National Parks to Spot Red Panda in India

Wildlife & Nature

Adorable, curious, and extremely lazy, the red panda, also referred to as the red cat bear, is the sole surviving species of the bear family that goes by the name of Ailuridae. At present, India has twenty protected reserves for the conservation of the red panda. These areas are mainly concentrated in certain areas of Arunachal Pradesh, the northern part of West Bengal, including Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Sikkim, as well as Meghalaya. Enlisted below are a handful of the national parks that are home to this endangered species.

Here is the list of 6 National Parks to Spot Red Panda in India

1. Kanchenjunga National Park

Kanchenjunga National Park
4.0 /5

Nestled in the heart of the mighty Himalayan range in the beautiful state of Sikkim, the pristine Kanchenjunga National Park was honoured as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the month of July in 2016. The captivating Khangchendzonga National Park is home to a number of plants, animals, and birds, including the red panda.

Special Attraction: The Kanchenjunga National Park is dotted with a number of wonderful attractions, which include the Khecheopalri Lake, Goechala, the Tholung Monastery, and the lush Yuksom Valley.
Likelihood of spotting the red panda: High
Location: The Park is located at Sikkim Chungthang, North Sikkim
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours from Monday to Saturday; It remains closed on Sundays
Entrance Fee:
For Indians: INR 350 per head for the first week of stay. INR 40 for every day following that;
For foreign nationals: INR 560 per head for the first week of stay. INR 80 for every day following that;
For Indian students: INR 80 per head for the first week of stay. INR 20 for every day following that;
In case of local guards and porters: INR 10 per head each day
Best Time to Visit: March to May

2. Nokrek National Park, Tura

Nokrek National Park, Tura
3.5 /5

An important national park for the conservation of the rare red panda, the lush Nokrek National Park is located in the district of the West Garo Hills of Meghalaya. In addition to the red panda, the wonderful Nokrek National Park is also home to rare animals, birds, as well as flowers.

Special Attraction: Within the premises of the Nokrek National Park is located the renowned Simsang River game reserve, the cascading Ronbang Dare waterfalls, as well as the Nokrek Peak.
Likelihood of spotting the red panda: Moderate to high
Location: The Nokrek National Park is located at West Garo Hills District, Tura, Meghalaya
Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee to visit the Nokrek National Park
Best Time to Visit: October to May

3. Balpakram National Park, Tura

Balpakram National Park, Tura
3.5 /5

Popularly referred to as the ‘abode of perpetual winds’, the glorious Balpakram National Park, in addition to providing shelter to the red panda, is home to picturesque landscapes, an expansive range of flora and fauna, and a serene atmosphere that draws in people from places near and far. 

Likelihood of spotting the red panda: Moderate to high
Location: The Balpakram National Park is located at South Garo Hills, Tura, Meghalaya.
Opening Hours: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day
Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee to visit the Balpakram National Park
Best Time to Visit: October to May

4. Singalila National Park, Darjeeling

Singalila National Park, Darjeeling
3.8 /5 View 5+ photos

Perched at an altitude of over seven thousand feet is the Singalila National Park, sprawled across an area of around seventy-eight kilometers. It was in the year 1992 when this place was honoured as a national park, and it has always been used as a common route for trekking from Manebhanjan to Phalut and Sandakphu.

A haven for nature lovers and wildlife photographers, the Singalila National Park is home to a number of ethereal vistas in the midst of lush greenery. It is one of the few places that house the rare red panda, along with other animals and birds.

Special Attraction: One must try out the Singalila National Park Jeep Safari Tour in order to explore the region in a thorough way without disturbing the animals. Take in the ethereal beauty of the place as you spot an animal here and a bird there.
Likelihood of spotting the red panda: Moderate
Opening Hours: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day
Entrance Fee: For Indians: INR 100 per person; For foreign nationals: INR 200 per person
Best Time to Visit: March to May.
Note: The Singalila National Park remains closed from the 16th of June to the 15th of September each year owing to heavy rainfall

5. Neora Valley National Park, Kalimpong

Neora Valley National Park, Kalimpong
3.2 /5

Spread across an area of a whopping eighty-eight kilometers, the pristine Neora Valley National Park occupies a sizable area in the district of Kalimpong. Often referred to as the land of the elegant red panda among tourists, this place was accredited as a national park in the year 1992.

Special Attraction: For those who are looking for an adrenaline surge, make sure to pay a visit to the highest point of the Neora Valley National Park – the Rachela Pass – which resides at an altitude of three thousand and two hundred meters above sea level.
Likelihood of spotting the red panda: Low to moderate
Opening Hours: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day
Entrance Fee: INR 100 per person
Best Time to Visit: September to early December
Note: The Neora Valley National Park remains closed from the 16th of June to the 15th of September every year due to heavy rainfall

6. Namdapha National Park, Itanagar

Namdapha National Park, Itanagar
3.7 /5 View 5+ photos

With over a thousand species of flora and fauna and over four hundred species of avifauna, the enormous Namdapha National Park, spread across an area of around two thousand kilometers, is the fourth-largest national park in the country. It is home to a plethora of birds and animals, including the red panda.

Special Attraction: The delightful Miao Museum located within the premises of the Namdapha National Park exhibits a number of different kinds of animal specimens gathered from the park and its surrounding areas.
Likelihood of spotting the red panda: Low to moderate
Location: The Namdapha National Park is located at Namdapha Tiger Reserve, MV Road, Arunachal Pradesh
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM every day
Entrance Fee: For Indians: INR 10 per person; For foreign nationals: INR 50 per person
Best Time to Visit: June to September

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The red panda is one of the endangered species of the world, and these national parks have come up with an optimistic initiative to save them from extinction. The delightful creatures are worthy of a visit whenever one travels to one of the aforementioned national parks. So, before planning the itinerary of your next vacation, do make sure to keep a few hours in hand in order to spot these adorable furry animals.

This post was published by Soumita Ghosh

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