Bandipur is a remote place situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The place has a varied mixture of swamp and valleys, undulated parklands and open grasslands amidst the beautiful winding hills of the Nilgiris. Bandipur was originally built by the Maharajas of Mysore. The place is watered and made fertile by many rivers and seasonal streams. Cited as the first Biosphere Reserve of the country, the region falls under the NIlgiri Biosphere Reserve. Bandipur was the chosen site for the Project Tiger, an initiative by the Government of India to protect this endangered species and is today one of the 15 Tiger reserves of the country.
Though there is no human settlement within the confines of the reserve, there are numerous villages around the area. The place holds its charm for the intriguing mix of fauna and flora, that are characteristic of it.
Bandipur wildlife sanctuary is one of the famous and best wildlife reserves in the country. The park finds a prominent place in the list of World Wide Fund’s Project Tiger areas. An extension of the Venugopal Wildlife Park, it is also attached to the Wayanad and Mudumalai Sanctuary. During an animal tour around the park one can witness a variety of fauna and some of the most exotic species of flora. The open forest area facilitates animal-watching by the tourists. The forest area houses a large number of animals like the Hornbill, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Spotted Deer, Partridges, Deer, Giant Squirrel, Wild Dog, over 2000 varieties of Elephants, Four Horned Antelope, Languor and also a variety of rare species of birds.
The Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is another must see place at Bandipur. Rising to a height of 1454 meters above sea level, it is one of the highest peaks in Chamarajnagar district. The place is covered in mist and hence its name. Located in the hilltop is the legendary Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta temple. Herds of elephants flock around the place.
Nearest airport is Mysore (80 km away)
The place is well connected to all major cities via roads
The nearest railhead to Bandipur is in Nanjangud