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  Home » INDIA- An Urban Wildlife Sanctuary, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru By Shyam Amladi

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INDIA- An Urban Wildlife Sanctuary, Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru By Shyam Amladi

See the majestic, rather rare White tiger above? I shot it from a jeep sitting less than 2 feet from the king of the jungle! 

Well that is probably not very impressive is it? How about this--this was not in a zoo, but on a Safari. . . .  .literally next to the city of Bengaluru, one of the largest metropolitan cities in India.

For those of you who have not been to it, and not recently, I highly recommend Bannerghatta Biological park. It is pristine, with "Jurassic Park" like setting and it is huge. I have been disappointed in visiting other tiger sanctuaries (Periyar, Jim Corbett) with no sighting of the majestic creatures. So imagine my surprise when someone suggested  Bannerghatta.

"Not another zoo?" I said. My hosts assured me that it was a real sanctuary and the Safari was worth every one of the 2,500 rupees they charge. And she was right!

Bannerghatta sprawls over 25,000 acres and is 13.6 miles from Bengaluru. It opened in 1971. It has a Zoo (I would not get too enthused, it is very functional), a butterfly park worth going to and of course the sanctuary. You can either take a ride in the bus, or have a private jeep tour for 4--I would spring for the jeep tour. It brings you amazingly close to the animals--Lions, Tigers (both Bengal and White, picture above), Elephants, Sambar Deer (native to India and pictured above), Bears and crocodiles. The Zoo has panthars, reptiles and other species. Butterfly Park with 20+ species of butterflies.

On the Safari, guess who jumped  into our jeep for a jolly ride? A bear--a gigantic one too, Here is Papa Bear, grinning at us--up close and personal !

 Papa Bear took a long ride with us and jumped off when he saw his friends in the woods.

The Park is surrounded by scenic Anekal range, and nearby you can visit Nandi hills, Uddigebande rock formation, Thottikallu waterfall, Suvarnamukhi hills, just to name a few.

A travel tip. Posted times are not very meaningful at many places in India. We arrived at Bannerghatta promptly at 10 AM, the opening time. The ticket window for Safari (which is run by an outside contractor) did not open till 11.15, and only after we nagged the attendant into calling the person to show up ! So call first to make sure the Safari chap is in.

I highly recommend Bannerghatta. It is probably the only large, free-range sanctuary where you are guaranteed sightings any time of the day, and close to a major city.