Bandipur National Park: Nestled well amidst the towering Western Ghat Mountains on the Mysore-Ooty highway, the Deccan Plateau houses one of the first Tiger Reserves of the country - The Bandipur National Park. Situated in Karnataka, the Bandipur National Park includes the neighbouring wildlife sanctuaries of Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad in Kerala. A moderate climate and diverse geographical features support a remarkable variety of flora and fauna. Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the 15 sanctuaries belonging to the Project Tiger Scheme launched in 1973, by the World Wide Fund for Nature. In 1974, the Bandipur was declared a National Park under the Wildlife Protection Act. The Bandipur National Park is one of its own kind in Asia as it has huge elephant herds. The highlights density of Indian tigers is found here, as are a fifth of the world's Asiatic Elephant population. In fact, about 5000 wild elephants roam these jungles.
The Bandipur Safari Lodge has an interesting open-to-sides gazebo and banquet area called Gol Ghar, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills including Gopalaswamy Betta, the highest peak(1455m) in Bandipur. The Lodge also provides Campfire settings, an exclusive bar and a multi-cuisine restaurant. There is a fully-equipped visitors' lounge with an excellent collection of CD's and books on wildlife and nature.
The Lodge offers a delectable buffet of Indian food, both vegetarian and non- vegetarian, mainly from the south. There is also an excellent Chinese and Thai menu.
Bandipur's deciduous habitat is ideal for viewing elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild boar - and if one is lucky elusive predators like the tiger, leopard or wild dogs. A bird-watchers paradise, Bandipur is home to over 300 species of birds, of which many are endemic to these jungles. Although the park is a good spot to visit throughout the year, summer months of March, April and May are the best for sighting wildlife. October to February is when the climate is very pleasant and the forest is at its greenest best.
The highlights of a stay at Bandipur safari Lodge are the wildlife viewing opportunities in the National Park at day break and in the evening, Trips in open-top jeeps and on foot into the Park, along with a trained and experienced naturalist as guide, help guests identify and understand the rich diversity of flora, fauna and avifauna. For the naturalists-at-heart, there are plenty of opportunities for nature walks, bird-watching and wildlife photography in these unspoilt environs. Wildlife film and slide shows, star-gazing are other activities that guests can enjoy.