The Park covers over an area of 437 sq. km. The terrains are made of rocky hills, sal forests and grazing areas, formerly agricultural land. The finest of these hills is the Bandhavgarh hill, and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort. Though no records remain to show when the fort was constructed, it is believed to be about 2000 years old. Several dynasties have ruled the fort: for example, the Maghas from the 1st century A.D, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century; the Sengars from the 5th century, and the Kalachuris from the 10th century. The oldest signs of habitation are the caves dug into the sandstone, near the fort.
Several of these contain Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1 st century B.C. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forest range around the region had been maintained as a Shikargarh, or game preserve, of the Maharajahs of Rewa. In 1968, this area was declared as a National Park. Since then, stringent steps have been taken to retain it as an unspoilt natural habitat.
The thick forest of Bandhavgarh National Park sits in a bowl encircled by cliffs and wooded Vindhyan Mountains , and its plains have a number of grass and reed covered wetlands where Kingfishers dive and Egrets sit poised, hunch-backed, in the shallows. Up above, vultures nestle in holes in the sheer cliffs.
There are more than 22 species of mammals, and 250 species of birds. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the rhesus macaque, the black-faced langur, jungle cats, chinkara, black buck, munjtac and the chital. The Park attracts many migratory birds in the winter months that include the steppe eagle and a variety of wildfowl. Reptilian fauna include cobra, krait, python, turtle and a variety of lizards. The Bandhavgarh National Park has excellent game and bird viewing to offer, coupled with a fascinating historical element to it, thus satiating those adventurous at heart, completely.
The ideal time to visit Bandhavgarh is the November to June period. The park is closed in July for the monsoons.
Khajurao at 230-kms is the most convenient airport connected by various domestic airline services with Agra , Delhi , and Varanasi .
The nearest railhead Umaria at 30-kms is on the Katni-Bilaspur section of South-Eastern Railway. Another convenient railhead Satna (117-kms) is on the Bombay-Howrah main line of the Central Railway.
Bandhavgarh National Park is situated on the Satna-Umaria & Rewa-Umaria highway. Some of the important road distances are: Khajuraho (via Satna) 230-kms, Varanasi (via Rewa) 340-kms, Katni 75-kms, Rewa 115-kms, Umaria 30-kms, Kanha 250-kms. Madhya Pradesh State Transport Bus Services are also available from Rewa, Satna, Katni and Umaria.
White Tiger Forest Lodge (MPT), Forest Rest House, Bandhavgarh Jungle Camp and the PWD Rest House are the available means of accomodation.