Situated in the cradle of the Vindhya Hills a chain of mountains that lie to the North of India. The park is situated in Umaria District of Madhya Pradesh. The erstwhile hunting reserve of Maharajahs of Rewa is now a protected area.
Apart from dense tiger forests the reserve boats of ancient ruins that date two centuries back in history. The ruins belong to ruling Hindu Kings who left their marks on the mountainous tract. The park is home to many animals especially the Bengal Tiger that rules the ruins and the forests. Being a core of protected area no human habitation is allowed anymore.
The ruins are in shape of idols, statues, caves, horse shelters, temples and gates. The fort lies atop the Bandhavgarh Mountain at 800 MSL. Now in rums some elements are still intact. The unique feature of the fort in ruin is the zoo-morphic statues of Lord Vishnu. Scattered along the tableau are statues of Visnu as Varah, Matsya and Sinh avatar. The Ram Janki Temples lies on the edge of the plateau overlooking the magnificent reserve.
On the ascent to the fort lies Sesh Shaiyya or sleeping idol of Lord Vishnu on edge of the pool. Esoteric and fairy land like the pool is man made and ancient. Ferns and small shrubs decorate the surroundings creating a cool precinct that offered succor and shelter to thirsty and exhausted soldiers of yore.
There are ruins all over and many can be seen on tiger safari at Bandhavgarh. The wildlife is enchanting and consists of tiger, leopard, sloth bear, dhole, deer, and bison. The number of hillocks create a mesmerizing topography making the park one of the most picturesque in India.
In order to reach the destination one needs to drive 170 km from Jabalpur airport & rail head. Other ways of reaching Bandhavgarh are by rail. An overnight train halts at Umaria station 32 km from the park. The road network is well connected.
There are many hotels in Bandhavgarh for accommodation near by in the buffer zone. They conform to different grades like luxury, deluxe, five star and budget. Rest houses are also available for stay but booking is accorded only to Government Officials.
Prior booking of safaris are advisable as they are booked well in advance. The bookings can be made at MP Online Portal. The hotels and resorts cane be booked using the websites.
Images by Teerath Singh