Package Name: Legendary Bandhavgarh, the land of Tigers and Rama and Lakshmana!
Bandhavgarh is an ancient forested area, as ancient as 2000 years old! It is said to be from the “Treta Yug”! Bandhavgarh is located in Vindhya hills of Umaria district, Madhya Pradesh. Today Bandhavgarh has become famous for photographing and tracking tigers in the wild. It has the highest density of Bengal Tigers in the world which stands at over 55 in total.
Formerly, Bandhavgarh was a thick forest with wild beasts and a game reserve of the royal families of Rewa. The kings of Rewa took pride in tiger hunting. It is said that Raja Gulab Singh Baghel shot down 83 tigers in a single year to reach the target of hunting 109 tigers. Finally in 1968 Bandhavgarh was handed over to the state government and converted into a National Park. Till today, Bandhavgarh holds the greatest variety of tiger species, including the White Tiger. Small dams have been constructed to solve the water crisis in the park. For increased wild life protection, villages have been relocated and strong vigil installed at the buffer and core areas. It was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1993 under the Project Tiger Network.
The Bandhavgarh National Park and Reserve has been divided into four zones, namely Magadhi, Khitauli, Tala and Panpatta. Together clubbing the core and the buffer zones, the total area is about 1200 sq.km. Inside the park there are 12 natural waterholes, several historical monuments and remains of ancient caves that exhibit a 2000 year old rich historical past.
Other than Tigers and Leopards the mixed vegetation of Sal and Savannahs makes Bandhavgarh an abode of Spotted Deer, Sambhar Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Indian Gaur and Jackal among its 22 species of mammals and around 220 species of birds.The most fascinating element in the Bandhavgarh vicinity is the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort. The oldest fort in India, the Bandhavgarh Fort was gifted by Lord Rama to his “bandhav” or brother, Lakshmana. The name “Bandhavgarh” is the combination of two words: ‘Bandhav’ means brother and ‘Garh’ is the fort. The fort stands tall at a height of 811 metres above sea level and across a plateau area of 582 acres. There are various temples, caves, ancient inscriptions, lakes and lush green vegetation. It is as if the fort looks over the jungles of Bandhavgarh and protects its wildlife.
Bandhavgarh is magical. It is ancient and so it has a lot of history. It is also special in that it is a natural abode to the most precious and ever diminishing wild life species- the Royal Tigers!
If the Tigers interest you, who are actually quite adorable from an animal lover’s perspective, definitely take a trip to Bandhavgarh. You will return enriched with love for this beautiful animal and with the nostalgia of this legendary land!