Spread across its length and breadth, there are more than 80 thriving National Parks in India. These parks lure wildlife enthusiasts and tourists with their exquisite species of flora and fauna, enthralling safaris and great photo opportunities. From the rapidly dwindling Royal Bengal Tiger to the elusive night jar, these national parks have a lot to offer. Make sure that you have your hotel reservations and tickets in place -before you start making a list of mammals, reptiles, birds and aquatic species that are worth spotting in the destination of your choice.
Corbett National Park
Corbett National Park, located in Uttarakhand and the oldest of its kinds in India, was established by Jim Corbett–the legendary tiger hunter. Bounded by five distinct zones, this park is closed during monsoons -except “Jhirna”, which is open across the year. Here, you may not be lucky enough to spot a tiger, but then be prepared to chance upon plenty of different animals: wild boars, deer, hyenas, jackals, elephants, snakes, birds, alligators and more.
Kanha National Park
Located in the rugged terrains of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park provides the alluring setting for The Jungle Book-a classic novel by Rudyard Kipling. The landscapes of Kanha National Park are flush with bamboo groves, sal trees, lakes, open grasslands and streams. Renowned for its conservation and research programs across the world, this park is home to several endangered species of animals, including tigers.
Bandhavgarh National Park
With the highest population of tigers to its credit, the Bandhavgarh National Park is reputed for its spectacular setting too. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, this scenic reserve features rocky hills, an ancient fort standing aloft on 800 meter high cliffs, dense green valleys and much more. Elephant safaris (taken at dawn and dusk) are the best ways of tracking the pug marks of tigers or coming closer to their natural habitats.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore, a mélange of history and nature, boasts of vast natural habitats of wildlife, a formidable 10th century fort, sharp cliffs and an exotic range of floral and faunal species. Yes, it is easy to spot the tiger in the wilderness of Ranthambore National Park-excited?
Sunderbans National Park
Sunderbans, a vast tangle of mangrove jungles, sprawls across 54 islands and also finds its way into the neighbouring Bangladesh. Accessible by river boats and launches, Sunderbans is best enjoyed over a week-so; do not expect to spot a tiger during a one/two day’s trip.