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Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries In India

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Debapriya Deb, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Call of the wild not only fascinates us, but also provides us with a thrilling dose of refreshing energy. Catching the glimpse of wild animals in their natural habitat can be an enthralling sight - something that has the ability to amuse people of all ages, from 8 to 80! The thrill, excitement and adventure associated with a jungle safari is unparalleled. Wildlife sanctuaries offer us an opportunity to observe the life in a jungle from close quarters without annoying or disturbing the habitat of its residents.

    India is blessed with an enormous range of wildlife habitats - right from the coldest Himalayan territory to the deserts of Rajasthan and the wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and rainforests spread across the length and breadth of the country.

    If you are someone who is fascinated by India's diverse wildlife and vivid flora, then here's a selection of top 10 wildlife sanctuaries in India to satisfy your adventure instincts.

    Best Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in India - The Top 10

    10. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

    Location - Idukki district of Kerala, 55 KM from Munnar
    Famous For - Nilgiri Tahr, Albino Gaur, Rusty Spotted Cats

    Located in the mountain ranges of Western Ghats near to the famous hill-station of Munnar in Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary has a picturesque set up. Bordered by the Eravikulam National Park towards the South and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary on the Northern end, it protects the indigenous species of wild animals and birds found around the Annamalai Hills Ranges. Home to a diversified range of flora and fauna, this biosphere reserve covering a total area of 1187 square kilometers is a great place for the wildlife photographers to capture animals and birds in their natural habitat.

    The core area of the wildlife sanctuary consists of a high rolling hill plateau with a base elevation of about 2000 meters. The terrain consists of high altitude thorny scrub forests interspersed with sholas. The Chinnar river flowing through the heart of the reserve forest is a lifeline for the wildlife. There are a number of perennial streams and smaller lakes within the sanctuary which add to its scenic beauty.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    Chinnar wildlife reserve is home to the highly endangered species of mountain goats called Nilgiri Tahr - a rare breed of animal that you won't find anywhere else in the world. Albino Gaur (White Bison) is another unique species found only in this region. Apart from the Nilgiri Tahrs and Albino Gaurs, you can find loads of wild elephants, leopards, sloth bears, spotted deers, blackbucks, lion-tailed macaque and malabar giant squirrel. Rusty spotted cats are another vulnerable species that can be spotted at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. It also has a small population of tigers, although tiger sightings during safari rides is not too common.

    Moreover, the park is home to over 52 species of reptiles, including Indian star tortoises and the threatened species of mugger crocodiles. Among the 245 species of birds that reside here, the yellow-throatted bulbuls and brahminy kites deserve special mention. The Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary also houses around 28 species of amphibians and more than 160 varieties of butterflies.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Forest safari tours are conducted by the authorized operators through designated areas of the Chinnar forest. Jeeps are predominantly used as the safari vehicle. Both morning and afternoon schedules are available to take you inside the forest. They have recently introduced a night safari program where interested tourists are taken deep into the jungle at midnight. Rest assured, the thrills of discovering wildlife in the beautiful environment of Chinnar would surely blow your mind away!

    Besides the safari rides, guided trekking tours are organized by the forest department where the tourists are accompanied by experienced forest guides and armed guards. It's a great way to explore the beautiful expanse of Chinnar forest dotted with waterfalls, rivers, hillocks and shola grasslands. Another exciting part of Chinnar trip is the forest camping. You can spend a thrilling night at a tree-top house or ethnic log huts to make it a grand forest extravaganza.

    9. Namdapha National Park

    Location - Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, 113 KM from Miao
    Famous For - Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Snowythroated Babblers

    Situated in the furthest North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Namdapha National Park is an Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. With its enchanting beauty of lush green tropical plantations and rich habitat of exotic wildlifes, the Namdapha National Park is a truely mesmerizing retreat nestled in wilderness. Spreaded across a vast expanse of 1985 square kilometers, it is the third largest protected wildlife territory in India in terms of area covered.

    Namdapha boasts of a diversified range of habitats that change with increasing altitude - from tropical moist forests to Alpine meadows and perennial snow-capped territories. The hilly terrain on which the tourist activities are permitted mainly consists of evergreen rainforests and extensive bamboo groves. Quite naturally, the flora and fauna found in this region are quite unique compared to all other national parks in India.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    The big cats are the major crowd pullers at Namdapha National Park. Two different species of leopards, Clouded and Snow Leopards, are the most frequently sighted animals over here. Both these species are considered endangered and Namdapha is one of the very few natural habitats where they strive and flourish. The common Indian leopards are also present in good numbers while a decent population of Bengal Tigers are also found in this region. The park is also home to a few of the lesser cats like the marbled cat, fishing cat and the Asiatic golden cat.

    Seven species of non-human primates including Stump-tailed Macaque, Slow Loris, Capped Langurs, and the distinctive looking Hoolock Gibbons are the other famous residents of Namdapha National Park. Dholes, Asiatic Bears, Red Panda, Spotted Linsang, Mongoose, Elephants, Wild Boar, Musk Deer, Indian Muntjac, Hog deer, Sambar and Asiatic Bisons are also found in large numbers in the Namdapha forest. Moreover, the park boasts of over 425 avian species and atleast 220 varieties of butterflies. Hornbills are the most decorated birds in this region. As many as five different species of hornbills have been recorded from this area. Laughing Thrushes, Parrotbills, Fulvettas, Shrike Babblers, Scimitar Babblers and the rarest of rare Snowythroated Babblers can also be spotted in this region. It's not too difficult to comprehand why Namdapha is considered as a paradise for the bird-watchers.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    In Namdapha National Park, forest safaris are allowed only at the designated tourist circuits of Margarita-Miao-Namdapha sections. Jeeps and Mahindra Commanders are mainly used as the safari vehicles, however tourists are allowed to take their own vehicles inside the forest areas accompanied by an authorized guide. Compared to the Jeeps and Commanders which costs around INR 1200 to INR 1500 for a single trip, opting for your own vehicle is a lot cheaper. Petrol vehicles attract an entry fee of INR 300, while you need to pay up INR 500 for taking a diesel vehicle inside the forest. The applicable charge as the guide fee stands at INR 200.

    Forest camping is allowed in the buffer zone of Deban region, on the banks of Nao-Dihing river. Trekking, hiking and trout fishing are the other popular activities available to tourists. Trek to Motijheel is a favorite among the nature lovers. This enchanting site is a real feast for your eyes with a variety of exotic avian species. Trekking and camping can also be arranged at the Haldibari range, 7 KM away from Deban.

    8. The Great Himalayan National Park

    Location - Kullu Valley district of Himachal Pradesh, 31 KM from Aut
    Famous For - Himalayan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep

    Surrounded by the lofty peaks of Himalayan mountain ranges on three sides, the 754 square kilometers area of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) has attained the status of a World Heritage site due to its diverse topography and equallty diverse Himalayan wildlife. Situated in the remote corners of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh, this region is also known to house some rare medicinal herbs and as such the place has great significance in the field of medicinal research as well.

    The GHNP wildlife sanctuary consists of lush green alpine forests along the lower altitudes and it extends up to the frosty glaciers at an altitude of over 6000 meters above the sea level. The park is considered to be an asset to Himachal tourism, not only due to its rich flora and fauna, but also because of the splendid landscapes of the great Himalayan ranges it has to offer. Along with the Pin Valley National Park, Rupi-Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tirthan Wildlife Reserve, the GHNP forms one of the largest projects for wildlife conservation in the entire India.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    The Great Himalayan National Park is home to more than 375 faunal species, including several threatened, endangered and regionally endemic species. There are quite a few species of animals that you won't find anywhere else. The Himalayan Blue Sheep, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard and Musk Deer are some of the most revered wildlife species that makes GHNP one of the most favorite den for the wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world.

    The national park is also home to a variety of native and migrant avian species. The threatened species of Golden Eagles, Himalayan Griffon Vultures, Lammergayers and the endangered Western Tragopans are just a few of the important birds that has made GHNP their home. Various migratory birds also fly in to this area during the winter season. The Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Blue-capped Redstart, Black-throated Thrush and Black-throated Accentor are some of the long distance migrants that add to the diversity of birdlife at GHNP.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    GHNP is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries in India that strictly abides by the norms of eco-tourism to protect its unabashed, untamed, unspoiled, and unmitigated milieu. Tourism activities are only permitted in the buffer areas of the forest, while excursions to core ares would require you to obtain prior approval from the forest authorities.

    The uniqueness of this Park lies in its ‘roadlessness’. So no safari vehicles are allowed inside the park and the only form of wildlife spotting is through trekking. There are plenty of hiking and trekking opportunities here, from easy day walks in the buffer zone (called the Ecozone) to demanding treks in the spectacular upper reaches. Single day and multi-day trekker's passes are available for the tourists to explore and cherish this unique wildlife experience. Forest guides and armed guards are provided with the trekkers for safety reasons. There are designated forest camps established at different parts of the reserve forest to accommodate the tourists at night. Neuli-Sarangarh loop, Neuli to Sainj valley, Sainj to Tirthan valley, and Gushaini to Tinder village are the most popular wildlife circuits inside the national park.

    7. Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary

    Location - Adilabad district of Telengana, 52 KM from Adilabad
    Famous For - Python, Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizards

    Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Adilabad district of Telengana. Located at a distance of around 280 KM from the Hyderabad city, it has turned out to be a favored weekend hangout for the residents of Hyderabad.

    One of the richest and oldest wildlife reserves in the Deccan region, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year1964. Covering 893 square kilometers' of vast expanse dominated by bamboo, teak, terminalia and cassias trees, it serves as a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals and birds, few of which are endemic as well as endangered.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    Like most of the other National Parks in India, the mammalian species are the main attractions at Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary. The most frequently spotted wildlife species include tigers, leopards, barking deers, sambar, nilgai and sloth bears.

    The steadily diminishing species of Indian Rock Pythons are found in good numbers over here. Apart from the pythons, Kawal serves as the home to marsh crocodiles star tortoise and monitor lizard. The place is equally impressive for the bird lovers as well. Although you won't be able to spot too many migratory birds, lots of native Indian birds make up for the loss. Peacock, partridge, qualis, crested serpent eagle, white collared kite, owl, mynah and common kingfisher are available in abundance.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary conducts both morning and evening safari rides for the visitors. The vehicles used for the safari trips are mostly diesel-based Mahindra Commanders. Overnight jungle camping facility is also available for the interested tourists. The camps are run by the Forest Guest House at Jannaram and the tourists are accompanied by armed forest guards.

    6. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

    Location - Chandarpur district of Maharashtra, 39 KM from Chandarpur
    Famous For - Bengal Tiger, Four horned Antelopes, Indian Pangolins

    The oldest and largest wildlife sanctuary in the state of Maharashtra, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve needs no introduction to wildlife enthusiasts. Consisting of a total surface area of 1727 square kilometers, it houses some of the most sought after species of wild animals and birds found in the Indian subcontinent. Dominated by teak and bamboo forests, Tadoba's landscapes with rugged cliffs, marshlands, woodlands and lakes is considered as one of the best places in India to take forest safari rides.

    The wildlife sanctuary is divided into three core zones - Moharli, Tadoba, and Kolsa. Mohrali is the most popular entry point for the tourists, mainly due to easy accessibility and the availability of numerous accommodation options. Tadoba is in the northern side and covers the hilly terrains of Chimur Hills. It is the most sought after zone for the bird-watchers as the Tadoba Lake attracts huge number of avian species throughout the year. Kolsa is the most picturesque and quieter zone towards the eastern end of the park. This region may not be a great choice for spotting wildlife, but the scenic destination devoid of too much tourists is an ideal place if you want to spend your vacation away from the hustles and bustles of casual tourists.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    Tadoba attracts huge number of tourists due to the presence of the mighty Bengal tigers. It is one of the very best tiger reserves in India to spot the majestic animal out in the wild. At Tadoba, it's not a matter of whether you will see a tiger, but rather when and how many! With a population of 43 tigers residing in its core areas, you can be assured of at-least a single glance of the king of the jungle - if not more.

    The wildlife reserve is also home to leopards, bisons, hyenas, sloth bears, wild boars, spotted deers, barking deers, flying squirrels, four horned antelopes and indian pangolins. The park has a decent population of Indian pythons and terrapins. A good number of birds can also be spotted during your safari tour. Honey buzzard, crested serpent eagle, jungle fowl, grey-headed fishing eagle and paradise flycatchers are the most widely spotted avian species at Tadoba Tiger Reserve.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Gypsy and Jeep Safaris are available in Tadoba Tiger Reserve for the tourists to explore the core reserve forest areas. Alternatively, you can also take your own vehicle inside the forest accompanied by an experienced forest guide. Moharli section provides you the opportunity to explore the forest on top of a trained elephant. The elephant safari program has gained rave reviews from the tourists and it's a must try activity if you haven't tried this before.

    For the convenience of tourists, Maharashtra Forest Department has introduced online safari booking counters. Bookings open 60 days in advance and around 70% of the total safari slots are sold via the online counter. Visit the official website www.mahaecotourism.gov.in for more details.

    5. Sundarbans Tiger Reserve

    Location - 24 Parganas (North & South) districts of West Bengal, 42 KM from Canning
    Famous For - Bengal Tiger, Marsh Crocodile, Indian Python

    Situated on the delta region of three mighty rivers - Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna - Sundarbans holds the credit of being the largest mangrove forest in the world. Sundarbans National Park has world famous reputation for being the original habitat of the Jungle King - Royal Bengal Tigers. A biosphere hotspot, Sundarbans got the accredition of a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

    Mangrove creeks cover more than two-fifth of the Sundarbans overall surface area. Around half of the national park is constituted by the river waters. while the remaining parts are mainly islands of various sizes. Quite naturally, the place attracts lots of avian species, from many distant parts of the world. Apart from the tigers and birds, there are a wide variety of other mammalian, reptile and amphibian species that make Sundarbans one of the richest wildlife reserves in the world.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    Sundarbans is known for its diverse range of fauna, including 35 species of reptiles, 270 avian and 42 mammalian species. Sunderbans Tiger Reserve was established in 1973 to protect the habitat of the elusive Bengal tigers, which were alarmingly dimishing in numbers. It attained the status of a National Park in 1984. The main attraction is undoubtedly the population of Bengal Tigers, but there are lots of admirers for the huge Gangetic Estuarine Crocodiles and the mighty Indian Pythons. The Sundarban tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters and can be seen on the river banks basking in the glorious sunshine. If you are lucky, you can even spot a group of elusive Irrawady dolphins dancing in the waters.

    Apart from the tigers and crocodiles, flying cats, swamp deer, hog deer, water buffalo, leopards, wild boars, grey mongoose, fox, spotted deers and chitals can be spotted in adundance. A decent population of Indian rhinoceros are also present in the park. A large number of avian species have also made Sundarban their preferred home. Black-Capped Kingfisher, Curlew, White-Bellied Sea-Eagle, Tern and Whimbrel are the most commonly found birds species of Sundarban.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Criss-crossed by many streams and creeks, the only way to access and explore this territory is by motor boats. The entire wildlife excursion takes place on water. Don't forget to pack your pair of binoculars. Those can come handy for viewing the unique flora and fauna of Sunderbans from close quarters.

    The park remains open for the tourists from September to March, but the winter period between December to February is considered to be the best time to spot the wildlife. This is also the period of the year when the maximum number of migratory birds arrive in this region.

    4. Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Location - Idukki district of Kerala, 5 KM from Thekkady
    Famous For - White Tiger, Leopards, Nilgiri Tahr

    The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in the southern parts of India. Nestled in the Western Ghats mountain ranges, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers eye-catching scenic landscapes that are sure to mesmerize all the nature lovers.

    Sprawled over an area of 925 square kilometers, it is one of the most well maintained and secured wildlife habitat in the country. The tropical evergreen forests and moist deciduous rainforests at Periyar provides shelters a large repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna. Crisscrossed by two important rivers of Kerala, Periyar and Pamba, the region also features wetlands and water bodies to attract the winged visitors in great numbers.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    Periyar is home to a rich variety of wild animals including the Bengal tigers, leopards, elephants, bisons, giant squirrels, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahrs, lion-tailed macaques and stripe-necked mongoose to name a few. Elephants are found in large numbers and the park also has a few of the rare White Tigers to amaze the tourists. Apart from all that, there are around 45 species of reptiles and amphibians residing in the diverse habitat of Periyar Tiger Reserve.

    Besides the wild animals, the region is known to be a birder's paradise with more than 320 species of migratory and native birds spotted in the reserve forest area. Endemic birds include the Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri wood pigeon, blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri flycatcher, crimson-backed sunbird and white-bellied blue flycatcher. Spot-bellied eagle-owl, Nilgiri thrush, little spiderhunter, rufous-bellied hawk-eagle, brahminy kite, great hornbill, Sri Lanka frogmouth, Oriental darter, and black-necked storks are also found in good numbers.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Guided safari tours in open-roof vehicles are available for the tourists to explore the wildlife sanctuary. Jeep Safari costs around INR 1500 for a group of 5 tourists and it lasts for about 2 hours.

    Community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The Periyar Tiger Trail, a project implemented by the Kerala Forest Department to promote sustainable eco-tourism, is a fun way to explore the wildlife of Periyar Sanctuary. It is an adventurous trekking and camping programme that takes you deep into the core areas of the forest where you can see a diversified range of wildlife in their natural habitat.

    This unique wildlife spotting experience can be clubbed with camping in the forest for 1 or 2 days to make it a truly memorable extravaganza. You can also enjoy safari ride on the back of a trained elephant inside the wildlife sanctuary.

    3. Bandipur National Park

    Location - Nanjangud district of Karnataka, 55 KM from Nanjangud
    Famous For - Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Rock Python

    Now one of the most widely revered National Parks in South India, Bandipur once used to be the private hunting ground for the Mysore Maharajas. Famous for its wide variety of wildlife, Bandipur is located in the Nanjangud district of Karnataka - around 100 KM away from Mysore and 230 KM from Bangalore off the Mysore-Ooty national highway.

    Bandipur records the highest number of tourists among all national parks in South India due to the high possibility of sighting the elusive yellow-&-black stripes of the Royal Bengal Tigers. Due to the presence of a decent population of tigers, tiger sighting is pretty common at Bandipur while on a jungle safari. It has contributed towards to a great extent in popularizing Bandipur as a wildlife enthusiasts' paradise.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    With a total area of 874 square kilometers, Bandipur's deciduous rainforests provide shelters to a wide variety of India's endangered wildlife. Alongwith adjacent Madumalai National Park, this biosphere reserve houses tigers, leopards, elephants, bisons, sloth bears, mugger crocodiles, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, jackals, spotted deers, dholes, chital, sambar, Indian giant squirrels and several other species of wild animals.

    Among the birds, you can easily spot peacocks, grey junglefowls, honey buzzards, red-headed vultures, Indian vultures, flowerpeckers, hoopoes, Indian rollers, brown fish owls, crested serpent eagles and changeable hawk-eagles to name a few. A wide variety of butterflies can also be spotted in this reserve forest area.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Safari tours are available from both the Bandipur as well as the Madumalai side. In terms of cost, jungle safari at Madumalai comes at a cheaper price, however compared to the Madumalai section, there are far better chances of spotting wildlife in the Bandipur section. You can also drive along the Bandipur-Madumalai-Masinagudi highway and spot diffrrent species of wildlife roaming around on both sides of the road.

    As far as the accommodation is concerned, there are lots of cottages and jungle resorts to cater to the tourists' accommodation. You can experience jungle camping and also stay in a tree-house or a traditional log hut during your Bandipur trip.

    2. Corbett National Park

    Location - Nainital district of Uttarakhand, 15 KM from Ramnagar
    Famous For - Royal Bengal Tiger, Mugger Crocodile, Elephant

    The oldest and most well-known wildlife reserve in India, the Jim Corbett National Park is a hot favorite getaway for the tourists, not only from India, but also from the other parts of the world. Named after the legendary British hunter cum conservationist Jim Corbett, this 1318 square kilometer park is divided into six core zones - Bijrani, Dhikala, Dhela, Durga Devi, Jhirna and Sonanadi. Bijrani and Dhaikala are the main highlights of the park which remains open for tourists from mid of November to mid of June. During the monsoon season, tourists are allowed to visit the Jhirna and Dhela sections only.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    The population of around 220 Royal Bengal Tigers are the star attractions at Corbett. Other commonly seen wildlife include wild elephants, sloth bears, rhesus macaques, leopards, mugger crocodiles, jackals and several types of deer including chitals, sambars, hog deer and barking deer. For the bird watchers, the Corbett National Park is no short of a paradise. It houses more than 600 species of native and migrant birds. The winter season is the best time for bird-watching as the Ramganga reservoir inside the park receives some of the most exotic migratory birds during the period between December and February.

    With as many as 65 different species of mammals, 33 species of reptiles, 7 amphibian species, and over 600 varities of birds, Corbett National Park deserves to be on the list of must visit places to visit in India for all nature loving tourists and wildlife lovers!

    Forest Safari and Other Activities:

    Dhikala is by far the most popular zone for tourism. Located near to Patil Dun Valley, it offers an amazing landscape dominated by the dense forests on the backdrop of lofty mountains. Jeep safari trips are available from all the six zones, but for the maximum chances of spotting wildlife, taking the safari ride in Dhikala and Sonanadi ranges are most recommended. Dhikala range also offers the exciting elephant safari rides. It's a thrilling experience to spot tigers and other wildlife species while sitting on the back of a trained elephant.

    The Dhela zone is unique in the sense that it offers the opportunity to trek along the forested terrains. Unlike other zones, tourists can roam in this zone under the guidance of security personal. It is the first time that such facility has been introduced in Corbett National Park and it has atracted huge popularity.

    1. Kaziranga National Park

    Location - Golaghat district of Assam, 96 KM from Jorhat
    Famous For - Indian Rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, Elephant

    Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site by its own rights! Arguably the best wildlife sanctuary in India, Kaziranga's claim to fame is mainly due to the presence of India’s best-known wildlife tourism mascot - the famed one-horned rhinoceros. Interestingly, the 2050 odd rhino population of Kaziranga is around three fourth of the world’s total population of rhinoceros.

    Situated in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the North-Eastern state of Assam, Kaziranga spans across 430 square KM of lush green landscape. The rich biodiversity that Kaziranga exhibits is simply amazing. Consisting of wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, grovelands and highlands, the topography of Kaziranga National Park is exceptionally diversified.

    Wildlife Attractions:

    The main tourist attraction at Kaziranga is unarguably the famed one-horned rhinoceros. A jungle safari ride, either on a Jeep or on the back of an elephant, provides the tourists unparalleled opportunities to sight the majestic one-horned rhinos. According to the 2011 census, Kaziranga provides shelters to 2048 rhinos. Rest assured, you can definitely spot at-least one rhino, if not many, on your maiden safari ride at Kaziranga.

    Kaziranga is not all about rhinos though, you also get to spot as many as 40 major mammalian species during your jungle safari. Moreover, Kaziranga hosts a diverse population of 9 amphibian species, 27 species of reptiles and more than 490 species of native and migratory birds.

    Kaziranga has 86 resident tigers - the highest among all national parks in India. Even in terms of tiger density (number of tigers per square KM), Kaziranga ranks at the very top in the world. If the statistics are to be believed, then on an average there is one tiger in every 5 square kilometers. However, it takes some luck to spot tigers here due to the tall, dense grasslands. The water holes are the most likely place to spot the majestic animal, especially during the summer time.

    Apart from the rhinoceros and tiger, wild elephant, wild buffalo, clouded leopard, swamp deer, sambar, Indian leopard, hoolock gibbon and wild boar are a few of the animals that make Kaziranga one of the most impressive national parks in India. The park is also the last retreat for the Greater Adjutant Storks - which are steadily diminishing in numbers. Blyth's Kingfisher, Dalmatian Pelican, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Red-headed Vulture, White-tailed Fishing Eagle and Black-breasted Parrotbills can also be spotted in huge numbers.

    Forest Safari & Other Activities:

    Kaziranga National Park offers two types of forest safari rides - on a open-roof vehicle or on the back of an elephant. For the majority of the tourists, elephant safari is a must try experience while at Kaziranga. Going deep inside the jungle on the back of a trained elephant can not only be exciting, but it can also be your best bet to sight wildlife from close quarters. It can take you to those remote parts of the forest where a Jeep can't go; so you have a higher probability of spotting wild animals. There are both morning as well as evening elephant safari rides available at Kaziranga. Morning schedule starts from 5.30 AM and ends at 7.30 AM. Afternoon safari timing is between 3 PM and 4:30 PM.

    Jeep Safari, too, is available in two slots. The morning schedule is from 7.30 AM to 11 AM, while the afternoon safari starts from 2 PM and lasts till 4.30 PM.

    Now that you have the list of the best wildlife reserves in India, make sure to include one in your itinerary the next time you travel. Rest assured, you are going to have one of the best travel experiences of your life.

    So what are you waiting for? Clean your camera lenses, pack your travel gears, and get lost in the wilderness of India's diversified wildlife attractions and bring home a world of fascinating memories to cherish for the years to come.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2016
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  2. Tamboa

    Tamboa New Member

    This is very helpful to see all the wonderful places to go, but it makes it that much harder to plan a trip. I know I can't go to India without seeing elephants and tigers, but I would dearly love to see the adorable red panda and something called the Snowythroated Babbler is not to be missed!

  3. Nita

    Nita New Member

    You photos and information is amazing. I know now that I must visit one of these wildlife sanctuaries. I'd love to visit on the back of an elephant. It is amazing to see all these animals living in their natural surroundings.
  4. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    I have never been to any of these wildlife sanctuaries in India. However, from what I read in the above paragraphs and based in my interest, I think The Great Himalayan National Park and and Sundarbans Tiger Reserve will be perfect for me
  5. Tamboa

    Tamboa New Member

    It's nice to see that the endangered Bengal Tiger can still be seen in several of these parks. I hope that the population of these beautiful animals will keep increasing.
  6. Ritika Sharma

    Ritika Sharma Member

    Thanks for the information, Barnawapara Wildlife sanctuary one of the best wildlife sanctuary located in Chhattisgarh.
  7. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Thank you for such an informative post. If this does not encourage people to go to wildlife sanctuaries, I don't know what will! The pictures definitely give justice to each place you posted. You'd really want to go to each place because it screams nature and wildlife. I especially love those pictures of elephants and rhinoceros. It's quite amazing to know that such animals can be seen in their natural habitat. And we get to see them in action as well. Thanks again!
  8. Another national park which is not on this list is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in North Mumbai. It is arguably the rarest example of protected area so close to an urban area. Spread over 104 sq.km, it sees around 2 million people visit every year. Another special feature of the park are the 2400-year-old Kanheri caves. The area around the park has been documented in history as far back as the 4th century BC.
  9. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

    That would certainly be something to see. We did not really look into anything like this when we were over there, but if we would have had the time I would have loved to visit one. We were more in the urban areas for most of our trip, but next time I go I really want to focus on the country side and things like this.
  10. Elaine Lat

    Elaine Lat Member

    A safari tour at Kaziranga while on an elephant ride looks really fun. Kudos to India for their wildlife preservation efforts to save their own species of rhinos. The West African Black Rhino recently went into extinction and it's such a shame. It seems poaching still cannot be stopped in Africa. Anyway, I would like to have a chance to play with baby elephants, though. Maybe if I get a chance, I'll be able to head to an elephant reserve first.