Situated in the state of Karnataka near Mysore, Bandipur National Park was once the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Mysore. It was later established as a reserve in 1974, and these deciduous forests rich in wildlife and flora have become a popular tourist attraction since then. It was declared as a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It was then also included under Project Elephant and Project Tiger, due to the rich elephant population and significant number of Tigers.
Abundantly provided with a wide range of fauna and a large number of teak and sandalwood trees, this park is a part of the first Biosphere Reserve of the country: Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Situated in Nilgiris, the Bandipur National Park is blessed with a unique natural beauty. The park is habitat for a number of wild animals such as Elephants, Hornbills, Deers, Pythons, Sloth Bears, Pythons, Panthers etc.
The Bandipur National Park was originally created as a private sanctuary in 1931 by the Maharaja of Mysore and it served as his hunting grounds. The original area of the National park was 90 sq kms and was later continually expanded over the years, and now the park is spread over a extensive 900 sq kms. The park was originally known as the Venugopala National Park, and later on the area was converted into a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1973 and renamed as Bandipur Tiger Reserve. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is India’s largest and first biosphere reserve.
Bandipur National Park supports a rich biodiversity. The flora found here include a huge trees such as Teak, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Indian Laurel, Indian Kino Tree, Giant Bamboos and Grewia tibiae folia. There are also many flowering and fruiting trees such as Flame of the forest, Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Golden shower (Amaltas) tree and Black Cutch. The forests are home to a large population of wildlife, many of them belonging to endangered and vulnerable species. The rich fauna found here include Indian Elephants, Gaurs(Wild Bison), Tigers, Sloth Bears, Crocodiles, Pythons, Four-horned Antelopes, Jackals and Dholes. Peafowl, Red Headed Vultures, Crested Serpent Eagles and Kingfishers are commonly sighted, while there are around 200 more odd varieties of birds found in this region. Bandipur also has a sizeable population of reptiles and insects. It is also known for its butterfly population, and a great variety of beautiful and colorful species can be found here.