Just in the suburbs of a bustling city like Bangalore, lies Bannerghatta National Park – blissfully undisturbed from the crazy commercial dogma of modern life.
I’ve been in Bangalore for 2 years and to get a regular dose of green lands, coorg – yercaud – chickmagalur and the like were vehemently visited. Now finding Bannerghata, and just 1.5 hours away was akin to finding treasure!
How to get there
Bannerghatta is considered Bangalore suburban. From the Bangalore airport, it is 60 kms away. From Bangalore Kempegowda Bus Station/City Railway Station, it is about 28 kms. From either of these points, you can
1. Book a cab (₹650 – ₹850), or
2. Take a bus (BMTC bus route 365 – way cheaper but time taking)
The most convenient thing is to have your own car or cab to take you around. Specially, if you are going to spend the night. Otherwise, buses and uber would serve you well.
Where to stay
Can’t think of a better place than Jungle Lodges – Bannerghatta Nature Camp. Not only are the rooms clean with 24×7 hot water, but your room booking is also your ticket to a planned 2-day itinerary, inclusive of buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast! I will get to what all is in that itinerary in a bit.
I recommended that you book directly via their website for the most affordable rates (other booking sites show cheaper rates but when you are checking out they add taxes and what not and all of a sudden, the price you pay skyrockets through the roof). The second tip is that, please do not use google maps to navigate to property name, instead navigate to Bannerghatta Police Station from where follow the road signs (you can’t miss them, I promise)
Things to do
The first 3 are for day visitors. The last one was available as part of my stay above.
Oh my! What a delight when the role reverses. We being the caged spectators in a bus and our rescued friends in their natural habitat – sleeping, stretching, staring or doing whatever the damn they please. Our first brush in the safari wilderness was with this adorable fuzzy –
And, this friendly gang, lost in their company and general eating worries.
There were tigers and white tigers (I am not being racist), majestic and lazy lions, leopards, swamp and spotted deers with antlers so intricate that you’d be stumped! If you are interested, the photos are duly placed at the end of this post.
Personally, visiting a zoo after years just made me realize that I’d rather not visit one. All these beautiful creatures stuck in limited square footage for life. Isn’t that akin to jailing innocents?
3. Butterfly Garden
Hordes and hordes of butterflies will cross your very path like old friends. Never before have I seen so many of these gentle beauties in one place. It was as if I walked into a disney movie 🙂
Although, expectation was: all these butterflies have immense jungles to roam about till they tire. Reality: They were domed up in a structure smaller than the Taj Mahal.
This and the safari made Bannerghatta a visit to remember. With only my ballerina crocs as feet armor, it wasn’t easy navigating through sem-wet mud and the like. But the views and the greens were totally worth it. The hotel sent us a guide who also attempted some jokes on and off. Finding deer antlers on the ground (did you know they shed them?) and undisturbed natural water pools, a deer herd caught unawares – are sights that I won’t forget for a long time to come.
What to wear
Only the most comfortable shoes on thy feet please. Bangalore weather is known to be pleasant all year around. One doesn’t have to worry too much about the clothes department.
Park is closed on Tuesdays.
Go early to avoid crowds. Else, you will have to wait in a long winding queue for the safari.
And that’s it. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments.
Here are some more photos from the Bannerghatta experience –