Bannerghatta National Park established in the year 1971, lies 22 km. away from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state. It covers around 104.27 sq.kms which includes ten Reserve Forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division. Bannerghatta comprises the National Park, an Aquarium, a Zoo, Children's park, Crocodile Farm, Snake park, Prehistoric animals park and a Museum. Safaris to see tigers and lions in vehicles and on elephants is the main attraction of the Park. Tickets for entry into the Zoo and Safaris are available at the main entrance.
This park is open throughout the year, and the temperature in Bannerghatta ranges from 15°C to 35°C during the year, with an average rainfall of about 700mm annually. The best time to sight wild life is the months of November to June.
This National Park is a treasure house of exotic species of wildlife and a great variety of flora. The flora of the place is very rich and beautiful with huge green trees providing shade and shelter all through the year. The forest type of the park is mostly moist deciduous teak forest.Tree species in the park include Anogeissus latifolia, Schleichera oleosa, Terminalia tomentosa, sandal, neem, T. arjuna. Grewia tilaefolia, Santalum album, tamarind, chujjullu, Shorea talura, Emblica officinalis, Vitex altissima, jalari, Wrightia tinctoria, Randia sp. Zizphus sp. and Albizzia sp. Bamboos are common in the park, the dominant species being Dendrocalamus strictus. A small area of the park has plantations of Eucalyptus, Bauhinia purpurea, Samanea saman and Peltphorum pterocarpum.
The wildlife in their natural habitat create interests in tourists. Wild animals like Elephant, gaur, leopard, jackal, fox, wild pig, sloth bear, sambar, chital, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine and the hare are found here. Other inhabitants include wild boars, sloth bears, pangolin, slender loris, huge monitor lizards as well as cobras, pythons, kraits and Russell vipers roam the park. The park is a unique relocation area for tigers and lions rescued from circuses in India. They can be seen in securely fenced areas within the 25,000 acres of the Park.
Visitors can spot a large variety of birds in this park. The avian population comprises cormorants, white ibis, little green heron, grey heron, paradise flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Common Grey Hornbill, White bellied Drong, Spotted Owlet, Collared Scop’s owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Eurasian Eagle owl and Brown Fish owl.
Trekking places include Uddigebande (3.5 kms.), a natural rock formation called Hajjamana Kallu (3 kms.) and Mirza Hill (1.5 kms.). Besides the rides in Open jeeps, mini buses, vans and elephants the tourists have facilities to do Amateur fishing, Coracle boat (a circular open boat made of bamboo and buffalo hide strung together with coir) rides, Bird watching, River rafting, Trekking, Outdoor camping etc in Bannerghatta.
Suvarnamukhi stream which originates in the Suvarnamukhi hills, runs through the park adding to its beauty. These hills are spread out to a huge rock, about a kilometer long. At the foot of the rock is the famous Champaka Dhama Swamy temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, belonging to the Hoysala age. Water in Suvarnamukhi pond (two kms away) is believed to have curative powers.
How to Get There
Air : The nearest airport is in Bangalore 22 kms away. From Bangalore one can get a car or bus to Bannerghatta
Rail : The nearest railway station is Bangalore
Road: Government buses run between Bangalore and Bannerghatta frequently.