Bandipur national park is in Karnataka state of South India. It lies in southern part of Karnataka state, in Chamarajanagar district, close to the state border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala states. It was declared as national park in year 1973 and become part of Bandipur Tiger Reserve in year 1974, after launch of Project Tiger for conservation of tigers in India. It is located on the foothills of Nilgiri mountain range which is also known as Blue mountains. This tiger reserve is part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which covers an area of 5500 sq.kms. which means their is huge spread of natural forest from Nilgiri mountains to Western Ghats in which many protected areas are included. Before independence, it was part of Mysore Kingdom and used as hunting preserve but later become forest for conservation of wild animals and trees. Here we can find many biomes (collection of plants & animals with common characteristics towards environment). In between such biomes, southern tropical dry deciduous forest dominates the park area. In addition to this, we can find scrub lands and moist deciduous forest type. Here we can find more than 25 mammals species and about 360 bird species which are the major highlights of jungle safari experience. As it is just 80 kms from Mysore or Mysuru city and on the travel route from Mysore to Ooty, thus large number of tourists, visit this tiger reserve, especially on holidays and weekends. Here majority of hotels and entrance gate is in south-eastern part of national park which is easily accessible from Mysuru city, Coimbatore city, Bengaluru etc.


History of Bandipur national park indicates that in past, it was part of Mysore Kingdom which was powerful ruling power. Mysore rulers use this forest for their hunting expeditions trips. Bandipur is the southern most  part of present Karnataka state. It borders the north-eastern slopes of Nilgiri range of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In this entire region was broadly termed as Wynaad region. It has fluctuating rule history in which it passed through rule of Mysore, Kerala & Madras Presidency. Mysore Kingdom had main influence in this region. Realizing the need to wildlife conservation, they passed Mysore Game & Forest Preservation Regulation in year April 1901 in which they laid many rules about hunting of wild animal, tree cutting, bird catching, shooting birds, usage of forest water etc. Here they clearly defined the animals to be included in "Game category". They described rule about the age-group of the selective animals during which they can't be killed for game. In year 1931, a wildlife sanctuary was declared of 90 sq.kms. On realizing it as insufficient area for effective conservation, in year 1941, they reconstituted it as Venugopala Wildlife Sanctuary with area of 800 sq.kms. Its name Venugopala was derived from the shrine, located inside this area, at hilltop. This shrine was worshiped by Maharaja of Mysore.

Safari Timing

Jungle safari timing of Bandipur national park is decided by park management. Here they have provided 2 safari slots in both morning round and afternoon round. Usually we enjoy single safari slot in each morning & afternoon safari drives. Provision of 2 slots in each round helps to accommodate more tourists for safaris. National park is open, throughout the year. Closes only on special cases like flood situation or any emergency situation declared by state government etc. 

Period Morning Safari Afternoon Safari
Round 1 - By Jeep 06:15 - 08:00 Hrs 14:30 - 16:30 Hrs
Round 2 - By Jeep 08:00 - 09:45 Hrs 16:30 - 18:30 Hrs
Round 1 - By Bus 06:15 - 07:45 Hrs 14:30 - 16:30 Hrs
Round 2 - By Bus 07:45 - 09:30 Hrs 16:00 - 17:30 Hrs
Round 3 - By Jeep - No 3rd Round - 17:30 - 18:45 Hrs

Jungle Safari

Bandipur national park remains open, throughout the year. Here we can do jungle safaris on closed bus and jeeps. Unlike other popular national parks like Ranthambore, Corbett, Bandhavgarh, Tadoba national park etc., here safaris are operated on two slots of approx. 2:00 hrs in each slot. If you are interested in long duration safari, you need to buy two consecutive safari round permits. Small duration safari option is good for those visitors who have low budget or have some time constraint. This type of system allows more tourists to get chance to enjoy safari drives as more permits are offered in each round. Doing safari on closed bus is economical but not good for wildlife photography & birding. Thus jeep safari option is more preferred by visitors.


More than 25 mammal species are found in Bandipur tiger reserve area. Some of the key species in Bandipur national park, that we can see during jungle safaris are Asiatic Elephants, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Gaur, Wild Dog (Dhole), Sambar, Spotted Deer, Striped Hyena, Sloth Bear. Here Black Leopard sighting is also possible which makes it special attraction among wildlife lovers. Here Leopard sighting is more frequent in compare to tiger. Among special species, we will categorize Leopard Cat, Slender Loris and Mouse Deer. Their sighting is now a days very rare in other national parks of India.

How to reach

Bandipur national park is located in Karnataka state but inter-state border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala is not so far thus it is easily accessible from cities of these states also. For any tourist destination, travelers are of different categories thus their way of reaching that destination may also varies.

Nearest Airport = Mysuru Airport (70 kms), Coimbatore Airport (130 kms), Bengaluru Airport (230kms)
Nearest Railway Station = Mysore Station, Bengaluru Station
Nearest Bus Stand = Mysore (35kms) & Coimbatore cities are most suitable for reaching Bandipur forest, by road travelling.  

Best time to visit

Bandipur national park remains open, throughout the year thus tourists may plan to visit this park even in monsoon season when other popular national parks of India, remains closed. Still their are restrictions also like if region is under heavy rainfall or their is any flood like situation or their is any other emergency situation, park management may decide to close the safari operations. Still as per tourists preference we can say that best time to visit Bandipur national park is from October to May month when majority of domestic and inbound tourists prefer to visit Indian destinations.


Here hotels are mainly located nearby entrance gate  in which we can find mainly standard and deluxe category of hotels. Major setup i.e. safari reception, entrance gates and hotels are located on south-east region of national park. Here accommodation options are limited in compare to other popular national parks like Ranthambore, Kanha national park, Kaziranga, Tadoba national park etc thus if your plan get confirmed, please do the bookings in advance.

Next to Bandipur National Park

Bandipur national park is part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in which other wildlife destinations like Kabini forest, Nagarhole national park and Mudumalai national park comes. So after completing Bandipur trip, we may proceed to these wildlife destinations. Apart from this, we have option to visit Ooty hill station, Mysore city, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad etc.