In Photos : Bandipur National Park, India

2/03/2014 11:31:00 PM

In August month of 2010 I did my very first wild life safari trip to Bandipur National Park in Karnataka India. A 3 days long trip in deep forests of Nilgiri Tiger reserve, with multiple wildlife sightings, would have been just another first time experience if I wasn't given the best birthday present ever - I saw a tigress.

About 80km far from the city of Mysore (200+ from Bangalore), Bandipur was once a private wild life resort for Maharaja of this historical city. In 1974 it was named the national park, and a tiger reserve. Spread over 872 sq km area, Bandipur is a rain forest adjoining Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The Park is home to many endangered species, and is famous for its fauna, and wildlife sightings of tigers and elephants.

This Essay is a crisp and self-effacing photo documentation of my sightings and reconnoiters. Though I am very fond of Outdoor and Nature explorations, My Wildlife knowledge is limited and hence I do not yet know the names - local/scientific, of many of these species. If you do, Please post them in the comment and I shall update those in the article.

The Indian Sambhar in the image 1st, second and third - Spotted a few every time I entered the Jungle, this above I am guessing is Mating session?

The Sambhar Pair. One of my favorite shot, though there's lot in the background So I thought I'll do some B&W magic hmm..

A Mother and a Baby Langoor with another Black langoor.

That was quite a flight they took, we observed them for quite a while, running up and down on a tree, but it was pretty dark so I couldn't get any good stills. BTW I was carrying an 18-200 EF-S IS Canon with 450D, too short for wildlife and plus sampling rate was problem too, Apparently I was cursing my equipment, and kept doing it until my lens the best shot of the lot.

Another Sambhar, Too close any of these guys, and no I was never scared but felt I sort of intruded their privacy. I since figured I have many such issues to deal with. One of them is I don't like visiting zoo anymore.

Indian Bison Herd, if thats what the group is called? They are quite strong and mascular btw, a few, in other sighting ran quite like a bull or perhaps faster.

This one I saw very late at night, hence the dark shade and noise.

In b/w the trips to jungle, I was in this open area around the government guest house. It had rained a few times and the grass blades were sparkling in bright sun light. I walked from room to kitchen a few times barefoot, sat there looking at the sky. it was beautiful.

One of the morning at the park. a small area of the park is inhibited I believe, specially around the guest house and other few resorts in the park there is a large open area. and of course the Mysore-ooty road crosses the national park right in the neighborhood. if you wake up early morning, you'll see hundreds of chital aka spotted deer walking around your room. I saw them every morning, this was at a little distance from the guest house.

Aint they look beautiful? I can't walk pass these photos with out remembering the horrible accident I had in Utah, the same reason holds true for the highway here as well, I was told the highway is generally closed in the night, to protect the wildlife from accidents, I am not sure how true it is though. hopefully things would get better, are getting better.

For public to know such and other important info, specially related to conservation is extremely important, and for those who are traveling to these area, it is mandatory - realizing that, and the fact that I do want to see all the parks, Only After, I took the initiative to start #parktravel ( more info on the page) I am sure it'll give me and you both, a crash course in exploring the parks and their conservation of nature.

A Peacock in the wild. The pink flower were very prominent in the entire park, I also remember someone mentioning the thick bushes that have outgrown in the park are turning out to be quite dangerous for the habitants, I however, didn't get much chance to explore more about how and why later after the trip.

One of the forest-ranger's home in the midst of the jungle. cute isn't it.

These and few other elephant sighting, on the first day I had a chance to observe a Tusker from close enough, the whole sequence of how he pulled a bamboo stick out, peeled it off, ate it, drank and splashed water all over him and then indicated us he had to cross the road and go on the other side, which he did after we pulled the vehicle a little back - was nothing less than mesmerizing.

A very pretty bird, Sorry I have no idea what the name is, and yes, here I am back again ranting about not enough zoom, I could've cropped the image, but that would have taken away the surroundings and feel of the entire space.

Foot prints of a fox I think.. what do you think?

A small lake in the park area and some birds.

One of the herb plant we found, has some story related to Hindu Lord Shiva as well, which I, of course, forgot since its been 3 and a half years and my notes are missing.

A house in the area, I think there were enough houses to make a small village perhaps.

all the open space for me to take a stroll. all for me.

Another Sambhar and few deer in dense area of the forest.

This was one more peacock i saw near another lake ( not the above one) I remember it because I also saw a very thin and long snake by that lake as well. Photo is unfortunately missing.

Gallus gallus or Jungli Murga in hindi.

I think he's the same guy as above. quite a beauty.

Serpent Eagle | Bandipur National Park

The Serpent eagle

 Indian Bison / South Asian Gaur / Wild Buffalo | Bandipur National Park This is my favorite image of Indian Bison / South Asian Gaur / Wild Buffalo.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta Temple

The temple at the highest point in the park, I visited on my last morning in the park. It was raining and view of the entire range of the forest, covered in the mist was nothing less than mind-blowing. the tall trees on the right of the below panorama were quite in contrast with the rest of the fauna in the park and hence I just took this shot to keep it documented.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is one of highest peaks in the area in Chamarajnagar district. It rises to a height of 1454 meters above sea level. The place is so called because it is covered in mist and layers of mountains. This temple located on the hill top is dedicated to Lord Krishna - Gopal is one of his names - the distance from forest office to here is about 15 Km. You can visit this region to see the temple, herds of elephants, and for a view of the valley and forest area.

Before coming on this trip, I remember I was making a plan to trek to this peak through the forest, and somehow the plan did not work out. I was also informed the trekking was banned in that area for a short / long period of time.

This one was sitting far off his brothers -sisters and friends who were quite busy jumping around. and perhaps thats why I could have a quite moment with him.

Remember i mentioned deer walking to the open area in the night and going back to the forest in the morning? the same was the case with these pigs as well. saw them early morning behind my room.

and  here are these guys at about 5-6AM close to my guest house, I first saw them from my window and then I walked to them. behind is the bus to famous hill station Ooty on the national highway.

This is what I've Heard...

This is one of my favorite shot in the mid afternoon.


Just incase if you thought the fun was over - here comes the queen. her name is Gauri. She's an Alpha Tiger. She was carrying two baby tigers when I first saw her. I later heard that both kids are doing really well.

  World is round and so will you?
Gloriosa Superba - spotted this wild flower in the middle of Bandipur forest, looks like an inspiration for Karnataka flag, kept couple of us busy while we waited for a vehicle to come.. (the old one broke down in the midst of the forest we walked all the way to the this tarred road and sat for an hour then went back to the forest office.)

And these, well, are us species, most boring of the lot, hence featured at the bottom of the post.
Hope you enjoyed the essay.
More soon. 

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  1. Sigh .... such beautiful photographs ! They started a little mundane but by the end it was such an awesome display of photographic skills combined with the beauty of nature that I was stunned . Great job Poonam :)

  2. Just one word to describe the photographs, "serene" Planning to visit Bandipur this winter. Being a photography enthusiast myself, hope to get as lucky as you did :)

  3. @Rajesh - Hey thank you. I am sure you'd find wonderful imagery there. I went with just a travel lens, so couldnt capture much, wish you good luck for the trip.

  4. Excellent post. The name of that small bird is Green Bee-eater. Also the tigress you saw, Gauri is very famous in Bandipur, gave 8 cubs and all have survived. Sadly Gauri died 2 years back.

  5. wow this is first time seeing your blog its simply wow

  6. simply suberb this is first time i am seeing ur blog


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