Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bandhavgarh Personified

The jungles of India intrigue and fascinate humans. They exude an aura of mystery and mystical charm and unparalleled natural beauty. The animal kingdoms in India since thousands of years have bedazzled humans and attracted them to admire, explore, study and record aspects of the nature's masterpiece. Throughout in annals of history animals and birds and forests find mention by the kings, court historians, writers, poets, ascetics and local communities.
Photos By. Mr.Kamaljeet Hora

Bandhavgarh jungle
was once contiguous with Central India Highlands and Vindhyan Ranges. It is now more or less fragmented and isolated, connected perhaps with Kanha and Achanakmar with nonviable badly deforested corridors.

Small and confined, the jungles of Bandhavgarh are an epitome of exceptional beauty and exude an aura of mystique. The spectacular esoteric, fairy tale settings and element of mystery remains. The terrain is unique of steep rocky hills, marshy grasslands and dense canopy of tropical moist forests. In between the forested slopes and marshy glens traverse small rivers - life lines of the ecosystem. The enigmatic landscape heightens perception of depth, stirs imagination and peppers mind and body.

The thrill of exploring mysterious jungle life is heightened by equally mysterious elusive animals that exude charisma, fear and awe. The tiger rules supreme, King personified and embellished in myths, arts, literature and cultures all over the World.

Bandhavgarh in its niche habitats, unfathomable caves amidst rocky crevices, towering hillocks and sun baked plateaus nourishes remains of ancient kingdoms. Of Kings and Queens who ruled in glorious times and eventually vanquished by conquerors. The ruins lie scattered unfolding saga of human civilizations that sought shelter in unreachable and secure womb of these dense forests.

Bandhavgarh is a fascinating blend of ancient history and equally fascinating jungle life. The pristine forests, prehistoric petrographic and man made caves, zoomorphic idols, ancient temples, stables, reservoirs and a magnificent fort stand testimony to ancient civilizations that coexisted with nature.

The park is the best place to watch tigers in the wild. In a small area of 400 plus a large population of Bengal tigers survive. The tigers of Bandhavgarh have been epitomized and made eternal by film makers, wild life photographers and story tellers alike. Be it the legendary Badka, Sita or awesome Charger all have been objects of sustained documentation and study. The stars of this wildlife resort have propelled it to International fame and mention. Visited by large number of inbound and Indian tourists the park invites more and more visitors every year. One can see large cross section of the park on safaris and enjoy big game and birding. The resort offers all king of hotel accommodation from super luxurious to budget.

The core focus in Bandhavgarh National Park in MP has always been on tiger due to high visibility and fecundity. On safari besides tigers and leopards, one can see many deer species, lesser carnivores and small often nocturnal mammals. Bird life at Bandhavgarh is interesting and invites many birdwatchers to the preserve. The impressive biodiversity is best experienced during a long stay and repeated visits.

The park is accessible from Jabalpur by road (4 hrs +) which is connected by flight service with New Delhi. Utkal Express makes a short stop at Umaria rail head about 32 km from the tiger preserve. From Khajuraho BTR is 6 to 7 hours drive.