India is a nation blessed with the best of nature. One of the most amazing attractions in the country are its wildlife sanctuaries. Right from the Northern state of Jammu & Kashmir to the Southernmost state of Kerala, almost every state in India is home to some of the most abundant wildlife sanctuaries that are home to rare flora and fauna. So, if you love nature, and want to have the best holiday experience, you can plan a safari to any one of these wildlife sanctuaries.
Here are the top 25 wildlife sanctuaries in India, along with their address and timings:
Located in the district of Nainital, Jim Corbett National Park is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries India has to offer. This sanctuary is profoundly known for its magnificent royal Bengal tigers. Apart from these exquisite animals, this place has abundant flora and fauna, making it popular worldwide. It is truly a remarkable wildlife sanctuary where you can spot endangered animals, enjoy waterfalls, visit temples and dams. Not only can you have an amazing camping experience, but you can also hop on various safaris to create adventurous memories for a lifetime.Best Time to Visit : October to July
The Ranthambore National Park, located in the state of Rajasthan, is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India. It serves as a national reserve for the tigers. However, peacocks, blackbucks, and spotted deer are also seen in this sanctuary, along with 270 species of birds. The best time to visit this place is in the summers from April to June. The extreme heat during this season causes the animals to move out in search of water, making it the best time to spot all of them. This park consists of many lakes but the Padam Talao is the largest one highlighted by the Jogi Mahal, a former royal hunting lodge. This park is also home to the largest banyan tree in India.Safari Timings : 7 am to 11 am & 2 pm to 5:30 pm.
Also known as Sasan Gir, the Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is home to regal Asiatic lions. This sanctuary is widely credited for saving these lions who were on the brink of their extinction. Gir forest is the only place where this race of lions are found in their natural habitat. It consists of about 109 males, 201 females, and 213 cubs. These big cats are tolerant of human presence as they frequently come in contact with human settlements in and around the vicinity. Here, one is guaranteed to spot the Asiatic lion in all its glory. Apart from these beautiful creatures, Gir also houses several reptiles, mammals, birds, and insects along with flora and fauna. The best season to visit Gir is between December and March. This national park remains closed from mid-June to mid-October every year.Safari Timings : 6 am to 5 pm.
Kaziranga National Park, famous for its vast diversity of natural wildlife beauty, is located in the Eastern state of Assam. The main attraction of this wildlife sanctuary is their one-horned rhinoceros. But it also houses different species of fauna like elephants, Asiatic water buffaloes, swamp deer, and many more. You can also witness the Ganges dolphins here. This national park is also an excellent location for bird-watching. Here, tourists can enjoy elephant safaris or cruises in a boat over the Brahmaputra River in the park. The best season to visit this national park is between November to April.Safari Timings : 6 am onwards to 10 am and 2 pm to 5 pm.
Popular for its Tiger Reserve, Kanha National Park is situated in the Maikal range of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh. This being the central highlands of the country, it possesses a lush habitat of wild creatures. It has many varieties of fauna and flora. Along with the Bengal tigers, barasinghas and the swamp deer is also a major attraction here. Sighting of the Indian leopard, wild dog, foxes, jackals, and sloth bears is also looked forward to at Kanha. Other than these wildlife creatures, this national park also has over 1000 species of flowering plants and 300 species of birds. Black ibis, grey hornbills, bee-eaters, cattle egret, blossomed-head parakeets, and drongos and some of the most often sightings of birds. Jeep safari and elephant safaris are the different modes of sightseeing in this park.Best season to visit : October to June
Protected in the evergreen, deciduous forests of God’s own country, Kerala, the Periyar National Park serves as a reserve for mainly elephants and tigers. This park is spread over 925 sq kms in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta. There are about 40 tigers present in this area. Other than this, there are 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fish, and 112 species of butterflies that are found in this national park. A trip to Periyar National Park promises visitors sightings of Bengal tigers, white tigers, Indian elephants, gaur, sambar, and sloth bears. Another major attraction here is the exclusive sighting of nilgiri tahr and nilgiri langur. The Periyar Lake flows through the forests. Boat safaris and elephant safaris are available here as well. The best time to visit is between October to June.Safari Timings : 6:30 am to 11 am and 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
The Sundarbans are located on the Southeastern tip of India. This national park is a UNESCO-listed world heritage site. The Sundarbans are home to the magnificent Royal Bengal Tigers. The Sundarbans are a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers, Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna, it also forms the world’s largest mangrove ecosystems. Apart from this, it also has the largest population of tigers in the world. Rare species of aquatic mammals, birds, and reptiles are present here. Thanks to the boat safaris, tourists have the opportunity to cruise through these dense forests and enjoy the wildlife, flora, and fauna. There are a few watchtowers here, namely Sajnekhali, Do Ban Ki, and Netidhopani. It also houses the Bhagatpur Crocodile Project. The best season to visit this place is between October to March. One can reach here by means of air transport, railways, and roadways.Timings : 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Spread over the Vindhya Hills of Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh National Park consists of 105 sq kms of forests and meadows. This national park forms a natural hub for the magnificent white tigers. There are elephant and jeep safaris available for you to get a closer look at these beautiful beasts. Tourists also visit the famous Bandhavgarh Fort, Badi Gufa, Bagheli Museum, and the three cave points. Birds like a sapphire flycatcher, yellow-crowned woodpecker, purple sunbird, little cormorant and many more make it a good destination for bird watching as well. The best season to visit Bandhavgarh is between October to March.Safari Timings : 6:30 am to 11:00 am and 2 pm to 6 pm.
Tadoba National Park, also known as Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, is located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. It is 1727 sq kms and it is the oldest and largest national park in Maharashtra. This park consists of a wide range of animals like tigers, panthers, wild dogs, barking deer, bison, jackals, porcupines, langurs, and sloth bears. The wide variety of trees like teak, bamboo, surya, tendu, shivan, and many more contribute to the deciduous forests and make a habitat for different reptiles and birds. This deciduous forest causes heavy rainfall during the monsoons. Monsoons are also the breeding period for animals. Hence, the best time to visit here would be winters and summers that is October to May. Tadoba is easily accessible by road and railways.Safari timings : 6:00 am to 10 am and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
The Great Himalayan National Park is a UNESCO-listed world heritage site located in the state of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It gained its UNESCO status because of its significant biodiversity conservation. The snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, serow, and musk deer are four endangered species found here in this national park. This park also houses 3 species of threatened birds like western tragopan, koklass, and cheer pheasants. This park is also responsible for the well-watered lowlands of the Indian plains. One can enjoy a lovely camping experience due to the park’s green cover consisting of massive oak trees. Another common activity here is trekking through the alpine pastures.Best time to Visit : March to June and September to November.
Silent Valley National Park, located in the Palakkad district of Kerala, is a dreamy destination. Tigers, leopards, elephants, lion-tailed macaques, snakes, and giant squirrels dominate the green rainforests. It houses 400 species of moths and 200 species of butterflies, as well as 1000 species of flowering plants and another 100 species are of orchids. Apart from this, there are also 128 species of beetles out of which 10 of them were previously unknown to mankind. Silent Valley possesses exquisite flora and fauna. The best time to visit this national park is between October to February. The park remains closed from March to May. However, it is open for visitors in the monsoon but you can expect heavy rainfall. Eco-tourism packages like trekking, camping, and trek to the Kunti river are mostly conducted here. The main attractive spot of this park is the watchtower from where you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the jungle.Timings : 8 am to 1 pm
Manas National Park, located in mesmerizing Assam, is the only place with the Project Tiger Reserve and Project Elephant Reserve at the same place. The pygmy hog, which is not seen anywhere else in the world but here, is the main attraction of this national park. It is also a habitat for endangered species like the tiger, the great one-horned rhino, swamp deer, and Bengal florican. Manas is credited for having sizeable populations of these endangered species. Jeep safaris and elephant safaris are available here. One can also indulge in river rafting at this national park. Along with these activities, visitors enjoy bird-watching as well. Tourists can also gain knowledge of tea plantations. The best time to visit Manas National Park is from November to April, pleasant favorable weather has a high possibility of spotting more animals.Safari timings : 7:30 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary because of the 230 species of birds found here, is the most important breeding and feeding ground in the world. This park has over 37 species of animals as well. This national park has gained recognition for migratory birds like green sandpiper and cranes. Birds from Afghanistan, China, and Turkmenistan come here. The critically endangered Siberian cranes are also found here in the winters. It is the only place in India where this happens. Exotic birds like spotted bill duck, cranes, pelicans, white-breasted kingfisher, painted stork, partridge, magpie robin, honey buzzard, rose-ringed parakeet, and green footed pigeons reside in this park. It is a beautiful destination to visit as it is made up of 2873 hectares of wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, and woodland swamps. Sambar, chital, nilgai, Indian porcupine, Indian gray mongoose, jungle cats, jackals, and hyenas make up the wildlife in this sanctuary. The best time to visit this place is between August to November to see the birds that reside here and from October to February to witness the migratory birds.Park timings : 6:30 am to 5 pm.
Stretching over an area of 881 kms, the Sariska National Park used to be a hunting reserve until it was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955. Located in the Alwar district, this national park comprises scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous, rocky hills, and grasslands. The dense forests here make it a good habitat for the tiger. However, there was a point when there were absolutely no tigers living in this national park. That’s when two tigers from Ranthambore National Park were relocated and shifted to this one in the year 2008 to recreate the tiger population here. Over the years, the tigers reproduced and now 20 tigers are residing in Sariska. Apart from tigers, wildlife in this national park include leopards, jungle cats, golden jackals, striped hyenas, wild boar, nilgai, sambar deer, small Indian civet, ruddy mongoose, and honey badger. Sariska is also an excellent location for bird-watchers as this park houses some of the rarest feathered species like the white-throated kingfisher, Indian peafowl, sandgrouse, golden-backed woodpecker, and crested serpent eagles. The best time to visit is from September to March.Park timings : 6:00 am to 8 pm.
Expanding over about 800 kms of dense forests, marshes, and grasslands, the Dudhwa National Park houses 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, and numerous birds. Animals like tigers, rhinoceros, swamp deer, elephants, sambar, hog deer, monitor lizards, wild pigs, langurs, sloth bears, porcupines, otters, and turtles are major attractions of this national park. Out of 1300 species of birds found in the Indian subcontinent, 450 species reside in Dudhwa National Park, making it an exceptional spot for bird watching. Beautiful birds like the Hornbill, red jungle fowl, peafowl, Bengal florican, fishing eagle, serpent eagle, paradise flycatcher, osprey, woodpeckers, Indian pitta, orioles, and emerald doves are spotted here. This park also has some of the best ‘Sal’ trees in the world. The best time to visit is November to June.Park timings : 6:30 am to 11:00 and 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Located in the hills of Vindhyan in Northern Madhya Pradesh lies Panna National park, spread over 550 kms. It is the 22nd tiger reserve of India and the 5th in Madhya Pradesh. This tiger reserve in MP has been gaining attention from nature and animal lovers. The sloth bear pangolin, Indian wolf, four-horned antelope, leopards, rusty-spotted cats, and Indian foxes are some of the animals one can spot here. There are also several sites here that hold historical importance like some stone paintings that date back to the Neolithic period. Tourists can enjoy looking at these paintings alongside the wildlife. Apart from this, the Ken River flows through this national park resulting in numerous beautiful waterfalls. 200 bird species are found here out of which a few are migratory birds. Some of the birds include white-necked storks, bareheaded goose, honey buzzard, king vulture, and blossom-headed parakeets. November to March is a good time to visit Panna.Safari timings : 6:00 am to 9:30 am and 2:30 pm to 7:00 pm.
Located in Karnataka, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest national park in the state. Submerged in the thick forests of the Kannada district, it provides a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The major attraction here is its crocodiles. Located on the banks of the river Kali, it is a great area for crocodile spotting. It also offers a variety of birds making it ideal for bird-watching as well. However, it also houses great predators, namely, black panthers, tigers, and leopards. Apart from these, you can also see sambar, barking deer, bison, elephants, and the giant Malabar squirrel. One could also stand a chance to spot giant iguanas and king cobras in this thick, dense forest. Jeep safaris are available here for tourists to view all these animals in their natural habitats. The best season to visit Dandeli would be from October to May.Safari timings : 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Also previously known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, the Nagarahole National Park is located in Karnataka. The name Nagarahole literally translates to serpent river in the Kannada language. This national park has about 300 species of flora and fauna, it comprises 32 species of mammals, 252 birds, 32 reptiles, 13 amphibians, 10 species of fish, and 45 tribal settlements. Nagarahole is home to 45 tribal settlements locally known as ‘Haadis'. It is also known for having the biggest congregation of elephants in the world. Nagarahole is also a major tiger reserve. One can also see wild dogs, leopards, bears, spotted deer, antelope, wild boars, and wild gaurs. The forest departments conduct two safaris a day from 6 am to 8 am and 3 pm to 5 pm in two different locations: Nanchhi Gate and Veerana Hosahalli Gate. The ideal season to visit here is November to February.Timings : 6 am to 8 am and 2 pm to 5 pm.
Named after the Bhadra river, the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is famous for being a tiger reserve. 33 tigers reside here. Other than these predators, the sanctuary is also home to elephants, wild boars, black leopards, gaur, jungle cats, jackals, spotted deer, sloth bears, slender loris, pangolin, and many more. There are also a variety of snakes, marsh crocodiles, and Draco or gliding lizards. Bhadra has 120 species of flora consisting of moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous, and semi-evergreen trees. Beautiful butterflies like the crimson rose butterfly, blue pansy, and family are seen here. Activities like boating and island camping also attract tourists here. Authorities have provided a 3.5 km trekking trail for those who are up for it. Jeep safaris and boat safaris are available at Bhadra. The best season to visit is from October to March.Timings : 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm.
Located in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park has gained attention after its mention in ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling. After the success of the Jungle Book, Pench has become a prominent wildlife tourist destination in India and the world. Spanning over an area of 758 kms, Pench has rich wildlife consisting of Sheer Khan (Royal Bengal Tiger), Baloo (Sloth Bear), Akela (Indian wolf), and Raksha (female wolf). Apart from these animals mentioned in The Jungle Book, the Indian leopard, jackals, fox, striped hyenas, four-horned antelope, and barking deer are also worth watching sights available here at Pench. Winters are the best time to visit this national park, which is from November to February. Due to the heavy rainfall and breeding season, the park remains closed from June to October.Safari timings : 6:00 am to 11:00 am and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary located in Idukki, Kerala, is famous for its Great Grizzled Squirrel. They are one of the most endangered animals right now with a count of only 200. Besides this squirrel, other animals like the tiger, leopard, wild elephant, star tortoise, tufted grey langur, gaur, spotted deer, and slender loris are seen here. There are crocodiles as well. Located in the Western Ghats, this sanctuary has a rich wildlife and great ecosystems. The heavy rainfall during the monsoon causes the flora to be quite exquisite too. There are sandalwood forests nearby Chinnar.Timings : 6 am to 6 pm.
Located near the Himalayan foothills of Haridwar, Dehradun, and Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park is a protected area for tigers. This park houses about 16 tigers. This park is mainly famous for elephants as it has about 600 of them. However, predators like the leopard also reside here. There are about 250 leopards present in this national park. Due to the river Ganga flowing through these areas, it has a rich biodiversity. About 400 species of birds are seen here, making it a great bird-watching destination as well. Peafowl, vultures, woodpeckers, kingfishers, and barbets are some of the many birds spotted here. The best time to visit here is during the winters as most of the animals are spotted during that season.Park timings : 6:00 am to 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Located in the foothills of the Western Ghat, the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary forms the biggest national park in the union territory of Goa. This national park houses carnivores like leopards, panthers, jungle cats, and toddy cats. Besides these, animals like the spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, hog, and mouse deer also reside here. If you’re lucky you can also spot hyenas, slender loris, sloth bears, and jackals. Along with these animals, 120 species of birds are also present here. Ruby-throated yellow bulbul which is the state bird of Goa is the most common bird spotted here. However, common grey hornbills, paradise flycatchers, Malabar trogon, white-rumped spinetail, and the jungle babblers also show themselves often. Snakes like the Indian rock pythons, russell vipers, and king cobras also dominate this park. Due to the extreme summers in Goa, the winters would be ideal to visit the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary.Timings : 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Hemis National Park is a high-altitude wildlife sanctuary located in Ladakh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is famous worldwide for its good population of Snow Leopards. Hemis spans across a massive 3350 kms. There are about 200 snow leopards here that dominate the area. Located in the North of India, the most endangered animal species that reside here are the Tibetan argali, Ladakh urial, Tibetan wild ass, and dholes. Other animals that can be spotted in Hemis are the red fox, Eurasian brown bear, and Tibetan wolves. Hemis is not only visited by wildlife lovers but also by trekkers and photographers. It is also a destination for bird watchers as it is home to a variety of birds like the golden eagle, lammergeier vultures, robin accentor, streaked rosefinch, red-billed chough, and fire fronted serin. The best season to visit this cold region would be in the summers, during May to September.Timings : 9:00 am to 5:00pm
Located in the lush deciduous forests of the Western Ghats, along the Mysore-Ooty national highway lies Bandipur National Park of Karnataka. Known for its breathtaking views, this reserve comes under Project Tiger as it has the second largest population of tigers in India. It used to be a private hunting ground for the Maharajas back in the day. Along with the tigers, it is also home to the Asiatic Elephants. Several other animals like leopards, sambar, dhole, jackals, sloth bears, muggers, and four-horned antelopes also reside here. There are over 200 species of birds found here. Tourists can enjoy trekking here as well. There are bus safaris and jeep safaris available here to witness all these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The best season to visit Bandipur would be from March to May.Timings : 6:15 am to 9 am and 2:15 pm to 5 pm.
All nature and wildlife lovers should try to visit all these amazing national parks and witness the true beauty of India.
The Ranthambore National Park, located in the state of Rajasthan, is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India. It serves as a national reserve for the tigers. However, peacocks, blackbucks, and spotted deer are also seen in this sanctuary, along with 270 species of birds.
The correct answer is Kanha Tiger Reserve the first wildlife sanctuary in India.
South Button Island National Park in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the smallest National Park in India.
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.
The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island has the maximum number of wildlife sanctuaries. According to National Wildlife Database, Andaman and Nicobar Island has 96 wildlife sanctuaries.
Perhaps the greatest claim to fame for Jim Corbett lies in the Corbett National Park, one of the premier wildlife sanctuaries of India. Then named after Lord Malcolm Hailey as the Hailey Park and renamed later, the Corbett National Park is one of India's most important tourist destinations.
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