India is home to some of the unique flora and fauna species which make wildlife sanctuaries in India a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. India boasts a rich biodiversity, as the geography of the country is dotted with thick forests, serving as the habitat of a huge number of wildlife species. From The Great Himalayan National Park in the north to Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in the south, India has a plethora of wildlife sanctuaries all over it.
Here are some of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Among all the national parks in India, the Corbett National Park is the oldest and one of the best among the top 10 national parks in India. It was established in 1936 to protect the imposing Bengal Tigers. Located at the foothills of the Himalayan range of Uttarakhand, Corbett National Park is one of the hot spots of the wildlife lovers.
This park has been named after the popular wildlife story writer Jim Corbett. Beauty and wilderness of this park attracts enthusiasts from various parts of the globe. This wildlife tourist destination of India has also been featured in many wildlife documentaries in order to raise the awareness towards the mighty and stunning Bengal Tigers.
2. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, is one of the royal national parks in India. It is ranked as one of the top 10 wildlife sanctuaries in India.
The majestic Tigers are the pride of this national park. Surrounded by the Banas and Chambal River, this park serves as an ideal habitat for the predators and other animals of this park. Leopard, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Sambar and Hyena are some of the major animals found in this park. Tiger Safaris are immensely popular among the visitors of Ranthambore National Park.
3. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
The Bandipur National Park is the most popular among all the national parks in South India. It is a natural home to Elephants and several other endangered species. Lush forest of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats makes this park one of the beautiful parks in India.
The park is located 80 km away from Mysore and almost 215 km away from Bangalore.
4. Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the man-made wetlands in India that has been declared as a National Park. It was formerly called as ‘Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary’.
This park hosts a large number of avifauna during the summers and is considered as one of the best national parks to observe exotic migratory birds and other birds of India. Located in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, this park serves as a primary centre for ornithologists and other zoological studies.
5. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park is located in Mysore district of Karnataka and is a popular destination for Tiger spotting. It is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’. With quite a large number of Tigers, this park also has a significant number of Indian Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Elephant.
Forests of this park are extremely rich with several species of high commercial valued trees. Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oak are the major trees found in this park. Along with the endangered Mugger Crocodile, this park also has more than 250 species of birds, 96 species of Dung Beetles and 60 species of Ants.
6. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan
Sariska National Park is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Though it was declared as a Wildlife Reserve in 1955, due to a large number of Tigers within this park, it was later declared as one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in 1978.
Sariska National Park was the first national park in the world, which was successfully adapted by the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers as their natural habitat. Leopard, Jungle Cat, Stripped Hyena and Golden Jackal are also found in this national park.
7. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is the only natural habitat of the endangered One-Horned Rhinos in India as well as in the world. Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries to explore the wildlife of Northeast India. It is also a highly visited park among the top 10 national parks in India.
This park also boasts of its number of tigers and other wildlife species. Due to the noteworthy number of tigers, Kaziranga National Park has been declared as Tiger Reserve Forest in 2006. Other wildlife consists Elephants, Wild Buffaloes and Swamp Deer. The park also witnesses a large number of migratory birds during the winters.
8. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Enveloped by both dry and moist deciduous forests and also semi evergreen forests, the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit place. This is the right place for travellers to experience and admire the wilderness and the miracles of nature.
It is an extensive habitat for an array of plants and animals. One of the most beloved attractions of this sanctuary is the Bhadra River. It is a hub for the wildlife explorers and photographers. Adventurers must indulge in the wildlife safari at this park and witness the diversity of God’s creations
There are a number of animals like bison, gaur, leopard, elephant, tiger, sambar, boar, chital, deer, porcupine and muntjac. The bird kingdom here is also endowed with a variety of species like emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, malabar parakeet and hill myna. The woods are also a dwelling for the dreadful Indian rock pythons and king cobras.
9. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is another sought after destination in the list of national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Established in the year 1955, this park has gained a lot of attention due to its efforts in saving the rare and almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer, also known as ‘Barasingha’. It is also one of the well-maintained parks in Asia.
The other feature of the Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadar. Almost the entire park can be seen from this point. It offers the most eye-catching views of the animals in their natural habitat
10. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Sunderbans National Park is one of the largest and oldest in India. Located in the deltaic region of India, this park also shares its boundaries with Bangladesh. Covered with mangrove forests, Sundarbans is the original abode of the stunning Royal Bengal Tigers
It has the highest number of Bengal Tigers than any other parks in the world. Salt-Water Crocodile can also be found in this park. Sundarbans is extremely rich in avifauna, aqua fauna and reptiles. Some of the other endangered species in this park are Gangetic Dolphin, River Terrapin, Hawks Bill Turtle and Mangrove Horseshoe Crab.
11. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Bandhavgarh National Park is another enticing name in the list of national parks of India. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, it is one of the largest national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Declared as a national park in 1968, this park has a noteworthy number of Tigers in India.
This park also has a significant number of Leopards and Deer. Among all the attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park, White Tigers are the most spectacular.
12. Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat
The Gir National Park and the Sasan Gir Sanctuary of Gujarat are the only wildlife sanctuaries in India that have Asiatic Lions. October-June is the ideal time to visit the place and watch these majestic beasts strolling in their territories.
The park was established on 18th September 1965 and it is one of the largest and elegantly preserved areas for the Asiatic Lions. Rivers and streams flowing through this national park remain occupied by the dwellers of the park.
13. Periyar National Park, Kerala
The Periyar National Park, Kerala is the only national park in South India as well as in India that has an artificial lake flowing through the forests. Located on the evergreen hills of the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary is also one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in India.
While boating in the Periyar Lake, visitors can behold the mighty beasts of this park, quenching their thirsts on the lakesides. Elephants, Deer, Nilgiri Tahrs and Langurs are the other attractions of this park.
14. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
While visiting the Pench National Park in Madhaya Pradesh, the childhood fantasy of most of the visitors will turns into reality. Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ is based on the natural surroundings of this national park; this park is also known as ‘Mowgli Land’.
While Tigers are the most dominant species of this park, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Barking Deer are some of the other attractions. With more than 170 species of birds, this park has also become one of the best places for birdwatchers.
15. Manas National Park, Assam
Considered as one of the youngest names in the list of National Parks in India, the Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam has a large number of rare and endangered species. Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hod are some of the most endangered species of this park.
This park boasts of its 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds and a substantial number of reptiles and amphibians. Asian Elephant, Indian Rhinoceros, Water Buffaloes, Leopard and Assamese Macaques are the other dwellers of this park. It is also one of the popular destinations for river rafting.