The History and wildlife associated with Bandhavgarh,located in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, makes it one of the most popular National Parks in India. It derives its name from the fort atop the most prominent hill of the area and as per legend the fort was gifted to Laxman by Lord Ram himself, hence the Sanskrit name Bandhavgarh which means ‘Brother’s Fort’.
Though there is no evidence of when the fort was built, references have been as old as 2000 years.A large monolithic statue of reclining Lord Vishnu known as Sesh Shaiya is situated up the south face.A pool of spring water which is the source of stream called Charan Ganga is found in front of Sesh Shaiya.
The forests around Bandhavgarh had been the game preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa before being declared as a National Park and the ‘Wildlife Protection Act’ was constituted in the year 1972.Infact,Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger from here in 1951.
Khitauli,Magdhi and Kallawah were integrated into Talla range in 1982 resulting in a core area of around 715 sq.km.Buffer area of 437 sq.km,along with Panpatha Sanctuary was added combining together to form the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in 1993.
Bandhavgarh is known for BandhavgarhJungle safari to witness the flora, fauna and the habitat in their natural environment. Plan Bandhavgarh Safari trip with the stay in Bandhavgarh Meadows, a luxury retreat in Bandhavgarh.
~ By Indranil Paul
Jungle Safari in Bandhavgarh or forest excursion in Bandhavgarh is always exciting. It has always been the abode of legendary Tigers and Tigresses. It became famous in the 90s because of the Tiger couple Charger and Sita and since then the Tiger Reserve boasts of many legendary tigers like Banka,Bokha,Langru,Mohini,Pyari(Chakradhara Female), Reshma(BanbehiFemale) ,B1,B2, B3, Bheema,Bamera, Bamera’s Son,Chandni,Kankati,Rajbhera,Dotty,Spotty,Solo,Krishna ,Sukhipatia, Marchaini,Mahaman,Tara to name a few Bandhavgarh is home to numerous other tigers, each with its own story and lineage.
One of my visits to Bandhavgarh was in the summers of 2019 (May) with my friends Julien Boule and Cedric Soiulier. We had a series of safaris in Bandhavgarh to do and were super excited as most of the Tigresses had cubs in all the zones of Bandhavgarh.
That fateful morning we had our safari at Magdhi zone and blessed with the sightings of Solo and her 4 cubs in a cave, Dotty and her 3 cubs at Sukhipatia water hole and Bamera’s Son. We returned back to our resort with loads of tiger images.During lunch we got the news that tigress Tara had been sighted at Khitauli ,where our afternoon safari was booked, with her two 4 months old cub at Bandtalaiya waterhole.
We entered Khitauli with anticipation of sighting Tara and her cubs and headed straight to Bandtalaiya ignoring news that the Darra cubs have been sighted at another spot and believe me, what a decision it was! We were the 2nd gypsy to reach the waterhole and I can never forget the scene which behold in front of us. Tara was lying on her side and one of the cubs was suckling milk. This was in my bucket list since many years and at last God had granted my wish. Interaction of the cubs with their mother, affection towards each other, playful act of the siblings kept us busy for 2 hours. We were contended to our heart. All these blissful moments were captured in my camera and even to this day, I never get bored going through the series of images I made that evening. That is Bandhavgarh for you.