The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is perhaps the best place for a tiger sighting in India, for the area enclosed by the reserve has been known to host these big cats for centuries. This area was once known to be the hunting ground of the Rewa royal family and legend states that one of the Rewa kings even shot 108 tigers within this sanctuary. Aside from tigers, a visit to the reserve offers visitors the chance to acquaint themselves with much of Madhya Pradesh’s native flora and fauna like the Sambar and Chital deer, the Nilgai, the Chowsingha (the four-horned antelope), the Sloth bear, jackals, hyenas and 240 species of birds.
The park also offers other attractions like the Bandhavargh Fort and several caves. The best way to experience this famed tiger reserve is atop the back of an elephant or in an open top four-wheel drive vehicle and both modes of transport can be supplied by local tour operators.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve: Getting there
The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is located at a distance of 237 km (147miles) from Khajuraho and is accessed via a five and a half hour drive from the temple city. Visitors seem to enjoy this route, as it takes them through other prominent destinations in Madhya Pradesh, like the Ken Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary and the town of Panna.
The main access airport for the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is the airport located in the city of Jabalpur which lies at a distance of 162 km (100 miles) from the reserve. However, many visitors often choose to access this reserve by getting into Khajuraho and combining a visit to the temples with a tour of this famed tiger reserve.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve: Where to stay
Visitors are advised to stay for at least three days at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, if they are keen to see a tiger. The reserve offers various accommodation options which cater to all budgets:
The Nature Heritage Resort
The Nature Heritage Resort offers 22 well-appointed, air-conditioned, luxury cottages that are outfitted with various modern-day essentials. The resort is also equipped with a multi-cuisine restaurant and a tour desk that offers various safaris and excursions in and around the park.
The Maharaja Royal Retreat
The Maharaja Royal Retreat, which extends over 16 verdant acres, is owned by the Maharaja of Rewa and is housed in what used to be the hunting lodge of the royal family. The retreat offers 15 luxurious, antique-filled rooms with are equipped with everyday amenities. The hotel is also equipped with a multi-cuisine restaurant and has facilities for organizing tours and safaris around the reserve.