The erstwhile hunting ground of the Rewa State, Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, due to efforts made by Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa. In the beginning, the total area of Bandhavgarh was 105 square kmcomprising today’s Tala Zone. There were several villages inside Bandhavgarh in those days like Gopalpur and Bathhan. Gradually things improved and today Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is spread over 1598 square km including core and buffer areas. The name Bandhavgarh means the Fort of the Brothers. Legends say that Bandhavgarh was gifted By Lord Rama to his younger brother Laxman. Today, the predominantly Sal and Bamboo forest spread for miles around Bandhavgarh Fort, is the haven of the legendry king of Indian Jungles, the Tiger. With increased area, removal of the villages, proper waterholes, grassland management and intense patrolling, the population of the tigers in Bandhavgarh has increased remarkably. Today the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve has become the one of the best places in the world to see the tiger in the wild.
Among other mammals found in Bandhavgarh are Leopard, Jungle Cat, Wolf, Wild Dog, Jackal, Indian Fox, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Spotted Deer (Chittal), Barking Deer (Muntjac), Nilgai, Four Horned Antelope, Chinkara, Indian Gaur or Bison and several species of Bats. With more than 275 species of birds, Bandhavgarh also offers a wonderful experience for birdwatchers. The Reserve also harbours some of the rarest species of reptiles and butterflies. Although Bandhavgarh is predominantly a Sal and Bamboo forest, more than 100 species of trees, creepers, bushes and grasses are found in and around the Reserve. Some of the tree species found in Bandhavgarh are Mahua, Sejhi, Saja, Bahera, Achar, Tendu or Beedi Leaf Tree, Semal, Gurja, Pipal and Banyan Tree.