Bandhavgarh: A royal destination
The fort was under the ownership of the royals of Rewa, and the forests are home to Madhya Pradesh’s tigers. An opportunity to visit the place is not to be missed.
Bandhavgarh is a small national park; compact, yet teeming with wildlife. Covering 448 sq km, Bandhavgarh is situated in Umaria district. The density of the tiger population in Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. This is the original home of all the white tigers alive today. The last known was captured by Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951.This white tiger, Mohun, is now on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa. Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other species: sambar and barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park. The Bandhavgarh Fort is thought to be some 2,000 years old. Scattered throughout the park, and particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions.
There are three welldefined seasons-the winter (from mid-October to the end of February), summer (from March to middle of June) and the monsoon (from the middle of June to middle of October). The temperature ranges from a maximum of 42 degrees Celsius in May and June, to around four degrees Celsius in winter. Prior to becoming a national park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a ‘shikargah’, or a game preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa. In 1947, when Rewa was merged with Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh came under the Regulations of Madhya Pradesh. 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.