Deep in the dark woods, the whispering wind rustles the leaves of the old trees. In the hush of the mysterious jungle, a deafening roar slices through the air sending chills down the spine. A royal beast with orange fur and dark stripes, strides in majestically. Would you dare look into those glowing amber eyes without your heart pounding in the rib cage?
An encounter with the Tiger is not for the fainthearted! This majestic creature is not just an enticing beauty but a wild ferocious predator. If you think you have what it takes to spot the big cat in its natural habitat, here's where you should plan to visit.
1) Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
PC: JULIAN MASON
One of the largest wildlife reserves in the royal state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is your best bet for a guaranteed Tiger spotting. The place used to be the royal hunting ground in the olden days. The myths and lore of the place echo the thrilling and bizarre stories of triumphs, tragedies, and encounters with the royal beasts. Best time to visit Ranthambore National Park is between October and June.
2) Sundarban National Park, West Bengal
Located in the Ganges delta, the Sundarban National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site. Spread over a massive area, the Sundarbans is not only a home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, but also to numerous endangered animals, birds, and aquatic species. Being the largest mangrove forest, here boats are used for transportation and sightseeing, unlike most national parks and tiger reserves.
The Sunderbans is open between September and March.
3) Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
PC : AJAY CHANDWANI
Famous for its thriving ecosystem and for being a safe house to the endangered Bengal Tiger, the Jim Corbett National Park is one of the oldest national parks in India. Situated at the base of Himalayas in the heavenly state of Uttarakhand, the park is stunningly beautiful. Elephant and jeep safaris arranged by the park officials can be availed. October through February is an ideal time to visit the Jim Corbett National Park.
4) Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Bandhavgarh National Park located in the state of Madhya Pradesh is popular for its largest population of tigers. Known to be the royal hunting place for the Maharajas of Rewa, the place has a legendary significance. Bandhavgarh is home to some of the most famous, named tigers that are distinctively large and beautiful, including Sita - who was the second-most photographed tigress in the world. Best time to visit Bandhavgarh is between October and April.
6) Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
PC: Rohit Gangwal
Surrounded by the dry deciduous forests, rocky hills and thorny grasslands, the Sariska Tiger Reserve is a tiger reserve and a national park located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Part of the Aravalli Range, the forest land rich in mineral resources is home to exotic flora and fauna. Apart from the bengal tigers, the national park also houses animals like leopard, jungle cats, Indian jackal, nilgai, chinkara and langur and some of the beautiful feathered species like golden-backed woodpecker, crested sperpent eagle, grey partridge etc.
7) Rajaji Tiger Reserve
Teeming with diverse and exotic wildlife, Rajaji Tiger Reserve is located in Uttarakhand. Set against the most scenic backdrop near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, the national park is spread across the districts of Dehradun, Saharanpur and Pauri-Garhwal. In addition to a population of Bengal tigers, the extremely picturesque landscape of the national park is home to Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, barking deer, Himalayan black bear, goral (mountain goat) and numerous resident, as well as, migratory birds, among many others.