Bandhavgarh is a relatively young wildlife reserve, but has its roots steeped in two thousand year old history. It is a reserve teeming with wildlife which are to be found in a uniquely historic setting with carvings, temples and fort.
Bandhavgarh is set amongst the Vindhya Hills in the state of Madhya Pradesh. When it was originally formed in 1968 Bandhavgarh was a small reserve of 105 sq km but in 1986 it was extended to inlcude two large forest areas, primarily of Sal, adjoining the northern and southern sides. There are 32 hills in the main centre of the park which has a large fort at its centre. The buffer zone is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². In 1993, Bandhavgarh National Park was finally declared a tiger reserve under Project Tiger.
Over half of Bandavgarh is populated with the beautifully fragrant Sal trees, which drops its blossom like snow in late March. On the upper slopes it is replaced by a mixed forest of Dhobin and Saja. Towards the northern part of the reserve there are large stands of bamboo and open grassland.
Bandhavgarh boasts superb tiger sightings in the reserve, often seen sitting or crossing the roads in front of the jeeps. In addition to its wonderful big cat population, Bandhavgarh also has an impressive 37 species of mammals, more than 250 species of birds, about 70 species of butterflies, and a handsome number of reptiles.
The vegetation along streams and morasses make this park a favourite place for over 250 species of birds.The natural greenery of grasslands invites pairs of Sarus Cranes to breed in the rainy season. Bandhavgarh also attracts many migratory birds in the winter months, including birds of prey like the Steppe Eagle and a very good variety of wildfowl.