On one lazy Sunday morning, I along with my friends –Aditya, Shiva and Vipul, left IIM Bangalore campus to check out Bannerghatta National Park. Before starting, we googled for directions and reviews and it really helped. We now knew that we need to catch bus no. 365 that will directly drop us at park’s gate.We reached there around 11 a.m. but by that time queue had already taken shape of the largest reptile :P. Bannerghatta National Park gets really crowded during weekends and it takes around 1-2 hrs just to get tickets. Post getting tickets, you have to line up for the forest bus for Jungle safari which takes another 15-30 minutes.
Jungle Safari at Bannerghatta National Park
Finally, we started for a 16 km safari. Bannerghatta National park is divided into fenced zone and there are separate roads covering each part of zone. So citing animals is almost sure. In around 15 minutes, bus reached dense forest area and we started spotting animals. Deer, Sambar, Ducks were amongst the first few animals we spotted on our Safari. I took out my camera and figured that I did the biggest blunder of the day. I forgot the batteries at my place…ahhh. Luckily I had an extra set in my bag but it was not fully charged.
Few more minutes passed and we entered the ‘Bear Zone’. What we saw there was breath taking – A sloth bear was charging towards the bus. It came very close to bus and even stood up and tried to peek in as if he came to see us. Later, we saw few more sloth bears. Next was the ‘Lion Zone’. Soon a cat crossed our way and it was a big one – Lioness. We kept tracking her and soon discovered her complete family. This was the time my batteries died and I was left with my 2MP mobile camera only.
Last in the list was ‘Tiger Zone’ which I found very small in area. We saw two rare white tigers. Other tigers were in their cage. I found it a bit odd to keep tigers in such condition in a national park. I would rather call that place hybrid of Zoo and National Park. After that we returned and bus dropped us at ‘Butterfly Park’.
Butterfly Park at Bannerghatta National Park
The park was full of variety of flowery plants to attract butterflies. It also had a green house like zone which was very beautiful and full of butterflies. It also has a small man-made waterfall and a pool full of fish. They have also put boards to help you with information to identify butterflies. There was also a movie show on butterflies but it was available only in ‘Kannada’.
By this time, we were hungry and finished roaming so we went to a hill view restaurant over there and had some snacks and after getting blessings from ‘Lord Ganesha’ we headed back to IIM B.
- Overall Rating: 3/5 (We will not rate experience high as it is more like a bigger zoo kind of experience than a national park safari. On top of that, crowd and wait time will suck all energy out of you)
- How to get there: Bus no. 365, G4 go right up to to the park gate
- Best time: before 10 am to avoid the queue, any season as the area is enclosed so does not matter. Try to avoid weekends and public holidays as it gets madly crowded.
- Carry ample water and snacks as wait times will almost drain you. If you are visiting with elderly people, please exercise caution as this may be a tiring experience.
Hope this helps you plan your Bannerghatta National Park trip. Please drop us comments in case you want more information or need any additional information.
Happy Exploration !!
About Author: This article is contributed by our friend, Archit Shrivasta. Archit has an avid interest in bird watching, and photography. He has developed ‘Birds of India’ App, a useful 4.4 Rating App for people interested in bird-watching (Android Version – Download Here) . You can check more of Archit’s work at his blog here or follow him on instagram here.