It is not in every city that you find a place bestowed with scenic beauty and full of exquisite flora and fauna. Bannerghatta National Park, which is approximately 21 km from the city of Bangalore, presents tourists with perfect weekend options.
There is nothing like relaxing amidst the refreshing natural setting after hectic work pressure and monotony of daily chores. The excitement of seeing the bravest of all the animals, tigers, from a few inches of distance and the pleasure of looking at colourful and exotic plants is unexplainable.
Established in the year of 1971, Bannerghatta National Park is spread across 104.27 sq. km and has ten reserve forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division under it. Once at the national park, you will have more than one option to keep yourself engaged.
Along with the national park, Bannerghatta has an Aquarium, a Zoo, a Children’s park, a Crocodile Farm, a Snake park, a Prehistoric animals park and a Museum. From families with children to adventure lovers, everyone has something of their choice here.
The overall beauty of the park gets a boost from the Suvarnamukhi stream, originating in the Suvarnamukhi hills and runs through the park. Suvarnamukhi hills spread out to a huge rock and have the famous Champaka Dhama Swamy temple which belongs to the Hoysala age at the foothill of the rock. The Suvarnamukhi pond that is 2 km away is believed to have curative powers.
Fauna at Bannerghatta Park
Park is famous for tigers, Lions, Thamin deer, hog deer, king cobra, Himalayan black bear and Malabar giant squirrel. You can also spot wild animals such as Elephant, gaur, leopard, jackal, fox, wild pig, sambar, chital, spotted deer, barking deer. Others include common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine, the hare, pangolin, slender loris and huge monitor lizards like cobras, pythons, kraits and Russell vipers in the national park. Tiger and Lions can be seen across 25,000 acres of the Park which is securely fenced.
The park has an amazing population of birds as well, adding charming colours to the park. Cormorants, white ibis, little green heron, grey heron, paradise flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Common Grey Hornbill, White bellied Drongo, Spotted Owlet, Collared Scops owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Eurasian Eagle owl and Brown Fish owl are few constituting the avian population of the park.
Flora at Bannerghatta National Park
The Bannerghatta National Park has mainly moist deciduous teak forest. Bamboos are quite common in the park with Dendrocalamus strictus being the most commonly found species.
Commonly found species of plants in the park are Anogeissus latifolia, Schleichera oleosa, Terminalia tomentosa, sandal, neem, T. arjuna. Grewia tiliaefolia, Santalum album, tamarind, chujjullu, Shorea talura, Emblica officinalis, Vitex altissima, jalari, Wrightia tinctoria, Randia sp. Ziziphus sp. and Albizia sp. There is a small area in the park which has mainly plantations of Eucalyptus, Bauhinia purpurea, Samanea saman and Peltophorum pterocarpum.
Activities at Bannerghatta National Park
Bannerghatt National Park is one of the top tourist places to visit in Bangalore and you have umpteen number of options for activities near the national park. Apart from rides in open jeeps, mini buses, vans and elephants, tourists can go for fishing, Coracle boat rides, Bird watching, River rafting and Outdoor camping.
There are various trekking places as well. Some of these are Uddigebande (3.5 km), a natural rock formation called Hajaamana Kallu (3 km) and Mirza Hill (1.5 kms)
Things to do at Bannerghatta National Park
1. Elephant Sanctuary
Engage, interact and play with giant elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary. It is the first sanctuary that has fenced boundaries for elephants to roam inside the park freely, without imposing any restrictions. The sanctuary covers an area of 122 acres and was designed by Carol Buckley.
2. Bannerghatta Zoo
Home to an array of wildlife exhibits, the Zoo in Bannerghatta National Park comprises more than 1900 animals such as Hog Deer, Thamin Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, King Cobra and many more. You can also find reptiles and mammals along with colourful birds living peacefully here.
3. Butterfly Park
Visit the Butterfly Park to see a wide variety of butterflies. Established in the year 2006, the Butterfly Park, being first of its kind in India, is one of the major attractions in the national park that attracts tourists from all over the world, whether you’re a kid, young adult or a senior citizen. Spread across an area of 7.5 acres, the park has almost 48 different species of butterflies along with a museum and an audio-visual room.
4. Champaka Dhama Swamy Temple
Featuring Dravidian style of architecture, Champaka Dhama Swamy Temple is a religious spot in the park that welcomes people to take blessings of the presiding deity Lord Champakadhama, which is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple also boasts of the idol of Bhudevi and Sridevi as well.
5. Rescue Centre
A centre where you can see plenty of animals that are rescued from the streets, circuses and other unwanted places. These include leopards, cheetahs, squirrels, chipmunks, panthers, hyenas, etc.
Entry Fee and Timings of Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore
The Bannerghatta Park is open for its tourists from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. It is closed on every Tuesday of the week. You can buy tickets for entry into the Zoo and Safaris at the main entrance.
To visit the Bannerghatta Zoo Park in Bangalore, you need to pay INR 100 per person for adults, INR 60 for senior citizens above 60 and INR 50 for children between 6 to 12 years of age. However, the entrance fee for the Butterfly Park is separate from the Zoo Park ticket, which is INR 50 for adults and INR 30 for both senior citizens and children.
On a tour to this recreational and leisure park, you can also enjoy safari rides. For a non-AC Bus Safari ride, the Bannerghatta Park charges INR 300 for adults, INR 200 for senior citizens and INR 150 for children from Monday to Friday and INR 350 for adults, INR 250 for senior citizens and INR 200 for children on weekends and government holidays.
While, on the other side, for AC Bus Safari ride, the ticket price is INR 600 for adults and INR 400 for children on weekdays and INR 650 for adults and INR 450 for children on weekends and government holidays. You can also opt to enjoy the Jeep Safari ride, which costs from INR 3500 to INR 5500 depending upon the type of vehicle you choose for the ride.
Travel Tips for Bannerghatta National Park
- Do not try feeding the animals and birds that are kept in cages. If you do so, you will be responsible for your own harm (in case if anything happens).
- Choose clothes that complement the natural colour of nature. In short, please avoid wearing something too bright or fluorescent in colour.
- Wear comfortable shoes to make the most of your visit to Bannerghatta Park. You may need to walk a lot to explore its surroundings fully.
- Always carry a pair of sunglasses and a hat with you, especially in the hottest months of the year. Sometimes, the weather gets pretty hot in the afternoons.
- Keep your food, liquids and other beverages safe. The monkeys roaming around might try to snatch them away from you.
- Refrain from throwing the waste material here and there. There are several dustbins in the park to dispose of things.
- You’re not allowed to take the plastic items or plastic covers inside the zoo premises. Such things will be transferred into paper bags at the entry.
- If you’re planning to visit Bannerghatta Park on weekends, it is advisable to reach there before 2 PM in the afternoon. After that, the place starts getting overcrowded with each passing hour and you might not get the safari tickets.
- There is a facility for booking the tickets for jeep safari online. It’s a better option to avoid the unusual crowd at the ticket counters.
Best Time to Visit Bannerghatta National Park
As a citizen of Bangalore, you can pave your way towards Bannerghatta National Park at any time. But if you are visiting the city as a tourist, the recommended time would be during the winter i.e., from October month to the March month.
At this time, the overall climate conditions are quite pleasant, delightful and enjoyable and are ideal to explore the vibrant wildlife around the park. Also, since this is the time that comes right after the monsoon season in Karnataka, it makes the sightseeing and outdoor activities perfect for everyone.
Please note that October’s first week is also considered as the Wildlife week and to celebrate it, the local forest department organizes various events in the Bannerghatta National Park for your entertainment. So, if you want to be a part of such programs, you need to plan your trip accordingly.
Facilities at Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore
Bannerghatta National Park offers a wide variety of facilities for its tourists so that you can make the most of your visit and enjoy it. Some of the facilities include:
For all those who are driving all the way can park their vehicle in the authorized parking space of Bannerghatta Park. It has enough parking space, with approximately 2500 two-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles that can be parked at a time.
To cater to everyone’s needs, the park has installed the drinking water facilities at every corner of the place. You can also buy water bottles from the vendors inside the park.
With 4 restrooms scattered at four different locations around Bannerghatta Park, you can use any of the washrooms as per your convenience. The restrooms can be found near the zoo expansion area, parking area, Nocturnal enclosure and Gharial enclosure.
Baby Care Unit
In case if you’re travelling with a newborn kid, you need not worry about his/her care. There are 2 baby care units, with each unit having diaper changing and feeding facilities for families.
Other facilities such as the Cloak Room, Library, Wheelchairs, Umbrella, Information Kiosk, Battery Operated Vehicle and Sit Out Benches are also available at the park for your convenience. You can also stop at the various restaurants to munch on your favourite snacks or meals. JLR Hill View is one of the restaurants which is inside the zoo and the two restaurants that are located just outside the zoo are BMTC Annapurna and KSTDC Vanashree Mayura.
Places to Visit Near Bannerghatta National Park
Though there is no shortage of places to visit in Bangalore, but if you are at or somewhere near to Bannerghatta National Park and have some time to explore the nearby attractions, you can consider the following tourist interests:
Nestled just a few steps away from the park is the Uddigebande where you can try your hand at trekking and make the most of your adventure. It is undoubtedly a perfect spot for all those who want to do something exciting and unique on their visit to Bangalore. From here, adventure enthusiasts can plan a trek either to Hajaamana Kallu or Mirja Hill as per their own choice.
An idyllic destination for travel bloggers and photographers, Chudahalli Reservoir is a great place to relax and rejuvenate your mind away from the busy city life. Located on the outskirts of the city, it is a picturesque location that is located only 15 km away from Bannerghatta Park.
Enjoy an hour drive away from the national park and you will reach Ramanagara, which is the name of the small town you must have heard in the superhit Bollywood movie “Sholay”. Encompassed by several breathtaking hills, this place is widely known for its harvest of silk and is also a heaven for rock climbers.
Byatarayana Doddi Lake
Take some time off for Byatarayana Doddi Lake to spend some ME time on your Bangalore tour. Located 6 km away from Bannerghatta Park, the Byatarayana Doddi Lake invites you to take a refreshing plunge in the water, do boating or simply sit back on the shores of it.
A few of the other places such as Cubbon Park, Bangalore Aquarium, Bangalore Palace, ISKCON Temple, Jawahar Bal Bhawan, National Gallery of Modern Art, Wonderla Bangalore. Also not to miss places like Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park can also be visited in Bangalore if you’re in the visit for a week or more.
Reaching Bannerghatta National Park
Getting to Bannerghatta National Park from Bangalore is pretty easy. You can either take a BMTC City Bus or simply look for a Bangalore Car Rental Service for a hassle-free experience. However, to reach the park, you first need to arrive in Bangalore that can be done through the following modes of transportation:
Bangalore International Airport, also referred to as Kempegowda International Airport, is approximately 55 km away and takes nearly 1.5 hours to cover this stretch. From the airport, opt for an airport taxi to cover the entire distance in less time. While taking a taxi to the park is an expensive option, catching the bus is undoubtedly a pocket-friendly way.
Catch a direct train to Bangalore City Railway Station or Yesvantpur Junction from New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, etc., to experience a comfortable railway journey to Bangalore. Both stations are the main stations of the city and offer frequent local transportation services to its visitors.
Kempegowda Bus Stand is 35 km away from the park and can be covered in 1 hour, whereas Majestic Bus Stand is 23 km away and takes sometimes 1 hour and 27 minutes due to the traffic. If you have taken a bus that will drop you at Majestic Bus Stand, you can also follow the NH 48 route, which is the fastest route to reach Bannerghatta Park.
To commute within the city at your convenience, we have prepared a list of top car rental companies in Bangalore from where you can hire a vehicle at competitive prices and enjoy travelling in a relaxed manner.
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