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''Known for one of the highest tiger population in India, Bandhavgarh can be done in two days.''

Best time to visit the tiger reserve : Just before the onset of summers, March and April are considered the ideal months. Besides, you could also plan a trip in the winter months of November, December and January, when the temperature is almost freezing. Remember the park is closed during the monsoons, July 1 to Oct 31. Please note that the national park is also closed on Wednesdays.

How to reach your destination : By air: Jabalpur is the closest airport. From there, Bandhavgarh is a 3-3.30 hour drive.
By train: Your station would be Katni. Get down at Katni and take a cab. Travel time from Katni on road to the forest reserve takes about an hour.

Stay : You will have boarding places near the forest reserve to suit all budgets. It can start as low as Rs 1,500 a night. Hotel packages typically include all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides, there are several pakora and samosa stalls outside the national park where you can devour piping hot snacks with hot cups of chai.
If you are in the mood to splurge, you could stay at Mahua Kothi, a super luxury resort run by the Taj Group.

Travel Tips : Make sure you book your safari vehicles way in advance, much before you actually reach Bandhavgarh. There is quite a possibility that you land in Bandhavgarh only to realise that all gypsy cars are booked which means you can’t enter the tiger reserve. Once you decide on the dates, check with the hotel staff on the availability of safaris. Please note that the number of vehicles that can enter per day has been drastically reduced after a recent Supreme Court verdict. Now they allow only 20 gypsy cars for morning safaris and 10 in the afternoon in each zone. While there are several zones from where you can enter the forest, ask your hotel staff to book cars that enter from Tala and Magadhi Range—the two most popular zones. Don’t forget to carry photo identity cards for every travelling member in your family. On the safari, you could carry water bottles, woollens, hats, binoculars but no food items. Since it’s a forest, it’s better to carry a mosquito repellent for the night. Remember cell phones are not allowed in the forest reserve.

Source / Review By : Paramita Chatterjee

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