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 east to west, north to south, Indian forests are superabundant in wildlife. With more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries and 104 national parks to its bounty, India is a paradise for wildlife explorers.
- Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
The oldest national park in India which was established in 1936 for the protection of the endangered Bengal tiger, it has been named after the renowned hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett. It comes under the boundaries of Pauri Garhwal district and Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was originally called Hailey National Park. It was the first park to come under the Project Tiger initiative of the government of India and has now become an eminent destination for ecotourism.
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.
- Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
It is the biggest and the most famous wildlife conservation area of Rajasthan with a total area of 1334 sq. km. It became a national park on 1 November 1980 and today it attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world because of the exquisite sightings of Bengal tigers.
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.
- 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. This national park comes under the boundaries of three different districts in Assam which are Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, and Golaghat. It boasts of being a World Heritage Site with the two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
- 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.
Once a hunting ground for the Maharaja of Mysore, the park is home to a large variety of biomes and various endangered species now. It shares borders with three different wildlife areas which are Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai National Park, and Nagarhole National Park. It is the largest habitat for wild elephants in South Asia, the largest protected area in southern India and is also a park of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
- Gir National Park and Wildlife 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.
This national park and wildlife sanctuary is located in the state of Gujarat with a total area of 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi). It is one of the most important protected areas in Asia and the only region in the continent where the Asiatic lions are found. Due to the uncontrolled hunting expeditions led by the rulers of Indian princely states, the number of Asiatic lions saw a drastic decline in the 19th century. After the British viceroys highlighted the serious concern, the Nawab of Junagadh established the sanctuary here.
- Periyar National Park, Kerala
Nestled in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the southern Western Ghats, the sanctuary packs an assortment of rare and endemic species of flora and fauna. 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.
- Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Located on the banks of the Kali River, it is one of the highly visited wildlife sanctuaries in India. Black Panther, Flying Squirrel, Tiger, Elephant and Leopard can be easily spotted in this sanctuary.
The Abundance of wildlife in this forest makes it one of the most sought after wildlife sanctuaries in India. The sanctuary is home to the elusive black panther, Indian pangolin, sloth bear and many other mammal species.It is immensely rich in avifauna with nearly 200 bird species recorded in the sanctuary. You can see birds, like Malabar pied hornbill and great Indian hornbill.
- 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.
These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species, 7 turtle species and a variety of other invertebrates. Every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the park for wintering and breeding. The sanctuary is one of the richest bird areas in the world and is known for nesting of resident birds and visiting migratory birds including water birds.
- 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.
- Jawai Bandh Leopard Conservation Reserve Pali, Rajasthan
Jawai Bandh is a leopard conservation reserve as decreed by the government on 23 February 2010. Today, this place is gaining popularity because of the growing wildlife, it is not just a habitat for leopards, it is also home to several species of migratory birds, crocodiles, sloth bears, chinkara, and wolves. With this syncretic wildlife, Jawai gives you a lot to see and it makes your visit to place an ethereal experience. That’s because of its unique tract that is different from all the forest reserves in India. In this region, you see animals dwelling in the caves instead of dense forests.