Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Bandipur Tiger Reserve UPSC

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is a renowned national park and tiger reserve located in the state of Karnataka, India. It is one of the oldest and most well-known tiger reserves in the country. Established in 1973-74 as a Project Tiger reserve, Bandipur covers an core area of approximately 872 square kilometers and is part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

The primary objective of Bandipur Tiger Reserve is the conservation and protection of the Bengal tiger, which is an endangered species. However, the reserve is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it an important ecological hotspot. The park's landscape includes deciduous forests, grassy meadows, and hilly terrain, providing a suitable habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

Table of Contents

  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Location
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve History
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Area
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Hills
    • Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta Hill
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve River
    • Kabini River
    • Moyar River
    • Nugu River
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Lake
    • Kabini Reservoir
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Tribe
    • Soliga Tribe
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Flora
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Top Things to do in Bandipur Tiger Reserve
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Location

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located in Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts of Karnataka, India. It is situated at the tri-junction area of the States Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is surrounded by Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) in the South, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the South-west & The Kabini Reservoir separates the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on the North-west.

Mega Biodiversity Areas: Geographically, Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located on “ecological confluence” as the western and Eastern Ghats meet here. This constitute Bandipur Tiger Reserve area with rich floral and faunal diversity and is recognized as one of the Mega Biodiversity Areas in India.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Bandipur Tiger Reserve is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, Karnataka. It is the primary airport serving the region and is well-connected to domestic and international destinations. The approximate distance from the Kempegowda International Airport to Bandipur Tiger Reserve is around 220 kilometers (137 miles) by road. 

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Nearest Railway Station:

Regarding the nearest railway station, the closest one to Bandipur Tiger Reserve is Mysore Junction Railway Station. Mysore is a popular tourist city located in Karnataka and is well-connected to major cities in India through the rail network. Mysore Junction Railway Station is approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Bandipur Tiger Reserve. 

Bandipur Tiger Reserve History

Bandipur Tiger Reserve has a rich history that dates back several decades. Here is an overview of its history:

Establishment as a Wildlife Sanctuary: Bandipur was initially established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1931 by the Maharaja of Mysore. At that time, it spanned an area of about 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) and was primarily aimed at protecting the wildlife in the region.

Project Tiger Reserve: In 1973, the Government of India launched the Project Tiger initiative to protect the endangered Bengal tigers. As part of this program, Bandipur was designated as a tiger reserve in 1974, becoming one of the first nine tiger reserves in the country.

National Park Status: In 1985, by including adjacent areas from Venugopala Wildlife Park, Bandipur Tiger Reserve was enlargednand named as Bandipur National Park. It currently spans approximately 872 square kilometers. 

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: In 1986, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was estbalished by the government of India. Bandipur Tiger Reserve forms a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: In 2000, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was included in World Network of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Mysore Elephant Reserve (MER): Bandipur Tiger Reserve is a shelter for the single largest Asian Elephant population in the world and is part of the Mysore Elephant Reserve (MER).

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Area

The total area of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve is 1456.309 square kilometers (562.156 square miles). Here is a breakdown of the different components of the area:

Core/Critical Tiger Habitat: The core or critical tiger habitat of Bandipur Tiger Reserve covers an area of 872.24 square kilometers (336.56 square miles). This portion of the reserve is crucial for the conservation and protection of the tiger population.

Buffer/Peripheral Area: The buffer or peripheral area surrounding the core tiger habitat spans 118.279 square kilometers (45.665 square miles). This zone acts as a transition area between the core habitat and human settlements, providing additional protection and wildlife corridors.

Forest Area: The forested region within Bandipur Tiger Reserve covers approximately 465.79 square kilometers (179.88 square miles). These forests are characterized by deciduous vegetation and provide a suitable habitat for a diverse range of wildlife species.

Non-Forest Area: The non-forest area within the reserve accounts for a total of 584.069 square kilometers (225.036 square miles). This includes areas such as grasslands, agricultural lands, water bodies, and human settlements.

  • Core/critical tiger habitat: 872.24 sq km
  • Buffer/peripheral : 118.279
  • Forest Area : 465.79
  • Non Forest Area : (Total 584.069
  • Total : 1456.309 sq. kms.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Hills

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is the highest peak within the Bandipur Tiger Reserve area. It is a prominent hill located in the reserve, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta stands at an elevation of approximately 1,454 meters (4,770 feet) above sea level.

The hill is known for its scenic beauty and is often visited by tourists and nature enthusiasts. It is named after the deity Gopalaswamy, and there is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna at the hill's summit. The temple attracts pilgrims as well as tourists who come to admire the stunning views and enjoy the serene ambiance.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve River

The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located between the Kabini river in the north and the Moyar river in the south.

(1) Kabini River:

Kabini River forms the northern boundary of Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The Kabini River is a significant water body in the region, and its presence adds to the ecological importance and biodiversity of the reserve.

(2) Moyar River:

The Moyar River forms the southern boundary of Bandipur Tiger Reserve. It flows through the reserve, providing water sources and contributing to the overall hydrology of the area. The river is an important lifeline for wildlife and supports the diverse ecosystem within the reserve.

(3) Nugu River:

The Nugu River also runs through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. It is a smaller river compared to Kabini and Moyar but plays a crucial role in providing water resources and maintaining the ecological balance within the reserve.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Lake

The Kabini Reservoir is a man-made water body formed by the construction of the Kabini Dam on the Kabini River. It is situated in close proximity to Bandipur Tiger Reserve and serves as an important water source for both wildlife and human populations in the region.

The reservoir not only provides water for irrigation and drinking purposes but also contributes to the overall ecosystem of the area. It attracts a wide variety of bird species and serves as a habitat for aquatic life.

The proximity of the Kabini Reservoir to Bandipur Tiger Reserve makes it a popular tourist attraction, offering opportunities for boating, wildlife spotting, and nature photography.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Tribe

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is home to various indigenous tribal communities. One of the prominent tribal communities in the region is the Soliga tribe, also known as the Sholaga or Sholiga. The Soliga tribe has a long history of residing in the forests of Bandipur and the surrounding areas.

The Soliga people have a deep connection to the forest and possess extensive knowledge of the local ecology and medicinal plants. They have traditionally relied on forest resources for their sustenance, engaging in activities such as hunting, gathering forest produce, and practicing traditional agriculture.

The Soliga tribe follows unique cultural traditions, including their distinct language, customs, and rituals. They have a rich folklore and oral storytelling tradition, which plays an important role in preserving their cultural heritage.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Flora

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is known for its diverse flora, ranging from dry deciduous forests to tropical mixed deciduous forests. The vegetation in the reserve is adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. Here are some of the notable plant species found in Bandipur Tiger Reserve:

Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia): Rosewood is a valuable timber tree that grows in the reserve. It is known for its dark, dense wood and is highly sought after for furniture and decorative purposes.

Indian Kino Tree (Pterocarpus marsupium): The Indian kino tree is a deciduous tree that produces a red gum resin known for its medicinal properties. It is commonly found in the dry deciduous forests of Bandipur.

Sandalwood (Santalum album): Sandalwood is a highly prized tree known for its aromatic wood and essential oil. It grows in the tropical mixed deciduous forests of the reserve and is used in various industries, including perfumery and religious rituals.

Indian Laurel (Terminalia tomentosa): Indian laurel, also known as the blackboard tree, is a large, evergreen tree found in Bandipur. It has a smooth bark that can be used as a writing surface.

Clumping Bamboo and Giant Clumping Bamboo: Various species of bamboo, including clumping bamboo and giant clumping bamboo, are found in the reserve. Bamboo plays a crucial role in providing food and habitat for wildlife.

Grasses, Dwarf Trees, and Dispersed Bushes: Bandipur Tiger Reserve has a variety of grasses, which form important grazing grounds for herbivores. Additionally, there are dwarf trees and dispersed bushes that contribute to the overall vegetation cover in the reserve.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve Fauna (Bandipur Tiger Reserve Animals)

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is renowned for its rich and diverse fauna. The reserve provides a habitat for numerous wildlife species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and more. Here are some of the notable fauna found in Bandipur Tiger Reserve:


  • Bengal Tiger
  • Indian Elephant
  • Indian Leopard 
  • Gaur
  • Sloth Bear
  • Golden Jackal
  • Dhole
  • Sambar Deer
  • Four-horned Antelope


  • Indian Peafowl
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Indian Roller
  • Painted Stork
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Black-headed Ibis
  • Indian Pitta
  • Indian Grey Hornbill


  • Indian Rock Python
  • King Cobra
  • Russell's Viper
  • Common Krait
  • Common Indian Monitor Lizard
  • Mugger Crocodile

Top Things to do in Bandipur Tiger Reserve

When visiting Bandipur Tiger Reserve, there are several exciting activities and experiences to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Bandipur Tiger Reserve:

  • Wildlife Safari
  • Nature Walks
  • Birdwatching
  • Visit Gopalaswamy Betta
  • Visit the Kabini River
  • Photography
  • Explore Tribal Culture
  • Visit the Interpretation Centers

Bandipur Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Bandipur Tiger Reserve?/Bandipur Tiger Reserve in which state?/In which Indian state will you find Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park?/Bandipur Tiger Reserve in which district?

A. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is located in Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts of Karnataka, India.

Q. When was Bandipur National Park established as a tiger reserve?

A. Bandipur Tiger Reserve was established as a tiger reserve in 1973-74 under Project Tiger.

Q. Which river flows in Bandipur Tiger Reserve?

A. Kabini river, Moyar river and Nugu river flow through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Q. How many tigers in Bandipur Tiger Reserve?

A. There are around 173 tigers in Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Q. Why was Bandipur Tiger Reserve started?

A. Bandipur Tiger Reserve was established with the primary objective of conserving the endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and its habitat. The reserve was created to provide a protected area where tigers and other wildlife could thrive and ensure their long-term survival.

The establishment of Bandipur Tiger Reserve was driven by the need to address the declining population of tigers in India. Tigers were facing numerous threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. To combat these threats and protect the tiger population, the Government of India initiated the Project Tiger in 1973.

Under the Project Tiger, several tiger reserves were established across the country, including Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The reserve was chosen for its suitable habitat, significant tiger population, and its ecological importance as part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Q. Why Bandipur Tiger Reserve is famous?

A. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is famous for several reasons, making it a popular and sought-after destination for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and conservationists. Here are some of the reasons why Bandipur Tiger Reserve is renowned:

  • Tiger Conservation
  • Rich Biodiversity
  • Scenic Landscapes
  • Ecotourism Opportunities
  • Proximity to Other Attractions
  • Cultural Significance

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

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