The Bandhavgarh Fort, in the center of the Reserve, atop the Bandhavgarh hill, was the seat of the rulers of erstwhile Rewa State until they shifted to the Rewa town in 1617 A.D. The area of the Reserve, with its surrounding forests was the favorite hunting grounds of the erstwhile rulers and were zealously protected as such.
After independence and the abolition of the princely States, the process of degradation of forests accelerated due to lax control. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa was deeply moved by the destruction of forests. On his proposal, an area of 105 sq. Km. Declared a National Park in 1965. The area of the Park was increased to 448.84 sq. Km in 1982. The area of the 105sq. Km old National Park was finally notified in 1968. The remaining part of the National Park i.e. 343.842sq. Km. Is yet to be finally notified.
Considering the importance and potentiality of the National Park, it was included in the Project Tiger Network in 1993.The adjoining Panpatha sanctuary, which was crated in 1993 with an area of 245.847sq. Km was also declared a part of the Reserve.
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