Once part of the old Rewa state, Bandhavgarh National Park is set amidst the Vindhya ranges with a series of ridges running through it. Initially this park was the royal hunting ground for the rulers of Rewa. But in 1968 it was declared a park with an area of only 105.4 sq. km. At present, however, the Bandhavgarh Park covers 448 sq km.
The Bandhavgarh National Park is the place where the famous white tigers of Rewa were discovered. The last known capture of the white tiger was in1951. He is believed to have fathered many a cub in Indian zoos and outside. 'Mohan' is now stuffed and on display in the palace of of the Maharaja of Rewa.
Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other animal species too. The sambar, barking deer and nilgai are also common sights in the open areas of the park.
The vegetation of the park is dry deciduous. About half of the park is covered with sal trees. There are mixed forests in the higher reaches of the hills. Stretches of Bamboo and grasslands extend to the north of the park. Grassy meadow patches occur in the valley and along the nalas. The park sustains all those species which are typical to Central India.
There are 22 species of mammals which include langurs and rhesus macaque as the primary group. The jackal, fox, bears, ratel, mongoose, hyena, jungle cat, leopard and tiger form the core carnivore population. The animals frequently sighted are wild pig, spotted deer, sambar, dhole, the small Indian civet, palm squirrel and lesser bandicoot rat are seen occasionally.
The national park holds some 250 odd species of birds along the streams and marshes. Reptilian fauna include cobra, krait, viper, rat snake, python, turtle and a large number of lizard varieties, including monitor lizard.
The park can be entered on elephant back and / or in a jeep or by car. In these safaris a forest department guide always accompanies you. He will direct and tell about the flora and fauna of the park.
The best time to visit the park is early in the morning or after 4 p.m.It is during this time that the animals are most active and are easily spotted.
There are three well defined seasons :
The cool - from middle of October to end of February. The hot - from middle of March to middle of June. The wet - from middle of June to middle of October.
The annual rainfall is 1.173 mm, coming mostly in the rainy season.
The temperature ranges from a maximum of 42 ° C in May and June, to around 4° C in winter.