Bandipur till recently was the national park we traversed and enjoyed its elusive inhabitants along the road while driving towards Nilgiris. This time around on our way back from the blue mountains, we thought of a stop over at the Bandipur safari lodge.
Enough has been written in here about my trips to national parks and sightings. So no more fauna but lets talk about flora in Bandipur! The hunting grounds of Mysore Maharajas is to my surprise a white wonderland of wild flowers in month of December. Karnataka has its own version of meadow of flowers!
Tropical dry deciduous, tropical moist deciduous, scrub forest and open grassy woodlands- in case one has forgotten what each means, I would suggest joining the 3 hour long safari organized by the jungle lodges. So the eastern part of the 874sq kms of forest land is covered with stunted trees,shrubs and grass patch lands making it the Moyar jungle of scrub. The central part kaniyanapura is dry deciduous , the western part Ainurmarigudi, Begur, Beerambadi is moist deciduous. One can find Teak, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Jacaranda, Mango, Jamun,Tamarind, Banyan, Pipal, Plumeria,Gulmohar, Honne, Mathi, and Bamboo among many more. This diversity in flora is carried forward to fauna too.
The Bandipur family consists of the predator Tiger , joined by co predator panthers, wild dogs, jungle cat and python. The associates of this family are the Indian Elephant and sloth bear. The preys who keep the family fit and healthy include spotted deer, sambar, four horned antelope, barking deer, Gaur, indian wild boar,mouse deer, indian porcupine, indian hare, common langur, Bonnet Macaque. To add some drama are the relatives and friends including the flying squirrel, indian giant squirrel, palm squirrel,cobra, vine snake, common krate, wolf snake, green keelback, rat snake,rock python, bamboo pip viper, giant wood spiders. Keeping the family entertained by their songs are Quails, Partridges and stone curlews, Malabar Trogon, Malabar grey hornbill, Bluewing parakeet, Whitebellied minivet, Drongo, Yellowbrowed bulbul, Drongos , whiteheaded babblers. How many members of this family did I meet? Well , I need to visit and revisit this reserve time and again before I can say I met them all.
Date: December 2015
Place : Bandipur Karnataka
Tip: Jungle lodges all the way!First: Crested Serpent eagle with kill
The Travel connection: "All good things are wild and free"- Henry David Thoreau