12 Things To Do In Bandipur

Things To Do In Bandipur

Nestled in the picturesque state of Karnataka, Bandipur is a gem for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its rich biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, this destination offers a plethora of activities that cater to every traveler’s preferences. From thrilling wildlife safaris to serene nature walks, there is no shortage of things to do in Bandipur. Whether you are seeking adventure, tranquility, or a chance to connect with nature, Bandipur promises an unforgettable experience. This guide highlights the top activities and hidden gems that make Bandipur a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this region.

Things To Do In Bandipur

  1. Explore Bandipur National Park

Bandipur National Park, established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, is one of the most beautiful and well-managed national parks in India. Covering an area of 874 square kilometers, it is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and various species of birds.

Visitors can embark on jeep safaris to explore the dense forests and grasslands of the park. The safaris, conducted by experienced guides, offer a chance to witness wildlife in their natural habitat. Early morning and late afternoon safaris are particularly popular as animals are more active during these times.

In addition to jeep safaris, Bandipur National Park also offers trekking opportunities for those who prefer a more intimate experience with nature. Guided treks take you through some of the most scenic parts of the park, providing a closer look at the diverse ecosystem. Remember to carry binoculars and a camera to capture the beauty of this incredible wildlife sanctuary.

  1. Visit the Gopalaswamy Betta

Gopalaswamy Betta, also known as Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, is a popular hill located within Bandipur National Park. Standing at an elevation of 1,450 meters, it is the highest peak in the park and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The hill is named after the Gopalaswamy Temple, a historic temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, located at the summit. The temple, believed to be over 700 years old, attracts many pilgrims and tourists. The serene atmosphere and spiritual vibes of the temple make it a perfect place for meditation and relaxation.

To reach Gopalaswamy Betta, visitors need to drive through the scenic roads of Bandipur. The journey itself is an experience, with lush greenery and occasional sightings of wildlife. Once at the base, a short trek or drive takes you to the top of the hill. The panoramic views from the peak are truly mesmerizing, especially during the early morning hours when the hill is often covered in mist.

  1. Bird Watching

Bandipur is a haven for bird watchers, with over 200 species of birds inhabiting the region. The diverse habitats, ranging from dense forests to open grasslands, provide ideal conditions for birdlife to thrive. Some of the notable species include the Indian roller, crested serpent eagle, Malabar pied hornbill, and grey junglefowl.

Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times for bird watching, as the birds are most active during these periods. There are several spots within Bandipur National Park that are particularly good for bird watching. These include the backwaters of the Kabini River and the edges of the forests where birds come to feed and nest.

Visitors can also join guided bird watching tours organized by local naturalists and experts. These tours not only help in identifying various bird species but also provide insights into their behavior and habitats. Carrying a pair of good binoculars and a field guide can enhance the bird watching experience.

  1. Nature Walks and Trekking

For those who love exploring nature on foot, Bandipur offers several nature walks and trekking trails. These guided walks take you deep into the forests, allowing you to experience the beauty and tranquility of the wilderness up close. The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both beginners and experienced trekkers.

During these walks, you can learn about the local flora and fauna, including medicinal plants and rare species of trees. The guides often share interesting stories and facts about the forest, making the walk informative and engaging. Keep an eye out for signs of wildlife, such as pugmarks and scat, which the guides will help identify.

Trekking in Bandipur is a rewarding experience, with trails leading to beautiful viewpoints, streams, and waterfalls. The treks are usually conducted early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Remember to wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry plenty of water, and follow the guide’s instructions for a safe and enjoyable trek.

  1. Visit the Nearby Attractions

Bandipur is surrounded by several interesting attractions that are worth a visit. One such place is the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, located just across the border in Tamil Nadu. Mudumalai is another excellent spot for wildlife enthusiasts, offering similar safari experiences as Bandipur.

Another nearby attraction is the B.R. Hills (Biligiriranga Hills), a beautiful hill range that is also a wildlife sanctuary. The B.R. Hills are known for their stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and the ancient Biligiriranganatha Swamy Temple.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to Mysore is highly recommended. Located about 80 kilometers from Bandipur, Mysore is famous for its royal heritage, palaces, and vibrant markets. The Mysore Palace, in particular, is a must-see, known for its grand architecture and opulent interiors.

  1. Enjoy a Stay at a Wildlife Resort

Bandipur offers a range of accommodation options, from budget lodges to luxury wildlife resorts. Staying at a wildlife resort is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region while enjoying modern comforts.

Most resorts are located close to the national park and offer various activities such as guided safaris, nature walks, and bird watching tours. The resorts are designed to blend seamlessly with the surroundings, providing a unique experience of living amidst nature.

In addition to wildlife activities, these resorts often have other amenities such as swimming pools, spa services, and recreational facilities. The serene environment and the sound of nature make for a relaxing and rejuvenating stay. Whether you are traveling with family, friends, or solo, a stay at a wildlife resort in Bandipur is sure to be a memorable experience.

  1. Enjoy a Night Safari

A night safari in Bandipur offers a completely different experience from the daytime safaris. This nocturnal adventure allows you to witness the nocturnal animals and the forest’s night-time activities. As the sun sets, the forest comes alive with the sounds of various creatures. Animals such as leopards, owls, and civet cats are more active during the night, offering a unique perspective of the wildlife.

The night safari is usually conducted in open jeeps with experienced guides who are well-versed in the behavior of nocturnal animals. The guides use spotlights to locate and identify animals, providing an exhilarating and educational experience. It’s important to follow all safety instructions and respect the animals’ habitat during these safaris.

  1. Experience Coracle Rides

Coracle rides on the Kabini River are a must-try activity when visiting Bandipur. Coracles are traditional round boats made of bamboo and other natural materials. These rides offer a peaceful and scenic way to explore the river and its surroundings.

During the ride, you can enjoy the serene beauty of the river, spot various bird species, and even catch glimpses of animals coming to the water’s edge to drink. The gentle sway of the coracle and the sounds of nature create a calming and immersive experience. Coracle rides are typically guided by local fishermen who share their knowledge about the river and its ecosystem.

  1. Visit the Moyar River Gorge

The Moyar River Gorge, also known as the Moyar Canyon, is a stunning natural wonder located near Bandipur. This deep gorge, carved by the Moyar River, offers breathtaking views and is a great spot for photography and nature walks.

The area around the gorge is rich in wildlife, and it’s not uncommon to spot elephants, deer, and various bird species. There are several viewpoints along the gorge that provide panoramic views of the river winding through the lush landscape. It’s an ideal place for nature enthusiasts and photographers looking to capture the beauty of the region.

  1. Attend Wildlife Photography Workshops

Bandipur is a paradise for wildlife photographers, and several photography workshops are conducted here by professional photographers and naturalists. These workshops are designed to cater to both beginners and experienced photographers, offering tips and techniques to capture stunning wildlife photographs.

The workshops often include practical sessions in the field, where participants can practice their skills under the guidance of experts. They also cover topics such as understanding animal behavior, using different types of camera equipment, and editing photographs. Attending a wildlife photography workshop can greatly enhance your photography skills and provide you with memorable images of your Bandipur adventure.

  1. Explore Nearby Tribal Villages

The region around Bandipur is home to several tribal communities, each with its unique culture and traditions. Visiting these tribal villages offers a fascinating insight into their way of life, customs, and crafts.

You can interact with the villagers, learn about their traditional practices, and even purchase handmade crafts and souvenirs. Some villages also offer homestay options, allowing visitors to experience tribal hospitality and cuisine. Exploring these villages provides a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage of the region and supports the local communities.

  1. Participate in Conservation Activities

Bandipur is not just a tourist destination; it’s also a significant site for wildlife conservation efforts. Several organizations and resorts offer opportunities for visitors to participate in conservation activities. These may include tree planting, wildlife monitoring, and educational programs about the importance of preserving the environment.

Participating in these activities is a great way to give back to the community and contribute to the preservation of Bandipur’s natural heritage. It’s also an educational experience that can inspire a greater appreciation for wildlife and nature conservation.


Bandipur is a destination that captivates the heart and soul of every visitor. With its diverse range of activities, from exploring the majestic Bandipur National Park to experiencing the serenity of Gopalaswamy Betta, there is no end to the exciting things to do in Bandipur. Whether you are an avid wildlife enthusiast, a passionate bird watcher, or someone seeking a peaceful retreat, Bandipur offers something special for everyone. The additional attractions and activities, such as night safaris, coracle rides, and visits to tribal villages, further enrich your experience, making your trip to Bandipur truly memorable. Plan your visit and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of this remarkable destination.

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