‘बांधवगढ’ which translates to ‘Brother’s fort’ has been subject to great interest due to its tigers. If you have seen a tiger enjoying his afternoon nap in a temple complex on television, it most likely is Bandhavgarh. It’s tiger density is what pulls a lot of tourists hoping to spot the tiger in the wild. For me, the most exciting part is that you can walk to the fort (which houses the temples….and tigers!).
Bandhavgarh is quite a drive from Nagpur and its not a bad idea to spend some time at Bhedaghat before driving onwards. Bhedaghat is known for its marble rocks and the Dhaundhar Falls.
Bandhavgarh had a familiar feel for me. We had a few days to explore the places and planned to hike to the fort. This was the part I was waiting for. Indian National Parks do not allow people to get down from their jeeps, but here I had a chance to share the same ground with the tigers I had seen on TV. It seemed a little intimidating at first, but with the guide from the forest department and the naturalist, I felt assured.
The climb in itself is short, but walking in the grass as tall as you while you can see pugmarks feels like an eternity. The temples are ancient and made from rock and house a musty smell. Only one of the temples is in actual use and serves as the ‘lunchspot’ for the few that climb up.
But before we did this climb, we did actually take a few safaris into Gate 1 (Tala Zone) and Gate 2 (Magadhi Zone). We were lucky enough to spot a tiger called “Kankati”, after her bitten ear.
Sunsets in jungles are always special, especially when you are tired after an afternoon safari!
Some of the jungle resorts in India are excellent in the way they blend in to the feel of the jungle. King’s lodge happens to be one of those. It is the perfect place to come back to after an day of adventure. I spent a little time in the library reading about the place before heading out to the campfire. The cottages are well dispersed and the give you a feeling of being one with the spirit of the forest. I do recommend a visit to Bandhavgarh, if you haven’t already been!