Bandhavgarh Safari Zones


The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is spread over 1598.10 sq. km. area, including both i.e. core zone and buffer zone.
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Constitutes
(In Sq. Kms.)
Bandhavgarh Core Zone Area
Bandhavgarh Buffer Zone Area
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Area

Initially, an area of 105 sq. km. was declared as the Bandhavgarh National Park in 1968, which was extended to 448.842 sq. km. in 1982 with the inclusion of adjoining forest area. Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary was notified as part of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in 1983. It was year 1993, when Bandhavgarh National Park, Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary and Buffer Zone Area of park were together declared as the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve came under Project Tiger. Here Core zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve includes both Bandhavgarh National Park and Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary. Area of Bandhavgarh national park is 452.66 sq.kms. Where as area of Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary is 264.237. Buffer zone is spread over both Umaria and Katni districts.

An area of about 207 sq. km. has been declared as tourism zone within the Park. This area has further been divided in three tourism zones where we use to do jungle safari drives. Major forest area of tiger reserve remains unseen to outer world. All this is managed as per guidelines laid by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which manages Project Tiger in India. Each area has its own flora & faunal diversifications.Below given table provides names of Safari zones in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve where one can do wildlife safari with description of maximum limit of safari jeeps allowed for safari at one safari-time. This limit may vary as under special circumstances, park management may increase or decrease this given limit.

Safari Zones in Bandhavgarh

At present 06 safari zones are open for tourists in which 03 safari-zones are in core-zone and 03 safari zone are in buffer-zone. Tourists are allowed to undertake jungle safari drives in any of the zone, by taking safari ticket of that zone. As limites safari tickets are issued online so advance booking is highly recommended. Bandhavgarh is popular tiger reserve thus mostly tickets get sold-out early. In below given table, we have shared list of safari zones, maximum safari vehicles allowed in associated zones and the period in which they are open for tourists to undertake jungle safari drives.
Safari Zones
Safari Vehicle Limit
Morning - Evening
Safari Period
Tala (Gate-1, Core Zone)
20 - 20
October to June
Magadhi (Gate-2, Core Zone)
20 - 20
October to June
Khitauli (Gate-3, Core Zone)
16 - 15
October to June
Panpatha Zone (Buffer Zone)
20 - 20
Throughout Year
Dhamokhar Zone (Buffer Zone)
20 - 20
Throughout Year
Johila Zone (Buffer Zone)
20 - 20
Throughout Year
Note: Bandhavgarh national park remains closed for Evening Safari only, on Every Wednesday.

Mystery of Safari Tickets Count

In above table we will see majority of safari zones have limit of 20 jeeps per safari round but when we go online for safari ticket booking, we will notice that only 14 safari tickets are offered. A natural question will arise in our mind that where are those 06 safari tickets? Answer is that all the safari tickets of any particular zones are not sold online. Out of the maximum safari vehicle limit, some tickets are retained (approx. 02) for walk-in tourists who reach Bandhavgarh without any advance safari-ticket booking. Reaching Bandhavgarh without advance safari booking is a risk. Buffer zone safari tickets are solution. Similarly their is quota of Field Director of Tiger Reserve which are issued by him as per his discretion. Usually such tickets are provided to some VIP category guests. Field Director quota tickets are around 02 only. Now Forest Department has introduced Single-seat safari option also in which instead of whole vehicle, each seat is sold individually. This is a revolutionary step to curb black marketing of safari tickets. This is the major problem with Bandhavgarh. Due to black-marketing of safari tickets, genuine visitor often don't get safari tickets on their desired dates due to which they don't come to this national park. Forest department allows add-on option in which they allows us to add maximum 04 tourists in our ticket if we are two person. Although fee is charged for this facility but it allows scope to block the ticket with 2 names and later add some more visitors. This option is heavily mis-used by touts to block the tickets in advance and later add others by over-charging. Such activities are done are different levels by some local ticketing agents, gypsy-operators, hoteliers, travel-agents etc. All major luxury resorts/safari-lodges us to do this practice for sake of business. This is also the one of the reason of their high safari fee and even online tickets are sold-out but they will offer you assured shared-safari. This causes disappearing of full-vehicle tickets in few minutes. Sometime it is so quick (02-minutes) that while a normal person is filling-up online booking-form and before we could make payment, all the tickets get sold-out. Single seat system is a suitable answer to such black-marketiers. It is good for normal tourists but photographers may not find it comfortable because of space problem. Maximum 06 persons are allowed in single jeep. So after deducting current-ticket quota, field-director quota and single-seat jeep quota, remaining figure is visible to us on online. For example, 20 seat quota is for Tala Zone and only 14 is offered online which gets sold-out quickly. Buffer zone safari tickets are often remain available till date so if you failed to get core zone ticket then buffer zone ticket could be purchased.

Tala Zone (Gate-1)

It is more popular for tiger sighting and usually remain in demand throughout the season. Jungle Safari Routes" A, B, C, D" lies in Tala zone. Routes are allocated at the time of entry, by forest department official. Their decision is final. If any tourist is interested in any particular route then he/she can request but can't demand for that zone. Decision of Forest Department official is final. It is their duty to ensure that vehicles should be evenly distributed among different routes to avoid any over-crowding or congestion. This zone remains in demand so do advance booking to secure its entrance ticket for desired safari. Bandhavgarh Fort Safari also lies in Tala zone. Tiger Tracking using elephant is not promoted by park authority due to limited availability of elephants which are mainly used for patrolling & other purpose.

Magadhi zone (Gate-2)

It is also a popular safari zone of Bandhavgarh. It is approx. 8kms from Tala village and easily accessible by road. It shares its boundary with Tala zone. Here Bokha was the main dominant tiger and famous Charger-point is also located in Magadhi zone. Park Safari Routes "E, F, G, H" are in Magdhi zone. As about 66 tickets are offered for visitors to this zone, usually it can be availed easily.

Khitauli zone (Gate-3)

It is also a popular core zone of Bandhavgarh national park. It is good for birding, sloth bear and blue-bull and leopard sighting. One can do two jungle safaris in a day i.e. Morning & Evening. Park Safari Route "I" are in Magdhi zone. Route-I have 4 sub-route options to choose. As Khitauli zone is least visited by tourists, it is less crowded and easily available for ticket-booking.

Among 3 safari zones of Bandhavgarh, Tala & Magdhi & Khitauli zones are divided into routes and two routes are allotted in one safari round. One route for going from entrance gate to center point and second route for returning from center point to exit gate. Safari tickets can be obtained through online booking or can be purchased from Tala entrance gate and Dhamokhar check-point. Dhamokhar check-point in on the way from Umaria to Tala village. Some Places of Tourist Interest inside the Safari zone do of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve are as follows:

S. No.
Tala Zone Attractions
Magdhi Zone Attractions
Khitauli Zone Attractions
Siddha Baba
Charger Point
Umrar River
Kumbhi Kachhar
Chakradhara Hide
Bhadrashila Hide
Garhpuri Dam
Andhiyari Jhiriya
Mahaman Pond
Nilgai Nala
Badi Gufa
Climber’s Point
Tedka Munara
Marjadgarh Tower
Sita Mandap
Sehra Dadra
Charkhi Dongri
Gopalpur Pond
Suwari Wah
Chhulaha Camp
Sookhi Talab
Bhitari Wah
Sookhi Dam
Bandhavgarh Fort
Three Cave Point
Patiha Camp
Vulture Nests
Dabhadol Tank
Dinosaur Rock
Rampur Hillock
Banbehi Hide
Dhaua Tower
Bhitari Hide
Bamania Hill

Click: Safari Places in detail. . .
Click: More about Jungle Safari. . .

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