lodging & Accommodation in Bandipur

Conflicts & Threats

For farmers in the 200 villages along the Bandipur forest periphery, the National Park is a vast pasture for grazing cattle and for collection of firewood and other forest produce. The reserve holds nearly 1.50 lakh cattle. The Nugu wildlife sanctuary and Himavad Gopalaswamy range located in the north-west of the park are the most cattle infested. There are fears of possible transmission of diseases from cattle to wildlife. In 1968, large numbers of gaur were killed in an outbreak of rinderpest. Lantana bush introduced by British in 19th century in tea gardens has spread rapidly at the cost of other valuable herbs and saplings. This bush is thorny, attracts mosquitoes, is not eaten by any herbivores and rapid spread has caused other species of fauna to vanish which is staple food for wild life. Rapid spread of Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) has severely damaged bio-diversity and typical landscapes of this beautiful jungle is making way for this invasive weed.

Elephants which traditionally migrate from dry to moist zones now increasingly come into contact with human habitations and farms are often damaged. Sugarcane crops are particularly attractive to them. Off-lately road has been a major concern as speeding vehicles have killed many wild animals in spite of frequent warnings to travellers from forest department officials.

Top 10 Facts about Bandipur National Park

Here are Top 10 facts about Bandipur National Park

  1. Bandipur National Park is one of the most popular national parks in South India and is located in the vicinity of the town. It is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including tigers, leopards, elephants, and many species of birds.
  2. The park is spread over an area of about 874 square kilometers and is a popular destination for wildlife safaris and trekking.
  3. The town of Bandipur is surrounded by the Nilgiri Mountains and is known for its scenic beauty. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
  4. Bandipur is also known for its beautiful temples, including the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, which is located atop a hill and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
  5. The town is home to several tribal communities, including the Soligas and the Jenu Kurubas. Visitors can learn about their culture and way of life by interacting with them and visiting their villages.
  6. The best time to visit Bandipur is between the months of October and March when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.
  7. The town is well-connected to other parts of Karnataka by road and is a popular destination for day trips and weekend getaways from nearby cities like Bangalore and Mysore.
  8. The nearby Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary are also popular tourist destinations and can be easily accessed from Bandipur.
  9. The town is a great place to unwind and relax amidst nature and is a perfect destination for those looking for a peaceful getaway.
  10. Bandipur is a great place for wildlife and nature enthusiasts to explore the natural beauty of South India and experience its rich biodiversity.

Insurance cover for Tourists

The Karnataka forest department has initiated a program to provide insurance coverage for tourists exploring the Bandipur and Nagarahole tiger reserves, safeguarding them against unexpected incidents.

In the event of fatality or permanent total disability, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be provided, and for partial disability, Rs 2.5 lakh will be disbursed. To ensure this, the forest authorities have secured a public liability non-industrial insurance policy with a coverage sum of Rs 1 crore.

Specifically, at Bandipur, a premium of Rs 80,000 has been remitted to the United India Insurance Company Ltd, with the policy taking effect on September 23. In the case of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, the policy became active on October 4, with a premium of Rs 70,000 paid to the same insurance company.

On June 21, Kumar Pushkar, the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife), directed field officers within the forest department to extend insurance protection to visitors at eco-tourism sites situated in protected areas across Karnataka. This initiative encompasses tourists exploring these eco-tourism hubs and assures a substantial insurance payout of ₹1 crore to the families of tourists in the unfortunate event of mishaps, including wildlife encounters.

As per officials, both Bandipur and Nagarahole tiger reserves offer safari services that allow tourists to immerse themselves in the enchanting wilderness of the region. Notably, a safari group had a close encounter with an elephant on September 9, 2022, at Nagarhole National Park, but fortunately, everyone emerged unharmed. Under this innovative program, no prior registration is necessary; simply possessing a safari ticket is adequate to access the insurance benefits. It is underscored that financial support will be extended to the families in the event of a loss of life within the forest premises.

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