Indian wildlife has been the primary enchantment for vacationers since ages. The diverse landscapes and climatic conditions in India offer natural habitats to about 400 species of mammals. Blessed with richness and diversity, India defines its flora and fauna with rare and endangered species – the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asiatic Lion, the White-footed Fox, the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, and the Asiatic Elephant amongst others.
With over a hundred national parks to choose from, a wildlife sojourn in India is a true adventure. you could opt for the adrenaline rush of a jeep safari, or take it slow with an elephant ride.
1. Corbett National Park
Corbett National Park is home to multitudinous species of vegetations, birds, and animals. Named after the famous author and hunter turned conservationist – Jim Corbett, the Corbett National Park was the first in India to come beneath the fold of mission Tiger initiative. The landscape is dramatically diverse, the river Ramganga flows through the park, the Himalayan foothills loom large on the horizon, and a jungle safari transports you from amber tinted tall grasslands to dense foliage in just no time. A treasure trove for fowl fanatics, one can spend hours trying to recognize the chirping, the forests right here are constantly alive with some natural tunes.
Image Courtesy: Thrillophilia
Where: Nainital District, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand
Activities: Jeep ride through the forests, animal spotting, treks around the park.
2. Pench National Park
Pench — The Legend of Mowgli. The forests of Pench are stated to have inspired the much cherished ‘The Jungle Book’. In the year 1831, a wolf child was found in these jungles and the accounts published spurred Sir Rudyard Kipling’s imagination. it is believed that he traveled to these jungles as well. The forest cover in Pench National Park is not much dense with a blend of dry deciduous forests, shrubs and grassy patches. it's far interspersed with striking Kulu trees, their silvery white trunks impart a ghostly appearance. A tiger reserve was set up in 1992, and the national animal of India is frequently spotted. The forest is also home to sloth bears, leopards, wolves, wild dogs, hyenas, and deer amongst others. several migratory birds visit the forest too and can be noticed by the water bodies.
Image Courtesy: Arts travels
Where: Near Turia Gate, Turia Post, Kurai Tehseel, Seoni Dist, Kurai, Madhya Pradesh
Activities: Safari ride through the dense forests, elephant ride.
3. Gir Forest National Park
With pristine rivers, dense deciduous forests and enthralling valleys, the Gir National Park in Gujarat is a well-known destination for wildlife lovers and boasts of hosting the only Asiatic Lion population in the world. Fed by a perennial river and streams, the sanctuary has massive water bodies like the Kamleshwar Dam that house a population of marsh crocodiles and distinct species of birds. online permits for jungle trails need to be booked in advance, else they can be physically acquired at the Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre.
Image Courtesy: Forests Gujarat
Activities: Jeep Safari, watching the Asiatic Lions in the wilderness.
4. Kaziranga National Park
Spread over the floodplains of India’s largest river, the Brahmaputra, Kaziranga has been identified as a UNESCO world heritage site that accounts for world’s 2/3rd of the entire population of the great One-horned Rhinoceros. Once a game sanctuary, Kaziranga has been the center of intensive conservation efforts to keep the one-horned Rhinoceros from the threshold of extinction. Other than the Rhino, you can spot hog badgers, wild water buffaloes, porcupines and perhaps, a tiger as well. Fowl watchers are also sure to get fortunate, with close to 500 avian species within the park including pelicans, hornbills, herons, weaver birds, babblers, eagles, thrushes, and many others.
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia
Where: Kanchanjuri, Assam
Activities: Elephant safari, Jeep safari, animal spotting.
5. Ranthambore National Park
The arid lands of Rajasthan preserve nature’s wonder in the form of Ranthambore National Park. Formerly a hunting ground of the ‘Royal Kings’, exclusive to the royals, the Ranthambore National Park now welcomes everyone to experience its beauty and witness the brilliant plant life. Best regarded for its reserves of Royal Bengal Tigers, the park is overrun by intrepid travelers and wildlife adventurists to witness the regal creature in its natural habitat.
Image Courtesy: Ranthambore National Park
Activities: Gypsy Safari, Kachida Valley, visit the Ranthambore Fort which is inside the reserve as well.
6. Kanha National Park
Located in the "Heart of India", Kanha National Park is primarily a tiger reserve where if you’re lucky you’d get to see some best of beasts and wild actions for yourself. Apart from its grand species of Leopards, Tigers, and Wild Cats, the Kanha National Park is also noted for its reserve of Indian Gaur, Barasingha, Nilgai, deer and the several species of birds. Blackbucks though considered extinct in the park has currently resurfaced in a fenced area as well. It is also home to some savage reptiles like Vipers, King Cobra, Indian Pythons and many more. Its royal variety of species and interesting spread of fauna makes it a must visit the national park in India for every adventure enthusiast.
Image Courtesy: Pugdundee safaris
Where: Madhya Pradesh
Activities: Jeep safaris, animal watching, elephant safaris etc.
7. Sundarbans National Park
A part of the Sunderbans on the Ganges Delta, Sunderbans is a National Park, Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. it is thickly blanketed by Mangrove forests and is one amongst the largest reserves for the Bengal Tiger. Home to a selection of birds, reptiles, and the saltwater crocodile, the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve was created in 1973 and declared a Reserve forest in 1978, a National Park in 1984, a World Heritage Site in 1997 and the entire Sunderbans area declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. Aside from the Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopards, Fishing Cats, Wild Boars, Indian grey Mongoose, Macaques, Chital are also found in abundance within the Sunderbans.
Image Courtesy: India Raju
Where: B-9, Sector-27, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Activities: Tiger spotting, bird watching, walking with turtles and watching saltwater crocodile.
8. Bandhavgarh National Park
Stunning vast land and an extensive range of Tigers, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh is a primary enchantment and was once the hunting spot for Maharaja of Rewa. Consistent with forest officials more than 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies and many reptiles are found here. It has four major zones specifically Tala, Magadhi, Khitauli and Panpatta out of which Tala is the richest in terms of biodiversity, primarily tigers.
Image Courtesy: Travel Realizations
Where: State Highway 10, Near Petrol Pump, Bandhavgarh, District Umaria, Tala, Madhya Pradesh
Activities: Jeep safari, tiger watching, animal spotting.
Watching these animals and species is a treat to eyes and a knowledgeable yet fun-filled trip to be taken with the family. So set your binoculars, sunscreen, and camera and head out to spend time in the lap of nature watching its greatest creations and let its beauty rule your heart.
Q. Which is the first National Parks in India?
A. India's first national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, now known as Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand.
Q. Which national parks are the best to see an Indian tiger?
A. Bandhavgarh National Park — Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park — Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Tadoba Andhari Tiger — Maharashtra, Ranthambore National Park — Rajasthan, Kanha National Park — Madhya Pradesh.
Q. How many National Wildlife Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India?
A. There are 92 national wildlife parks and around 480 wildlife sanctuaries.