India is a country blessed with unique wildlife, rich biodiversity, exotic birds and stunning landscapes, all of which blend together to give us a glimpse of serene natural beauty. Wildlife and biodiversity have been protected by the government of India at an attempt to save nature, which is probably one of the easiest and the best ways to connect with nature.
For all the nature lovers, birdwatchers and wildlife photographers out there, these are the ideal destinations for you. Embark on a spectacular jungle safari at these places in India.
Hemis National Park, Jammu & Kashmir
PC: Enric Guell
Situated in the magnificent Land of Passes, Ladakh, Hemis National Park is a beautiful high-altitude national park that is popular for being home to the majestic snow leopards.
Apart from the endangered snow leopards, on a jungle safari through the park, you will witness animals like Eurasian brown bear, Tibetan wolf, red fox, to name a few.
Keoladeo National Park
The Keoladeo National Park was formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary due to the presence of over 230 species of avifauna. Mainly known for the exotic and native birds found in the park, you can witness beautiful species, such as painted storks, oriental ibis, peregrine, etc.
Animals you may spot on a safari in Keoladeo include wild boars, chital deer, sambar, golden jackals, to name a few.
Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
Located in Kullu, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is home to a wide range of flora and fauna and was established in 1984. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significantly variegated biodiversity.
A safari through GHNP will not only take you through wildlife, but mainly the stunning scenic beauty of the lush greenery, forests and pristine nature. Himalayan tahr, musk deer, blue sheep, snow leopard, etc. are some of the animals you can spot at this park.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that is spread with lush sal and bamboo forests along with serene green meadows, all of which inspired the world-famous Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
It is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh and is home to many other animals apart from tigers, such as four-horned antelopes, wild boars, Indian wolves, spotted deer, etc. The park remains closed between 1 July to 15 October every year and is open for visitors between 6.30-11 am and 3-6 pm.
Pin Valley National Park, Himachal Pradesh
Pin Valley National Park of Himachal Pradesh is a cold desert park that is located in Lahaul and Spiti district. The park gets the name from the Pin river it lies on. For most parts of the year, you will find semi-frozen rivers in the park.
Apart from alpine trees, you get to see unique birds, like chukar partridge, Himalayan snowcock, snowfinch, and animals like, Siberian ibex and snow leopard; animals that live in extremely cold temperatures.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
PC: Bernard DUPONT
Ranthambore is mainly popular for the royal Bengal tigers, since it is the best place to spot tigers in India. A jungle safari in the dry deciduous forests of Ranthambore will take you through numerous tigers, sloth bears, Indian leopards, to name a few.
It is also home to certain historic structures like the Ranthambore Fort, Padam Talao, etc. The safari at Ranthambore is between 6 am to 10.30 am and 2 pm to 7 pm, which differs by an hour or so depending on the season you visit in.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh was declared as a national park in 1968 and has been one of the popular parks in the North ever since. With a huge biodiversity, a safari through this park is certainly a delight.
Bengal tigers, nilgai, gaur and Indian leopards are some of the animals you get to see at Bandhavgarh. Safari timings is from 6 am to 11 am and lies between 2.30 pm to 7 pm, while differing by an hour or so during different seasons.
Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
PC: Mangesh V. Devikar
Settled within the beautiful ranges of Aravali hills, the Sariska Tiger Reserve, as the name suggests, is home to a huge number of tigers, which was an attempt at conservation that was made under Project Tiger.
You can see birds, like Indian peafowl, golden-backed woodpecker, and animals, like chinkara, caracal, Indian leopard, through a jungle safari here. The park is open only between October to May between 6 am to 3.30 pm everyday.
Sultanpur National Park, Haryana
PC: Ashley Coates
Sultanpur National Park is mainly a bird sanctuary in Bharatpur that is a haven for birdwatchers since it is an abode of innumerable migratory birds, such as Siberian crane, Eurasian wigeon, starling, rosy pelican, etc. Almost 100 different species of birds migrate to the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary every year.
The park remains open from 7 am to 4.30 pm everyday and is closed on Tuesdays.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
One of the oldest national parks of India, Jim Corbett was established by the man who the park is named after. It used to be a hunting ground but later was turned into a national park that protects various animals, such as tigers, barking deer, Himalayan goral, etc.
Revel in the magnificent flora of the park that includes small streams, lush greenery and waterfalls.
Kalesar National Park, Haryana
PC: Sumeet Moghe
If you wish to spot leopards in the wilderness, Kalesar National Park is your answer. It is home to numerous Indian leopards and to a large number of red jungle fowls. Animals found at Kalesar are crested porcupine, rhesus macaque, langur monkeys, etc.
The park remains open from 6 to 10 am and 4 to 7 pm in summer, whereas 7 to 11 am and 3.30 to 6 pm during winter.
Nanda Devi National Park, Uttarakhand
PC: Subhajit Saha
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Nanda Devi National Park is known for the magnificent valley of flowers that it houses. It is located on the peak of Nanda Devi at a fearsome height of 7816 m in Uttarakhand.
Himalayan musk deer, langur, rhesus macaque are some of the many animals you get to witness in this beautiful park.