Bandipur Wildlife

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Bandipur National Park

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Elephant in Bandipur
Facts & Figures :
Area : 874.20 sq km
Languages : English, Kannada, Hindi
Best Time to Visit : March–July and September–November

About Bandipur....
Bandipur National Park is a beautiful forest reserve located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. This national park occupies a special place in India’s efforts towards natural conservation. It was created in the 1930s from the local Maharaja Voodiyar’s hunting lands, and named Venugopal Wildlife Park. Bandipur Park was expanded later in 1941 to adjoin the Nagarhole National Park, which lay towards its northern edge, and Wynad and Madumulai Sanctuaries, which lay towards its southern edge in the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu, respectively. The entire area now constitutes the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one of India's most extensive tracts of protected forest. It has been a designated tiger reserve in 1973.

The Lush Green Biosphere
Apart from being home to the Asiatic elephant, Bandipur also has a sizable number of tigers. According to a census conducted in 1993, there are 66 tigers. The park is one of the 15 sanctuaries selected across India for Project Tiger, a scheme launched in 1973, by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature in conjunction with the Indian Government. The project is designed to save the tiger and its natural habitat from potential dangers. The best time to spot elephants in large herds is the rainy season, although they may be spotted anytime of the year as their numerical strength in the forest approximately stands close to a healthy 1,900. Other natural inhabitants of this lovely forest are gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, Malabar squirrel, porcupines and the black-knapped hare. Birds like jungle fowl and green pigeon are also found here.
This forest reserve also has pleasant scenery to offer. Gopalaswamy Betta, near the park forest office base, provides a view of Mysore plateau and its adjoining hills from a an elevated ridge, while the "Rolling Rocks," to the south of the forest, offer panoramic views of the weather-beaten 260-meter-deep "Mysore Ditch" and the entire Moyar gorge. Places such as these are a photographer’s delight.
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chital deer

The region is warm and comfortable for most parts of the year with temperatures ranging from 24 to 28°C, except for the brief winter that lasts from October to January when the temperature hovers around the 19°C mark. Monsoon is erratic, but it generally rains from June to September.

Outside World
The nearest town from Bandipur forest is Gundulpet, which is about 20 km away. All medical and communication (post, telegraph, phone and fax) facilities are available at Gundulpet. E-mail/Internet facilities are available at Mysore.

Getting there
Bandipur National Park is located on the highway connecting Mysore and the hill station of Ootacamund (Ooty). Reaching Bandipur by bus is very convenient. All regular and express state transport buses plying between Ooty and Mysore pass through the park fringes and the Forest Department Center is a designated bus stop. It takes 2½ hours to reach Bandipur forest from Mysore and about 3 hours from Ooty. The nearest rail junction is Mysore (65 km) and the nearest international airport is the software Mecca of Bangalore (204 km).

Where to Stay
The forest department maintains reasonably priced lodges, rest houses and cottages. Sprawling deluxe bungalows are also available.

Travel Tips
Light cotton clothing is recommended for summers whereas light woolen garments are recommended for the brief winters. During rainy season, it is advisable to carry raincoats, as the rain is accompanied by a light breeze that renders umbrellas useless.

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