Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve is where the Deccan Plateau meets the Western Ghats and the altitude of the park ranges from 680 meters (2,230 ft) to 1,454 meters (4,770 ft). As a result, the park has a variety of biomes including dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrublands. The wide range of habitats help support a diverse range of organisms. The park is flanked by the Kabini river in the north and the Moyar river in the south. The Nugu river runs through the park. The highest point in the park is on a hill called Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, where there is a Hindu temple at the summit.
The major attraction of the Park is 'wildlife safaris'. The visitors can enjoy an elephant or jeep safari to explore the natural wealth of the park. The open grassy woodland with enchanting scenery of mountains, gorges and undisturbed forests, makes Bandipur National Park an exotic paradise for wildlife lovers, a unique and pleasant place to holiday in.
Bandipur tiger reserve has the highest number of tigers in all of India and ranks No.1 as per 2016 census.
Flora and Fauna
Bandipur National Park shelters a wide variety of flora and fauna. The vegetation ranges from deciduous and evergreen forest covers to open grassy woodlands. Two of the most valuable timber trees of India, the rosewood and teak grow abundantly in the park.
The Wild Animals
The park is one of the finest and most accessible habitats of the Asian elephants. The most prominent wildlife in the park includes Bonner Macaque, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Indian Palm Squirrel, Golden Jackal, Indian Grey Mongoose, Bengal Fox, Ruddy Mongoose, Indian Elephant, Indian Pangolin, Langur, Tiger, Chital, Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Leopard Cat, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Gaur, Lion-tailed Macaque, Leopard and Four-horned Antelope.
Bandipur National park is paradise for bird lovers. It has Over 200 species of birds have already been spotted and identified. The Kabini Dam and backwaters of the Kabini River attracts huge flocks of birds. The most commonly noticed birds are Peafowl and the game birds like the Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl etc. Among the woodland birds category the Hawk Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Scops Owl, the yellow-legged Green Pigeon, Parakeets, Woodpeckers, Barbets, Hornbills, Drongos, Scarlet Minivets, and Warblers are the easily seen birds in the Bandipur National Park. Other major bird species seen in the park include Black Woodpeckers, Blue-bearded Bee-Eaters, Cormorants, Crested Hawk Eagles, Ducks, Gray Partridges, Gray Headed Firhings, Honey Buzzards, Malabar Pied Hornbills, Hill Mynas, King Vultures, Malabar Trogon, Ospreys, Indian Pittas, Park Malabar Trogon, Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Teals, Herons, Waders, Red Spur Fowl, Shaheen Falcons, Scarlet Minivets, Scimitar Babbler, Fairy Blue Birds, Scimitar Babblers, Malabar Whistling Thrushes, Green Imperial Pigeons, Nightjars and Owls.
The reptile population in the Bandipur National Park includes the Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizard, Rock Python, Bamboo Pit Snake, Rat Snake, Wolf Snake, Vine Snake, Common Krait, and Russell's Viper. The park also houses few variety of turtles, frogs are and amphibians.
Aerial view of Bandipur forest from Gopala swamy hill