The Bandipur National Park, an enchanting land teeming with natural beauty and wildlife treasures,
was set up in the year 1974 as a tiger reserve project. It is located in the state of Karnataka. Earlier
this area used to be the hunting ground of the Mysore Maharaja. However, the entire area now is
part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Spanning an area of 874 square km it lies in an area that is
adjacent to three other national parks: the Nagarhole National park, The Wayanad Wildlife
Sanctuary, and the Mudumalai National Park. The Biosphere Reserve is thus the largest habitat for
wild elephants in South Asia.
Bandipur is on the way from Mysore to Ooty and therefore experiences a lot of tourist traffic. The
vegetation is primarily deciduous. There is a traffic ban on this route from 9 pm to 6 am owing to the
many animal fatalities due to speeding vehicles. Bandipur supports the growth of a number of
timber trees including sandalwood, rosewood, and teak among others. Bandipur also protects
endangered fauna such as wild elephants, tigers, gaurs, sloth bears, antelopes, pythons, jackals, etc.
Peafowls and red-headed vultures are some birds among the many that can be spotted in this area.
Monitor lizards, flying squirrels, and chameleons are some of the reptiles that can be found here.
Visits to the Tiger Reserve are organized by the authorities. There are restaurants that serve the
public and there are dormitories and other hotels outside the reserve where people can stay.