Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand
Named after the legendary hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett, this National Park was set up in 1936. It is often considered as India’s first National Park and has an interesting variety of fauna and flora.
It is located in the Patli Dun valley in the state of Uttar Pradesh and covers an enormous core area of 500 sq km. Situated at the base of Himalayas and on the banks of river Ramganga, this park is gifted with breathtaking landscapes. This is one few tiger reserves in India that provides a wonderful experience in nature.
The tiger reserve has been divided into five regions with each region offering great tours. The five different tourism zones are Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Domunda and Sonanadi. Among these, the Dhikala and Bijrani also jungle tour and elephant safari.
Each of this five regions are accessible through a dedicated gate. Every gate has different entry/exit timings and is accessible for different months of the year. It is advisable to contact park officials or refer to their website before making a visit.
Safari rides around this reserve provides a panoramic view of the lush grassland. The flora of this tiger reserve is highly varied and the purest forms of Sal trees are known to grow here. Many trees that cannot be spotted elsewhere in the country is easily found here.
Corbett is home to over 585 species of birds, seven species of amphibians, 33 species of reptiles, seven species of fishes and 37 species of dragonflies. Some of the animals found here include Bengal tigers, crocodiles, leopards and elephants. The majestic Bengal tigers of this region remains camouflaged within the shrubs and one has to get lucky to spot them.
As personal vehicles are not permitted inside the park, an elephant and jeep safari can help you explore its vast terrain. Opting for elephant that covers the core and the buffer zone of the park as well. Corbett Park also offers other adventurous activities like rafting, bridge slithering and river crossing on the Kosi river.
Corbett was the first National Park to come under the ‘Project Tiger’ which aims at preserving this endangered species. Accommodation is never a problem at Corbett, though it is advisable to contact your travel advisors in advance. Road distance from Delhi to this reserve is 290 km while Ramnagar is the nearest railway station situated at a distance of about 50 km from the Park. The nearest airport is in Delhi.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
Ranthambore is one of the country’s largest National Parks covering an area of 1,134 sq km. Located in Sawai Madhopur district of south-eastern Rajasthan, this tiger reserve was once the most sought after hunting destination of the royal Jaipur Maharajas.
The ancient fort located in the reserve premises are a favorite spot of tigers and leopards. This reserve also homes sloth bears, hyenas, Indian foxes, jackals and crocodiles.
This National park in Ranthambore has three lakes namely Padam Talao, Raj Talao and Malik Talao, where wildlife flocks to a great extent. This tiger reserve is famous for its diurnal tigers which are a blessing to all nature lovers and wildlife photographers. This reserve also breeds many marsh croc reptiles that include tortoises, Indian python, Russell's vipers and many other species.
The kachida valley located in the reserve outskirts has a generous population of panthers too. Another popular destination is the Raj-Bagh ruin that is located among two lakes. The ideal time to visit this tiger reserve is between February and March. The nearest town is Sawai Madhopur that is 11 km away and is also the nearest railhead. The nearest airport is at Jaipur, situated at 145 kilometers from Ranthambore.
Sunderban Tiger Reserve, West Bengal
Covering a massive area of 2585 sq km, Sunderban is home to the much acclaimed Royal Bengal tiger. It also houses a large number of highly endangered species that include aquatic mammals and reptiles. This tiger reserve has numerous creeks and tributaries that come from three rivers namely Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
A UNESCO world heritage site, this tiger reserve is located at the southern most tip of West Bengal, the place where the wetland meets the glorious sea. Apart from being the largest tiger reserve and National Park in the Indian Subcontinent, it also has the largest mangrove forest and has an unique estuarine mangrove ecosystem that has amazed environmentalists to a great extent.
This tiger reserve derives its name from the ‘Sundari’ tree. The central area of this reserve has its own natural boundaries with the river Matla on its West, the river Haribhanga on its East and with Netidhopani and Gosba in the North. These attributes make this tiger reserve an absolute paradise, a majority of which is unexplored.
Unlike other National Park and Tiger Reserves in India where jeeps and roads serve for sightseeing purposes, Sunderbans uses boats for transportation and sightseeing. The rivers have an overwhelming effect on the nature lovers and its unimaginable dangers leave the adventurists vigilant and prepared for everything.
Sunderbans is home to 400 tigers.The aqua fauna also includes a diverse array of fish, crabs, crocodiles and Ridley sea turtles. In fact, Sunderbans’ highly productive ecosystem also acts as a natural fishing nursery.
There are about 248 bird species that can be found here including a large number of migratory birds that visit the park during winter months every year. Thus, a healthy bird population makes this destination ideal for bird watchers and bird photography.
This is one of the few tiger reserves in India that is open for tourist access from the months of September to March. The finest time to visit is between December and February.
It is during this time that migratory birds make a striking appearance and enthrall spectators. The nearest town to this reserve is Gosaba which is about 50 km away. Canning is the nearest railhead that is 48km away from the reserve. The nearest airport is at Calcutta, 112 km away.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the most popular tiger reserves in India. It has the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers and it houses ancient Bandhavgarh Fort which has great historical importance. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park covers a distance of 820 sq. km.
Apart from the highest number of tigers, Bandhavgarh is a popular breeding spot for leopards and various species of deer. It has a rich historical past and a large biodiversity. The park has been divided into three major zones named as Magdi, Tala and Bamera out of which Tala attracts a large number of tourists by offering numerous tiger sighting opportunities.
Spread in the Vindhya Hills of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh boasts of large and beautiful tigers. A tigress named Sita, the second most photographed tiger of the world once appeared on the cover of National Geographic. A magnificent trip to Bandhavgarh will surely take you to rich and tranquil grasslands, sharp hillocks, undulating forest and open meadows and the 39 historical caves of the Bandhavgarh Fort.
Best time to visit: February to June (closed from July 1 to October 15)
-Winter Timings: 6:00-11:00am & 3:00-6:00pm
-Summer Timings: 5:30-10:30am & 3:30-6:30pm
Safari cost: INR 5500-6500
Location: State Highway 10, Near Petrol Pump, Bandhavgarh, District Umaria, Tala, Madhya Pradesh.
Sariska Tiger Reserve - 200 km from Delhi
Situated at a distance of only 200 km from Delhi and 107 km from Jaipur, Sariska National Park provides tourists and nature enthusiasts an opportunity to spot Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, and Crocodiles. This tiger reserve is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan and it is the best wildlife sanctuary near Delhi which comprises of dry deciduous forests, rocky landscapes, hilly cliffs and scrub thorn forests.
Sariska Tiger reserve has a rich flora and fauna and is a habitat of relocated Bengal Tigers. It is also home to breeding tigers and plenty of reptiles and birds. Apart from its wildlife, this tiger reserve offers many attractions such as Kankarwadi fort, located at the center of the tiger reserve.
The top of Kankarwadi fort provides a panoramic view of flying Egyptian vultures and eagles.Set against the backdrop of Aravalli hills, Sariska Tiger Reserve houses the ruins of the medieval temples of Garh-Rajor belonging to the 10th and 11th centuries.
The Siliserh Lake on the edge of the park is home to a large number of crocodiles. Also, it is the only tiger reserve which is in close proximity to both Delhi and Rajasthan, which makes an ideal weekend getaway.
-7:00 am to 4:00 pm in October- February
-6:30 am to 5:00 pm rest of the year
Safari cost: Jeep- 500-600 INR per person
Vehicle Entry Fees (INR):
-Cycle Rickshaw: 5.
Entrance fee: INR 20 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.
Video camera fee: 200Location: Near Kraska, Alwar District, Sariska, Rajasthan
Best time to visit: Mid October to January
Where to Stay: 11 Best Sariska Resorts
Panna National Park,Madhya Pradesh
Panna Park, the best maintained national park of India, is located in Panna and Chattarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. Situated at a distance of 57 km from Khajuraho, Panna National Park covers an area of about 543 sq. km.
Panna National Park is home to some of the best wildlife species in India including tiger, leopard, wolf, hyena, wild dogs and sloth bears. Apart from these, Panna has over 200 species of birds, a variety of reptiles including rock python and rich floral species.
Every year thousands of visitors turn up exclusively to witness the famous Pandav Falls. The Gorges and falls across the course of River Ken offer a beautiful and beholding view. There are about 8 species of crocodiles in the Ken River that runs through Panna National Park.
Situated on the Vindhyachal Ranges, Panna is rich in beautiful scenic views and waterfalls. At the footfalls, there are some ancient caves, perennial local springs and lush green surroundings. Due to its closeness to the popular tourist attraction of Khajuraho, Panna remains a popular stop-over destination.
Best time to visit: December to March
-Winter season: Sunrise to 11:00 am & 3pm to sunset
-Summer season: Sunrise to 11:00 am & 4 pm to sunset
Entry fee (all prices in INR):
-Indian Nationals - 40
- Foreigners (including morning and evening safari)- 500
Jeep Rental: 1500/ half day
Still camera: 40
Video camera: 200Location: NH 75, Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh
Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala
Get stunned by the enchanting beauty of the region with the mountain scenery and the wildlife. The forest is a home to sambar, wild boar, langur, 900 to 1000 elephants. There are about 35 to 40 tigers which are very rarely spotted here.
The Reserve is open throughout the year. But the best time to visit is during the winter months of November to February as the weather remains pleasant.
If you are travelling by flight then Madurai Airport just at a distance of 140 km. If you are travelling by train than Kottayam Railway Station is just 114 km away from the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Bandipur National Park, a tiger reserve located in the south Indian state of Karnataka, spans a rough area of 874 square kilometers. Once a private hunting ground of the Maharajas of Mysore, this dry deciduous forest is well -known for its small population of tigers. Protecting several species of India’s endangered wildlife, Bandipur forms the largest habitat of wild animals in South Asia.
Bandipur has a variety of biomes including moist and dry deciduous forests and shrub lands. On the north flows the Kabini River and on the south flows the Moyar River. Considered as one of the best-managed parks of India, Bandipur National Park has a warm and comfortable climate. One can enjoy camping and lodging in the national park and it also offers numerous opportunities for safari tours.
Bandipur boasts of tremendous counts of wildlife species and a wide variety of flora. It is home to a sizable number of tigers, sloth bears, Indian rock pythons, jackals, dholes and Indian elephants.
Located between the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats, Bandipur National Park has a pleasant scenery to offer. It falls en route the beautiful and scenic Ooty and is only 80 kilometers from Mysore. Coorg, the Scotland of India is at a distance of only 140 km from Bandipur.
Bandipur offers numerous activities like natural trails along the rivers of Kabini and Moyar, White Water Rappelling, Jeep Safaris and River Rafting.
Park timings: 6:30 AM - 8:30 AM & 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Entry fee (INCLUDING SAFARI):
-For Indian nationals: 300 INR
-For foreigners: 1500 INR
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Located in the Kodagu and Mysore district of Karnataka, Nagarhole National Park is a majestic park to watch the wild run free in their natural habitat. Nagarhole has an interesting variety of flora and fauna. Officially known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, it is home to around 48 royal tigers.
Nagarhole National Park is located in the foothills of Western Ghats and covers an enormous area of 643 square kilometers. Having a rich forest cover, hills, streams, valleys and waterfalls, this national park is home to a variety of wild animals, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. It forms the largest protected area in southern India with the adjoining Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park, and Wayanad National Park.
Nagarhole is home to the largest congregation of Asiatic elephants in the world, and has the largest concentration of herbivores in Asia. The three major predators- Tiger, Leopard and Dhole or wild dog, co-exist here in high densities.
It offers a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities and pleasant temperature all year around. With its rich biodiversity and the pristine Kabini River, Nagarhole National Park is on every Nature Enthusiast’s list of must visit.
Best time to visit: October to February
Park timings: All days 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 to 6:30 pm.
-Domestic Adult- 50
Still Camera Fee: 150
Video Camera Fee: 1000
Jeep safari:(Safaris can be booked through tour operators and resorts)
-700 for domestic adults
-1500 for foreigners
Mini Bus: 100 per person
Activities that can Done: Still Water Rafting and Boating in River Kabini, White Water Rapelling, Elephant Rides, natural trail along the shores of River Kabini and visit to Irupu Waterfalls.Location: Kodagu, Karnataka, India
Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The best time to visit the park is between February and April. This park remains closed during the month of July, August and September.
The park is well connected with major places. It can be accessed by road as well as railway. The nearest rail-head is at Ramtek and a bus can be taken for the next 35 km to the Park.
Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madya Pradesh
Kanha Tiger Reserve is situated in Madhya Pradesh and spreads across an area of 940 sq km. This wildlife reserve was established in 1955 with the sole purpose of preserving a few endangered species. The name Kanha comes from the name of a clay like soil, Kanhar that is found in the low lying land of this region.
The mesmerizing topography which includes a horseshoe shaped valley has earned this ‘Tiger land’ an immortal depiction. The Banjar forests and the Halon valley in this reserve offer a picturesque sight. The open grassy meadows and the magnanimous forest has a mesmerizing and heart-warming effect on nature lovers and it's also regarded as one of the best Tiger reserves in India.
In addition, the crystal clear streams randomly flowing across the landscape makes a profound impact that lasts for ages. The best location here is the sunset point called Bamni Dadar that one cannot afford to miss.
Apart from tigers, this reserve pets bison, gaur, sambar, chital and many more species. What deserves a special mention is the hard-ground Barasingha, also called the swamp deer, an endangered species that can be found only here.
There are many tour packages offered in this reserve that extends from days to weeks and one can opt for a suitable package based on their convenience and availability. Tourists flock in great numbers during April, May and June.
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Kanha. The nearest town is Mandla which is 65 km by road. The closest railway junction is Jabalpur, at a distance of 160 km and the nearest airport is in Nagpur which is 266 km away.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu
Previously known as Indira Gandhi Sanctuary and National Park, Anamalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Anaimalai Hills of Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet taluks of Coimbatore District and Tiruppur District in Tamil Nadu. Covering an area of about 958 Sq. km, Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a unique ecological tract in the Western Ghats.
The climatic variations and undulating topography support a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is home to around 2,000 species of plants of which 400 possess medicinal value. From enchanting tropical evergreen forests to thorny forest and scrub jungles, Anamalai’s beautiful climate and diverse terrain support a variety of vegetation with striking differences. The Anamalai Reservoir also houses a large number of crocodiles.
Anamalai is home to a variety of mammals and reptiles including tigers, Indian leopards, wild boar, giant squirrel, barking deer, giant elephants, pythons, cobras, vipers, wild pigs and Nilgiri langurs to name a few. Anamalai offers interesting sightseeing, trekking, boating and elephant safari opportunities to tourists. The Vaalaparai waterfalls also make for a beautiful visual treat.
Best time to visit: May-June and October-February
Park timings: 6:00am to 12:00 and 3:00 to 5:00pmLocation: 176, Meenkarai Road, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu 6420
Rajaji Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand
Nestled between the Shivalik Ranges and the Indo-Gangetic Plains, Rajaji National Park is home to a vivacious wildlife and broadleaved deciduous forests. Covering an area of about 820 sq. km, Rajaji National Park is most renowned for its elephants.
Offering over 500 species of birds, Rajaji forms the first staging ground after the migratory birds cross over the Himalayas. A substantial number of tigers hoard at the Rajaji National Park due to its varied topography. The park is famous for its Himalayan black bear.
It is at a distance of 10 kilometers from the sacred Haridwar and forms a popular stop over destination for people visiting Haridwar. This national park remains open between 15th of November to 15th of June every year. It is closed in monsoon due to heavy snowfall owing to abundant rains creating havoc and landslides. Rajaji offers naturalists, bird watchers and adventure trekkers an opportunity to soak in its dense green jungles, alpine meadows, beautiful tall grasslands and snow-capped peaks and glaciers.
This largest protected area of the Himalayas, opens a vista of enchanting wildlife for nature enthusiasts, photographers and tourists. Rajaji National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity and is replete with endangered species like Western Tragopan. Rajaji offers a plethora of opportunities and safaris to spot the Royal Tiger roaming with pride in the National Park.
Best time to visit: April-June and October-November
-November- June: 7:00 am to 10:00 am & 13:00 pm to 14:00pm
-February-June: 6:30 am to 9:30 am & 14:00 pm to 15:00 pm
Jeep safari cost (INR)
Indian nationals: 3395/person
Location: 5/1, Ansari Road, Mohand Range, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Indravati Tiger Reserve, Chhattisgarh
Named after the Indravati River, Indravati National Park is one of the most notable tiger reserves in India. The densely forested areas, undulating hilly terrains, avifauna and its unique wildlife makes Indravati, a paradise for nature lovers.
Located at a distance of 297 km from Jagdalpur, Indravati is the only tiger reserve in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. This national park is home to endangered species of wild buffaloes and hill Mynas. Ample varieties of tigers and animals including leopards, Indian Bison, Nilgai, Wild Boar and Flying Squirrel attract thousands of tourists every year.
Previously known as Kutru National Park, Indravati is a major tourist attraction for bird watchers owing to its large collection of birds. Rare species of sloth bears, dhole or wild dog, striped hyena and freshwater crocodile are prominent collections of the Indravati National Park.
The lush green forests, undulating terrains, alpine hills and the pristine Indravati River flowing through this park, makes it an irresistible destination that would leave you asking for more. It provides an array of adventure activities to visitors, like boating in river Indravati, natural trail along the banks of the river, jeep safari, etc.
Best time to visit: Mid-December to Mid-June
Park timings: 7:00 am to 6:00 pmLocation: Bijapur H O, Bijapurdistrict, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
Manas National Park, Assam
Located in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, Manas National Park, is also a UNESCO world heritage site and a project tiger reserve. Manas National Park is abutting with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan and lies in the Himalayan Foothills. With a core area of 500 sq. km, Manas National Park extends from Sankosh River in the west to Dhansiri River in the east.
Manas has a rich biodiversity with pristine Terai grasslands merging with Bhabar grasslands and 543 species of plants. Manas is considered a site of what Earth probably looked like before the arrival of man.
It is predominantly famous for its tiger and elephant reserve, and boasts of an endangered and rare wildlife. This park is named after Manas River, a major tributary of Brahmaputra River, which flows through the heart of the park. Manas National Park enchants you with its unique natural beauty and scenic landscapes set against the foothills of the ever-mesmerizing Himalayas.
The Manas River gushing from the heart of the park, lush green hills, rugged terrains, and tropical evergreen forests along with the wildlife, offers a unique experience of wilderness to the nature enthusiasts and tourists. Manas National Park is probably the only national park that offers night excursions to explore wildlife. Manas offers a number of activities like Tiger Spotting, Elephant Ride and Boating in river Manas.
Best time to visit: October to April
Park timings: 5:30 am to 6:30 pm
-Indian citizen- 20 INR
-Foreign National -250 INR
Still and video camera charges: 50 INR and 100 INR respectively for Indians and 500 for foreigners
Jeep entry fee: 300 INR
-Indian- 120 INR
-Foreigner- 750 INR
Boat ride (8 seater) – 8000 INRLocation: Fatemabad- Mathanguri Road, Jyoti Gaon, Assam.
Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, Chhattisgarh
Covering over 557.55 Sq. km, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is a biosphere reserve located in the Mungeli district of Chhattisgarh. It is also a confluence point of three rivers namely Sone River, Johila River and Narmada River on Malakal hills, offering a thrilling experience to trekkers.
It is one of the most well-equipped tiger reserves in India with a coffee house, a restaurant, and many other facilities. Located at a mere distance of 60 km from Bilaspur, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is home to 35 Bengal Tigers and many other animals including Indian leopard, sloth bear, Indian Jackal, black buck, wild boar and Nilgai to name a few. With the meandering Maniyari River flowing through the heart of Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, tall bamboo vegetation, and the wild tropical deciduous forests, it forms the most sought after national parks in Chhattisgarh.
Achanakmar has over 500 medicinal plants and boasts of over 100 species of migratory birds during winters. Apart from these, Achanakmar has a robust leopard population, which makes it the ideal park to spot leopards. With its extraordinary beauty and rich biodiversity, Achanakmar attracts thousands of nature enthusiasts and tourists every year.
Best time to visit: November-JuneLocation: Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.
Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
Explore the wildlife with the Gypsy and Jeep Safaris which are always available in Tadoba National Park. To get the real taste of the wildlife the best time to visit is from February to May, Gaurs, tigers, herd of deer and other animals can be spotted at this time of the year.
If you are taking a flight then Nagpur (140 Km) is the nearest airport from where it takes 3 hour taxi rides to reach the park. You can also take the train to Chandrapur (49 kms) from the reserve.
Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Once you reach the reserve you can enjoy jeep safari, elephant safari, walking safari and boat safari.
Satpura National park is close to Pachmarhi hill station and can be easily travelled by road from cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur, Chindwara, and Nagpur. If you are travelling by train than you can take the Sohagpur station which is about 20kms from national park.
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Although the sanctuary is opened all year round but the best time to visit this sanctuary is during the month of April and May.
You can drive from Sakoli which will be about 22 km. If you are taking a flight then you can take the flight to Nagpur airport.