Bandhavgarh Fort

Why To Go

A place where nature, wildlife and history blend together. Situated in the Umaria district under the state of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh Fort stands at a height of over 800 metres in the centre of the Bandhavgarh National Park.

Probably built during the 10th century, the fort was a place of residence for Bahela Rajputs and named as MotiMahal. The remains of the abandoned fort is present in the vicinity of Bandhavgarh National Park. The area around the fort is presently a tiger reserve area. This residence of the Rajputs has become a place of living for many tigress and their cubs. Endangered vultures are seen around the fort in large numbers also.

A treasure inside the park is its rich archeological heritage. The landscape of the park is dominated by the Badhaini hillock and Bandhavgarh Hill; on top of the hill is the Bandhavgarh fort. The fort is said to be more than thousand years old, and its remains carry the stories of many kings and the beginnings of the park.

The fort is surrounded by Bandhaini hillock and Bandhavgarh Hill. There are human-built caves with inscription dated back to earlier Christian era. There are sculptures of Lord Vishnu in the caves. Among them, 35-foot long image is the main attraction. This place is auspicious for the Hindus because a tale tells that Lord Ram has built this fort for his brother Laxman. That’s why the name is Bandhav means Bhai and Garh means palace.

On the way to the fort, you can see many caves attesting to cultures in the Millenium before Christ, and many sculptures of incarnations of Vishnu, built in the 10th and 11th centuries.

The Sidhbaba point inside the forest is famous for the tiger spotting. Charkadhara, AndheriJhiria are the other two places inside remarkable for tiger watching. Gopalpur, Ketkiha is accessible for bird watching activities. These areas are deeply infiltrated by plants which is nestling several species of birds. SheshShaiya, Bari Gufa, Three cave points are the three caves where tourists can take a glimpse of the ancient arts.

Climber’s point on the top of the hill atop an elevation of 13,005 feet is offering a breathtaking view of the forest. The path leading to the end is covered by several types of flora and fauna, which makes the place superb for exploration lovers.

Hindi is the official language and widely spoken in this region.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit the forest is from October to June because the forest remains closed during the rainy season at all over India. One must take permission to get the entrance in the forest to reach the fort. Everyone cannot visit the place without the consent from the high authority. Avoid carrying poly bags during the visit. Maintain the speed limit and exit the forest before sunset. Follow guideline of visiting the forest. Bandhavgarh fort is surrounded by rich forest. So, one must remember the basic rules of visiting a forest. Do not disturb your camera flashes to the animals during the visit. Wear dark green, rocky grey or muddy brown colour dresses. Birds, animals get distracted by the view of colour clothes. Wear full-sleeved cotton or linen shirts. Keep most of the body parts covered to avoid any itchy sensation during the trekking through the forest to reach the fort. Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, caps, hats to avoid the heat of the sun. Keep bottles of water and light snacks, which are crucial for every travellers. Do not take a ride or walk on your own. Always have a forest guard by your side during the exploration.

Things To Do

The main attraction of the region around the fort is the outdoor activities. The forest area is famous for Tigers which can be spotted easily, because the numbers are plenty. Safari is available in the core and buffer area around the Bandhavgarh fort offering the sightseeing of wild animals like white tigers, endangered species, birds, flora and fauna, etc. Tigers are easily spotted in this forest. One can take an elephant ride on the tiger strolling paths also. The caves in the woods on the way to the fort are offering extreme delicacies in the form of the historical attachment. The forest is covered by the Sal, bamboo trees providing the perfect hideout of the wild animals. Fox, chitol, nilgai, striped hyena, Chinkara, Chausingha, Jackal, Leopard and Sloth bear can be spotted during the safari. The forest guards accompany the jeeps intended to watch the tigers in the core area.

Getting Around

Buses, private cars are available to take the tourists at the foot of the Bandhavgarh hillock. All the vehicles need prior permission to enter the forest. Open jeeps are available for safari for four people maximum. The car can’t reach the top. There are some places which need to be explored by foot only.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airport is at Jabalpur. Domestic carriers are connecting this city with other metros like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and New Delhi with this city. Private charter planes are available also.

TRAIN

Jabalpur, Umaria and Katni railway stations are the nearby railway stations of Bandhavgarh Fort. There are direct trains from Delhi or Agra city. Other metro cities are well-connected via trains too. Umaria station can be reached in 45 minutes.

ROAD

Umaria is the largest township close to Bandhavgarh fort. There are private cars; taxis are available from the town. Roads are connecting the Bandhavgarh via Jabalpur, Katni, and Khajuraho also. State buses are available from those cities.

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Surrounding Attractions

There are not many attractions other than the Bandhavgarh forest, fort, and caves. There is a museum Baghel museum displaying the collection of Rewa king. Military weapons are on display in the museum also. There is another wildlife sanctuary on the way to Bandhavgarh from Khajuraho named Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary. Spotted deer, monkeys can be seen on both sides of the driveway amid the wild nature.
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