India is a land of diverse terrain and varied topography. For the same reason, our country is home to a myriad species of flora, fauna and avifauna which eventually make for some of the best National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India. India boasts of housing some of the endangered and exotic species of the world. To protect these wild species, sanctuaries are developed by IUCN category IV protected areas. Within these, there are several national parks, Project Tiger, specifically bird sanctuaries and wildlife sanctuaries in India. The country is home to whopping 543 wildlife sanctuaries, here's a compilation of the list of best wildlife sanctuaries in India for you.
Here is the list of 54 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries in India for All You Nature Lovers
Sariska Tiger Reserve is well nestled in the Aravali Hills covering 800 sq km area divided into the grasslands, dry deciduous forests, sheer cliffs and rocky landscape. Whether one wants to have camel safaris, go out for shopping in the surrounding places, visit medieval palaces or wildlife watching Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is the best place.
Being one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of Kerala, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary forms an integral part of the 1,187 km sq. block of protected forests straddling the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, in the region of the Annamalai Hills. The Sanctuary is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
Famous for its almost-extinct mountain quails, deer, leopards and red-billed blue magpie, the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary is well known to house rare species of birds and offers an excellent trail of pine-clad slopes surrounded by Himalayan peaks for a refreshing walk.
A paradise for nature lovers and wildlife buffs, Nagarjunasagar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Srisailam and is often referred to as Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Sanctuary. Established over a huge area of nearly 3568 sq. kms, this land rich in flora and fauna lies adjacent to Nagarjunasagar Reservoir.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. Covering a total surface area of 578 sq km and stretching across the Aravalli ranges, it encircles parts of Udaipur, Rajsamand, and Pali. The wildlife sanctuary encompasses the historic Kumbhalgarh Fort. Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary is famous for its 40 strong wolf pack, that is rarely found elsewhere. Apart from the wolf it also houses the various variety of endangered and rare animal species and almost 200 different species of birds.
Known For : Ranthambhore Fort | Kacheeda Valley
This is one of the best tiger reserves of the country, known to have "friendly" tigers and chances of sighting one here is reasonably better than many other tiger reserves of India. Along with this Ranthambore has one of the richest flora and fauna making it an absolutely must visit area
Best Time : October to Apr
Known For : Jungle Safari | Elephant Ride in Corbett National Park | Corbett Waterfall
Corbett National Park, set amidst the foothills of Himalayas, houses a variety of flora and fauna including rare ones such as tigers and is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
Best Time : Mid October to Mid June
Home to two-thirds of the world's one horned rhinoceros population, this national park has been declared as a World Heritage Site.
Best Time : October to June
A delightful town situated in the district of Mandla, Kanha National park is the haven of an exceptionally wide variety of wild animals, including the majestic creature tiger. Wide open grass plains with a backdrop of the city scrapers, scattered bamboo forests play host to a wide variety of wildlife and diverse birdlife with over 300 species recorded.
Best Time : October to June
Formerly a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Rewa, this National Park is world-renowned as a tiger reserve.
Best Time : October to June
Known for hosting the biggest mangrove forests in the world, Sundarbans National Park is located in West Bengal, India. It is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere reserve that provides a complete nature's circle to the tourist right from 'Royal Bengal tigers' to roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries. Sundarbans National Park is a part of Sundarban delta that is covered with Mangrove Forest and the largest population of the Bengal Tigers.
Best Time : September to March
Now known as the Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur National Park is a famous bird watching paradise and is among one of the World Heritage sites. The 29 km reserve is locally known as Ghana and is a mosaic of dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps, and wetlands. These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and a variety of other invertebrates. Every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the park for winter breeding.
With the majestic Pench river flowing through the greens and a variety of wildlife to be spotted in the rocky terrains, Pench National Park served as an inspiration for the famous novel 'The Jungle Book'.
Best Time : October to June
The Silent Valley National Park, with its lush green forests and beautiful views of the rich flora, is a popular destination for nature and wildlife lovers in Kerala. With its long, detailed history and the unique status of a Rain Forest, this national park is truly a sight to visit. The well-planned Safari and the beautiful stop-overs around the park only make a trip to this part of Kerala more worthwhile.
Known For : Gopalaswamy Betta
Situated in the state of Karnataka, Bandipur National Park was once the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore. It was later established as a reserve in 1974, and these deciduous forests rich in wildlife and flora have become a popular tourist attraction since then. Due to a lot of wildlife casualties due to tourist traffic, a ban on traffic between 9 PM to 6 AM has been established to ensure the safety of the animal population.
Best Time : October to May
Manas National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam. The only tiger reserve in Assam and also famous for the rare golden langur and the red panda, Manas is one of the best-kept national parks in India.
Best Time : October to Apr
Known For : Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve | Moharli | Khosla
Famous for its natural heritage, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is definitely one of India's most exciting and best protected Tiger Reserve, with most visible tiger sightings in the state of Maharashtra
Best Time : October to March
Located in the state of Jharkhand, the Hazaribagh wildlife sanctuary (earlier called Hazaribagh National Park) is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India. The sanctuary was established in 1954 with an objective of conserving wildlife and providing a home for rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
Great Himalayan National Park, situated in Himachal Pradesh has four valleys named Sainj Valley, Tirthan Valley, Jiwa Nal Valley and Parvati Valley. They are all popular for their natural and scenic beauty. The park has exotic species of flora and fauna. The park was established in 1984.
Housing the country's first butterfly park, this park has a huge variety of fauna, making it one of the most enjoyable tourist attractions in the city. Tourists can also opt for Safari rides through the park. One can spot Lions, Tigers, Crocodiles amongst numerous others in the park.
Completely a paradise for wildlife lovers, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 834.16 sq km and has been recognized as the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Declared as the National Wildlife Sanctuary in 1956, it is home to a variety of flora and fauna including tigers, woodpecker, hornbill, kingfisher, leopards, elephants, etc.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala and comprises of rare as well as endangered species of both flora and fauna. It is surrounded by the protected areas of Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu as well as Nagarhole and Bandipur in Karnataka. Founded in the year 1973, the wildlife sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which was the first biosphere out of the 14 present in India.
Panna National Park, situated in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh in central India, is located on the banks of River Ken. This National Park has been awarded as the best maintained tourist friendly national park of the country by the Ministry of Tourism of India.
This is a wildlife sanctuary and a habitat to abundance of flora and fauna, in the midst of a busy Mumbai. Famed to be one the most liked national parks, one can also enjoy a train ride through this one. One can spot here Leopards, Macaques, Boars, Lions, Flying fox, Kingfisher, Sunbird and many more. A must visit attraction of the city, the park is also known for a huge population and variety of butterflies.
Located 45 min drive away from Munnar, the Eravikulam National Park houses a rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, Atlas moth (largest in the world), lion-tailed macaque, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard are some of the main animal species that can be spotted here. An endangered species of mountain goats called the Nilgiri Thar can also be seen here. The next bloom of Neelakurinji Flowers that bloom ever 12 years will be in 2018.
Van Vihar National Park placed in central India in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh is declared the same since 1983 and extends over an area of about 4.45 sq kms. Although it has the status of a national park, Van Vihar is developed and managed as a modern zoological park, following the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. The animals kept, are almost in their real natural habitats.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park aka Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, about 31 kms from the city centre and 15 kms from Chennai Airport. It was previously located in 1855 and declared the first public and the largest zoo in India and is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India, spread over an area of 602 hectares, including a rescue and rehabilitation centre. The zoo shelters about 3000 species of flora and fauna across twelve hundred acres including 46 endangered species, in its 160 enclosures.
One of the major wildlife sanctuaries of Assam, the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the border of Nagaon and Kamrup District. Famous majorly for its One Horned Rhinoceros it is a must visit for tourists! November to February offer best weather conditions.
Known For : Fort Ater
Just a 1 hour drive down from Agra, this is a perfect destination for the wildlife enthusiasts. It is a habitat of some of the most endangered species, but the main attraction here are, Gharial, Red crowned turtles, Gangetic Dolphins, Indian skimmers, among others.
Best Time : November to March
Tour to Kawal wildlife sanctuary is a tour to people of thrill and adventure loving. 50 kilometers from Mancherial and 250 kilometers from Hyderabad is the district Adilabad where this sancuary is situated. In 2012, India government took a major step and declared Kawal Wildlife sanctuary as the Tiger Reserve sanctuary. It has been spread out in an area covering 893sq km.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a 30-hectare protected area located in the Kancheepuram District of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sanctuary is about 75 kilometres from Chennai on National Highway 45, south of Chengalpattu. (br) More than 40,000 birds (including 26 rare species), from various parts of the world visit the sanctuary during the migratory season every year. Vedanthangal is home to migratory birds such as pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper and the like.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a major attraction to the visitors of Mumbai, Thane and other nearby towns. About one hundred thousand local tourists visit the sanctuary every year. Karnala acts as a heaven's hub for bird watchers. One may visit Nature Interpretation Centre and trek down to famous Karnala Fort as well, placed amid the sanctuary.
Karnala Pinnacle offers refuge to endangered species like the peregrine falcon, king vulture and the serpent eagle on the hill crest.
This wildlife sanctuary is regarded as one of its kind in Asia and is home to one of the rarest species of flora and fauna. It is spread on a sprawling area of 650 sq. kms and has rich marine vegetation, salt tolerant varieties of trees and plants, rivers and creeks.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary aka Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka is a bird sanctuary located in the Mandya District of Karnataka in India. It is claimed to be the largest bird sanctuary in the state, covering only 0.67 sq kms of area in the near about 40 acres. It comprises of six islets on the banks of the Kaveri river. Ranganathittu, placed three kilometers away from the ancient town of Srirangapatna and 16 kilometres north of Mysore attracts numerous travellers during, which its notability and grandure is displayed.
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