Bannerghatta National Park
This 104.27sq.km national park consists mostly of dense forest and scrub land. There is also a state-run Zoo within the national park, which is home to wild animals such as tiger, lion, bison, leopard and wild boar. The national park is an important corridor for elephants migrating between the eastern and western ghats. Other attractions at the Zoo include a crocodile farm, serpentarium and a newly added butterfly park. In addition, a portion of the park is used as a sanctuary for rescued wild animals, mainly from circuses. The rescue center is off-limits for visitors.
Bannerghatta National Park was established in 1978
You can find everything from avifauna to panthers in the Bannerghatta National Park . The Zoo is home to panthers, lions, tigers and a large variety of birds. Indulge in your sense of adventure with a Lion and Tiger safari or a Grand Safari(covering herbivores and big cats). Wander through the Zoological Garden, with its canopy of shady and sturdy trees, find a quiet resting spot beside a pond and watch the waterfowl frolic. The zoo boasts an amazing reptile collection; a snake park lets you get up close and personal with the scaly, slithery creatures. A children's corner provides an added attraction. Trekking enthusiasts will enjoy Uddigebande (3.5 km) a natural rock formation called Hajjamana Kallu (3 km) and Mirza Hill (1.5 km)
Covering an area of 104.27 km2, including ten reserve forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division, the scenic hills are dotted with many ancient temples.
The beautiful Suvarnamukhi stream running through the park, originates in the Suvarnamukhi hills. These hills spread out to a huge rock, about a kilometre long. The Champaka Dharna Swamy temple built in the Dravidian style of the Hoysala age, lies at the foot of the rock. The temple enshrines an image of Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. The Suvarnamukhi hill also houses a small shrine dedicated to Narasimha, and two km away is the Suvarnamukhi pond. The waters of this pond are believed to have curative powers.
A trip to Bannerghata National Park is truly an unforgettable experience for nature, history, botany and wildlife buffs.
Flora and fauna
Flora:Dry deciduous forests and thorny scrub, with patches of moist deciduous forests along the streams.
Fauna:Elephant,lion,Bengal tiger,white tiger,panther,bear,bison,spotted deer,birds,butterflies
You can visit the place year round. The weather is moderate in the range of 20-32 Degree C all through the year.
Best season: September to January
Visitors can reach the Bannergatta National Park,located approximately 22 kilometers out of Bangalore City, very easily by using the public transport. City buses starting from the heart of Bangalore City, with route number 365, keep plying back and forth to the National Park every 20 minutes. The newly released Air-Conditioned Volvo bus no.V365 makes the whole journey a very comfortable and pleasurable one.The bus runs via coporation and Shantinagar bus stand to Dairy circle where it joins the Bannerghatta road - Route and Schedule
Apart from that route No. 366 connects frequently from City market via Lakkasandra, and Dairy circle.
Route of Big-10-4(Numbered G-4 for Green colour) plies every 10 minutes once from Brigade Road junction to Bannerghatta National Park. The frequency of 365,366 and G-4 geenrally increases on the day of holidays for benefit of commuters.
For others Jayadeva Hospital/Mico checkpost is the easiest point for getting to Bannerghatta Road as it is the nearest stop to the Ring road. Big Circle buses(D-5,D-6,d-9,D-12),201,410,500,502,600 and various other routes plying on ring road connects to Jayadeva Hospital junction from where 365,366,368 or G-4 can be taken after a small 2 minute walk over the underpass
The park is open to visitors between 9AM and 5PM. Closed on Tuesdays.
The entry fee is determined based on what you opt for. There are many options available such as the Zoo + Lion-tiger safari or Zoo + Grand safari or Zoo only. The prices are slightly higher on holidays. The holidays include weekends, national holidays and the whole month of May. The park is closed on Tuesday.
In 2011 the fee structure was the following:
- Entry fee to Zoo per day Rs. 60
- Safari in department jeep Rs. 150
- Entry fee to Zoo & Safari in department bus Rs.210 (Both of above)
- Pvt Vehicle safari (By jeep/car) Rs.1000
- Pvt Vehicle safari (By bus/truck) Rs.2500
- LCV Rs.1500
- Guide fee per day Rs. 400
- Long nature walk: Rs 70
- Short nature walk: Rs 45
- Additional fee for photo camera: 25
- Additional fee for video camera: Rs 200
- Elephant ride (paid inside the park): Rs 60
- Butterfly Park: Rs 25
A variety of animals are looked after here in this National park. The Mammals are left freely in the forest and the visitors are taken around the forest in a well caged mini-bus to view these animals. Different partitions with huge gates and moats separate the forest into the Herbivores section and the Carnivores section. The Herbivores section comprises few animals like deers, bears and a few monkeys etc. White Tigers, Lions, Bengal Tigers are covered in the Carnivores' section.
The visitors are allowed to view the forest area only in the 'safari' (joy ride) buses and are not allowed to get off the bus whatsoever. The Bannerghatta National Park also boasts of a zoo where reptiles, birds and amphibians are looked after in cages. Endangered animals like Cheetahs, Leopards, Hyenas and Panthers are looked after here, in cages.
One can get to look at Rhinoceros, Elephants, Zebras, Porcupines also in the zoo area. Visitors are also lucky to find Chipmunks (American brown squirrel) which are very rare in India.
Once you reach Bannerghatta National Park,go to the Ticket Counter and collect tickets for Grand Safari/Lion&Tiger Safari/Zoo Park. On weekends,it is advisable to reach the park before 2PM to avoid nonavailability of tickets.
Then wait in queue to get inside the green mini-buses meant for safari.
Grand Safari is 16 km(to&fro) while Tiger(Close up of White Tiger&Lion Safari is 11 km(to&fro).
Complete the Safari and get down at Butterfly Park on return way.
Check out the Butterfly Conservatory which houses around 20 species of butterflies,housed in the tropical environmental setting,complete with plants,shrubs and a waterfall.
After that,watch the beautiful exhibits of carefully preserved,exquisitely colored butterflies and moths.
Walk towards the Zoo Park and check out the caged animals and birds as well as the reptiles and snakes inside the zoo compound.
You can buy CDs featuring the butterflies of India, from the Butterfly Park .
The Bannerghatta National Park has been strictly made a plastic free zone and hence all plastic packaged snacks are sold in hand-made paper bags. The Children's corner is surrounded by many stalls and push cart vendors selling mouth watering Indian chaats and snacks. Dry roasted corn and peanuts are popularly bought on demand over here. The National Park also has a Hill View Restaurant maintained by Jungle Lodges and Resorts just a few yards outside the zoo which provides food on order, to the visitors.
If you are going on a weekday, the stalls inside the Zoo serve great varieties of food, it is also better you carry some food with you. Weekends also have no problem.
You can get carbonated beverages as well as packaged juices inside the zoo park.
There is nothing to stay and see for next day,so plan a trip to complete in the same day.
Do not put your hands out of the mini-bus while on safari.
Do not try to feed wild animals or birds kept in cages.
If you are using public transport,catch BMTC bus no. 375 or V365(Volvo A/c).
For those who are travelling from Kadugodi / Whitefield to the national park, the best option is to take a daily pass in the Volvo which costs 110Rs. Then take the V335E or V331-A from the Kadugodi bus-stand to Marathahalli. Near the fly-over get down and take the V500C and get down at Jayadeva hospital stop. There you get the V365 which will take you to the park. Travel time on weekends is around 1.5 to 2 hours.
The 500C actually starts from ITPL. So you may also board the 500C directly from the ITPL stop.
Also there is V411 which plies between ITPL and Bannerghatta. The frequency of this bus is pretty less. But it is by far the most convenient way to travel at INR 90/-. The bus goes via Marthahalli,Sarjapur,BTM Layout, Udupi Gardens, Jayadeva Hospital. This is another viable option.
People who are from BTM layout can simply go to Jaydeva Hospital flyover stop and can catch any G4 or 365, for both ways, going there and coming back, get down and take an auto to your place in BTM, pay by the meter, minimum auto fare is 25 rupees(20 rupees earlier), no need to spend much (more than INR 100 per person) on auto or taxi, the frequency of buses is good.