Escape Bengaluru's Bustle And Discover Bannerughatta National Park

For those in Bengaluru, exploring the wilderness of the Bannerughatta National Park can be a great alternative to long journeys in Karnataka's nature reserves
Bengal Tigers at Bannerughatta National Park
Bengal Tigers at Bannerughatta National Park Shutterstock

A full-fledged road trip to the jungle seems too tedious with the ongoing water crisis in Bengaluru but do you still feel the nature bug calling out to you? Well, how about meeting the denizens of Bannerughatta this weekend? The Bannerughatta Biological Park in Bengaluru was established in 2004 and continues to enthral visitors with its diverse residents.

The deer enclave is a busy place
The deer enclave is a busy placeWikimedia Commons

This national park complements and strengthens national efforts in ex-situ conservation, offering a lifeline to species with no chance of survival in the wild. It is particularly focused on preserving the country's rich biodiversity, especially its fauna. It aims to raise stocks for potential rehabilitation into the wild when appropriate.

Additionally, the park strives to inspire empathy among zoo visitors towards wild animals by fostering an understanding of the importance of conserving natural resources and maintaining ecological balance. It also provides opportunities for scientific studies, research and documentation on conservation efforts to facilitate the creation of a shared database for authorities involved in both in-situ and ex-situ conservation initiatives.

A white tiger in a zoo
A white tiger in a zooShutterstock

Spread over an area of 730 hectares, the Bannerughatta Biological Park was carved out of the Bannerughatta National Park in 2004. While entry to the core zones of the latter is restricted, the forest department has rehabilitated lions and tigers at the biological park. Taking a safari to spot the wild cats in a setting that's nearly similar to their natural habitat is a highlight of the Bannerughatta experience. A ticket for the safari combo gives you access to the safaris, zoo and the butterfly park. 

The Safaris

Embarking on a thrilling expedition through the natural forests of Bannerughatta and observing wild beasts up close in their natural habitat is the most special part of travelling to the park. On offer are the lion safari, tiger safari and bear safari. The best part of these trips is that you can focus on appreciating the sheer majesty of these striped beasts instead of spending most of your time struggling to spot one. At present, there are 26 tigers (15 male and 11 female) that you can spot during the tiger safari. 

A group of male lions relaxing
A group of male lions relaxingWikimedia Commons

The lion safari is the most thrilling of all. After all, you don't get to meet the king of the jungle every day. The biological park is home to many lions but there's no guarantee that you'll get to spot them all. The animals are allowed into a safari area on a rotational basis for the benefit of visitors. When done marvelling at the wild cats you will be taken for the bear safari to complete your safari experience. 

A sloth bear within an enclosure
A sloth bear within an enclosureShutterstock

The Butterfly Park 

A common crow butterfly
A common crow butterflyWikimedia Commons

Possibly the first-of-its-kind park in India, the butterfly park was opened to the public in 2007, and since then zoological parks across the country have been trying to replicate this model. According to a study, 48 species of butterflies have been recorded at the Bannerughatta Biological Park. The 'butterfly trail' is established over a five-acre garden and leads you to an innovatively designed dome structure that houses a conservatory, a museum and a multimedia centre.

The Zoo

Zebras within an enclosure for herbivores
Zebras within an enclosure for herbivoresGetty Images

The zoo at Bannerughatta had modest beginnings when it started out as a picnic spot for the people of Bengaluru in 1971. Today, 1,941 animals belonging to 94 species are housed here. It is saddled among Champakadhama hill and Mirza hill in the Bannerughatta Sandal Reserve. A variety of mammals, reptiles and birds of both exotic and Indian origin can be seen at the zoo. The most prominent among these are Eld's deer, hog deer, king cobra, crocodiles, the Himalayan black bear, panthers and various birds.  

A visit to the zoo is a sheer delight for birdwatchers as it is home to a whopping 271 species of birds, which include nine globally threatened species. From grey francolins and red spurfowls to crested treeswifts, common moorhens and painted storks, the list is endless. 

The Information

The park has introduced digital ticketing to promote a paperless booking system. Visitors planning to visit the zoo, safari and butterfly park can book their tickets in advance through a user-friendly ticketing system on WhatsApp. The tickets will then be sent to the visitor’s Whatsapp number as well as their email ID, which will be scanned and validated at the park entrance. Tickets are available on the Bannerughatta Biological Park. Alternatively, tickets can be booked by sending a 'Hi' to +919035092794 on WhatsApp.

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