Bandhavgarh National Park : Bandhavgarh Buffer Zones

Bandhavgarh Buffer Zones

Bandhavgarh Safari Zones

Since year 2013, tourists are facing problems in getting safari tickets. A theory was prevailing that if you cannot plan your Bandhavgarh tour in advance (45-60 days), then it is highly possible that you will not get safari tickets. It has disappointed many curious wildlife lovers, tourists, travel agents etc. Problem became worse during peak season dates like dates of Dussehra festival, Diwali festival, Christmas-New Year week etc. Recently Forest Department has taken some positive steps to overcome this dis-appointment, to some extent with introduction of Buffer zones for normal public.

Understanding Core-Buffer Zones
When Project Tiger was started in India in year 1973, by Government of India, it aim was to ensure respectable population of Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat. Experts introduced the Core-Buffer zones strategy for all Tiger Reserves. Under this strategy, after attaining the title of tiger reserve, all the wildlife sanctuaries or national parks will be marked with their core and buffer areas. In simple meaning, Core zone in that area where commercial activities like hotels, resorts will not be allowed and existing villages will also be relocated to other places, to avoid any human disturbance & biotic disturbance. Only Forest Department establishments like patrolling camp, watch-towers will exist. Where as Buffer Zone area is a mixed land where commercial activities (resorts/hotels) may be allowed with certain terms & conditions. Most of the resorts and villages are located with forested land in buffer zone area. It provides cushioning to wildlife from direct introduction exposure to human establishments like townships etc. Buffer zone is an important line that separates core zone from commercial lands. Their is no physical line of boundary to separate them but it is marked and understood to local people.

Buffer Zones in Bandhavgarh
Buffer zone is like a ring-structure which protects core-zone from direct exposure to human-establishment like townships, cities etc. Just like any other tiger reserve, Bandhavgarh is also having Buffer zones. Few years back, when new safari zones like Magadhi zone, Khitauli zones were introduced to tourists, a fourth zone was also introduced for sometime i.e. Panpatha zone but later closed. Here Magadhi & Khitauli zones were core zones where as Panpatha zone was Buffer zones. During that time, tourists shown less interest on this buffer zone as large count of tickets were offered for Core zone safari and under their popularity, this zone had flop show. But now scene has been changed. Very limited safari tickets are issued for core zone safari and now tourists are bound to look for alternate option. Solution emerged as Buffer zone safari. Recently Forest Department has opened new buffer zones to public for jungle safari rides. At Bandhavgarh, buffer zone options are:

Buffer Zones
Category
Area (hectare)
Location
Gate no- 4
26673
Mahaman to Badwaar
Gate no- 5
21337
Biruhali to Khitauli
Gate no- 6
33993
Tala to Gajwahi

Are tiger sighting is better in Premium zone ?
After learning the difference is safari zones rates, it is the most common question, asked from guest side. Their is no fixed answer to this question because probability of tiger sighting in any particular safari zone changes from time to time. One should must understand that their is no physical boundary, wall or fencing in between these safari zones. Animals are not known of any safari zones or boundary line which means they can easily move in between these safari zones. The safari area is just a small fraction of tiger reserve which means if park is having 40 tigers, tourists can see only 10-12 tigers, spread on different safari zones. As tigers maintain their territory in which they don't tolerate trespassing of other tigers which means Tala zone will be home of few tigers only and other tigers must be having their territory in other safari zones also and remain their most of the time thus their sighting is possible in their territories on different safari zones. Geographically, Tala zone is more hilly, offering natural or man-made cave shelters and better water sources. These sand-stone hills retains rainy water in better way and ensures water availability in peak summers also. These ideal conditions results in good prey base that attracts carnivores mammals in this region which could be one reason for Tala zone as home of dominant tigers of Bandhavgarh. But presence of tigress with cubs also contributes in tiger sighting results and also causes variation in better tiger sighting areas. Every season, tigress in different zones produces litter. Places where she manage to take well care of them, away from knowledge of male tigers, having good prey-base, in those areas tiger sighting improves for some months and thus sighting areas changes time to time and it cannot be fixed to any particular safari zone. It is a myth that tigers can only be seen in Tala zone and zones are useless for tiger lovers.

S. No.
Tala Zone Attractions
Magdhi Zone Attractions
Khitauli Zone Attractions
1
Siddha Baba
Charger Point
Umrar River
2
Chakradhara
Rajbehra
Kumbhi Kachhar
3
Chakradhara Hide
Bhadrashila Hide
Garhpuri Dam
4
Andhiyari Jhiriya
Mahaman Pond
Nilgai Nala
5
Badi Gufa
Climber’s Point
Tedka Munara
6
Shesh-shaiya
Badbada
Marjadgarh Tower
7
Sita Mandap
Sehra Dadra
Charkhi Dongri
8
Gopalpur Pond
Suwari Wah
Chhulaha Camp
9
Ketkiha
Sookhi Talab
10
Bhitari Wah
Sookhi Dam
11
Bandhavgarh Fort
Kerhawah
12
Three Cave Point
Patiha Camp
13
Vulture Nests
Dabhadol Tank
14
Ghoda-demon
Dinosaur Rock
15
Rampur Hillock
Baherha
16
Banbehi Hide
Dhaua Tower
17
Bhitari Hide
18
Bamania Hill

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