private game preserve of the maharajas of Rewa,
Bandhavgarh is famous as the original home of the first
white tiger observed in the wilds. Today, Mohun’s
stuffed remains adorn the palace in Rewa. It is also
famous for its near certain tiger sightings by every
visitor. Spread over 1,167.47 sq km in the eastern
Satpura hills of Vindhyachal range in central India, the
national park encloses an undulating terrain of thickly
wooded low hills and open grasslands in the valleys.
There are 32 hills within the park, the highest of which
rises 812 mt above sea level and is crowned by a fort,
now in ruins. The vegetation in the park is chiefly of
dry tropical and moist deciduous forest. The major
arboreal species are sal, tendu and mahua with a liberal
sprinkling of bamboo and lantana. Six perennial and many
seasonal streams irrigate the forests of Bandhavgarh.
The national park harbours a variety of wildlife
including tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, wolf,
jackal, spotted deer, sambhar, wild boar, muntjac, etc.
Besides these, there are many species of reptilians,
like cobra, krait, python, viper, and over 250 species
of resident and migratory avifauna have been identified
in the park. The park is reputed to have the largest
concentration of tigers. A number of dirt roads weave
through the park and the chief mode of wildlife sighting
is a motor vehicle safari conducted twice every day.
However, if a tiger is not sighted from the road, forest
guards track tigers with elephant and visitors are shown
the big cat from the elephant. For this the park
authorities maintain 12 elephants. In the days long past
the park enclosed a number of human habitations in the
form of villages and cave shelters. Of the latter there
are 85 and only one of these, Bari Gufa, which has nine
apartments, is open to visitors.
The National Park is open from November 1 till June 30.
The 812 mt high Bandhavgarh hill stands in the centre of
the national park. It is the highest among the 32 hills
enclosed in the park and is crowned by a fort that
legend says is nearly 2,000 years old. Of the fort
little survives except portions of outer wall, some
gateways, ruins of palaces, temples and shrines. Visits
to the fort have to be booked in advance with the park
Housed within the precincts of hotel Maharaja’s Royal
Retreat, but with independent entrance too, the museum
displays many items connected with the Rewa state and
its late ruler, Martand Singh. These include coins
issued by the state, throne of the maharaja, gold and
silver plated guns and swords, gold and silver plated
swing made of French glass and studded with precious
stones, stuffed remains of a tiger and leopard.
Open: 11 am - 3 pm, 5-8 pm; Entry: Rs. 5.
The park authorities conduct joy rides on the elephant
between 3-4 pm. These have to be booked in advance.
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