Bandhavgarh, the legendary jungle for its famous tigers, mythological storiesand archeological importance .located in the North-eastern corner of Madhyapradesh in the Umaria-Shahdol district, Bandhavgarh is the the dream destination for tiger lovers .The habitat comprises of tropical mixed deciduous forest dominated by Sal tree, marshy meadows, fresh water lakes, gurgling streams and surrounded by Satpura hills. Almost 20 streams run through the park and merged into river Son, one of the tributary of river Ganges.
Bandhavgarh is dotted by caves, temples and historical structures. Bandhavgarh fort with the 65 ft horizontally laid idol of lord Vishnu on the seven hooded serpent is the most famous historical sculptor in the area.These man made caves, temples and fort makes an ideal refuge for the tigers of Bandhavgarh.
Bandhavgarh, a small park with an area of 448 sq. km was declared as National Park in the year 1968. The history of Bandhavgarh dates back a long way. Survey on the caves and rock paintings revealed that history of the area may even date back to before Christ period. Later Bharihas, Vakataks, Sengars and Kalchuris ruled the region. Ultimately Baghels take possession of the area during 13th century and made Bandhavgarh their capital. Almost 2000 years old Bandhavgarh fort was the centre of their dynasty till 1617, then they shifted their capital to Rewa and the area around Bandhavgarh fort flourished with rich wildlife, and it became the Hunting Reserve of Maharajas of Rewa .It is said that Rajah Gulab Singh Baghel ended up bringing down 83 tigers during one single year.Bandhavgarh is the heaven for growling tigers where individual tigers are known by their famous names. Charger, a tiger so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and tourists and a female tigress called Sita was among them. The descendent of Charger and Sita along with other tigers rules the jungle of Bandhavgarh at present.
Flora and Fauna:
Bandhavgarh has rich floral diversity due to the landform and moist character of the region. Flora of Bandhavgarh consists of Moist Peninsular Sal Forest, Southern tropical Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest and Southern Tropical Dry Mixed Deciduous Forest along with occasional grassland and the meadows. More than 600 species of flowering plant and 50 species of aquatic plant has been identified in the park. Some of the tree species grows here are Mahua, Palash, Bija, Bahera, Shimul, Pepal, Tendu, Arjun and most dominating tree Sal.
Bandhavgarh is the tiger land and at present 46 tigers resides in this forest. Strong conservation measures has taken to protect these tigers. Leopard is the other big carnivores species found in Bandhavgarh. Other small carnivores species are wild dog or Dhole, Wolf, Indian Fox, Jungle Cat,Wild bore, Caracal, Leopard Cat, Striped Hyena and jackal. Small Indian Civet, three types of Mongoose, Indian Pangolin and Indian Hare are other small mammalians recorded .. Members of herbivores species like Chital or Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking deer or Muntjac, Chausinga or Four-horned Antelope, Nilgai or Blue bull, Indian Gazel or chinkara makes the main prey base and frequently seen grazing around the grassland and swamps. Among primates Common Langur and Rhesus Macaque are frequently encountered species. More than 240 species of birds recorded in Bandhavgarh. Notable bird species of Bandhavgarh are Painted Francolin, Painted Spurfowl, Red-crested Pochard, Barred Buttonquail, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Drongo Cuckoo, Brown Fish Owl, Savanna Nightjar, Painted Sandgrouse, Greater Painted-snipe, Osprey, Egyptian Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Pied Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Steppe Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Lesser Adjutant, Black Stork, Black-napped Monarch, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Bluethroat, Siberian Rubythroat, Rosy Starling, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Crested Bunting and White-capped Bunting.