Monday, August 7, 2023

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It covers an area of approximately 41.32 square kilometers and is characterized by its diverse flora and fauna. The sanctuary is situated in hilly terrain with altitudes ranging from about 600 meters to over 2000 meters.

The sanctuary's topography includes steep rock cliffs, precipitous slopes, and diverse elevations. It is intersected by various water bodies, including portions of the Satluj and Beas Rivers, which contribute to its unique ecosystem.

The sanctuary encompasses various types of vegetation, including Northern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests, Himalayan Subtropical Pine Forest (Chir Pine Forest), and Lower West Himalayan Temperate Forest (Ban Oak Forest). These diverse forest types support a range of plant species, contributing to the overall biodiversity.

The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife species, including mammals like Snow leopards, leopard cats, goral, barking deer, and more. It also hosts numerous bird species, such as the Cheer Pheasant, Indian peafowl, kalij pheasant, and red junglefowl. Reptile species like the monitor lizard, common krait, and rat snake can also be found within its boundaries.

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary provides habitat for four species of pheasants out of the total seven species of pheasants found in Himachal Pradesh. It has been recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for the Cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii), an endemic vulnerable species restricted to the Himalayan region in India. 

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary stands as a valuable area for biodiversity conservation, research, and promoting awareness about the importance of protecting natural habitats and wildlife in the Himalayan region.

Table of Contents

  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Hills
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated at a distance of about 8 kilometers from the town of Sundernagar. 

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is the Bhuntar Airport (Kullu-Manali Airport), which serves the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. The Bhuntar Airport is approximately 80-90 kilometers away from the sanctuary. 

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

As for the nearest railway station, the Joginder Nagar Railway Station is the closest one to the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary. Joginder Nagar Railway Station is located in Mandi District and is part of the narrow-gauge railway line in the region. It is situated at a distance of around 40-50 kilometers from the sanctuary.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary has a history that traces its establishment and legal recognition as a protected area.

Establishment of the Sanctuary: In the year 1962, the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary came into existence. This marked the beginning of efforts to establish the area as a dedicated space for the conservation of its diverse flora and fauna.

Formal Gazettement: A significant milestone was reached in 1999 when the final notification for the gazettement of the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary was issued. This official declaration solidified the sanctuary's legal status and underscored its importance as a protected natural space.

Important Bird Area (IBA) Status: Notably, the sanctuary has been acknowledged as an Important Bird Area (IBA), particularly for the vulnerable Cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii), an endemic species to the Himalayan region. This designation highlights the sanctuary's role in safeguarding critical habitats for avian species.

Conservation of Endangered Species: Throughout its history, the sanctuary has played a vital role in the conservation of various endangered and threatened species, including the leopard (Panthera pardus) and the black bear (Ursus thibetanus), showcasing its commitment to protecting valuable components of the local ecosystem.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 41.32 square kilometers. It is a relatively small but ecologically significant protected area located in the Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh, India. 

Despite its modest size, the sanctuary encompasses a diverse range of habitats and supports various species of flora and fauna, contributing to the conservation efforts in the region.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Hills

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in hilly terrain within the Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary's topography is characterized by steep slopes, rocky cliffs, and varied elevations. The altitudinal range within the sanctuary spans from approximately 600 meters to over 2000 meters above sea level. The highest point within the sanctuary is Bandli Tibba, which reaches an altitude of 2162 meters.

The hilly landscape of the sanctuary provides diverse habitats for different plant and animal species, contributing to its ecological richness and biodiversity. The presence of hills, cliffs, and rocky terrain creates a mosaic of microhabitats that support a variety of wildlife, including mammals, birds, and reptiles.

The sanctuary's hills and varied topography offer opportunities for wildlife habitat, breeding grounds, and shelter, making it an important area for conservation and ecological balance within the region.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is associated with several rivers and water bodies that contribute to its ecological diversity and the habitat it provides for various species. Here are some details about the rivers and water-related features in and around the sanctuary:

(1) Satluj River:

The southern, western, and northern sides of the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary form part of the catchments of the Satluj River. This river plays a significant role in the hydrology of the region, and its presence influences the ecology and habitats within the sanctuary.

(2) Beas River:

The eastern side of the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary drains into the Beas River through Bhadrolu Nala. The Beas River is another important water body in the region that contributes to the overall ecosystem dynamics of the sanctuary.

(3) Seri Khad:

The southern side of the sanctuary is bound by Seri Khad, which is likely a local stream or watercourse. These water features, along with other smaller nalas (streams or rivulets), dissect the terrain of the sanctuary and provide crucial water resources for both wildlife and vegetation.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is characterized by diverse flora that includes various types of vegetation, trees, shrubs, and grasslands. The sanctuary's vegetation plays a crucial role in providing habitat and food sources for the wildlife that inhabit the area. Here are some details about the flora within the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary:

1. Northern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests:

These forests are found on the southern and partly on the western slopes of the sanctuary, occurring in the lowest areas from about 600 meters to around 1300 meters in altitude. Major species characterizing this forest type include:

  • Acacia catechu (Khair)
  • Cassia fistula (Amaltas)
  • Emblica officinalis (Amla)
  • Terminalia bellerica (Bahera)
  • Bauhinia racemosa (Safed kachnar)
  • Dalbergia sissoo (Shisham)
  • Syzygium cumini (Jamun)

Other common associates: Lannea coromandelica and Mallotus phillippinensis.

2. Himalayan Subtropical Pine Forest (Chir Pine Forest):

This forest type is characterized by Pinus roxburghii (chir pine) and forms a light canopy in the sanctuary. Shrub species found in this forest include Indigofera dosua, Felmingia fruticulosa, Rubus elipticus, and Viburnum coriaceum.

3. Lower West Himalayan Temperate Forest (Ban Oak Forest):

The sanctuary contains the ban oak or Quercus leucotrichophora (earlier known as Q. incana) forest. These trees form a fairly closed canopy in patches where they are well-developed. In other areas, the trees remain short-boled and form a more open forest. Cinnamomum tamala (tej patta) trees also occur, often interspersed with Q. leucotrichophora.

4. Grasslands and Other Vegetation:

The sanctuary includes patches of grassland, particularly in steep terrain with precipitous slopes. These grassy slopes are important forage areas for wild ungulates, such as goral (Naemorhedus goral).

5. Climbers and Shrubs:

Various climbers and shrub species are found in different parts of the sanctuary, contributing to the overall biodiversity. Some examples of shrub species include Carissa opaca (Garna, Karauda), Dodonaea viscosa (Mendar), Woodfordia floribunda, Adhatoda vasica (Basuti), Murraya koenigii (Currypatta, Gandhela), and Zizyphus mauritiana (Ber).

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. These species inhabit various habitats within the sanctuary and contribute to its ecological richness. Here is an overview of some of the fauna found in the Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary:


  • Snow Leopard
  • Leopard Cat
  • Goral
  • Barking Deer
  • Jungle Cat 
  • Jackal
  • Indian Fox
  • Common Indian Mongoose
  • Himalayan Yellow-throated Marten
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Hanuman Langur
  • Himalayan Palm Civet
  • Indian Flying Squirrel
  • Black Bear
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Indian Hare


  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Chukar
  • Black Partridge
  • Grey Partridge
  • Common Quail
  • Red-wattled Lapwing
  • Common Hoopoe
  • Common Indian Nightjar
  • Rufous Treepie
  • Black-headed Jay
  • Yellow-billed Blue Magpie
  • Blue-throated Barbet
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Paradise Flycatcher
  • Pied Bush Chat
  • Indian Robin
  • Magpie Robin
  • Common Pariah Kite
  • Rock Pigeon
  • House Sparrow
  • Common Kestrel
  • Spotted Dove
  • Ring Dove
  • Spotted Owlet
  • Golden Oriole
  • Black-lored Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Verditer Flycatcher
  • White-throated Fantail Flycatcher
  • Spotted Forktail
  • Asian Koel
  • Brainfever Bird
  • Eurasian Eagle Owl
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Himalayan Whistling Thrush
  • Jungle Crow
  • Common Myna
  • Brahminy Myna
  • Rock Bunting
  • Himalayan Bulbul
  • Red-vented Bulbul
  • Black Bulbul
  • Black Drongo
  • White-breasted Kingfisher
  • Plum-headed Parakeet
  • Slaty-headed Parakeet


  • Monitor Lizard
  • Common Krait
  • Rat Snake

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary located?/In which district is Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary located?/Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in which district of HP?

A. The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Q. What is Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh, India, is famous for its diverse and rich biodiversity. It is known for providing habitat to a variety of wildlife species, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. 

The sanctuary is particularly significant for its role in the conservation of the Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii), a vulnerable and endemic bird species that is native to the Himalayan region. 

The sanctuary's rugged terrain, mixed deciduous forests, grasslands, and diverse habitats contribute to its ecological importance and make it a noteworthy area for wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, and conservationists.

Bandli Wildlife Sanctuary

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