The prime tourist attraction in Bandhavgarh is the Bandhavgarh National Park. The reserve named after the highest hill Bandhavgarh (807 m) in the center of it, falls between the Vindhya hill range and the eastern flank of Satpura hill range and is located in Shahdol and Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh is one of the remaining havens for the pride of Indian wildlife-the Royal Bengal Tiger. This is also known as White Tiger territory. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years.
Bandhavgarh was ruled by a by a succession of dynasties but lost its importance in the 17th century with the shifting of court life to Rewa. Without royal patronage Bandhavgarh became more and more deserted until forest overran the area and it became the royal hunting reserve. At independence Bandhavgarh remained the private property of the Maharaja until he gave it to the state for the formation of the National Park in 1968. After the park was created poaching was brought under control and the number of animals rose dramatically.
Bandhavgarh Fort and National Park
There are 32 hills in this part of the park, which has a large natural fort at its center. The fort’s cliffs are 2625 feet (800 meters) high, 1000 feet (300 meters) above the surrounding countryside. The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and permission is required to visit it. However permission is available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh is complete without making an effort to climb up the fort .The natural ramparts of the fort give breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.. The fort has a small population of Blackbuck, which have been reintroduced and to some extent protected from Tigers in the park below by repairs to the masonry walls at the edges of the fort. Thus Bandhavgarh offers excellent game and bird viewing and a historical interest which most other parks lack.Much of the park is covered in Sal forest, replaced by mixed forests in the higher elevations of the hills. There are extensive stands of bamboo and grasslands. Generally the forests are less dense here, thus offering better sightings of wildlife, notably mammals, including the daylight sightings of Tigers in the grassy ‘maidans’.
About 150 species of birds known from the Tala area are also found over here including the Brown Fish Owl, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Shahin Falcon.