BANDHAVGARH TIGER RESERVE

Significance

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Set in the middle of Kaimurhill ranges which are the eastern extension of Vindhayachal hills Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve lies between two other major protected Areas of Madhya Pradesh: Kanha Tiger Reserve on the southern side and Sanjay Dubri National Park on the north eastern side. Bandhavger Tiger Reserve can be a major source of population to replenish wild animals in the corridor area in between these two Protected Areas if the wildlife corridors are managed properly.

Bandhavgarh is richly endowed with a wide variety of floral and a wide range of faunal species, some of which prominently figure in the IUCN red list of Endangered species.Some of the main faunal species of the reserve are:

• Tiger

• Leopard

• Dhole (Indian Wild Dog)

• Bengal or Indian Fox

• Sloth Bear

• Smooth-coated Otter

• Indian Rock Pyhton

With 37 recorded species of mammals, around 250 species of Birds, more than 100 species of Butterflies and a variety of reptiles , Bandhavgarh has a significant ecological role to play.

Archeologically also BTR attains great significance because of presence of the Bandhavgarh Fort, various caves, rock paintings etc.The Fort is surrounded by as many as thirty two hillocks and there are numerous caves with ancient inscriptions scattered around the fort and throughout the park dating back to 129~168 AD. Amazingly large tanks are found which are cut in sand stone & huge sculptures, symbolizing some of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu are seen in the fort plateau. The fort also houses a unique statue of a sleeping Lord Vishnu on the bed formed by coiling “Sheshnag”, the king of snakes. This statue is famously know as the “Sheshsaiya” and dates back to 1000~1100 AD and is situated over a perennial water tank which creates a mesmerizing site because of the presence of statues of Shiva and Brahma as well.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve with its unique combination of rich bio-diversity and rich ancient historical structures is perhaps one of the most significant of the protected areas in the country and needs to preserved with utmost care and application of best possible management practices.