Bandipur National Park

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Bandipur National Park


Once the private game reserve of the Mysore maharajas, Bandipur, the large forest (866 sq km) south of the river Kabini is now part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and one of WWF’s Project Tiger sites. It neighbours the Nagarhole National Park, the Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu and Wynaad in Kerala. All together this area makes for the largest protected forest in India.

Bandipur has a sizeable population of wildlife - elephant, spotted deer and sambar, gaur and flying squirrel, four horned antelope, Nilgiri langur and sloth bear. Amongst the reserve’s most prominent animals are its 1,900-odd elephants.

The Royal Bengal tiger and leopard are even more elusive here than elsewhere because the moister region that they inhabit falls under the protected core area where casual visitors are not allowed. Mostly dry deciduous forest with an abundance of teak on the periphery, the moister core area of Bandipur, has large tracts of fragrant sandalwood and rosewood. However, some summers this area too gets unbearably dry and during these times the animals migrate to the neighbouring wetter Mudumalai Park

Best time to visit

The best season depends on what you are looking for; if it’s wildlife you seek then the hot months from March to May are when animals flock to the watering holes, and hopefully to the ones close to your machan (but be aware: droughts also push animals into Mudumalai); for cool comfort the months of November-February are great when the flora is resurging after the rains; the rainy months of June-September bring the elephants to the fore, bring the temperatures down and the metalled roads of Bandipur don’t get washed out either.

If you are really interested in the animals, you must avoid the weekends when hordes of visitors come down from nearby cities for the day.


The cool comfortable months of November-February are just ideal to visit the National Park as the flora is resurging after the rains. Also the rainy months of June-September bring the elephants to the fore; bringing the temperatures down- you surely wouldn’t want to miss this view!


Park timings are 6:30 am to 9:00 am and 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

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