The Bandhavgarh National Park is an actual crown of the rich wildlife of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated about 190 km from Jabalpur. Bandhavgarh was the game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa before becoming a national park in 1966. Though it started with just 108 square km of land, its territory was later stretched by including two adjoining sal forests in 1988. Bandhavgarh is a classic moist, deciduous forest, so communal to Central India.
The park boasts of an extensive variety of game. Its main wild beasts are tiger, leopard, sambar, muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, mountain gazelle, and wild boar. The gaur is usually spotted in March.
It is predictable that there are around 65 tigers, over 4,600 sambars, and over 6,000 spotted deer in this reserve. The park is also rich in avifauna and birds such as the green pigeon, crested serpent eagle, and variable hawk eagle are seen here. There are also several cave shrines scattered around the park, with Brahmi inscriptions dating back to the 2st century B.C.
Only two urban inhabitations around Bandhavgarh are Katani and Umaria. Katni is situated 130 km away and is a major junction on the South-Eastern Railways. Umari is situated at a distance of just 30 km, and is usually the base for travellers who come to discover the park.
Tourists could also take a trip to Khajuraho and Jabalpur, as well as Bheraghat on the river Narmada, for all of these are located in about the same region.
Bandhavgarh is midway between to the city of Jabalpur and well-known visitor spot of Khajuraho. It can be reached by using roads from both these places. Katni at a distance of 125 km on the South-Eastern Railways is the perfect railway connection for reaching Bandhavgarh via train.
The onset of summers is in April and the rising temperatures endure till June, and are sometimes as high as 40°C. The weather is cool and pleasant from November to February. The park is closed during the monsoon season, which also accords with the breeding season, from June till October. Heavy rainfall washes away most of the jungle pathways during these months. Through summer, light cottons are appropriate, but for the winters, woollen clothing is suggested.
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