Bandhavgarh National Park
The Bandhavgarh National Park is located within the district of Umaria in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. This forest nestled among the Vindhya hills came into existence in 1968 when the Maharaja of Rewa handed over the area to the government for it’s formation. At the time when it was handed over to the government, the fauna was not faring too well due to the difficulty in the control of poaching. Once this became a protected area, the animal population took a drastic turn and began to flourish.
At this time, the entire Park covered an area of 106 sq km whereas it presently consists of an area of 448 sq km. These much required extensions, to the northern and southern areas, of the park were done in 1982. These areas consisted primarily of Sal forests, which is the main tree-cover found in the entire park along with Bamboo. It was finally declared a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1993.
Bandhavgarh has a very deep-rooted importance of it’s own in the history and mythology of India. Looming high over the entire park and located in the heart of it’s core area, is a fort dating back to the mythological era of Rama and Hanuman from the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Prime Attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park
The Wildlife – It is estimated that there are around 60 tigers, over 4,500 sambars, and over 7,000 spotted deer in this reserve. The tigers, however, remain very elusive. The Park is also rich in avifauna and birds such as the green pigeon, crested serpent eagle, and variable hawk eagle are seen here. One may also encounter rhesus macaque, hyenas, porcupine, Steppe eagle, white-browed fantails, white-bellied grongo, Jerdon’s leaf birds, Malabar hornbills, blue-bearded bee-eater, and blossom-headed parakeets. There are also several cave shrines scattered around the park, with Brahmi inscriptions dating from the first century B.C.
The Fort – The Bandhavgarh Fort is located within the Park and was built by the Maharajas of Rewa at a height of 800m above the surrounding countryside. It offers a panoramic view of the wildlife preserve and is believed to be 2,000 years old. A stream called Charganga flows beside the fort. Statues and temples and a 10th-century rock statue of Lord Vishnu can be observed en route. A large number of crag martins and blackbucks can be found around the fort.
Flora & Fauna in Bandhavgarh National Park
The flora of Bandhavgarh is the typical moist, deciduous forest, which is common to Central India. Most of the Park area is covered with rich sal (Shorea robusta) forests, although at higher altitudes you could also come across mixed forests comprising of sali, saj, saja, etc. Large stretches of bamboo and grassland are also distributed here. The Park boasts of a wide variety of game.
Its main wild beasts are tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, chital, muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, mountain gazelle, and wild boar. The gaur is usually spotted in March/April. The sambar and muntjac can be spotted in thick vegetation.
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