The Bannerughatta National Park as many are well acquainted is tucked in the corner of the Bangalore city largely providing a dedicated green belt of flora and a distinguished spot in its own right merging the modern world with the natural. The terrain of the land in this part of the world is hilly and mountainous being a tributary of the mighty western ghats in some form which jet-sets into the corner of this city. Who and how this place got to be developed to its present pretty shape is unknown but could have been some form of a hunting ground and escapade for people of the past.
Environment is a crucial part of human existence and the Indian Forest Act was passed by the British way back in 1926 shows the effort to protect forest lands by governance. Some of the roads in close proximity to each other to the Bannerughatta road is the Kanakapura Road; the Mysore road and the Hosur road most of these roads running in some form is a close ally of the western ghat mountains and its offshoots.
My earlist experience of having visited this park was in 1990 being attatched to one of BPL plants of that time at Arakere that falls on the road leading to the National park. On being spurted by a sense of curiosity and adventure one afternoon happenned to embark upon a visit to this park that seemed logical considering it was only a few kilometers from my place of occupation and the visit was memorable for various reasons.
On visiting the various animal enclosures on the right side of the park which was vigorating in many ways was informed about a safari ride about which I had no prior information or inclination . Having paid the requisite fee was boarded into a small bus and with uncertainity of what lay ahead happenned to enter into a region which was truly jungly and forlorn and to ascertain such a place existed in bangalore was difficult at that time to imbibe. Before long and after a journey of about five kilometers or so the vehicle was in the midst of a Tiger Safari which barely meant that the vehicle was face to face with more than a dozen full grown tigers giving an involved and menacing look at we the intruders. That was the fist time I had such close an encounter and acquaintance with this beast and it was to last for more than fifteen minutes with some of them walking very close to the vehicle unhappy with some creatures among them who visit them in regular intervals with an act of infringement. Some of the beasts snarled with some form of disagreement. Thereafter we were led to a lion safari which was in many ways opposite to our earlier experience with the lions nonchantful and serene and largely ignored the vehicle of people who drove by. Tus ended my largely overdue visit to this zoo or park or safari or a wild-life abode what even one may choose to attatch to it.
In the mid 1990's and if not few years earlier the people of Bangalore were driven into melancholy and deep distress by an incident not many would recollect right now. A child being snatched from the hands of its grand-father in an instant act of aggrression by a tiger only to be recovered from the wilderness by the forest officials sans life and what a ghastly event with very little precedence or omen.
The grand-father in an remote act of merriment gesticulated the child in front of the tiger in an act of frolick from within the safari bus and the tiger mistaking it to be its spoilage for the day in an unexpected moment and an act executed at lightning speed whisked the child and bolted into the forest creating bewilderment and chagrin to all in the bus. The whole city stood motion-less for almost many days after the incident with astonishment and awe that such a remote and more than bizzare event should ever occur.
The Bannerughatta National Park of today is quite a serene and more orderly establishment and would take Rs. 250/- to see the zoo and the safari which should be around 05 dollars. The drive through the safari better ordained and maintained. There are three enclosures in the safari each seperate from the other and well cordoned.
The first safari is about herbivores and includes many kinds of deers. This is followed by the bear safari which has about 150 bears in its fold and visitors feel joyous watching many of them play with each other. This is followed by the tiger safari. I am yet to see a considerable number of them at one go but there are a significant many. A white tiger found most of the time in slumber is a quick attraction to any onlooker from the van and note that the route through all these strictures are largely circuitous and winding in their design making it a largely irregular a ride both inviting and interesting. The third section is the Lion safari where quite a few lions can be seen most of the time.
The keepers and curators of this National Park must look for ways and means to even improve and augment the park by adding possibly many other components to the safari like elephant safari and a possible safari with rare birds.
Contact numbers of the park : 080-27828425 ; 080-27828540 International calls: 918027828425
080-27828540 ; 080-27828300 ;080-25597021;080-22352828
9916699803 ; 9845275792 ;9900048192(lunch)