India is home to some of the unique flora and fauna species which make wildlife sanctuaries in India a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. India boasts a rich biodiversity, as the geography of the country is dotted with thick forests, serving as the habitat of a huge number of wildlife species. From The Great Himalayan National Park in the north to Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in the south, India has a plethora of wildlife sanctuaries all over it. Rare and exotic species that can be sighted on Indian territory are Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, One-Horned Rhinoceros and many more.
The hope of spotting a rare, wild animal in its natural habitat is the most exciting kind of hope. The feeling of taking a safari in these dense forests accommodating such rare wildlife species makes adrenaline rush through your blood. Sanctuaries in India and the animals that can be spotted there make it a popular choice among wildlife enthusiasts all over the world. Some of the most popular sanctuaries in India where you can witness tigers in their natural habitat are Corbett National Park, Ranthambhore National park and Sundarbans National Park. If you wish to witness endangered one-horned Rhinos, Kaziranga National Park is the only place in the world. And, if you want to see an Asiatic Lion roar, Gir National Park is a great choice. If you get lucky, you may also spot a gorgeous Black Panther in Dandeli wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. There is so much more to explore in the wild spaces of India which you can find only when you visit these amazing sanctuaries.
Here are some of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India:
1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Among all the national parks in India, the Corbett National Park is the oldest and one of the best among the top 10 national parks in India. It was established in 1936 to protect the imposing Bengal Tigers. Located at the foothills of the Himalayan range of Uttarakhand, Corbett National Park is one of the hot spots of the wildlife lovers.
This park has been named after the popular wildlife story writer Jim Corbett. Beauty and wilderness of this park attracts enthusiasts from various parts of the globe. This wildlife tourist destination of India has also been featured in many wildlife documentaries in order to raise the awareness towards the mighty and stunning Bengal Tigers.
Places to Stay: 20 Best Resorts in Corbett National Park
Activities: Best Things to do in Corbett
Safari: Jeep Safari Adventure At Corbett
2. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, is one of the royal national parks in India. It is ranked as one of the top 10 wildlife sanctuaries in India.
The majestic Tigers are the pride of this national park. Surrounded by the Banas and Chambal River, this park serves as an ideal habitat for the predators and other animals of this park. Leopard, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Sambar and Hyena are some of the major animals found in this park. Tiger Safaris are immensely popular among the visitors of Ranthambore National Park.
Places to Stay: 30 Best Ranthambore Resorts
Places to See: 13 Best Places to Visit in Ranthambore
Packages: Ranthambore Safari Packages and Stays
3. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
The Bandipur National Park is the most popular among all the national parks in South India. It is a natural home to Elephants and several other endangered species. Lush forest of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats makes this park one of the beautiful parks in India.
The park is located 80 km away from Mysore and almost 215 km away from Bangalore.
Places to Stay: 10 Best Resorts in Bandipur
4. Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the man-made wetlands in India that has been declared as a National Park. It was formerly called as ‘Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary’.
This park hosts a large number of avifauna during the summers and is considered as one of the best national parks to observe exotic migratory birds and other birds of India. Located in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, this park serves as a primary centre for ornithologists and other zoological studies.
Places to Stay: Heritage Stay At Kiran Villa, Bharatpur
5. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park is located in Mysore district of Karnataka and is a popular destination for Tiger spotting. It is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’. With quite a large number of Tigers, this park also has a significant number of Indian Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Elephant.
Forests of this park are extremely rich with several species of high commercial valued trees. Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oak are the major trees found in this park. Along with the endangered Mugger Crocodile, this park also has more than 250 species of birds, 96 species of Dung Beetles and 60 species of Ants.
Places to Stay: Best Resorts in Nagarhole
6. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan
Sariska National Park is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Though it was declared as a Wildlife Reserve in 1955, due to a large number of Tigers within this park, it was later declared as one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in 1978.
Sariska National Park was the first national park in the world, which was successfully adapted by the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers as their natural habitat. Leopard, Jungle Cat, Stripped Hyena and Golden Jackal are also found in this national park.
Places to Stay: 10 Best Sariska Resorts
7. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is the only natural habitat of the endangered One-Horned Rhinos in India as well as in the world. Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries to explore the wildlife of Northeast India. It is also a highly visited park among the top 10 national parks in India.
This park also boasts of its number of tigers and other wildlife species. Due to the noteworthy number of tigers, Kaziranga National Park has been declared as Tiger Reserve Forest in 2006. Other wildlife consists Elephants, Wild Buffaloes and Swamp Deer. The park also witnesses a large number of migratory birds during the winters.
8. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Image Source: Subharnab Majumdar – Flickr
Enveloped by both dry and moist deciduous forests and also semi evergreen forests, the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit place. This is the right place for travellers to experience and admire the wilderness and the miracles of nature.
It is an extensive habitat for an array of plants and animals. One of the most beloved attractions of this sanctuary is the Bhadra River. It is a hub for the wildlife explorers and photographers. Adventurers must indulge in the wildlife safari at this park and witness the diversity of God’s creations
There are a number of animals like bison, gaur, leopard, elephant, tiger, sambar, boar, chital, deer, porcupine and muntjac. The bird kingdom here is also endowed with a variety of species like emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, malabar parakeet and hill myna. The woods are also a dwelling for the dreadful Indian rock pythons and king cobras.
Places to Stay: 19 Beautiful Resorts in Chikmagalur
Nearby Attractions: Best Places to Visit in Chikmagalur
9. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is another sought after destination in the list of national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Established in the year 1955, this park has gained a lot of attention due to its efforts in saving the rare and almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer, also known as ‘Barasingha’. It is also one of the well-maintained parks in Asia.
The other feature of the Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadar. Almost the entire park can be seen from this point. It offers the most eye-catching views of the animals in their natural habitat.
Places to Stay: 25 Best Resorts in Kanha National Park
Packages: Kanha Adventure Packages and Stays
Checkout: 9 Best National Parks in Madhya Pradesh
10. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Image Source: culturebowl.com
Sunderbans National Park is one of the largest and oldest in India. Located in the deltaic region of India, this park also shares its boundaries with Bangladesh. Covered with mangrove forests, Sundarbans is the original abode of the stunning Royal Bengal Tigers
It has the highest number of Bengal Tigers than any other parks in the world. Salt-Water Crocodile can also be found in this park. Sundarbans is extremely rich in avifauna, aqua fauna and reptiles. Some of the other endangered species in this park are Gangetic Dolphin, River Terrapin, Hawks Bill Turtle and Mangrove Horseshoe Crab.
11. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Image Source: Mandala Travel – Flickr
The Bandhavgarh National Park is another enticing name in the list of national parks of India. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, it is one of the largest national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Declared as a national park in 1968, this park has a noteworthy number of Tigers in India.
This park also has a significant number of Leopards and Deer. Among all the attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park, White Tigers are the most spectacular.
Places to Stay: Resort Stay in Bandhavgarh
Packages: Bandhavgarh Safari Packages and Stays
12. Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat
The Gir National Park and the Sasan Gir Sanctuary of Gujarat are the only wildlife sanctuaries in India that have Asiatic Lions. October-June is the ideal time to visit the place and watch these majestic beasts strolling in their territories.
The park was established on 18th September 1965 and it is one of the largest and elegantly preserved areas for the Asiatic Lions. Rivers and streams flowing through this national park remain occupied by the dwellers of the park.
Safari Package: Safari Tour of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat
13. Periyar National Park, Kerala
The Periyar National Park, Kerala is the only national park in South India as well as in India that has an artificial lake flowing through the forests. Located on the evergreen hills of the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary is also one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in India.
While boating in the Periyar Lake, visitors can behold the mighty beasts of this park, quenching their thirsts on the lakesides. Elephants, Deer, Nilgiri Tahrs and Langurs are the other attractions of this park.
14. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Image Source: eziitours.in
While visiting the Pench National Park in Madhaya Pradesh, the childhood fantasy of most of the visitors will turns into reality. Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ is based on the natural surroundings of this national park; this park is also known as ‘Mowgli Land’.
While Tigers are the most dominant species of this park, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Barking Deer are some of the other attractions. With more than 170 species of birds, this park has also become one of the best places for birdwatchers.
Checkout: 10 Best Jungle Camps in Madhya Pradesh
15. Manas National Park, Assam
Considered as one of the youngest names in the list of National Parks in India, the Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam has a large number of rare and endangered species. Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hod are some of the most endangered species of this park.
This park boasts of its 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds and a substantial number of reptiles and amphibians. Asian Elephant, Indian Rhinoceros, Water Buffaloes, Leopard and Assamese Macaques are the other dwellers of this park. It is also one of the popular destinations for river rafting.
Package: Wildlife Tour At Manas National Park
16. Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh
Image Source: Kiran SRK – Flickr
The Dudhwa National Park, a part of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, is situated in Uttar Pradesh. History of this park lies back into 1958, when it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary for Swamp Deer. Later, in 1978, it was declared as a Tiger Reserve due to its large number of tigers.
Where to Stay: Stay At Tree Of Life Jaagir Lodge In Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
17. Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Panna National Park is one of the best maintained National Parks of India. Declared as a Tiger Reserve Forest of India in 1994, this park suffered a heavy downfall in the number of Tigers due to poaching.
Among other animals found in this park, Chital, Chinkara, Sambhar and Sloth Bear are found abundantly in this park. Bar-headed Goose and King Vultures are the most commonly found birds among the 200 species of its avifauna.
Where to Stay: Stay In Wildlife Cottages At Panna
18. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Project, a Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra is the oldest and the largest National Park in Maharashtra. Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Stripped Hyena and Jungle Cats are some of the commonly found carnivores of this park. Sloth Bears, Gaur, Nilgai and Spotted Deer are the herbivores.
Forests of this park always bear the green colour due to the geographical topography of the park’s location. Axle-wood, a fire-resistant species of trees can be commonly found in this park. Among the other species, Black Plum, Arjun and Palas are dominant.
Safari Package: Tadoba Tiger Safari, Chandrapur
19. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
After the Periyar National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. This sanctuary is located on the Western Ghats and shares its border with Tamil Nadu on the Annamalai Hills. Among the 34 species of mammals found in this sanctuary, Panthers, Spotted Deer, Indian Elephant, Tiger and Nilgiri Tahr are the most spectacular.
It is also the dwelling of Mugger Crocodiles and more than 240 species of exotic birds. The presence of Thoovanam Waterfalls within the forests has made this sanctuary, one of the popular trekking and camping destinations in Kerala.
20. The Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
The Great Himalayan National Park lies among the lush coniferous forests of and the snow-capped mountain peaks Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the high altitude national parks in India. While the location of this park is itself a stunning feature, the emerald meadows in some portions of the park makes it one of the stunning parks in India.
Snow Leopard, Himalayan Brown Bear, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and Himalayan Thar are the commonly found animals in this park. It also houses 181 species of birds, and many more species of reptiles, annelids, amphibians and insects.
21. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Image Source: conservationindia.org
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Located on the banks of the Kali River, it is one of the highly visited wildlife sanctuaries in India. Black Panther, Flying Squirrel, Tiger, Elephant and Leopard can be easily spotted in this sanctuary.
Among the wide range of amphibians, Crocodiles are the major attraction of this sanctuary. It is also an ideal place for river rafting, trekking, Bird watching, Tiger and Crocodile spotting.
Places to Stay: 12 Amazing Resorts in Dandeli
22. Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
Image Source: anoop madhavan – Flickr
Located in the Kundali Hills near to the Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park is a very popular wildlife sanctuary in India. Being amidst the Nilgiri, the Nilambur, the Palghat and the Attappadi Reserve Forests, this place renders a mesmeric panorama.
Based at a height of approximately 3600 ft above the water level, this national park is blessed with a variety of flora and fauna. It is an abode to around 150 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and a 1000 species of blooming plants. The magnificent River Kunthi, flows through this park adding to its beauty and alluring more and more visitors.
One may spot a large number of rare species of birds like the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, Malabar parakeet, grey-headed bulbul, broad-tailed grassbird, rufous babbler, the white-bellied short wing and the great Indian hornbill. This place is also dominated by tigers, leopards, sambar, wild boars and gaur.
23. Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
Image Source: Prashant Ram – Flickr
Witness approximately 49 species of mammals like the Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, leopards, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, wild boar, goral, Rhesus macaques, yellow throated martin and many more at the Rajaji National Park. Based at the foothills of Himalayas this park is a heaven on earth and one amongst the most stunning wildlife sanctuaries in India.
It encompasses the a diversity of tropical and sub tropical woods like Sal forests, Riverine forests, scrub forests, grasslands and subtropical pine forests. The exquisiteness of the wilds along with the chilled climate magnetises innumerable travellers and has also made the Rajaji National Park an adored getaway.
There are around 315 species of birds like the great pied hornbills, Himalayan pied kingfishers, pea fowls, woodpeckers, pheasants, barbets, and fire tailed sunbirds and many more. Be in awe of the 60 species of butterflies which come from eight families at the park. The most excellent time to visit this place is during the months of December to March. Also enjoy bird watching and wildlife safaris from November to February.
24. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Mollem, a town in Goa. Located in the midst of the Western Ghats this sanctuary is enveloped by picturesque forests. This is one of those wildlife sanctuaries in India that possesses both historical and geographical significance.
It is a hub for bird watchers as it’s bestowed with diverse flora and fauna. This sanctuary is a cosy home for a number of animals that include the gaur, sambar, leopards, spotted Deer, slender toris, jungle cats, Malayan giant squirrels, pythons and cobras.
There is a Devil’s Canyon Viewpoint from where one can easily admire the wildlife at this park. The perfect time to explore this sanctuary is either early in the morning or late in the evening.
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25. Hemis National Park, Jammu and Kashmir
Being situated at an elevation that ranges approximately from 3300 M to 6000 M above the sea level, the Hemis National Park is known as the Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary. According to a declaration the Hemis National Park is considered to be the highest park all over the world.
A variety of alpine trees like anemone, gentiana, lloydia and a variety of steppe trees like caragana, artemisia, stachys and ephedra envelope and beautify this park. The sanctuary shelters animals like snow leopards, Ibex, shapu, bharal and many more.
There are about 16 mammalian species and 73 species of birds. An assortment of wildlife is seen at this park which includes around 73 species of birds like the snow cock, chukor, magpie, Himalayan whistling thrush, great grey shrike, red mantled rose finch, etc.
Note: We have included National Parks in this list since there is a fine difference between a wildlife sanctuary and a national park.