If you have a day off and are looking for an interesting day outing in Bangalore, head straight to the Bannerghatta National Park, a one of a kind experiential treat for both adults and children alike. You can also go trekking and hiking here. Situated 22 km away from the city center, the Bannerghatta National Park is an asylum for a large variety of flora and fauna. Sprawling over 104.27 sq. km, this national park has been here since 1971. The interesting part about this park is the number of attractions it houses within its confines.
 
Some of these must-visit attractions include the country's first butterfly park, an aquarium, zoo, Children's park, Crocodile Farm, Snake Park, Prehistoric Animals' Park, and a museum. But I would definitely say the safari will top it all. It’s also a great place to see sandalwood, neem, tamarind, bamboo, eucalyptus and many more trees that you can find here.
 
The must-visit attractions at Bannerghatta National Park
 
1. The Jungle Safari
Most definitely, the most popular activity at this park is the Jungle Safari, where you have the opportunity of watching the animals in their natural habitat. In fact, an interesting observation you can make as you are aboard the safari buses which have barred windows for safety is that for a change, man is in the cage whilst the animals saunter free in the wild. It is exciting to get up close and personal with the wildlife as you watch them in such close proximity. Some animals you can freely spot are the elephants, leopards, jackals, fox, wild boar, sloth bear, Indian gazelle, spotted deer, porcupine, cobras, Asiatic Lion, and the Magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger while doing the safari. You can either go for the 8 kilometers long one way, Grand Safari or opt for Tiger and Lion Safari which is around 11 km (to and fro).
 
You are also offered the option of coupling the grand safari with the zoo, the lion-tiger safari with the zoo, take only a safari or take only the zoo. However, we strongly recommend doing both a safari of your choice and the zoo trip, but ensure that you’re there before 2 pm especially on weekends to avoid see the sold-out sign at the ticket window.
 
2.     The Interesting Zoo
We say interesting because the zoo does not only showcase several animals, birds, and reptiles but also is a really inviting picnic spot. You will find families sitting around enjoying a wonderful picnic and kids playing on the swings or taking a ride on the merry go round. There is an interesting reptile park that you could visit, or just go to the small theatre there, and watch a film in the park or wildlife. Some of the many animals you may see here include the elephants, leopards, jackal, fox, wild boar, sloth bear, India gazelle, spotted deer, porcupine, Asiatic Lion, Royal Bengal Tiger, monitor lizards, cobras, and our national bird the magnificent peacock.
 
3.     Elephant Sanctuary
Designed by elephant expert Carol Buckley, This beautiful park has a distinguished elephant sanctuary spread over an area of 122 acres. In this fenced enclosure, you can witness elephants roaming around freely without any restrictions. There is absolutely no harm and in fact quite safe, to engage with these splendid creatures through the fence. Somehow, despite their enormity, they leave you feeling quite tranquil. 
 
4.     Butterfly Park: 
If you still have time left, which we hope you do, visit the very enticing butterfly park. You are greeted by an entrance built like a butterfly with its wings spread out. And as you enter in, you are surrounded by butterflies in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The experience is hard to describe in words. It is a magical moment you cannot miss. This park is India's first butterfly enclosure and is spread across 7.5 acres with a museum, conservatory and an audiovisual room. The conservatory can house about twenty species of butterflies and has its own artificial ecosystem that provides the perfect conditions for them to thrive and flourish. The museum interestingly houses the fossils of various types of butterflies and is a must-see.
 
As a tourist, you could stay at one of the many Kanakpura resorts that are in close proximity to the park to avoid a long commute. We recommend the amazing Discovery Village, with great amenities, gourmet food, and staff that will organize your trip to the park without you breaking a sweat. 

Published by Lena Burkut