Area : 682 sq. km.
Location : In Kharagpur subdivision of Munger District.
Best Time to Visit : October and June.
Speciality : Tiger, Panther, Wild Boar, Sambhar, Chittals and Nilgai.
This Sanctuary is close to Bhagalpur. It is another home to a variety of wildlife. Besides tiger, panther, wild boar, sambhar, chittals and nilgai, the forests here are famous for hot water springs which are said to contain traces of radio active
Bhimbandh is a village in the Kharagpur subdivision, within the Kharagpur police-station with an area of 4137 acres. It is situated about 12 miles south-west of Kharagpur and four miles north of Guddih. Close to the village are some hot springs, called Tatal-pani (Tapta-pani) with are by far the finest in the district. The District Gazetteer of Monghyr published in 1926 quoted Captain Sherwill “The first spring is situated about 300 yards to north of village immediately under a small detached Hill named Mahadeva, from whose base the water issued in a fine stream at temperature of 1470 Fahrenheit . A few hundred yards farther to the north, at foot of the hornstone hill Damadama, we came upon a region of hot springs. Hot water appeared to be spouting from the ground in every direction; the principal spring, of which there are eight or ten, had uniform temperature of 1450, all rising within a space of about 300 yards square.
Across numerous hot streams are, of course, many foot-paths used by the cultivators round about Bhimbhand, but nowhere at the point of crossing did one find water above 1200, and even the temperature made the men and woman hurry the stream when fording from bank to bank. To the European skins the hit of 1100 was intolerable, nor could of the party walk coolly across any of the fords at that temperature without being severely scalded not blister. Luxuriant crops of rice raised by the aid of the streams large fields being fed by the water, but at a reduced temperature by leading it in devious courses to the cultivated land. The united waters of all these hot springs are conveyed pool of cold water under an over-hanging rock in that river, called Bhimkund, which is sacred to the Bhima and is visited by pilgrims. These springs, rising at about 300 feet above sea-level are the principal source of the Man itself. The highest temperature recorded by Dr. Buchanan on the 21st March, 1811, was 150`. Sherwill in September of 1847, Waddell in January of 1890, and Schulten in August of 1913, observed temperatures of 147`, 146.2`, and 148` respectively; but Mr. V.H. Jackson considers that there are twelve sources in the Mahadeva group and at least nineteen in the Damadama group; and the hottest of them may not have been observed; readings taken between 1912 and 1919 varied from 145.5` to 146` in the Mahadeva, and from 148` to 148.8` in the Damadama series.
Buchanan noticed that water of the Man, near the springs, was warmer than the atmosphere; and in one place where bubbles were rising in the stream his thermometer registered 98`. Mr. Jackson has traced this to a second series of hot springs along the course of the river, commencing immediately below the Bhimkund and extending for more than a quarter of a mile before the outflow of the first series is reached. Their position varies to some extent from year to year after rains; but when they can be observed above the stream level their temperature is fairly uniform, though not higher than General Cunningham identified the Mahadeva Hill with one mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century A.D. as the site where Buddha overcame the Yaksha Vakula. Hiuen Taisang describes the place as a small solitary double-peaked hill, or, according to another translation, a hill “with successive crags heaped up” situated on the western frontier of Hiranya Parvata, a tract held by recognized authorities to coincide the approximately with the hilly portion of this district.
To the west was six or seven hot springs, the water of which was extremely hot. Colonel Waddell has shown, however, that there are good grounds for doubting this identification and that the natural features of the country do not agree with the description of the Chinese pilgrim. He points out that the hill is not on the western but the southern frontier of Hiranya Parvata; and that the hot springs are not to the west of the hill, but actually upon the hill itself and on its eastern and north-eastern slope. There are no remains of any kind except those of a small brick shrine about four feet square housing a linga; there is no history of there ever having been any remains; and the situation is so remote that had they ever existed, it is scarcely possible that every trace of them would have been swept away.
Fauna include: tiger (3), leopard (36), peafowl (637), wild bear (63), Indian hare (507), Langoor (3388), monkey (612), sahil (57), bear (96), cheetal (87), barking deer (559), Van Murgi (863), nilgai (255), python (39), newala (36), gaur (39), and hyena (36) are the major fauna of the Bhimband. Other fauna include the jungle cat, fishing cat, and leopard cat. Small mammals include the rare hispid hare, Indian gray mongoose, small Indian mongooses, large Indian civet, small Indian civets, Bengal fox, golden jackal, sloth bear, Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolins, hog badger, Chinese ferret badgers, and particolored flying squirrel.
Crocodiles are found in Kharagpur lake and Kalidah near Rameshwar kund. Among snakes, cobra and kraits are of common occurrence while pythons are occasionally seen.
Common bird species are peafowl, grey partridge, quail, Malabar hornbill, pied hornbill, swallow, nightjars, drongo, paradise flycatcher, kingfisher, bulbul, mynas, pigeon, wood pigeon, blue jay, owl, falcon, kite, eastern imperial eagle, greater spotted eagle, white-tailed eagle, Pallas’s fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, lesser kestrel and vulture.
Birds such as the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck and lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, and Asian openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during winter.
The main animals found at Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary are tigers, panthers, wild boars, sloth bear, sambar deer, chitals, four-horned antelope and nilgais. However, the sanctuary is more famous for its bird life rather than the land animals. It is home to more than 100 species of resident birds, which stay here all year around. The number increases in the winter migratory season when there is an influx of birds from the Central Asia region.
There are two major biomes present in Bhimbandh, grassland and forest. The sanctuary area has mainly sal forest, forest, Bamboo forest, grassland and many small forests of many miscellaneous species of flora. The top canopy of Bhimbandh mainly consists Shorea robusta (sal), Diospyros melanoxylon (kendu), Boswellia serrata (salai), Terminalia tomentosa (Asan), Terminalia belliriica (Bahera), Terminalia arjuna (Arjun), Pterocarpus marsupium (Paisar). The top canopy of Bhimbandh mainly Madhuca indica (Mahua) and Holarrhena antidysenterica. Bhimbandh’s ground Flora includes Flemengia chappar and Zizyphus xylopyrus. climber flora include Bauhinia vahlii and Smilex protifrera. Creeper flora includes Butea superba and Butea parviflora.
Visitors can access this place by road from Munger town or from Bhagalpur Junction Railway Station. Bariarpur station on Jamalpur Bhagalpur section is the nearest rail station as also the nearest road link on NH 80. Road Route: Bariarpur – galimpur – Kharagpur – Gangta – Bhimbandh – Jamui.