Located in the north-central province of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is one of India's largest national parks, and a popular destination for foreign visitors and domestic tourists alike. Stretched over dense forests, river valleys, and tall grassland, Bandhavgarh National Park is home to 250 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, and several large cats, among them a large population of Bengal tigers and Asian leopards. Interestingly enough, Bandhavgarh National Park also contains several historical ruins, namely statues and former castles from more chaotic times.
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Visit the Baghel Museum, a repository of the possessions of the King of Rewa. Bandhavgarh National Park was once his personal hunting grounds, and within the museum are some interesting possessions, including the stuffed body of a white tiger.
Situated on a hill rising 2,661 feet (811 meters) above sea level, Bandhavgarh Fort may date back almost two millennia. For centuries, the fort has changed hands between various dynasties; now, while it is still owned by the Maharaja of Rewa, a nearby ruler, it remains abandoned, its only inhabitants a small population of vultures.
For a stunning view of the surrounding national park, hike up Climber's Point.
Observe the park's numerous tigers from atop the back of an elephant. Your guides, as well as the elephant's mahouts, or handlers, will travel with you to ensure your safety in this up-close experience.
Located about 60 miles (96 kilometers) from Bandhavgarh, this park contains plant fossils that might be as old as 150 million years. Once thought to be part of a deep ocean, Mandla's most common fossils are those of mollusks, some of which are almost 40 million years old.
A popular saying about Bandhavgarh goes, “In any other park, you are lucky if you see a tiger; in Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you don’t see at least one.” Due to the dense tiger population, tiger sightings are so frequent here that some of the tigers within the park, namely a female named Seeta, gained fame for being the most photographed tiger in the world.
In addition to Bandhavgarh's big cats, see and photograph barking deer, sambar, nilgai, Indian wolf, hyena and gaur, or Indian bison, recently reintroduced into the park.
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Less than 50 years ago, India was home to just a handful of national parks; but with the introduction of Project Tiger in 1972, a government-launched tiger conservation program, that number has grown to 166 national parks, with over 500 wildlife sanctuaries to protect India’s beautiful, exotic, endangered creatures.
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India’s national parks are bursting with life, and the accommodations and wildlife experiences are getting better every day.
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