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Theme Destinations > Wildlife > Bandhavgarh Back

Once the 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 Fort
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 authorities.

Bhaghela Museum
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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