India, with its high diversity of flora and fauna, is home to about 515 wildlife sanctuaries, 1180 species of birds, 350 mammal species, 30000 insect species, and more than 15000 varieties of plants! The list is far too extensive for us to note down all these parks and sanctuaries. So, here’s a list of the top 5 wildlife sanctuaries in India that you just cannot miss!
- Kaziranga National Park:
This prestigious park has been around to please nature and animal enthusiasts for a very long time! Kaziranga National Park, a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, India, is home to 2/3rd of the world’s greater one-horned Rhinoceros. Owing to its safekeeping of many rare species, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The park, spread over 858 sq.km around the Brahmaputra River, comprises of large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalos, and swamp deer. It has also been recognised as an important bird area by BirdLife International. However, the park remains closed from 1st May to 31st October. So, plan your dates of visit accordingly, and you shall not regret it!
Best time to visit: November-April
- Jim Corbett Park:
The first to come under the Project Tiger, an initiative to protect the endangered Bengal tiger, Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest in the country! Spanning over 520 sq. km, it houses 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 650 bird species and 25 reptile species. The main focus of the park remains protection of wildlife, but the reserve management has also promoted ecotourism. For the travel junkies, there are three safari zones in the park: Jhirna, Birjani and Dihakala. Clear your schedule and join the 70,000+ visitors that come to the park every season!
Best time to visit: March-June
- The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:
Experience the first-hand and raw thrill of spotting pugmarks and tracking the Asiatic lions in all their glory. Established in 1965, The Gir Forest National Park spans a total area of 1412 sq.km. This park is the exclusive home of the Asiatic Lion and is considered to be one of the most important, protected areas. Also known as Sasan-Gir, it is located near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. Apart from the majestic lions, it is also home to leopards, sloth bears, golden jackals, sambar, chinkara and Indian cobras. It houses 38 species of mammals, 300 species of avifauna, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2000 species of insects! The best advice we’d give you before your visit here is to carry plenty of insect repellent.
Best time to visit: November-May
- Great Himalayan National Park:
A diverse national park at an altitude of 1500-6000 m is reason enough to take a trip to The Great Himalayan National Park! The park was established in 1984 in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh. It lavishly spreads over an area of 1171 sq.km, and is home to more than 375 fauna species and various flora species. June 2014 saw the park being added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The best part about this park is that you get to spot the endangered snow leopard species, and discover the Himalayas in its pristine beauty!
Best time to visit: April-June and October-November
- Sunderban National Park:
This national park is unique, due to it being spread across two countries, Bangladesh and India. The Sunderban National Park has been, rightfully, tagged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its collection of dense mangrove forests. The vibrant forests also allow you to have an ‘info-taining’ time spotting species such as jungle cats, crocodiles, snakes, flying foxes, wild boars, and pangolins. Enjoy one of the largest reserves for the Royal Bengal Tiger and be amazed by the diversity of flora and fauna it houses!
Best time to visit: September-March
Now that you have the list of best wildlife sanctuaries in India ready for you, how about paying a visit to these parks and indulge in your wildest Tarzan fantasies!