Bannerghatta National Park and Safari of Southern India

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Blog , Reviews

Bannerghatta National Park is approximately 31 kilometers outside of the city of Bangalore, India; still part of the state of Karnataka.  You can drive, take a motorcycle, or just hop in an Auto-Rickshaw — its pretty much a straight shot without turns to get there.

With my friend Jacqueline here in India for a visit, we decided to go by motorcycle.  That was an adventure unto itself, which I talk about in my India Travel Blog.  But let’s stay on topic:

Bannerghatta National Park

Outside the main gate there are plenty of vendors, selling nick-naks, hats, T-shirts, and food items — both made fresh and packaged.

There are several attractions there, plus a small amusement park for kids.  The options are the Safari, Butterfly House, Zoo and boat Jacquline 085rentals.  We opted for the safari and Butterfly house. For the former, the air-conditioned bus was 500 Rupees ($10 U.S.), but it wasn’t available, so we took the smaller bus with caging across the windows, which cost 210 Rupees ($4.20 U.S.).  As it turned out, that bus was the better choice because (a) there were little holes large enough to stick a hand out and get unobstructed photos and (b) it provided a more rustic outdoor experience.  Between Jacqueline and the driver (who often would take the photos for her from his vantage point), the photos were amazing.

The ride took about 45 minutes. And as we left one zone of the reserve — headed into another –, a large electric door would slide open and we’d drive through only to nose up to another in front of us.  When the one behind was fully closed, only then would the one in front be opened: It felt a little like Jurassic Park … only without the man-eating dinosaurs.

Jacquline 037There was an area for Black Bears, Lions, Bengal Tigers — one of which was albino, snow white, deer and other non-carnivores. The driver and his assistant were terrific, always adjusting to anticipate where the animals were headed and positioning the bus in the best spot to capture memorable photos.

Inside the Butterfly House (25 rupee charge, 50 cents U.S.) was visually beautiful. There is a path that winds around the enclosed 100-foot high, Eden-esque man-made ecosystem, complete with a waterfall and rolling brook.  And of course, lots of butterflies fluttering all about, from flower to flower.

At the end of the path, we were led into an exhibit area; there are illustrations showing many of the Butterfly subgroups, life-cycles, and where they fit into the planets evolution, as well as many other interesting facts. There is also a running video in the mini-theater.

Outside we had a lovely stroll along the nature trail back to the main entrance.

A nice day; recommended for those that like adventure without the exertion.  A good value.

See the photos gallery here

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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