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Ganpati Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Home >> Cities in India > Central India Cities > Bandhavgarh

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Ganpati Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh is one of India's most picturesque Central Indian jungles. A relatively new entrant to the Project Tiger family, this forest has an ancient history, which is entwined with the Rewa dynasty. Steeped in legend, these forests gave the world the progenitors of all the white tigers alive today. Madhya Pradesh constitutes the very heart of India.
The vegetation in Bandhavgarh is varied and includes a blend of grasslands and forests that support large herbivores, an impressive diversity of birds and a host of insect life that has not yet been fully catalogued. This wildlife haven is linked through patchy corridor forests with Kanha and together constitutes one of the world's most important tiger-breeding habitats. Madhya Pradesh is therefore justifiably proud of both reserves and calls itself the "Tiger State" of India because over 20 per cent of all the world's tigers are to be found here.

No one is really sure who built the Bandhavgarh Fort, which was constructed on a virtually unassailable plateau at an elevation of 800 m, though scores of myths about its origins continue to do the rounds. It is clear, however, that the area now encompassed by the park has seen settlements and civilisations come and go for millennia.

Historians suggest that sandstone caves to the north of the Bandhavgarh fort harbour Brahmi inscriptions dating back to the 1st Century B C. One of these caves, called Bagdhalak, is embellished with the stripe patterns and pugmarks of the tiger. Locals still venerate the cat and colourful tiger images can be seen at scores of tiger temples, perhaps their way of appeasing the awe-inspiring animal. Inscriptions attributed to King Bhimsen dating back to 300 AD have also been recorded from the fort walls. The Chandela dynasty of Bundelkhand, most famous today for having built the Khajuraho temples (210 km away) also ruled here around the 12th century.

Later, warrior clans fought and lost many battles for possession of the fort, until the Baghels made the Bandhavgarh Fort their capital in the 17th century. The house of Rewa, whose descendents still own the imposing fort, trace a direct lineage from the Baghel dynasty and the fort is still owned by the Rewa family. This is, in fact, the only private property legally recognised within the National Park area and tourists can visit it after obtaining permission. Today the fort is, however, run down and has been, ever since the capital was shifted to Rewa 120 kms away. Till a few decades ago it served as a hunting preserve for blue bloods, who took advantage of the fact that the forest had reclaimed much of its once well-manicured estate.

It is believed that Lord Ram stopped here after vanquishing Ravana in Lanka and that it was Hanuman's monkey architects, (who built the bridge to Lanka) who designed and constructed the Bandhavgarh Fort. Lakshman, Ram's obedient and dutiful brother, was gifted the fort, thus the name (Bandhav - brother; garh - fort). People of the area still worship Lakshman at a temple within the fort.

Places To See in Bandhavgarh
Bandhavgarh Fort:
The Fort No records remain to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed. It is thought, however, to be some 2,000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad-Panch Ratra and the Siva Purana. Various dynasties have ruled this fort: for example, the Maghas from the 1st century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century; the Sengars from the 5th century and the Kalchuris from the 10th century

Baghel Museum:
Located only 100 metres from the resort, it houses certain precious belongings of the Maharaja of Rewa who maintained Bandhavgarh as his Shikargah, or a game preserve, a stuffed white Tiger still stands in the museum amidst certain personal belongings of the Maharaja.

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