Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

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India is famous for its vast and varied terrain that is home to some unique flora and fauna species. It is indeed a haven for those who love nature and wildlife. Boasting of rich biodiversity and varied geographical features, this country is home to an incredible number of wildlife species. There is something here for every wildlife enthusiast and nature lover. As you travel across India, you will be struck by the incredible adaptations and variations in the flora and fauna.

India boasts of a large number of wildlife sanctuaries and these parks are home to some rare and exotic species of animals like the one-horned rhinoceros, royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, Asiatic lion and many more. Here is a list of a 10 popular wildlife sanctuaries in India.

1. Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand

The Corbett National Park leads the list as it is not only one of the oldest national parks in India, but has been named after Jim Corbett, the famous wildlife story writer. It was founded in 1936 with the aim of protecting the Bengal tigers. It is extremely popular with wildlife lovers and is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. The park attracts a large number of wildlife lovers from not just within India but also from across the world. Many documentaries have been shot here to raise awareness about the decreasing number of Bengal tigers.

2. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located within the famous Cardamom Hills and around the Periyar River. The Periyar River is a source of water for the local wildlife that has made its home in the park. The wildlife sanctuary operates as a protected tiger and elephant reserve. Tourists can do a safari to see elephants and tigers in their natural habitat around the Periyar Lake. There are plenty of other wildlife species you can spot here like the mouse Deer, mongoose, sambar deer, barking Deer, gaur, bison, Nilgiri langur and leopards.

3. Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal

Sundarbans National Park is the largest mangrove forest in the world and is spread over more than ten thousand kilometres. These mangrove forests are located between India and Bangladesh in the delta of Bay of Bengal. One can access every corner of the forest because of the interconnected waterways network. Home to the famous royal Bengal tiger, the Sundarbans is also well-known for its crocodile and snake population. The park offers an incredible experience of nature and wildlife.

4. Kaziranga National Park in Assam

Kaziranga has vast fields of tall elephant grass, which will leave you impressed by their size. This is why the elephant safaris are very popular here and a great way to experience the jungle. Today, the park is a World Heritage Site and is home to two-thirds of the one-horned rhinoceros’ population in the world. Other wildlife species that are found within the park include the Eastern swamp deer and the wild Asiatic water buffalo. In fact, about 50% of the wild Asiatic water buffalo population lives in the swamps here.

5. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan

The Ranthambore National Park is ranked high when it comes to the leading wild sanctuaries in India. Surrounded by the Banas and the Chambal River, the pride of this national park is the majestic tiger. The park is a perfect habitat for tigers. The Ranthambore national park is also home to other animals like leopard, nilgai, hyena, wild boar and sambar. Tiger safaris are very popular among the tourists who visit here.

6. Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park consists of grassy fields and bamboo forests. Rudyard Kipling, author of the popular ‘The Jungle Book’, was inspired by these lush meadows and deep ravines of Kanha. The open grassy areas of this place are ideal for animals who live within the national park. Many different species can be found here and the majestic barasingha, with its giant antlers, is the main protected species in this park, as it relies on the park for its survival. One can get lucky and be able to spot hyenas, peacocks, mongoose, tigers, panthers, sloths, jungle fowls, and langurs.

7. Bandipur National Park in Karnataka

Bandipur National Park is a popular national park in South India as it offers the ideal natural environment for elephants. Apart from elephants, one can spot many other endangered species here amidst the lush forests. The beautiful park is easily accessible from Mysore and Bangalore.

8. Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh

In the earlier days, Bandhavgarh was used by the maharajas for hunting. Today, the area has been turned into the highly protected Bandhavgarh National Park. It boasts of the maximum density of tigers and is a vast breeding ground for panthers as well. One can spot other species like the spotted deer and Nilgai. One should take advantage of the luxury safaris organised in this park in open jeeps.

9. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan

Sariska National Park was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955 because of the significant number of tigers. It is situated in Alwar district and has been a tiger reserve since 1978. It happens to be the first national park in the world that has been adopted by the majestic royal Bengal tigers as its natural habitat successfully. Other wildlife species to be found here include the Golden jackal, jungle cat, striped hyena, and leopards.

10. Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand

Spread across 953 square kilometres of thickly forested area with spectacular views, the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand draws hundreds of visitors each year. Apart from wildlife, you can enjoy splendid views of the surrounding snow-white peaks. It is also a popular hiking and trekking destination. Famous for the snow leopards, it is not easy to spot this species here as leopards are shy and do not reveal themselves easily. The park is home to other exotic species, such as the musk deer, Himalayan serow, Himalayan black bear, tragopan, Himalayan Monal and many more.

All the above-discussed parks are highly recommended for those who love wildlife, nature as well as trekking. These are some of the national parks of India, where you get a chance to experience nature up close as well as observe exotic flora and fauna. These parks also serve as primary centres for zoological scientists and wildlife reserve enthusiasts.

You may also like to read about: India’s top wildlife resorts