Introducing Bandipur National Park
A part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Bandipur National Park is one of South India’s most famous wildernesses areas. Covering 880 sq km, it was once the Mysore maharajas’ private wildlife reserve, and is now a protected zone for over 100 species of mammals, including tiger, elephant, leopard, gaur (Indian bison), chital (spotted deer), sambar, sloth bear and langur. It's also home to an impressive 350 species of bird. Only 80km south of Mysore on the Ooty road, it's very accessible from both Bengaluru and Mysore.
Only government vehicles are permitted to run safaris within the park, and the best option is to go on Bandipur Safari Lodge's two-hour drives for ₹2000, inclusive of park entry fees. The forest department also arrange safaris, but its rumbling minibus is simply best avoided.