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Tourist Places To Visit In Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park, located in Madhya Pradesh, is the abode of diverse endangered wildlife species. These include not only the tigers but also chital, the Indian bison, nilgai and langurs besides chinkara, jackals and wild boars among many others. A beautiful place, there are several tourist places to visit in Bandhavgarh and its nearby areas. Some of these places are discussed in the succeeding paragraphs.
The National Park
The National Park in Bandhavgarh is a sanctuary not only for the tigers but also for the wild boars, jackals and the Indian bison. The park is well known for having the maximum density of tigers in the wild in the world. There is a large number of species of birds too in the park. Some of these include the green pigeons, black and white Malabar Hornbills, white bellied drongo as well as the green bee-eaters, browed fantails and steppe eagles among many others. One can also see diverse species of reptiles in the park such as pythons and trees that are rare like the medicinal plant like the buch or Acorus calamus. The park is fed by the Umrar River while the rivers Son and Johilla also flow in the park’s eastern end.
The Tala Village is Bandhavgarh’s beautiful attraction. Located at the lowest area of the park’s reserve, it has several mud houses and some fine natural landscapes. Visitors who visit the reserve will be able to find several resorts and hotels for their accommodation in this village which is actually an old Indian village. The villagers live in old houses that are made of mud and it is an excellent feeling when one sees the old villagers smoke their hookahs while sitting on their cots. There are several souvenir shops here as well and one can avail of basic facilities in this village.
Bandhavgarh Hill has an elevation of about 810 m above the sea level and it is this that has given the wildlife sanctuary its name. On the top of the hill is the Bandhavgarh Fort which used to be the seat of the Rewa rulers till 1617. There are hills which are surrounded by valleys that have a gradual slope. These valleys end in small and swampy meadows which are called ‘bohera’ by the local people. The Bandhavgarh Hill is the highest while it is surrounded by thirty two smaller hillocks. There is an old temple too which is frequented by several people for prayers and meditation.
The elephant safari at the park is most enjoyable. You feel rested and in a different world when you are perched on top of the elephant far away from the noises at the ground level and also from the diesel fumes of the open jeep. The gait of the elephant is majestic and its roll is magical. You can enjoy the advantage of being on top of the entire environment and who knows you may be able to see a wild animal or two if not the tiger. The park has some 22 different species of mammals and around 250 species of birds. The flora is interesting as well and there are species that include the sal and dhauda, tendu and the saja among many more.
Bandhavgarh Fort, at the centre of the National Park, is on top of Bandhavgarh Hill and is believed to be about two thousand years old. The fort, surrounded by several hills of a smaller size, is home to several species of vultures, most of them endangered. The fort was the place from where the rulers of Rewa state conducted their affairs of the state till 1617. Inside the fort you will find statues of Lord Vishnu, all carved out of monolithic rocks. These statues go back to the 10th and 11th centuries AD and are very attractive. The biggest of these statues is that of Lord Vishnu in a reclining posture. There is also a temple near the fort. This temple is dedicated to Laxmana.
Shesh Shaiya is an idol of Lord Vishnu and is the origin of the River Charanganga. The length of the idol is 65 ft and is laid on the serpent with seven heads, horizontally. The serpent with the seven heads is the Shesh Naga and the idol appears to be very ancient. Several birds visit this site, which has several fruit bearing trees nearby. The birds such as the Malabar pied Hornbill make this site more beautiful. Large number of devotees visit this site during Diwali when the place is decorated with several lamps.
The Gharpuri Dam, 10 km from the Bandhavgarh National Park, is well known because of its surroundings which are a treat for lovers of nature and wildlife photographers. Birds such as the Sarus Crane and Black Ibis besides the Pied Wagtail, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Red Wattled Lapwing and the Indian Pond Heron can all be found perched near the dam. Naturally, this place is also crawling with visitors with their priceless cameras almost throughout the year. The dam stretches for 20 km and is also an attractive spot for picnics. An afternoon here would be an afternoon well spent.
Chakradhara is yet another site in the National Park that is very popular for sighting tigers. It is surrounded by dense hilly tracts and there is a large area which is a meadow land that provides shelter to diverse species of flora and fauna. This looks more like an area which is used by carnivores for hunting. It has a good density of wildlife. The meadows are beautiful and one can see clearly over large distances, thereby making it possible to see any wildlife in the vicinity.