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Bangalore : Sunday trip to Bannerghatta National Park

Bangalore : Sunday trip to Bannerghatta National Park

A day at among our planet-mates at Bannerghatta National Park

I am not a big time animal lover, places like a zoo do not excite me. In other words, let’s just say I am too busy adjusting with my own species, so never got time to think about the others who share this planet with us. But because of my friends and family, I ended up at the Bannerghatta National Park on fine Sunday of May.

The commute from the city

Our group meet opposite the Gopalan Mall on Bannerghatta road. There are frequent AC and non-AC buses from here to the national park. A single ride on the AC bus costs around IN 50 on today’s date. If you are a group of 4 or more, the cab is a much economic option. We took an Uber and the final bill was INR 180. I don’t think there was any surge pricing for the trip. On our way back, we took the AC bus because the place is too chaotic to coordinate with a cab driver for pick. Also there is a well build multi-platform bus stop with very frequency of both Non-AC & AC Buses. The commute time both ways were around 1 and half hour.

Getting the tickets

The first thing after reaching the park is to get your tickets. The ticket counter is almost organised. The different attractions at the park include – jungle safari, the butterfly park, boating & the zoo. The safari has few options – normal bus, AC bus, car/jeep.  The safari is the main attraction and has a combo ticket. So if you buy a safari ticket you get to visit the butterfly park and the zoo also. Boating is not part of the combo.  You can get the tariff details here

http://bannerghattabiologicalpark.org/tariff.html

The prices mentioned here were close but not accurate, so please don’t consider this the actual price. There is also an online booking option but for some reason, it was not working when we went. So we got our tickets at the park counter.

The counter area has 5-6 counters in parallel. There is a single queue to get to the counter area. We spend around 10-15 minutes in that queue. Once you are in the counter area, you need to stand in the next queue for the appropriate ticket. Most counter will be selling normal safari tickets, so if you want to take the AC bus or any other option, inquire about it and stand accordingly. We spend more than 30 minutes because the person at the counter had some issue with the availability of the AC buses. The counter person wrote the vehicle number and trip timing on the ticket. Seats are guaranteed however there are no seat numbers. So it’s on first come first serve basis. 

The attractions

The whole establishment has 3 major attractions: The Zoo, the Butterfly Park & Grand Safari.

We procured the AC Bus – Grand Safari ticket for INR 500 each. This ticket had all the 3 attractions included in it. Our Grand safari was scheduled at 1:30 PM, so we had around 2 hours to spend before the safari.

Our first target was the butterfly park. It was noon and the sun was bright, so this was the perfect place to spend the time and experience the world of butterflies.

Butterfly park at Bannerghatta National Park

We came out around 1 PM. After a short break, we gathered in the waiting area for the Grand Safari. The waiting area is not very fancy, rather is not even proper.

Normal Bus Waiting area AC Bus Waiting area

The waiting area for the normal safari is much better. Also, the bus frequency is much higher for normal safari. But be aware the crowd for the normal bus is almost 10-20 times that of AC bus safari. I am not sure of the bus timings, but you surely have to wait there in the queue. In case of AC bus service, you just to reach the place at the mentioned time.  

The safari was great. Check out my video of the Grand Safari

I think the AC bus was a better option as there are no protective grills. You get a better view and also the comfort. The frequency is less so you may have to wait, but you can cover other attractions in the meantime as there is no queue to get into the bus. But come early if have seat preferences.

After the safari, we went for lunch. We were done by 2:30 – 2:45 PM and headed for our final stop. The zoo was our final stop. It is like any other zoo. Although, I liked the bird enclosures. They have some very unique birds which I have not seen anywhere else in India.  We covered the zoo at the end as we wanted to avoid walking under the sun. But by this time we were very tired and had lost interest. So we wrapped up by 4 and came back.

Food & drinks

There are many roadside stalls and snacks available around the ticket counter area. There are very few restaurants. The Hill view restaurant is inside the park as is part of the jungle resort which is maintained by the tourism department. Apart from this, we saw another restaurant near the AC Bus waiting area and the last was Diletto restaurant which is part of the Park Hotel & Resort located opposite to bus stop. We went to this restaurant and came out very disappointed. The food was not good at all. The lack of competition gives them the liberty to serve low-grade food. I am not sure of the quality of the other restaurants. So if you can carry food that would be the best thing to do.

Overall this was a good day spend among animals. I would suggest you to only target the Grand Safari and leave early. The park opens at 9:30 AM, so the best plan would be to get on the first AC bus safari and finish it by 11-12 noon.

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