Bannerghatta National Park, situated in the south Indian state of Karnataka was established in the year 1971 and includes ten reserve forests of the Anekal Range. The hills surrounding the forest are dotted with temples and the park boasts of a rich variety of flora and fauna. Situated at an altitude of 3375 ft., the uneven terrain is interspersed with valleys, streams and other scenic spots.
The park is open throughout the year for visitors while the best time to visit the place is between mid-June and August when the place is at its greenest and provides a beautiful eye soothing spectacle. The best time to spot wild animals however is between the months of November and June.
A downside about the place is that its close proximity to a major metro has created problems of growing industrialisation and urbanisation. Incidents of poisoning of animals have been a major concern for the park authorities.
Flora and Fauna: Park is a treasure house of exotic species of wildlife and a great variety of flora. The flora of the place is very rich and beautiful with huge green trees providing shade and shelter all through the year. The forest type of the park is mostly moist deciduous teak forest.Tree species in the park include Anogeissus latifolia, Schleichera oleosa, Terminalia tomentosa, sandal, neem, T. arjuna. Grewia tilaefolia, Santalum album, tamarind, chujjullu, Shorea talura, Emblica officinalis, Vitex altissima, jalari, Wrightia tinctoria, Randia sp. Zizphus sp. and Albizzia sp. Bamboos are common in the park, the dominant species being Dendrocalamus strictus. A small area of the park has plantations of Eucalyptus, Bauhinia purpurea, Samanea saman and Peltphorum pterocarpum.
Wildlife in their natural habitat create interests in tourists. Wild animals like Elephant, gaur, leopard, jackal, fox, wild pig, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine and the hare are found here.
Major Wildlife Attractions: Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) is the area where the forest department has kept Lions and Tigersrescued over the years from circuses. The area is of major interest to the visitors and more than 10 lakh tourists visit the place every year.
Some of the major animals found in the region include elephant, bonnet macaque, cheetal, muntjac, slow loris, wild boar, porcupine, fox and three striped palm squirrel.
The park is also home to a myriad variety of avian population. In fact, there are over 200 species of birds found in the park which include honey buzzard, great horned owl, spotted owlet, purple sunbird, loten’s sun bird and the small green barbet.
Safari options abound in the park. The forest department offers a number of safaris including the grand safari which covers all the four enclosures of the park. Other safaris include the tiger and lion safari, elephant joy ride and a short trek. Safaris are also offered by the jungle lodges. Timings for the safaris are 10AM to 4:30PM.
Best Time to Visit: Park is open throughout the year, and the temperature in Bannerghatta ranges from 15°C to 35°C during the year, with an average rainfall of about 700mm annually. The best time to sight wild life is the months of November to June.
How to Get there:
Air: Bangalore (23 Kms.)is the nearest airport.
Rail : Bangalore (23 Kms.) is the nearest railhead, well connected by daily trains.
Road : To reach from Bangalore (23 Kms.), follow the Bannerghatta road to south Bangalore. It is best to take one of the regularly plying state transport buses or hire a taxi to reach the park.
General Info / Tips:
The core zones of the park are closed for the visitors and you will have to drive on for another 5 km to the Bannerghatta Biological Park, which is open to visitors.
The BBP has a zoo (timings : 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM), which houses various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. A museum and auditorium provide information about the park.
Tickets to the zoo and safaris can be obtained from the BBP office near the entry gates.
Zoo tickets: Rs. 10 (Weekdays) & Rs. 15 (holidays), Grand Safari : Rs. 30 (Weekdays) & Rs. 40 (holidays), Tiger and Lion safari : Rs. 15 (Weekdays) & Rs. 25 (holidays), Elephant ride : Rs. 15 (weekdays) & Rs. 20 (holidays), Short Trek : Rs. 10 (weekdays and holidays).
Other attractions worth a thought are the Reptile Park, Mirza Hill, Butterfly Park, Hajjamana Kallu and Uddigebende.
Do not pollute the environs by throwing plastic bags and other waste material.
Bangalore (23 Kms.)
Elephant, Wild Boar