Bandhavgarh National Park
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Bandhavgarh National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
A tigress which is a descendant of Sita and Charger in Bandhavgarh.
Location Madhya Pradesh, India
Nearest city Katni
Coordinates 23°41′ 58″ N 80°57′ 43″ ECoordinates: 23°41′ 58″ N 80°57′ 43″ E
Area 446 square kilometres (172 sq mi)
Governing body Madhya Pradesh Forest Department
Bandhavgarh National Park (Devanagari: ) is one of the
popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was
declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km². The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of
Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the
area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka
(Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort).
This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the
highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of Leopards, and various species of
deer. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951. This white
tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
2 Bengal tigers
4 Reintroduction of Gaur
7 External links
The state of Rewa owes its origins to the foundation of a state dating to 1234 by Vyaghra Dev, a
descendant of the Vaghelas of Gujarat. He married the daughter of the Raja of Pirhawan and conquered
the territory between Kalpi and Chandalgarh. Karan Dev, son of Vyaghra Dev married the daughter of the
Raja of Ratanpur, bringing Bandhogarh (now known as Bandhavgarh) into the family as her dowry. The
legendary fortress of Bandhogarh fell into Mughal hands in 1597, almost by accident. At the death of
H.H. Maharaja Virbhadra Rao in 1593, his minor son succeeded as H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya. When
he was sent to Delhi for his own safety, the emperor took advantage of his absence to send one of his
loyal nobles as temporary governor. Once he had taken control of the fort, the Maharaja’s nobles and
officials were expelled and the fort annexed by the Mughals. On his return to his remaining domains,
H.H. Maharaja Vikramaditya was forced to establish a new capital at Rewa, whence the state took its
The history of the region can be traced back to the 1st century. There are 39 caves in the Bandhavgarh
fort and in the surrounding hillocks up to a radius of about 5 km. The oldest cave dates from the 1st
century. Several caves carry inscriptions in Brahmi script. Some caves have embossed figures such as
tigers, pigs, elephants and horsemen. Badi gufa, the largest cave, has a broad entrance, nine small rooms
and several pillars. It has been dated back to the 10th century. The cave appears to be primitive, lacking
the elaborate statues and carvings seen in the caves of the Buddhist period. Its purpose remains a mystery.
No records are available to show when Bandhavgarh fort was constructed. However, it is thought to be
some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the “Narad-Panch Ratra” and the
“Shiva Purana”. Various dynasties have ruled the fort; including the Mauryans from the 3rd century BC,
Vakataka rulers from the 3rd to the 5th century the Sengars from the 5th century and the Kalachuris from
the 10th century. In the 13th century, the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when
Maharaja Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort in 1935.
Statue of Shesh-Saiya at Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhagarh National Park is a park with a rich historical past. Prior to becoming a national park, the
forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve, of the Maharajas
and their guests.
In 1947 Rewa State was merged with Madhya Pradesh; Bandhavgarh came under the regulations of
Madhya Pradesh. The Maharaja of Rewa still retained the hunting rights. No special conservation
measures were taken until 1968, when the areas were constituted as a national park. Since then, numerous
steps have been taken to retain Bandhavgarh National Park as an unspoilt natural habitat.
Project Tiger was constituted in 1972 and then the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 came into force. It was
realized that protection of just the 105 km² of prime Bandhavgarh habitat was not enough, so in 1982,
three more ranges, namely Khitauli, Magdhi and Kallawah were added to Tala range (the original
Bandhavgarh National Park) to extend the area of Bandhavgarh to 448 km². As Project tiger extended its
activities and area of influence, Bandhavgarh was taken into its folds in 1993, and a core area of 694 km²
was established including the previously named ranges and the Panpatha Sanctuary along with a buffer
area of 437 km² which was declared as the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
A tiger in Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world, and is home to some famous
named individual tigers. Charger, an animal so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and
tourists (whom he nonetheless did not harm), was the first healthy male known to be living in
Bandhavgarh since the 1990s. A female known as Sita, who once appeared on the cover of National
Geographic and is considered the most photographed tiger in the world, was also to be
found in Bandhavgarh for many years. Almost all the tigers of Bandhavgarh today are descendants of Sita
and Charger. Their daughter Mohini, son Langru and B2 also maintained their tradition for frequent
sighting and moving close to tourist jeeps.
Mohini, became prominent following Sita's death. She mated with Mahamn Tiger. She later died of her
wounds from the vehicle accident.
Charger died in 2000 and his body was buried at Charger Point where he was kept in a closed region at
his old age. Between 2003 and 2006, many of his descendants met with a series of unfortunate ends. B1
was electrocuted and B3 was killed by poachers. Sita was killed by poachers. Mohini died of serious
wounds to her body. After the death of Charger, the fully grown B2 survived as the dominant male in the
forest between 2004 and 2007. He also became the strongest tiger in the world. Mating with a female in
the Siddhubaba region of Bandhavgarh, he became a father of three cubs. One of them was a male. He
was named Bumera. Bumera was first sighted in 2008 and is now Bandhavgarh's dominant male;
however, one of his daughters has been known to mate with another male tiger who is likely to challenge
Bumera for the crown. In November 2011, B2 died. Postmortem studies suggest that he died a natural
death. But many other professional people, who know more than the officials, say that he was injured by
the villagers of the village in the buffer area. The people also have proofs with them.
Now, the most prominent tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park is Bumera, who has territory in all the four
zones of the park. The females are Kankatti and Panpatti who both have three and two cubs respectively.
The four main zones of the national park are Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli and Panpatta. Tala is the richest zone
in terms of biodiversity, mainly tigers. Together, these four ranges comprise the 'Core' of the
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve constituting a total area of 694 km². The buffer zone is spread over the forest
divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals another 437 km². The legal status as a national park dates back
to 1968, but was limited only to the present Tala range for a considerable length of time. In 1993 the
present scheme of things was put in place
According to bio-geographic classification, the area lies in Zone 6A- Deccan Peninsula, Central
Highlands (Rodgers, Panwar & Mathur, 2000). The classification of Champion & Seth lists the area under
Northern India Moist Deciduous Forests. The vegetation is chiefly of Sal forest in the valleys and on the
lower slopes, gradually changing to mixed deciduous forest on the hills and in the hotter drier areas of the
park in the south and west.
The wide valleys along the streams carry long linear grasslands flanked by Sal forests. Rich mixed forests
consisting of Sal (shorea rubusta), Saja, Salai, and Dhobin etc. with dense bamboo thickets occur in many
places. These together provide Bandhavgarh its rich biodiversity.
With the tiger at the apex of the food chain, it contains 37 species of mammals. According to forest
officials, there are more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies, a number of reptiles.
But many people have the species' list of about 350 birds along with photographs. The richness and
tranquility of grasslands invites pairs of Sarus Cranes to breed in the rainy season.
One of the biggest attractions of this national park is the tiger (panthera tigris tigris) and its sightings.
Bandhavgarh has a very high density of tigers within the folds of its jungles. The 105 km² of park area
open to tourists was reported to have 22 tigers, a density of one tiger for every 4.77 km². (Population
estimation exercise 2001). The population of tigers in the park in 2012 is about 44-49. There is a saying
about the Park that 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."
Bandhavgarh tiger reserve is densely populated with other species: the gaur, or Indian bison are now
extinct or have migrated elsewhere; sambar and barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be
seen in the open areas of the park. There have been reports of the Indian Wolf (canis lupus indica), hyena
and the caracal the latter being an open country dweller. The tiger reserve abounds with cheetal or the
spotted deer (Axis axis) which is the main prey animal of the tiger and the leopard (Panthera pardus). The
Indian bison were reintroduced from Kanha.
Reintroduction of Gaur
Bandhavgarh national park had small population of Gaur. But due to some disease passed from the cattles
to them, all of them died. The project of reintroduction of Gaurs dealt with shifting some Gaurs from
Kanha National Park to Bandhavgarh. 30-35 animals were shifted by the fall of 2010. This project was
executed by Taj Safaris and Conservation corporation of Africa by technical collaboration. 
Some of the birds found in Bandhavgarh national park are
Indian Grey Hornbill
Oriental Magpie Robin
Eurasian Collared Dove
White-browed Fantail Flycatcher
Rufous Treepie (Normal And Pallida)
Lesser Adjutant Stork
Oriental White Eye
Lesser Whistling Teal
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Grey Capped Pigmy Woodpecker
Crested Serpent Eagle
Brown Fish Owl
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Malabar Pied Hornbill
White-throated Fantail Flycatcher
Changeable Hawk Eagle (Cirrhatus)
Oriental Turtle Dove
Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker
Dusky Crag Martin
Little Brown Dove
Red Collared Dove
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Greater Whistling Teal
Dark Black Crow
Asian Pied Starling
^ Reintroduction of Gaur (Indian Bison) in Bandhavgarh National Park
Aqeel Farooqi: A Tribute to Charger 
L.K.Chaudhari & Safi Akhtar Khan: Bandhavgarh-Fort of the Tiger, Wild Atlas Books, Bhopal, 2003
Shahbaz Ahmad: Charger: The Long Living Tiger, Print World, Allahabad, 2001 ISBN 8177380003
W.A.Rodgers, H.S.Panwar and V.B.Mathur: Wildlife Protected Area Network in India: A review,
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, 2000
Captain J.Forsyth: The Highlands of Central India, Natraj Publishers, Dehradun, 1994.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh travel guide from Wikitravel
15 mages of tigers at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh- Project Tiger
Forest resource use by people in Protected Areas and its implications for biodiversity conservation: The
case of Bandhavgarh National Park in India
Wildlife Times: The Central Indian Tiger Pilgrimage - A trip report
Photographs of the Wildlife in Bandhavgarh National Park
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Categories: IUCN Category IITiger reserves of IndiaNational parks of IndiaNational parks in Madhya
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