India has over 80 national parks spread all over the country. Some of these national parks are larger and more accessible than others. Travellers come here with the hope to catch a glimpse of the endangered tiger species.
The national parks are known to protect many more endangered animals and travellers coming here get a glimpse of these wild creatures. It is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers who get an oppurtunity to see the animals up close and learn about their lifestyle. Here is a guide to the 5 national parks tourists should have in their travel itinery.
1. Corbett National Park
The Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is a heaven for wildlife lovers, who wish to relax in the tranquil lap of nature. This park was previously known as the Ramganga National Park but was renamed as Corbett National Park in the year 1957. It derives its name from Jim Corbett, the famous British hunter, naturalist, and photographer who is known for having authored the famous book the ‘Man-Eaters of Kumaon'. This book mentions details of hunting experience in the Kumaon region of India. The national park is located at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas and is known for its lush green surroundings. It is home to nearly 160 tigers and is visited by tourists for its exotic sightseeing opportunities and adventure safaris. Some of the animals that can be seen in the park include leopard, elephant, spotted deer, Sambar, Hog deer, Barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, Ghural, Langur, and Rhesus monkey.
The dense forest of Corbett National Park.
Photo Courtesy: netlancer2006
2. Kanha National Park
The Kanha National Park is one of the biggest parks in Madhya Pradesh and is also a protected Tiger Reserve. In the 1930's, this area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, that were later joined together to make the Kanha National Park. The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. Other commonly seen animals in the park include the spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned deer. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to the author Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel, 'The Jungle Book'.
A langur spotted in the Kanha National Park.
Photo Courtesy: sankarshan sen
3. Bandhavgarh National Park
Another hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts is the Bandhavgarh National Park, that is spread across the Vindhya Hills in Madhya Pradesh. The park has steep ridges, dense forests and open meadows. It has over 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds here. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts who come here hoping to catch a glimpse of the White Tiger, Asiatic Jackal, Striped Hyena, Bengal Fox, Ratel, sloth bear, Jungle Cat, Gray Mongoose and leopard. The best way to enjoy the park is by going on a safari. You can choose from the option of either travelling by jeep or atop an elephant.
Head out on a jeep safari in Bandhavgarh National Park.
Photo Courtesy: Ishan Manjrekar
4. Ranthambore National Park
The Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is one of the largest wildlife reserves in North India and was once a princely game conserve. In the year 1955 it was established as a wildlife sanctuary and later in 1973 it was included in the first phase of the Project Tiger. The national park serves as a natural habitat to various wild animals such as tigers, jackals, leopards, hyenas, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and different varieties of deer. In addition, there is an abundance of aquatic vegetation, such as, lilies, duckweeds and lotus in the park.
A tiger spotted in the Ranthambore National Park.
Photo Courtesy: bjoern
5. Sundarbans National Park
Planning for a wildlife adventure? Then the place to head to is the Sundarbans in West Bengal. This national park is home to many a wild animals and birds and is also the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Divided between India and Bangladesh, the Sundarbans mangrove is a large area of protected land and is the single largest mangrove in the world. Although major part of the national park lies in Bangladesh, one third of it is located in India and is a major choice for tourists. The whole area has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Other animals found in this park include fishing cats, Macaques, wild boars, common grey mongooses, foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, Pangolins and spotted deer.
A crocodile resting in the water at Sundarban National Park.
Photo Courtesy: Anirban Biswas