Hiking The Bandipur National Park
The 15th most popular hiking trail in India.
Monday 15 August 2016 06:00 GMT
Southwest of Bengaluru and Mysuru, the Bandipur National Park is known for hiking and trekking in the India state of Karnataka. It is a 874 square kilometer national park known for asian elephants and tigers. The Lolab Valley area of Bandipur is a popular area for trekking and has trail maps available.
Bandipur National Park is located on the highway connecting Mysore and the hill station of Ootacamund (Ooty). Stretching along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, the park lies on the Mysore-Ooty highway. It has an excellent internal network of roads through its hilly, forested landscape, and the many water holes and salt licks that provide wonderful opportunities for wildlife viewing. It takes 2.5 hours to reach Bandipur forest from Mysore and about 3 hours from Ooty.
The nearest rail junction is Nanjangud (55km), but Mysore (65 km) is recommended.
The nearest international airport is Bangalore (204 km).
Buses and private taxis can be easily hired from Bangalore or Mysore to reach Bandipur. Taxi charges from Mysore range around Rs. 400.
The nearest town from Bandipur forest is Gundulpet, which is about 20 km away.
Bandipur National Park is located on the main Mysore-Ooty highway. The most convenient way to reach Bandipur from Bangalore is to drive to Mysore and take the Ooty road from there and drive via Nanjangud and Gundlupet from where the park is just a 30 min drive. A place worth visiting at Nanjangud is the Nanjundeshwara temple. Regular KSRTC buses and taxis are easily available from Bangalore. Taking an early morning bus to Mysore and changing to an Ooty bus there is the best option. The average time taken to reach Bandipur by road from Bangalore is around 5-6 hours.
Note: The Bandipur National Park may be closed from February to April.
Note: In any national park known to have lions or tigers, hikers need to exercise extreme caution. It is highly recommended to us a park-approved guide prior to hiking or trekking in these regions.
Overall, Bandipur National Park is the 15th most popular hiking trail of all 42 hikes in India.