The Bandipur Forest Reserve area is one of the better known tiger reserves in India, boasting of a tiger population of nearly 70. It lies just 80 km from Mysore and about 220 km from Bangalore, and you can drive down from either of the cities.
The Region, the Wildlife and More
The reserve in Bandipur stretches across the adjoining states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in places called Mudumalai and Wayanad respectively. Together, they form the biggest protected forest reserve in Southern India. It is also part of the protected Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, where the world famous Silent Valley is located.
Located on the banks of the Kabini River, the Bandipur forest area is also home to many wild animals like the panther, bison, many species of deer, wild elephants, wild boar, jackal, etc.
The many streams feeding the Kabini and other watering holes dotting the landscape provide adequate feeding grounds to all residents in the forest reserve. You can spot many varieties of rare birds in the forests of Bandipur like robins, jungle fowl, partridges, peacocks and peahens, pigeons etc.
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Sandalwood (something that the region is very famous for), rosewood, and teak trees provide a natural habitat for different wildlife and the vegetations provides natural cover for these species. There are many reptiles that are native to the tropics like King Cobras, Vipers, Adders, and Rat Snakes, apart from many types of lizards and chameleons that thrive in Bandipur.
Wildlife Tourism Options in the Place
You can go on a wildlife safari in the forest during dawn or at dusk, when many animals come out to the watering holes to quench their thirst. Jeeps will be available for safaris or you can take the tour bus run by the forest department's office. Private vehicles are restricted within the protected region.
Many forest lodges, resorts and hotels provide accommodation options through which tourists can enjoy nature at its best.
There are plenty of places to visit nearby like the Gopalaswamy Beta Temple and the Kabini Dam.
If your idea of a perfect vacation is to spend some time among the wildlife in the blissful silence of the forest, then Bandipur in Karnataka is the right place for you to be!