Forget beach and deserts, its time to say Hi to the Wildlife¬†Sanctuaries in India. It has something refreshing for you to explore, and to top it, the season has just begun. I must say, the feeling of sighting a wild animal or bird in their natural habitat is equally adventurous and enthralling, nothing can beat that! Such feeling will never cease when you visit India where each state (read 29 states and 7 Union Territories) has at least one National Park sheltering diverse flora and fauna. I have listed top 8, which are unique in itself, but the list doesn‚Äôt end here as India has too many of them, and a very good one at that. So start exploring.
1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
The Corbett National Park is the oldest and one of the best among the top national parks in India. This park is spread over the districts of Nainital and Garhwal in the state of Uttarakhand. This park attracts visitors for its tiger population. It shelters more than 488 species of fauna and 586 wildlife species including animals like Sloth Bear, Himalayan Goral, Sambar, Hyena, Leopard, monitor lizards and many more.
Ideal time to visit Corbett National Park: November to June
Nearest Airport: Pantanagar Domestic Airport at a distance of 50 km.
2. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore¬†National Park serves as an ideal habitat for the majestic Indian Tigers. Located in the eastern region of Rajasthan, this park is surrounded by two rivers – Banas and Chambal. The other animals that can be spotted in this park are Leopard, Nilgai, Sambar deer, Wild Bar, Hyena. Tiger Safaris are one of the major draw for tourists in this park. A heritage site, this park also has added charm of ancient ruins of a fort scattered all around.
Ideal Time to visit Ranthambore National Park: November to March
Nearest Airport:¬†Jaipur Airport, at distance of 145 km.
Nearest Railway Station:¬†Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, located just 11 km away.
3. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
This park is one of the most prominent wildlife attraction in India, undoubtedly because it is the only natural habitat home to the largest number of endangered one-horned Rhinoceros in the world. It is also one of the most visited park among other top national parks in the country. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga¬†national park is home to diverse flora and fauna. One can spot here Asiatic Elephants, Wild Buffaloes Royal Bengal Tiger and an array of migratory birds. Dotted with rich wildlife and beautiful ambience makes this park a prominent attraction among the adventure seekers.
Ideal time to visit Kaziranga National Park: November to April.
The rainy season continues from June to August; the water of the mighty river Brahmaputra river floods the park during monsoon every year, making Kaziranga inaccessible.
Nearest Airport: is Jorhat Airport, at a distance of 97 km.
4. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is another sought after national parks of India in Madhya Pradesh. Spread over an area of 1945 sq. Km., it is one of the well-maintained parks in Asia, and has gained attention due to its effort to conserve the Swamp Deer also know as ‚ÄėBarasingha‚Äô. Kanha National Park is known for many reasons and the most popular one is the famous author Rudyard Kipling who had based his famous novel ‚ÄúThe Jungle Book‚ÄĚ on this magnificent park. Other wildlife attractions of this park are Tiger, Gaur, Sambhar, Python, Leopard, Porcupine etc.
Ideal time to visit Kanha National Park: November to June.
Nearest Airport: Nagpur Airport, at a distance of 266 km.
Nearest Railway Station: Jabalpur Railway Station at a distance of 169 km.
5. Sunderban National Park, West Bengal
This forest is different from the usual; Sunderban is an estuarine forest in West Bengal, covered throughout by mangrove forests and is the original abode of the impressive Royal Bengal Tigers. This forest is one of the largest and oldest in India. Along with its gorgeous scenes, Sunderbans is home to 55 species of reptiles, 250 species of birds and 58 species of mammals.¬†The interesting part is that the only way to traverse the park is on a boat.¬†
Ideal time to visit Sunderbans National Park: December to February; April to June are ideal to spot the animals when they come out in search of waters.
Nearest Airport: Kolkata International Airport, at a distance of 140 km.
Closest Railway Station: Canning Railway Station, at a distance of 29 km.
6. Gir National Park, Gujarat
A beautiful national park located in Gujarat state, Gir National Park is bestowed with rich flora and fauna. Gir takes pride in being the only forest reserve in India that is home to the mighty Asiatic Lions, making it a much sought after wildlife destinations in Guajarat. Gir forest also shelters 38 species of mammals, 300 bird species, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 insect species.
Ideal Time to Visit Gir National Park: October to June.
Nearest Airport: Keshod Airport, at a distance of 38 km.
Nearest Railway Station: Sasan railway junction, just a few meters away from Gir forests.
7. Periyar National Park, Kerala
Periyar¬†Wildlife Sanctuary is stunningly located on the evergreen hills of the Western Ghats mountain ranges, and is noted for its elephant and tiger reserve. The National park covers an area of 350 sq km and is situated at the heart of Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills of Southern Western Ghats. Wildlife that can be spotted here include Elephants, Nilgir langur, Sanmbar, Barking Deer, Gaur, Wild Boars, etc.
Ideal Time to visit Periyar National Park: November to February.
Nearest Airport:¬†Madurai Airport, at a distance of 140 km.
Nearest Railway:¬†Kottayam Railway Station, at a distance of 114 km from Periyar National Park.
8. Hemis National Park, Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir)
Hemis National Park is considered to be the highest park around the world, being situated at an elevation that ranges approximately 3300 to 6000 m above the sea level. Known as the Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary. Wild animals like snow leopards, Ibex, bharal (Himalayan blue sheep) and many more find shelter in this park. This park also shelters an array of different species of birds and mammals such as around 73 species of birds like the snow cock, magpie, chukar, Himalayan whistling thrush, red-mantled rose finch.
Good to Know:¬†This park is named after the famous Hemis gompa (monastery) of Ladakh.
Ideal time to visit Hemis National Park: May to September; winters are extreme and harsh in this region.
Nearest Airport:¬†Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh, just 51 km away.
So, when are you planning to explore the wild greens of India?
Keep following our blog space for more insights into the other wildlife sanctuaries of India. or, you may¬†Click¬†here to find more about travel to wildlife destinations.