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Nestled amidst the hills and valleys of the Vindhyas mountain ranges
in Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh National Park, one of the five major
national parks of India, sprawls across a core area of 105 sq km.
Located across the forest areas of Umaria and Katni, the undulating
land, the steep ridges, the deep forests and the open meadows
surrounding the national park create a buffer zone of over 400 sq km.
At the center of the park is the Bandhavgarh hill, rising 811 meters
above sea level. Surrounding it are a sloping valleys, which end in
small, swampy meadows locally known as “bohera”.
Known for its
dense population of the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Bandhavgarh national
park itself has quite a royal history behind it. It was the hunting
ground of the Maharaja of Rewa and it derived its name from the most
prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Lord Rama
to his brother Laxman to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name
Bandhavgarh, which in Sanskrit means ‘brother's fort’.
to becoming a national park, the forests around Bandhavgarh were
maintained as the Shikargah, or game preserve, of the Maharajas and
their guests. In 1947 the Rewa State was merged with Madhya Pradesh and
Bandhavgarh came under its regulations. The Maharaja of Rewa continued
to retain the hunting rights and no special conservation measures were
taken until 1968, when the areas were constituted as a national park.
Since then, numerous steps have been taken to retain Bandhavgarh
National Park as an unspoilt natural habitat.
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