Chamarajanagar | Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a "safari" at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka on Sunday, as part of programmes to mark 50 years of "Project Tiger ''.
He is scheduled to interact with frontline field staff and self help groups involved in conservation activities later.
The Tiger Reserve is located partly in Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district and partly in H.D.Kote and Nanjangud taluks of Mysuru District.
"PM @narendramodi is on the way to the Bandipur and Mudumalai Tiger Reserves," Office of the Prime Minister tweeted, with the picture of him in a speckled safari clothing and hat, earlier on Sunday.
According to the state forest department, the National Park was formed by including most of the forest areas of the then Venugopala Wildlife Park established under the government notification dated February 19, 1941 and the area was enlarged in 1985 extending over an area of 874.20 Sq.Km and named as Bandipur National Park.
This reserve was brought under 'Project Tiger' in 1973. Subsequently, some adjacent reserve forest areas were added to the reserve extending to 880.02 Sq. Km. The present area under the control of Bandipur Tiger Reserve is 912.04 Sq. Km.
An area of 39.80 sq km of KFDC (Karnataka Forest Development Corporation) plantation area was handed over to this division during 2007-08. During 2010-11, the Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary was handed over to the Wildlife Division, Mysuru, the department said.
Located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the towering Western Ghats on the Mysuru-Ooty highway in Karnataka, it is an important part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve that constitutes Karnataka's Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarahole) to its Northwest, Tamil Nadu's Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary to its South, and Kerala's Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to its Southwest.
Once the private hunting grounds of the erstwhile Maharajas, and nestled in the foothills of the Nilgiris, Bandipur has had a long tryst with tigers. One of the thirty reserves identified across the country to save the Tiger and its habitat, it's also one of the last refuges of the endangered Asiatic wild elephant, according to the state Tourism department.
Apart from the two famed residents (tigers and elephants), a number of other endangered species such as sloth bears, gaurs, Indian rock pythons, jackals, muggers, and four-horned antelopes can be spotted in this national park.
Over 200 species of birds and a diversity of flora add to its attraction. Bandipur also supports a wide range of timber trees including teak, rosewood, sandalwood, Indian-laurel, Indian Kino tree, giant clumping bamboo.