Bandhavgarh has been flourished through various significant historical legends most of which have been learnt from the legends of Ramayana. Interestingly, Bandhavgarh is a legendary place that has many historical importances. One can learn through the ancient books of the Narad Panch Ratra and the Shiv Purana that this place is being associated with Ramayana. The word Bandhavgarh is a combination of two words: Bandhav+ Garh where Bandhav means brother and Garh means Fort. So the meaning of Bandhavgarh is brother’s fort. The name Bandhavgarh given to the reserve is due to the presence of an ancient fort in the hillock of the Vindhya ranges of Umaria. It has been believed that Lord Rama gifted this amazing fort to his younger brother Lakshmana. The Bandhavgarh fort is scripted with many convincing evidences of human activities and architectural techniques and interestingly, the legend explains that the ruined fort was being reconstructed by two monkeys who built a bridge between Lanka and the mainland. The fort also lets you explore several man made caves with inscriptions and rock paintings.
The Bandhavgarh Fort is a great masterpiece of “Treta Yuga” (one of the ages of mankind in Hinduism) that has been discovered to be the most ancient masterpiece dating before the Christ period through the archeological surveys.
The tourists hitting to Bandhargarh National Park makes a must visit to the fort to find the written proofs of the Bharihas and Vakatak dynasties who ruled over the land in and around the Bandhavgarh region. This region also unveils the history to find the major dynasties that ruled the Bandhavgarh regions including Sengars, the Kalchuris and the Baghels. Out of all the Baghels were believed to rule the regions for the longer period.
During their rule, the Baghels decided to shift their capital to Rewa as they were extending themselves and the Bandhavgarh region came to the corner of the kingdom bringing difficulty in reaching there and thus the location was converted earlier into a deserted land due to the presence of thick forest and then into the habitat of the wild beasts (the tigers). Simultaneously, Bandhavgarh was also declared a game reserve where only the royal families were allowed for hunting these wild creatures. The kings of Rewa killed at least 109 tigers due to the increasing terror of the tiger attacks and in the series of showing the chivalry Raja Gulab Singh Baghel shoot down 83 tigers in a single year to pursuit the magical figure of 109 tigers.
No wonder this place has been the hunting point for the Maharajas of Rewa and the entire place was their private property but later they handed over the land to the state government and in 1968, this royal place was being declared as the national park.
This amazing forest beholds the great population of tiger species even now and so today Bandhavgarh is being considered as the tiger reserve. When the park was established the cases of poaching were increased to greater extents and the density of the animal population began to deteriorate and so several measures were taken to improve the living conditions of the wild animals in Bandhavgarh National Park. Small dams were also constructed to solve the water crisis where the animals got some kinds of shelter and relief. Also, the villages were relocated within the boundaries of the park and strong vigil took place at the buffer as well as core area for the wildlife protection.
In this way, the majestic journey of the Bandhavgarh National Park took place and declared a tiger reserve in 1993 under the project tiger network at the neighboring Panpatha Sanctuary.