In the year 1941, the Venugopal Wildlife Park was formed comprising an area of nearly 800 sq km, the Bandipur Tiger reserve forming an integral part of it, located in its heartland. When the Project Tiger was launched in the year 1973, the significance of this tract for elephant, tiger and other wildlife was realized. Today, Bandipur Tiger Reserve comprises of an area of nearly 874 sq km, incorporating some areas of the Venugopal Park.
One can easily get awe struck by the scenic beauty of the reserve. The tourists get ample opportunities to explore the wonders of the park. Its highest point, Gopalaswamy Betta, provides a marvelous view of mild slanting mountains, flat-topped mountains and gorges. The dense mixed deciduous forest creates a beautiful covering of green foliage. Bamboo polls are interspersed with grasses, providing a variety to the whole of the terrain.
The beauty of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve can be assigned to the two monsoons, the south-west and the north-east, that bring in rainfall well through the year. Huge rainfall is largely due to the fact that it is located at the crossroads of the Deccan Plateau and the outer skirts of the Western Ghats.
These open woodlands of the Bandipur Tiger reserve give splendid opportunities for viewing wildlife. The Kabini River, a tributary of the Raven, runs along the park's northwest city districts. The Nagarhole National Park is situated beyond the waters of the Kabini Reservoir. Herds of wild elephants can be viewed along this extend of river. The rivers Mulahole, Nugu and Moyar weave through Bandipur and, from a point, better known, as Rolling Rocks there is a splendid view of the beautiful gorge of the Moyar River.
To the tourists, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, is a wonderful spot to explore the beauty of the wild life. It falls somewhat midway between Ooty and Mysore and is well accessible for every one through the whole of the country. There is a tourism center, comprising of 82 sq km . However, most of the area in the reserve remains unperturbed by the demands of urban society.
A wide range of animals such as Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog and Sloth Bear stroll around the park, especially in the deeper forest region. The disastrous epidemic of cattle plague occurred in the end of 1960s, took tolls of numerous animal lives. However they have recovered from this critical stage and quite a few more cattle were born, thus increasing their number at a slow pace. Herds of elephant are popular, so are the majestic gaur. These huge oxen that are found in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve are mistakenly believed to belong to the family of the Indian Bison. Large herds of Spotted Deer can be found around the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, especially in the evening. Asian Elephant, Leopard, Wild Dog (Dhole), Sloth Bear, Leopard-cat, Small Indian Civet, Common Palm Civet. Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Sambar, Spotted Deer (Chital), Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Indian Pangolin, Indian Giant Squirrel are some of the mammalian species that too are found in abundance.
There is plenty of bird activity. Woodland birds include Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Grey Francolin, Painted Spur-fowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White -bellied Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Blue-bearded Bee-eater,Vernal Hanging Parrot, Blue-faced Malkoha,Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Hill Myna, White-bellied Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Green Imperial Pigeon, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Scarlet Minivet. No wonder, one can also catch a glimpse of bird raptors like changeable Hawk Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Besra, Crested Goshawk, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, flying high in the skies of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
The richness and easy accessibility of the wildlife enables Bandipur Tiger Reserve to be highly revered among the tourists over the years.