India is an incredible land with a rich and diverse wildlife. Did you know that 4% of India’s land is under forests? There are about 515 wildlife sanctuaries in India which are home to 1180 different species of birds, 350 species of mammals, 30000 different kinds of insects and more than 15000 varieties of plants. Phew! You will be simply mesmerized by the natural beauty at wildlife sanctuaries. We present our top picks of wildlife sanctuaries in India that will provide an enriching experience and cherishable memories.
Kaziranga National Park
Famous for: 1 Horned Rhino
Location: 217 kms from Guwahati, Assam
Best Time to Visit: November – April
The amazing world of the north-east! It boasts of being a world natural heritage site as declared by UNESCO. Spread over 858 sq. Km around the Brahmaputra River, this magical sanctuary, is most famous for the endangered One-horned Rhino. 2/3rd of the world’s population of these Rhinos lives in this forest. This is also the abode of 60% of the India’s wild buffalo population. Characterised by vast stretches of savannah grasslands, wetlands and chars of river islands formed by the shifting course of the river, you can find a sizeable population of birds here. Though you have a jeep safari which takes you around, we recommend that you explore this wonder via an elephant safari. It would be a priceless memory to view the rhinos grazing with the buffaloes and deer while you enjoy the ride treading through the tall grass. You can easily get cheap flights to Guwahati by making use of MakeMyTrip flight offers from Couponraja.
Jim Corbett Park
Famous for: Bengal Tigers & Birds
Location: Ramnagar, Uttarakhand (240 kms from Delhi)
Best Time to Visit: March to June
This is India’s first national park, named after Jim Corbett, hunter-turned-conservationist, who was instrumental in establishing this park. It spreads over 520 sq. kms and is most sought after destination by wild life enthusiasts. It has a healthy population of the majestic Bengal Tigers. This is where the Project Tiger was first launched to protect these endangered species.
It is also called a birder’s paradise as it is home to more than 650 species of resident and migratory birds. With an abundant wildlife and picturesque location, you can enjoy the safari on a jeep or on an elephant.
Bandipur National Park
Famous for: Tigers, Elephants, Gaur
Location: 80 kms from Mysore
Best Time to Visit: March to May
It is the most famous wildlife sanctuary in southern India and is especially recognized for its Eco-Conservation efforts. Spread over 873 sq. kms it is surrounded by the beauty of the Western Ghats Mountains. Bandipur is also considered as one of the most beautiful and well-managed national parks in India. Apart from tigers, which are in huge numbers here, you can also get a glimpse of gaur, sambhar, chital, mouse deer, jackals and many more. Elephants roam in large herds and deer are seen grazing lazily in the nature’s lap.
Bandhavgadh National Park
Famous for: Tigers, Nilgai
Location: Madhya Pradesh, 197 kms from Jabalpur
Best Time to Visit: February to May
The famous white tigers of Rewa were discovered in this forest and Bandhavgarh is considered to be the home of these tigers. However, no white tigers have been spotted since 50 years here. This forest is spread over 105 sq. kms on the Vindhya Hills in Madhya Pradesh. It boasts of having highest density of the royal Bengal tiger population in the country. Apart from the tigers you can get spectacular views of other majestic creatures like Nilgai, Chital, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Chausingha and more. With 250 species of birds and 22 different species of mammals, this national park has a lot to offer for nature lovers.
Kanha National Park
Famous for: Tigers, Barasingha
Location: Madhya Pradesh, 176 kms from Jabalpur, 270 kms from Nagpur
Best Time to Visit: February to June
Ranked as one of the 10 famous places for tourists, this national park has a significant population of royal Bengal Tigers, , sloth bears, leopards, Barasingha and Indian Wild Dog. This forest is considered to be the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel, Jungle Book.
It stretches over an area of 940 kms and is knows as one of the tiger reserves in India. Hard Ground Barasingha is pride of the place as it is the only sub species of swamp deer in India. It is also home to around 1000 species of flowering plants and known to be the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh.
This is the right season to visit any of the above listed sanctuaries and experience the thrill of viewing a freely roaming tiger emerging out from the wilderness. So what are you waiting for!
Bandipur National Park
Famous For: Elephants, Tigers
Location: 80 km from Mysore
Best Time to Visit: October to May
Bandipur National Park, is located in Karnataka, which is easily accessible from Mysore, Bangalore and Ooty. Once upon a time, this wildlife sanctuary was used as the private ground for hunting by the Maharajas of Mysore. Spread across 874 sq. km, Bandipur National Park is surrounded with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole National Park. This park houses elephants, spotted deer, gaurs (bison), antelopes and numerous other native species. The lush greenery is particularly mesmerizing after the onset of the monsoon, however, October to May remain the best time to visit. Explore this wildlife sanctuary in an early morning jeep safari, and you will be treated with some magnificent sights to remember.
Image credit – mouthshut.com
Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Famous For: 350 species of Exotic Birds
Location: 2 km from Bharatpur and 55 km from Agra
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Keoladeo Ghana National Park was formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Located in Bharatpur Rajasthan, this National park is the only avifauna sanctuary that houses thousands and thousands of species of birds. Especially during the winter season, this place is a treat for tourists and ornithologists from all over the word. Over 230 species of birds are known to be present in this national park during the winter season. Apart from the numerous species of birds, the other specialty of Keoladeo Ghana National Park is the fact that it is the only man made as well as man managed park in India. Spread across 29 sq. km, this forest of dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps and wetlands is one of the most sought after wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Image credits – indianencounters.com
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Famous For: Tiger, Indian Bison and Elephants
Location: 220 km from Bangalore
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Nagarhole National Park, also called the Rajiv Gandhi national Park, is located in two districts, namely Mysore and Kodagu, in the state of Karnataka. Covering an area of approximately 643.39 sq. km, this place was given its status of National Park in the year 1983. It is duly surrounded by the Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Famous for elephants, Indian Bison and tigers, this park is flocked by tourists all-round the year. Nargarhole National Park is also under consideration for one of the World Heritage Sites. Its proximity with both Kerala and Karnataka makes it a very accessible wildlife park to visit.
Image credits – wikimedia.org
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Famous For: Tiger
Location: 170 km from Jabalpur and 270 km from Nagpur
Best Time to Visit: Mid October to June end
Kanha National Park is one of the most sought after National Parks in India. Centrally located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is famous as a Tiger Reserve among the wildlife enthusiasts. Kanha is divided into two wildlife sanctuaries namely Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 sq. km respectively. The park is densely populated with Bengal tiger, Barasingha, Indian leopards, the sloth bear, and Indian wild dog. It also houses swamp deer, which is a subspecies of the Great Swamp Deer of Sundarbans and is found nowhere else except Sundarbans. Kanha also nestles more 1000 species of exotic flowers that are one of its kind. This wildlife sojourn is one of the most favourite among the tourists who flock this park to get a glimpse of the wildlife in its real allure.
image credits – travelhi5.com
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Famous For: Gaur, Tigers, Sambar Deer
Location: 130 km from Munnar
Best Time to Visit: December to April
Chinnar is one of the twelve wildlife sanctuaries in the southern state of Kerela. Located at a distance of around 18 km north of Marayoor and Kanthalloor, this wildlife park houses a variety of animals. Chinnar is famous for gaur, tigers, sambar deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, and the rare Nilgiri tahr, among many others. One can also see rare 240 varieties of squirrels in this Wild Park in Kerela. Chinnar is also visited by bird lovers as this place has 245 species of birds including yellow-throated bulbuls. Consisting of wet grassland, Chinar also has a rich flora. Unlike other parts of Kerela, Chinnar receives 48 days of rainfall in the year. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is being considered by the UNESCO to be declared as a World Heritage Site.
Image credits – circle.forest.kerala.gov.in
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Famous For: Tigers and Elephants
Location: 140 km from Madurai and 200 km from Kochi 200
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Located near Thekaddy in Kerela, Periyar National Park is famous for its endangered flora and fauna. Nestled amidst two rivers Periyar and Pamba, this wildlife sanctuary habitats both tigers and elephants in plenty. Spread over an area of 925 sq. km, this park was declared as Periyar National Park in the year 1982. What makes this wildlife one of its kind is its location. While you have two rivers gushing in, it is also surrounded by the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of Western Ghats bordering Tamil Nadu. Along with 24 Royal Bengal tigers, Periyar also have few white tigers in the park that will leave you with some spellbinding experience. Periyar also houses variety of species of bird, some of which are rare and migratory.
Image credits – tourism-of-india.com
Manas National Park, Assam
Famous For: Tiger, Phino
Location: 60 km from Guwahati
Best Time to Visit: October to April
Situated on the banks of River Manas in Assam, Manas National Park is a mesmerizing National Park to visit. Manas National Park shares its boundary with the Bhutan Royal National Park.
Spread in two biomes- wetland and grass land, this Park houses a sizeable population of tigers, rhinos, Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur and pygmy hog. Standing at the foothills of Himalayas, this park is spread across 950 sq. km and touches five districts Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri, and Darrang in the state of Assam in India. An early morning jeep Safari takes you through the dense and ethereal wild forest, which will leave you gasping for more. In 1992, Manas National Park was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Image credits – mapsofindia.com
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh
Famous For: Tiger, Barasingha, Swamp Deer
Location: 430 km from Delhi
Best Time to Visit: November to June
Located in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh stands the Dudhwa National Park. Spread across 490.3 sq. km, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is located on the Indo-Nepal border in the Lakhimpur Kheri District. This Terai ecosystem inhabitants a vast endangered species of animals and the wet grassland makes it a perfect place for plantation of exotic plants and flowers. Hand reared tigers, Barasingha and swamp deer are the major attraction of this National Park. Only in the mid-80s, Indian rhinos were introduced in the wildlife, making it one very few Indian wildlife Park to have Rhinos in their periphery. Another major attraction of Dudhwa National Park is the endangered white-rumped vulture that can be viewed in a group of 115 individuals at a time.
Image credits – happytrips.com
Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Famous For: Tiger and Birds
Location: 26 km away from Khajuraho
Best Time to Visit: October to June
Spread across 542.67 sq. km, Panna National Park is located in the Chatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Panna National Park was among one of the twenty Tiger Reserves in the country and was awarded ‘Award of Excellence’ in the year 2007. But sadly by 2009, Panna had lost all its 48 tigers to poaching. As of now, after some rearrangements, Panna has two Tigresses and few cubs.
However, Panna is still flocked by tourist for all the other species of animals nestled there. Among them, prominent are chital, chinkara, nilgai, sambhar and sloth bear are seen in abundance. The park is also famous for more than 200 species of birds, which include king vulture, blossom-headed parakeet, changeable hawk-eagle and Indian vulture.
Image credits – happytrips.com
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Famous For: Tigers
Location: 140 km from Nagpur
Best Time to Visit: April and June to Tiger Seeing
Situated in Chandrapur, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is one among the fifty Tiger Reserves in India. Tadoba is the largest National Park in Maharashtra, which is spread across 625.4 sq. km. This Park currently houses 88 tigers. It is said that there is a very high probability of sighting a tiger during a safari. Apart from the tiger family, Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, small Indian civet, ,nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, jungle cats, sambar, barking deer, chital, spotted deer, chausingha and honey badger are also sighted in abundance in this wildlife park.
List of Top Wildlife Sanctuaries in India