Bandhavgarh Travel Guide
The closest rail head is Umaria (32 km/45 mins) or Katni (100 Km./3 hrs). The nearest airport is Khajuraho/Jabalpur Dumna Airport at 220 kms from Bandhavgarh. Khajuraho/Jabalpur Airport has a direct air connection with Delhi. You have to get a private taxi to reach Bandhavgarh because, apart from the service from Umaria, there is no regular bus service.
At Bandhavgarh National Park, there are a number of lodges to stay in. Some have restaurants; Nature Heritage, GTV Resort, Bandhavgarh Madmouse, Tiger Den, Kings Lodge, Bandhav Vilas, White Tiger Forest Lodge (MP Tourism Lodge). There are also some low budget lodges such as Kum Kum Home, Jungle Inn, Pawan Lodge, Bagh Vihar, GTV Resort. You can also get meals at dhabas
Other places of tourist interest in and around Bandhavgarh include the Tala village, closest to the reserve and a perfect picture of a rural village. The Baghel Museum houses personal belongings of the Maharaja of Rewa, who once maintained Bandhavgarh as his Shikargarh. Climbers Point, Rampur Pahari and Sita mandap are other places of interest for hikers.
The Bhamera Dam and the Gharpuri Dam form a huge water bank in the adjoining Panpatha Sanctuary, popular for water birds. The Chenchpur waterfall is another attraction of the place.
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968 with an area of 105 km². The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort).
This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of Leopards, and various species of deer. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured a white tiger in this region in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
There are three ways of exploring the forest here: vans, open jeeps or on elephants back. Apart from tigers you can also see sambar, chital, chinkara, barking deer, wild boar, leopard, and sloth bears. The area also has an extremely ancient fort, the Bandhavgarh Fort, which contains inscriptions from 300 AD on one of its
The state of Rewa owes its origins to the foundation of a state dating to 1234 by Vyaghra Dev, a descendant of the Vaghelas of Gujarat. He married the daughter of the Raja of Pirhawan and conquered the territory between Kalpi and Chandalgarh. Karan Dev, son of Vyaghra Dev married the daughter of the Raja of Ratanpur, bringing Bandhogarh (now known as Bandhavgarh) into the family as her dowry. The legendary fortress of Bandhogarh fell into Mughal hands in 1597, almost by accident. At the death of H.H. Maharaja Virbhadra Rao in 1593, his minor son succeeded as H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya. When he was sent to Delhi for his own safety, the emperor took advantage of his absence to send one of his loyal nobles as temporary governor. Once he had taken control of the fort, the Maharaja’s nobles and officials were expelled and the fort annexed by the Mughals. On his return to his remaining domains, H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya was forced to establish a new capital at Rewa, from whence the state took its name.
The history of the region can be traced back to the 1st century. There are 39 caves in the Bandhavgarh fort and in the surrounding hillocks up to a radius of about 5 km. The oldest cave datesw from the 1st century. Several caves carry inscriptions in Brahmi script. Some caves have embossed figures such as tigers, pigs, elephants and horsemen. Badi gufa, the largest cave, has a broad entrance, nine small rooms and several pillars. It has been dated back to the 10th century. The cave appears to be primitive, lacking the elaborate statues and carvings seen in the caves of the Buddhist period. Its purpose remains a mystery.
No records are available to show when Bandhavgarh fort was constructed. However, it is thought to be some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the “Narad-Panch Ratra” and the “Shiva Purana”. Various dynasties have ruled the fort; including the Mauryans from the 3rd century BC, Vakataka rulers from the 3rd to the 5th century the Sengars from the 5th century and the Kalachuris from the 10th century. In the 13th century, the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when Maharaja Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort in 1935.
Bandhagarh National Park is a park with a rich historical past. Prior to becoming a national park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve, of the Maharajas and their guests.
In 1947 Rewa State was merged with Madhya Pradesh; Bandhavgarh came under the regulations of Madhya Pradesh. The Maharaja of Rewa still retained the hunting rights. No special conservation measures were taken until 1968, when the areas were constituted as a national park. Since then, numerous steps have been taken to retain Bandhavgarh National Park as an unspoilt natural habitat.