There’s a lot of nature in India (most of our landmass is untapped nature), and we have tons of national parks all over the country. National parks, wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves of India can claim to offer enthusiastic travelers a tryst with the wild, as well as the excitement of coming face to face with wild animals, and that too in their natural habitat. The list of national parks in India has about 400 such avenues in it, and each one of them has something unique to offer.
[Also read, List Of Most Loyal Animals On Earth, Which Species Share The Strongest Bond With Humans]
Since the enormous forest cover of India is spread unevenly across the country, it is sometimes difficult to distribute these national parks in India state-wise. But we at PoopBite have tried to list at least one from every major state. Take a look at this list of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India before you decide to go on a wildlife watching spree.
- Kaziranga National Park
- Gir Forest National Park
- Great Himalayan National Park
- Periyar National Park
- Satpura National Park
- Dudhwa National Park
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Eravikulam National Park
- Sunderbans National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Jim Corbett National Park
- Pench National Park
- Ranthambore National Park
- Mudumalai National Park
- Bandipur National Park
Here are 15 top National Parks of India that you should visit for sure if you’re a nature lover:
1. Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is one of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India. It is alternatively called the ‘Serengeti of the East’. The park has been declared as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. Standing tall along the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River and against the backdrop of Eastern Himalaya, Kaziranga often draws a comparison with Africa for its rich natural bounty and quality of wildlife viewing. It is home to around 1800 rhinos, and also the highest density of tigers among all designated parks.
2. Gir Forest National Park
Located in Gujarat, the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places to spot wild Asiatic lions in their natural habitat. It used to be the hunting reserve for the Nawabs of Junagadh before it was turned into a sanctuary in the year 1990. When it was started, there were a mere 12 lions here, and the number has now grown to reach nearly 600. Other animals that one might spot here include sambar, chinkara, chital, porcupine, wild boar, black buck and others. Tourists can enjoy jeep safaris here, towards early mornings, afternoons and early evenings.
3. Great Himalayan National Park
India’s youngest national park, that covers nearly 750sq km in Kullu district. The park is home to about 180 species of birds and rare mammals such as the Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and the ever elusive snow leopard. You can also spot the goral, a small antelope, and the tahr, a gravity-defying, cliff-clinging mountain goat. It is also home to blue-horned western tragopan, a beautiful and rarely sighted pheasant.
4. Periyar National Park
Nestled on the Western Ghats, the Periyar National Park of Kerala is the only wildlife sanctuary in South India that has an artificial lake flowing through the forests. The sheer beauty of the place will snatch your breath. It is a popular Project Tiger Reserve, and also offers jeep safaris for the tourists. You can even enjoy a boat ride on the beautiful Periyar Lake, go for Nature Walks, Elephant Safari and a trip to Cardamom Hills.
5. Satpura National Park
Covering an area of 524 sq km, Satpura National Park is home to a terrain most unique, with sandstone peaks, dense forests, narrow gorges, and deep ravines. One can spot a large variety of wildlife here, including leopards, wild boar, bears, black buck, several kinds of deer, and several species of birds. There have also been sightings of tigers and barasinghas. Tourists can book jeep or elephant safari, and even enjoy boating and walking tours. There are different routes for the jeep safari, with options to stay overnight at a camp on some of the routes.
6. Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh is home to the one-horned rhinoceros, reintroduced into Dudhwa National Park following its complete disappearance from these areas. This is also where hordes of handsome barasinghas. The best way to access its wildlife is through twice-daily safaris offered by the Forest Department.
7. Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhav Garh national park in Madhya Pradesh guarantees a few encounters with the Royal Bengal tiger, due to its relatively small area. Bandhavgarh’s star attraction is the leopard. That aside, the 435 sq km park contains nearly 40 species of mammals including deer, wild boar, Indian bison, sambar, barking deer and langur, some 250 species of birds and several reptiles.
8. Eravikulam National Park
Spread across an area of 97 sq km, Eravikulam National Park in Munnar offers protection to the endangered Nilgiri Thar. One of the most scenic national parks in south India, it is also home to elephants, deer, jackals, leopards, tiger, otters, mongoose, and a huge variety of birds and butterflies. The national park is also home to Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India. A unique aspect of this national park is the blooming of the Neelakurinji, a plant that blooms once every 12 years, and turns the entire forest a deep shade of blue. Tourists can enjoy the beauty of the rolling hills and wildlife on safari buses. Tourists can also enjoy early morning and evening treks.
9. Sunderbans National Park
Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal is home to one of the largest concentrations of royal Bengal tigers on the planet. The Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is a network of water channels and semi-submerged mangrove forests. The tigers here are typically very shy and sightings are thus rare. But cruising the waterways through the world’s biggest mangrove sanctuary and watching wildlife is a world away from your usual urban chaos.
10. Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park has gained popularity as one of the most sought after destinations in Madhya Pradesh. It is the home to the almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer (Barasinghas). It is a good place for Tiger sightings too. The park houses abundant species such as herbs, shrubs, and climbers along with the Sal trees.
11. Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park of Uttarakhand is named after legendary tiger hunter Jim Corbett. This terai wildland is home to nearly 200 tigers, about 300 wild elephants, sloth bears, langur monkeys, rhesus macaques, peacocks, otters, gharials and several species of deer among other animals.
12. Pench National Park
Another worth-a-visit national park in Madhya Pradesh is the Pench National Park, which is a haven for Royal Bengal Tigers. The park is also popular among adventure enthusiasts for rafting. It is also the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book”. Truly, one of the top national parks in India. Although there are less than 50 tigers in the park currently, daily sightings are reported. Other wild animals that one might spot here include deer, elephant, wild boar, wolf, sloth bear, leopard, fox, striped hyena, and much more.
13. Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is open from October to June. It is the best place to spot wild tigers in Rajasthan. At its center is the amazing 10th-century Ranthambhore Fort, the park probably has around 32 tigers. You should plan on two or three safaris to improve your chances. The park is home to t 300 species of birds.
14. Mudumalai National Park
Mudumalai National Park of Tamil Nadu. This reserve has thin, spindly trees and light-slotted leaves concealing spotted chital deer and grunting wild boar. There are around 50 tigers lurking in these jungles – giving Mudumalai the highest tiger density anywhere in the country. Wildlife that you are most likely to see are deer, peacocks, wild boar, langurs, and giant Malabar squirrels along with wild elephants, gaur or the Indian bison.
15. Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park in Karnataka is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It was once the Mysore Maharaja’s private game reserve and was notified as a national park and tiger reserve in 1974. Bandipur is now a protected zone for over 100 species of animals, including tigers, elephants, leopards, gaur (Indian bison), chital or spotted deer, sambars, sloth bears and langurs. It’s also home to an impressive 350-odd species of birds.
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