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 species that live here.
The national parks are known to protect many 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 8 national parks tourists should have in their travel itinerary.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is the pride of Assam. It is noteworthy to mention that it is home to the endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros and was also declared as a tiger reserve in 2006. The national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kaziranga tourism is not just about spotting one of the many one-horned rhinoceros or tigers that gracefully trudge the large grounds, but also to see the three large herbivores that live in the park, namely, the Asiatic Elephant, the Asiatic Water Buffalo and the Swamp Deer.
Photo Courtesy: Diganta Talukdar
Corbett National Park
The Corbett National Park is a heaven for wildlife lovers, who wish to relax in the tranquil lap of nature. It derives its name from Jim Corbett, the famous British hunter and photographer who is known for having authored the famous book the ‘Man-Eaters of Kumaon'. 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.
Photo Courtesy: Soumyajit Nandy
Kanha National Park
The Kanha National Parkis one of the biggest parks in Madhya Pradesh and is also a protected Tiger Reserve. 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'.
Photo Courtesy: Alosh Bennett
Manas National Park
Manas National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the state of Assam and has been declared as an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, a Project Tiger Reserve, Biosphere Reserve and an Elephant Reserve. It is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and extends up to Bhutan where it becomes the Royal Manas National Park. The park is home to several kinds of endangered animals such as the Hispid Hare, Assam Roofed Turtle, Pygmy Hog and the Golden Langur.
Photo Courtesy: Pankaj
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is the ideal spot for nature as well as adventure lovers. In 1931, Maharaja ofMysorefounded this national park. Tourists can enjoy beautiful views from all corners of the park as it is encircled by Nagur,Kabiniand Moyar rivers. The park is provides habitat to several animals, such as tigers, four horned antelopes, giant squirrels, elephants, hornbills, wild dogs, panthers, sloth bears and gaurs.
Photo Courtesy: Rameshng
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.
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.
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 a 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 includefishing cats,Macaques,wild boars, common grey mongooses, foxes,jungle cats,flying foxes,Pangolins andspotted deer.