In Bandipur, regal tigers stalk through swaying grasslands and sandalwood-scented forests where Asian elephants roam. This wild landscape in Karnataka was once ruled by the Maharaja of Mysore, who used it as a private hunting ground until 1941. Today, Bandipur’s natural jewels are recognised by the Tiger Project, who’ve carved out an 82-square-kilometre slice of the larger Bandipur National Park to serve as a sanctuary for nearly 200 of these endangered big cats. Protected by patrols and anti-poaching initiatives, the project is a beacon of wildlife and eco-tourism in India, offering peaceful lodges which you can use as a base for jeep safaris.
Along with three neighbouring parks, Bandipur also forms part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which covers acres of thick forest filled with towering teak and rosewood trees, flowing rivers and vast grasslands. Although tigers are the headline act for safari-goers, Bandipur is also home to some of India’s largest herds of Asian elephants, bison and spotted deer. The canopies are decorated with colourful birdlife – from parakeets to banana-beaked hornbills – and if you look closely, you may catch a glimpse of sloth bears, langurs and even rare Indian pangolins. Visit the 14th-century Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, surrounded by candy-striped walls, for views from the park’s highest peak.
Do you dream of spotting tigers in India? Then talk to our India gurus about adding a Bandipur safari to your itinerary.
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