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Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park is located on the North Eastern border of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. The National Park is known for its lush greenery, rolling hills and streams which flow into a tributary of the River Ganges. Home to over 250 species of birds, including Doves, Magpies, Lapwings, Drongos, Cormorants, Peacocks and much more, Bandhavgarh National Park is known for the vast numbers of birds and animals which dwell there.

Photographs of the Indian Roller, the Collared Scops Owl, the Serpent Eagle and the Buffy Fish Owl

The forests of Bandhavgarh National Park are also roamed by many animals. From sloth bears to all sorts of deer and monkeys all the way to the cat family including leopards, civet cats and many more.

Photographs of The Indian Langur and Spotted Deer,a Sambar Deer, A monitor lizard and a wild boar.

Our first morning in Bandhavgarh National Park was met by heavy rains. Doubtful that we were going to see anything, we sat in our jeeps with rain covers over our heads. The sky was grey and , it did not seem as if we were going to see any animal at all. We saw no deer on entering the park or any of the playful langurs swinging from the tall Sal trees. We drove on without any animal in sight, when suddenly our jeep came to a halt.

We looked out of the plastic windows of our rain cover and saw the last thing any of us were expecting to see. We saw Chakradhara Female, an often shy tigress who roamed a small area of the Tala Zone. Full of excitement, I pulled out my camera and learned that nothing is impossible in the forest.

This time around, we were lucky enough to catch another good tiger sighting. Walking through the dense grasslands of Bandhavgarh, was a big tigress with her cubs.

Though Bandhavgarh is known for the pristine tiger which strides through the forest's every inch, the birds and other animals which roam the forest are sure to be a spectacular sight! In addition to this, Bandhavgarh is known further known for its ancient history within the park itself.


According to The Ramayana, Bandhavgarh was gifted by Lord Ram to his brother Lakshman after the battle of Lanka. The word Bandhavgarh is derived from the words Bandhav which means brother and Garh, the Fort which overlooks the forest. The fort a natural monument stands magnificently on a hillock inside the Reserve and is part of the Vindhya ranges in Umaria region.

Photograph of Bandhavgarh Hill on a cloudy morning

Even though it isn't possible to access the fort. One can catch a glimpse of the fort on this hill, known as Bandhavgarh Hill, on a clear day. Highlights of the fort include Treasury, Seth Dhani Temple, The Bandhavdheesh Temple, a temple dedicated to Ram, Varah or the statue of wild boar, Narsimha, the body of man with the head of lion, Matsya, the fish statue and Kachhap, the turtle statue which is the largest of its kind in India. All of these statues are believed to be the avatars of Lord Vishnu and are held in the temples of the fort. While the fort is denied access throughout the year keeping in mind conservation of the forest area and not being allowed to venture too much into the wildlife territory, villagers can only visit the temple in groups on the festival days of Janmashtami in August and The Kabir Festival in December.

The Vishnu Temple- Shesh Shaiya

The Vishnu Temple is a part of the Bandhavgarh Fort which extends down into the forest itself! It was amazing to see the statue of the divine deity in the forest. At the top of a hill within the forest, we walked into a realm of peace and greenery. Unlike the fort, the statue can be visited by tourists while they are on a safari in the Tala Zone of the National Park. We were able to get off our jeeps and explore every inch of the Shesh Shaiya on foot. Lord Vishnu’s reclining posture is surrounded with a canopy of the seven hooded serpent called Sheshnag. The Head of lord Vishnu is facing East and the legs are on west with a stream of natural water gushing, known as Bandhavgarh’s life line river. Though we were surrounded by silence and didn't see any animals at all, there have been many sightings of leopards and even tigers on the statue.

Bandhavgarh National Park was unlike any National Park I had ever been to. The greenery and serenity of its every inch filled me with joy and a sense of fulfillment. Bandhavgarh the home to a vast number of birds and animals, taught me that a forest is so much more than the birds and animals which dwell in it. I would definitely visit again in the future and pay more attention to the numerous things Bandhavgarh is so well known for.

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