Known For : Jungle Safari in Corbett National Park Corbett Waterfall River Rafting in Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India, located in the Nainital district. It is known as the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is divided into five zones and is popular for wildlife safaris. More than 650 species of rare and migratory birds, Chital, Sambar Deer, Nilgai, Indian Pangolin and Flying Fox are some of the wildlife spotted here. Only 180 vehicles are allowed to enter the national park in a day. It remains closed from July to October during the monsoons.
Best Time: Mid October to Mid June
Encompassing the Shivalik mountain ranges, Rajaji National Park is famous for its wildlife, especially for tigers and elephants. It spreads over 3 districts of Uttarakhand including Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal. The main attraction here is the jungle safari and a 34-km jungle trek. Asian Elephants, Tiger and King Cobra, Panther, Bear, Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, Kakar, Python, Monitor Lizard, and Wild Cats can be spotted here.
Best Time: Mid November to Mid June
Gangotri National Park is nestled in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This national park owes its name to the Gangotri Glacier. Challenging treks, crushed snow, beaten trails, whistling woods, and ruffled leaves add to the thrill of visiting this national park in Uttarakhand. One will easily encounter some of the oldest settlements, the holiest pilgrimage of Hindus, and the source of river Ganga while traversing through the park.
Known For : Valley of Flowers National Park Nanda Devi National Park Fauna & Flora
Valley of Flowers National Park is located in Chamoli district (near Badrinath) of Uttarakhand. It is famous for its meadows of alpine flowers. Combined with Nanda Devi National Park, the two of them together constitute the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. It is also included in the list of the World Heritage Sites.
Best Time: May to October
In proximity to Nanda Devi lies the Nanda Devi National Park in the Chamoli district. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park in Uttarakhand is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and is home to some of the rarest and unique high-altitude flora and fauna. It offers marvellous opportunities for trekking and hiking. The Nanda Devi National Park is open to visitors for only six months in the entire year, from 1 May to 31 October.
Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its snow-clad peaks and glaciers, along with the wildlife. It is also the starting point of the famous Har ki Dun Valley trek. Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Bearded Vulture, and Himalayan Snowcock are some of the species spotted here.
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Located near Almost, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand is popular for hiking, camping and nature walk. Originally established to protect the broad-leaved oak trees of Himalayas, it has now become a haven for more than 200 species of birds and almost half as many plants and animals.
A haven for wildlife lovers and botany enthusiast, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand is adorned with a wide range of flora and fauna. Located at the height of 5412 m and at a distance of 54 km from Pithoragarh, this place is bounded by rich and gorgeous surroundings. Chirs, Pheasants, Koklas, Bharals, Himalayan Black Bear, Chukors, Snow Leopards and Musk Deer can be spotted here.
Spread across an area of nearly 5 sq. km, the Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary in Uttarakhand is a paradise for flora and fauna lovers. The sanctuary offers a peaceful adobe for musk deer and some of the Himalayan wildlife.
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its almost-extinct mountain quails, deer, leopards and red-billed blue magpie. This Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand houses rare species of birds and offers an excellent trail of pine-clad slopes surrounded by Himalayan peaks for a refreshing walk.
Jabarkhet Wildlife Reserve is the first privately owned and operated wildlife sanctuary in Uttarakhand, which is also the first of its kind in all of India. Located on the Mussoorie-Dhanaulti road, it is set around different altitudinal zones with an extensive variety of rare plants, insects, reptiles, animals, trees, birds and mammals.
Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Haldwani district of Uttarakhand. It is a newer sanctuary, established in 2012. It is proposed to be converted into a tiger reserve, the third in Uttarakhand. Nandhaur is known for its sal forest and houses more than 100 varieties of trees like bamboo, teak, shisham and pine. There are also varied mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes here.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, is located in the Chamoli district. It is known for its floral species and the endangered musk deer. This wildlife sanctuary falls on the trekking route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath Temple. Jackals, Snow Leopard, Indian Leopard, Red Fox, Himalayan Black Bear are some of the species spotted here.
The national parks in Uttarakhand are spectacular sights as they are set against the backdrop of the stunning Himalayas. If you are in Uttarakhand, make sure to visit any of these national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.