Madhya Pradesh is fondly known as the heart of Wild India, and is one of the best states for tiger sightings. Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. With one of the highest tiger densities in the country, it is a Tiger watchers’ paradise. Bandhavgarh is encircled by cliffs and wooded Vindhyan mountains, and is blanketed by grasslands, evergreen Sal forests, and bamboo and mixed forest. The National Park covers an area of 437 sq. km. It was formerly the hunting reserve of Maharajas which was declared a national park in 1968 and a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1993. Bandhavgarh is also famous as being the place where Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first known white tiger in 1951.

Bandhavgarh is home to about 37 mammal species and more than 350 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, and a number of reptiles. Apart from the tiger, the reserve is also densely populated with other species: Sambar, Spotted and Barking Deer are a common sight, and Nilgai can be seen in the open areas of the park. There have been isolated reports of Indian Wolf, Striped Hyena, and Caracal. The park also has a healthy population of other predators, such as Leopard, Dhole, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Rusty-spotted Cat, and more. Gaur were recently reintroduced to Bandhavgarh after they had migrated out of the park following a drought year.

A jeep safari In Bandhavgarh is the best way to explore the forest, accompanied by an expert local guide, who can tell you about the significance and details of the flora and fauna of the park. November to June are the best months considered for visiting the park as the park remains closed from July to mid October because of the monsoons. Safaris take place either early morning or afternoons. The wildlife sanctuary surrounds the remains of the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort (after which the park is named). A well-versed guide can tell you about the history and mythology surrounding the majestic fort.

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