Bandhavgarh is a legendary place and is having mythological importance. In simple words Bandhavgarh is combination of two Hindi language words i.e. Bandhav + Garh. Here 'Bandhav' means brother and Garh means the fort. It means Bandhavgarh is "Fort of Brother". Here in Bandhavgarh national park, we can find Bandhavgarh Fort located deep inside the national park core zone area which explains Bandhavgarh history. It is proof that national park was one time trespass of human society and thus park has historical importance. As per legends, it is related to epic "Ramayana" time when this fort was gifted to Lord Rama's bother Lakshmana and thus it was named "Bandhavgarh".
Now a days, Bandhavgarh fort safari is not allowed to tourists but earlier when it was permitted for tourists, we can see various prominent marks of human establishments and presence. There is irrefutable evidence of human activity and architectural techniques used in the fort. There are several man made caves with inscription and rock paintings.The archeological surveys states that Bandhavgarh dates back to before chirst period.
In the Bandhavgarh fort region you will find the written proofs of the bharihas and vakatak dynasties ruled over the land in and around the Bandhavgarh region. Some of the major dynasties which ruled the Bandhavgarh area were the Sengars, the Kalchuris and the Baghels. Before Baghels rule, it was under Kalchuri rule which had control over large area. As per historians, treacherously Kalchuri ruler was killed and rule shifted from Kalchuri to Baghels who ruled for rest of the period. The Baghels were believed to be ruled the Bandhavgarh fort for the long period.In 1618 AD, the Baghels decided that their kingdom had so been extended that Bandhavgarh now was in a corner of the kingdom, rather than in the center. So, in days when distances were measured in days rather than in hours, it was deemed fit to shift the capital to rewa in order to save a couple of days. Baghels, with this one stroke were able to save ages for this marvelous land, for they ended up tiger, quite unlimited though ! Once the king and the armies had villages around the fort were deserted and people started to move to greener pastures. Pressures removed, the habitat responded marvelously and a dense, diverse jungle came up, enabling the tiger pyramid to firmly establish itself.
The maharajas of Rewa, as historians would later call Baghels, realized that a most marvelous jungle had sprung up around the deserted fort of Bandhavgarh and that large and fierce beasts of strength roamed within its folds. chivalry was the most ferocious of all beasts the Tiger ! So, Bandhavgarh was declared a game reserve wwith only the royal family having rights of hunting the fierce animal. But, they put the fence rather high, so far as chivalry acknowledgements were concerned at 109 to be exact ! The Rajahs and princes had to shoot down at least 109 tigers to be termed truly chivalrous. So, Rajah Gulab Singh Baghel ended up bringing down 83 tigers during one single year in this pursuit of the magical figure of 109 !