All About Bandhavgarh
Tourist Places Near Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh in itself is a solid stand alone Tiger destination in itself, and one can easily spend upto 5 nights here going through the different zones, and buffer regions as well. But if one has more time then you can combine the below areas into an itinerary which will be very comprehensive along with Bandhavgarh.
1. Sanjay Dubri National Park:
Located just 115kms from Bandhavgarh, about 2 hours drive, this is a hidden gem of Madhya Pradesh. Never heard of national park, this park is home to few Tigers, and flora and fauna similar to Bandhavgarh and Kanha. Yes the landscape is different, some areas have plenty of water as the forest is next to Banas river. Tourism here is almost negligible hence it is important to visit Sanjay atleast for a day trip while in Bandhavgarh or for an overnight stay. Currently there is one Madhya Pradesh Tourism accommodation on the banks of the Banas river. Extremely good chances of sighting Sloth Bears here. Some guests see Sloth Bears here like you see Tigers in Bandhavgarh. Primarily a Sal Forest, and some ranges with lot of Bamboo as well. A range also borders Chattisgarh which saw some Elephants come over in transit. Due to thick Sal habitation it has a part which was an Elephant corridor too in the past. The recent visit of the Elephants from Chattisgarh into this park has raised hopes of Elephants coming over more frequently in future.
2. Panna National Park
Located just 30kms from Khajuraho an about 225kms from Bandhavgarh, Panna is a very scenic national park. For a well travelled wildlife enthusiast there is plenty in Panna to be doing a safari. Ken river adds a dimension to Panna national Park which other parks in the region do not have. The option of doing Boat safaris here and seeing crocodiles and some migratory birds is an enriching experience. Night safaris permitted in the sanctuary area are also a good one time activity. Panna had plenty of Tigers until systematic poaching made it completely bereft of them in 2007. But it was a strong demonstration of will power by the Field Director of Panna at that time Mr Murthy, who was ably supported by the state Forest Department that Panna heard the roar once again. A male Tiger from Panna, and Tigresses from Kanha and Bandhavgarh were shifted to Panna. Close monitoring was done 24X7. Today there are over 35 Tigers including cubs in the park. Panna is also one of the last places in India to see the Vultures. Panna is also home to Leopards, Sloth Bears, Hyenas and jackals apart from the normal prey base of ungulates.
3. Kanha National Park
At about 250kms, 5-6 hours drive is Kanha National Park. Popularised by Rudyard Kipling in his Junglebook, Kanha is a much larger national park compared to Bandhavgarh. Though Flora and Fauna is very similar to Bandhavgarh, but it makes good sense to include Kanha also in your itinerary when you go all the way to central India to see Tigers. The difference in Kanha is primarily the landscapes. And the fact that Kanha is surrounded by aboriginal Tribes of India. Kanha is also termed as a donor park for it has donated lot of animals to many parks to balance their population without disturbing it’s own. The first page in the conservation history of India was written by Kanha when it brought back the dwindling population of the Hard Ground Swamp Deer from 60 to over 600 now. It was endemic to just Kanha. But now Kanha has donated the Swamp Deers to Satpura National Parks, Spotted Deers to Then Wildlife Sanctuary, Indian Gaur to Bandhavgarh, and Tigers to Panna. More information about Kanha can be had from the site www.kanha.net