Bandipur national park is located in the Southern state of Karnataka and is known for the wide range of wild life that it offers. Nested in the Nilgiri biosphere, the forest comes to life during the monsoons and is pretty green throughout the year – except during the summer months of March to May. The park is famous for the small population of tigers and also harbors Indian elephants, Bisons, antelopes, spotted deers and many other native species. Located at around 230 Kms from Bangalore, Bandipur is one of the most sought out weekend destinations for people residing in Bangalore.


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Bandipur over the years has become one of the most sought after weekend destinations for people residing in Bangalore, mainly due to the connectivity and the advent of many resorts. Most of the resorts and hotels are fully booked during long weekends and if you have any plans of visiting Bandipur during a long weekend, ensure that you have your booking well in advance. The drive from Bangalore to Bandipur usually takes around 5 hours, but this time can vary a bit based on the traffic that you might find on the 4-lane highway to Mysore.

Most of the resorts in Bandipur have a check-in time of 12:00 PM, which is very convenient as you can start at around 7:00 AM and have a leisurely drive to Bandipur. Our plan was to start the drive at 7:00 AM, take the N.I.C.E road and reach the Bangalore – Mysore highway and drive all the way to Bandipur. We usually take around 5 hrs to reach Bandipur, which would include a breakfast break at “Right-O” food junction near Mandya.


Route from Bangalore to Bandipur: Bangalore -> Bidadi -> Ramanagara -> Channapatna -> Maddura -> Mandya -> Srirangapatna -> Mysore (Ring road)-> Nanjanaguda-> Bandipur


The Drive:

The plan was to start by 7:00 AM, but we got delayed and were able to start only by 9:00 AM. Considering that it was a long weekend, there was a queue of vehicles heading out of the city. It took us a good 30 minutes to reach NICE road and we managed to hit the Mysore road by 9:45 AM.

The neatly laid NICE road. It would be a good idea to take the NICE road if you are staying in South Bangalore or near Electronic City. The corridor would save you time as you would be bypassing all the city traffic.


Heavy traffic on Mysore road before Bidadi. The road no longer looks like a highway. We had to wade through bumper to bumper traffic at many junctions.



The roads opened up a bit after we crossed Bidadi.


The jam at Maddura Junction. The junction is somewhere close to the mobile tower that you can see in the photo. Took this photo after moving at snails pace for a good 30 minutes.

The roads opened up a bit after we crossed this junction, and we were able to reach Mandya by around 12:00 PM. Crossing Mandya during peak hour traffic will easily take 30 minutes of your time as you would have to drive through the entire stretch of the city. The highway cuts right through the city and traffic would be moving at snails pace.

Traffic Jam near the Mandy central bus stand. This is one major bottle neck that you will encounter at Mandya.
We were able to make up some time in stretches like the one in this photo where the roads opened up.


Crossing the bridge over the river Cauvery at Srirangapatna.


The outer ring road junction at the outskirts of Mysore. A good landmark for this junction would be the “Columbia Asia” hospital at this junction. If your resort is located in the outskirts of the city, use the ring road and avoid the city traffic.


The ring road is in excellent condition and you will make good time as you would be avoiding city traffic.


The outer ring road will join the road that leads you to Nanjanagudu. From here the road becomes a 2-lane highway and you will find traffic all the way up to Bandipur. Since we were driving during the month of March, Bandipur and Mudumalai forests were pretty dry and were a bit barren to our liking.

The highway from Mysore to Bandipur. The road is a 2-lane highway and is in good condition. You will find traffic though and it would not be a good idea to overspeed on this highway


Another view of the highway. The drive is scenic with the highway lined with huge trees which create a perfect canopy to drive through


The road opens up as you get closer to Bandipur and you will find stretches like these where you can make up some time 🙂


The arch that welcomes you to “Bandipur Tiger Reserve”


As you enter Bandipur reserve, the entire landscape changes and you will find very less human settlements. It would be a good idea to drive slowly and you might find wild life crossing the road.


Bandipur is one of the famous Tiger reserves in India. As you reach Bandipur, you will find the Jungle lodges which is an ideal place to camp if you are visiting the sanctuary. There are many luxury resorts also in Bandipur.


Tips and recommendations:

  • Plan your drive: Either leave Bangalore early in the morning at around 6:00 AM so that you can avoid the city traffic on Mysore road or leave by noon so that you can drive through the cities post noon when the traffic is not heavy
  • Do not over-speed: Drive within your limits as this highway is a relatively narrow 4-lane. You will also find many bikers using this highway to reach the near by cities.
  • Recommended eating joints: There is a good Cafe Coffee day (on the wrong side – you will have to take a U-turn) and RightO (Around 12 Kms from Mandya towards Mysore). We usually stop at RightO which is very clean and has many options like UpSouth, Cafe Coffee Day, Subway, Polar Bear etc. There is ample parking available and the rest rooms are very clean. 
  • The infamous speed breakers all along this highway have been removed after this highway has been converted into a National highway. But you will zig zag through many barricades that have been positioned in place of the speed breakers (Another reason why you should not be over-speeding)


We had our reservations at the “Windflower Resort” Bandipur. The entire drive took us around 5 hours and we were able to reach our resort at around 2:00 PM.



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