Bandipur National Park


This park covers 880 sq km and was once the Mysore maharajas’ private wildlife reserve. It's noted for herds of gaurs (Indian bison), chitals (spotted deer), sambars, panthers, sloth bears and langurs, as well as tigers and elephants. Despite its rich wildlife, however, Bandipur isn’t the best place for animal sightings; unrestricted traffic hurtling down the busy highway that cuts through the forest has made the animals wary of venturing close to safari areas.

There's a night-time traffic ban on this highway to help save wildlife.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Karnataka attractions

1. Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

3.62 MILES

In the foothills of the Nilgiris, this newly enlarged 765-sq-km wildlife reserve is like a classical Indian landscape painting given life, with chital…

2. Elephant Camp

3.73 MILES

In mornings and evenings you can see the reserve's working elephants being fed at the elephant camp just east of the Mudumalai reception centre, where you…

4. St Stephen’s Church

17.09 MILES

Perched above Ooty's centre, immaculate pale-yellow St Stephen’s, built in 1829, is the Nilgiris' oldest church. It has lovely stained glass, huge wooden…

5. Botanical Gardens

17.17 MILES

Established in 1848, these pretty 22-hectare gardens are a living gallery of the Nilgiris' natural flora. Keep an eye out for a typical Toda mund (village…

6. Nilgiri Library

17.33 MILES

This quaint little haven in a crumbling, earthy-red 1867 building houses more than 30,000 books, including rare titles on the Nilgiris and hill tribes,…

7. St Thomas' Church

17.62 MILES

Set between trees at the eastern end of Ooty Lake, simple St Thomas' dates back to 1870.

8. Rose Garden

17.8 MILES

With terraced lawns and over 20,000 rose bushes of more than 2000 varieties – best between May and July – the Rose Garden is a sweet place for a stroll,…