Bandipuar National Park and Tiger Reserve is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, southern India. It is located in the Gundlulpet or Gundlupete is the town and taluq headquarters of Chamrajanagar district in the state of Karnataka in India.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park is India’s first Tiger Reserve: since 1974. The tiger reserve was established under Project Tiger. The park shares its border with Nagarahole National Park, Wayanad National Park and Mudumalai National Park.
HIGHLIGHTS of Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve: It has wildlife, different types of biomes, dry deciduous forests, spans over 874 sq km, home to India’s endangered wildlife, part of Nilgiris Biosphere reserve; borders with Nagarhole, Mudumalai and Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries and national parks; houses the habitat for wild elephants, the park is 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Mysore in Karnataka and it is on the route to the tourist destination Ooty in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.
THE SANCTUARY OF MAHARAJA OF MYSORE:
In 1931, during the British colonial period, the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, created a sanctuary in an area of 90 sq km. The maharaja named it as Venugopala Wildlife Park (alluding to the peacocks of the forest, and the revered birds of Hindus)
Under the Project Tiger, when Bandipur Tiger Reserve was created, to the Venugopala Wildlife Park an area of 800 sq km was added.
Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve is the point where Deccan Plateau meets Western Ghats
Kabini river flanks the park in the north and Moyar river in the south, and Nugu river cuts through the park.
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is the highest point in the park.
The park has distinct wet seaon and dry season: tropical climate. The hills in the park rises to height between 680 m to about 1450 m. The elevation of the hills in the range enables a variety of biomes to exist: dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests, and shrublands. The trees found in the park are: teak, rosewood, sandalwood, Grewia tilliaefolia, Indian laurel, Indian kino tree, bamboo (giant clumping and clumping), kadam, India gooseberry, crape-myrtole, axlewood, stainwood, black cutch, Shorea talura, black myrobalan, flame of the forest (Butea monosperma), golden shower tree (Cassia fistula) and indigoberry.
Tigers, elephants, Leopards, dhole (wild dog, whistling dog, red dog, mountain wolf), sambar, sloth bear, chital are the animals found in the national park. Many species of birds are spotted in the Bandipur National park.
The Karnataka state has the second highest tiger population in India, along with Nagarhole National Park, which runs adjacent to it, the national park is one of the premier tiger reserves in the country. The tiger reserve was once a private hunting reserve for the maharajas of Kingdom of Mysore (Mysuru).
The animals found in the park are elephants, gaurs, tigers, golden jackals, langurs, sloth bears, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, dholes (a wild dog). The birds are fowls – peafowls, jungle fowls, crows, honey buzzards, drongos, vultures (red-headed and Indian), flowerpeckers, indian rollers, hoopoes, owls, eagles (crested serpent, hawk-eagles), bee-eaters, kingfishers, ospreys. The reptiles are Indian rock python, spectacled cobra, vipers, rat snake, chameleon, flying and monitor lizards, muggers, pond terrapin, and agamids.
The park has a large number of many species of ants, beetles, and butterflies. The different species of butterflies are rose (common, crimson) common & blue Mormon, red Helen, mottled emigrant, Nilgiri clouded yellow, common Jezebel and threering, pansy (yellow, lemon, peacock, orange, blue, grey), metallic cerulean and many more.
VISITORS & TOURISTS:
Government of Karnataka’s tourism department encourages visitors and tourists to explore the park. It says: “Jungle Lodges, Bandipur Safari Lodge – Elephants roaming through the forest, moving majestically; the thrill of watching tigers on the prowl; the resonating cacophony and vibrating colours of wild birds – that’s Bandipur National Park for you. And what better way to respond to the indomitable call of the wild than spending some quality time at Bandipur Safari Lodge, located on the outskirts of the Bandipur National Park? Bandipur Safari Lodge Bandipur Safari Lodge Spreading across 880.02 sq km of area, Bandipur National Park, also known as Bandipur Tiger Reserve, showcases the blissful natural world of Karnataka, a South Indian state. The backdrop of the picturesque Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains makes this wildlife habitat the most sought-after holiday destination in the world.”
The checkpost in Gundulpe disallows traffic towards Ooty from dusk to dawn. There is a ban on traffic during the night to help bring down the death rate of wildlife. One of the National Highways passes through Bandipur national park. It is cause for concern: speeding vehicles, speeding vehicles killing animals, travellers being irresponsible, fears of extinction of habitat of wild animals.