Wildlife Sanctuaries

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Wildlife Sanctuaries

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Wildlife in India

India is unique in the richness and diversity of its vegetation and wildlife. India’s national parks and wild life sanctuaries ( including bird sanctuaries ) from Ladakh in Himalayas to Southern tip of Tamil Nadu, are outstanding and the country continues to “WOW” the tourists with its rich bio – diversity and heritage. Wildlife sanctuaries in India attracts people from all over the world as the rarest of rare species are found here. With 96 national parks and over 500 wildlife sanctuaries, the range and diversity of India’s wildlife heritage is matchless.

Some of the important sanctuaries in India are The Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve – Uttaranchal, Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Ranthambhor National Park – Sawai Madhopur, Gir National Park – Sasangir ( Gujarat ) etc. Supporting a great variety of mammals and over 585 species of birds, India’s first national park, the Corbett was established in the foothills of Himalayas.

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Wildlife lovers will be excited to see magnificent Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur, Rajasthan as it is the second habitat in the world that is visited by the Siberian Cranes in winter and it provides a vast breeding area for the native water birds.In the Indian deserts, the most discussed bird is the Great Indian bustard. In western Himalayas, one can see birds like Himalayan monal pheasant, western tragopan, koklass, white crested khalij pheasant, griffon vultures, lammergiers, choughs, ravens. In the Andaman and Nicobar region, about 250 species and sub species of birds are found, such as rare Narcondum horn bill, Nicobar pigeon and megapode.

While the national park and sanctuaries of northern and central India are better known, there are quite a few parks and sanctuaries in South India, too. For e.g. , Madumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagahole National Park in Karnataka. A tour of Indian wildlife sanctuaries and national parks is a fabulous experience. Contrary to the African Safari, the vegetation and terrain in India is such that wild animals are often solitary or in small herds, elusive and shy. Ranges of Safari Packages are on offer, courtesy the tourism departments of states as well as tour and travel agencies. These Safari / Safari Packages are unique and unparalleled. These Safaris facilitate seeing a tiger, a rhinoceros or a herd of wild elephants.

India has unmatched variety of flora and fauna that makes it extensively different from the rest of the world. Tourists visiting for wildlife tour in India, will enjoy during any season, but to experience migrating birds, tiger, leopard, barasingha and other rare species, then winter is the best season to visit sanctuaries especially for those tourists coming for wildlife tour in India. Due to water scarcity in the hot weather, animals come out in herd in search of water, therefore most of the sanctuaries are closed during summer season. Tourists can opt for jungle safari in an open jeep but the experience on elephants back is overwhelming.Wildlife Conservation Society ( WCS ) India in association with other NGO partners and tribal people, is making every possible effort to develop new models of wildlife conservation to preserve India’s most treasured fauna and to protect the environment.

Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

If you are looking to trail a tiger or track an elephant, India has the most exciting wildlife parks where you can do so. Its diverse landscape invites you to take a look into its rich wildlife that varies in every region, ensuring a different experience each time. So, put on your ranger’s hat and board this thrilling safari that will bring you a step closer to the country’s exotic wild.

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

The Ranthambore National Park is one of the last sanctuaries where the Royal Bengal Tiger roams free. Spread over 392 sq kms and located just 130 kms away from Jaipur, the deciduous forests of Ranthambore make for great wildlife viewing and though besides the tiger, one can spot other game like sambar, chital and panthers, it is primarily the tiger that one comes here for. Early morning and late afternoon safaris will take you to possible spots where a tiger and some of its cubs may cross your path. So come to Ranthambore and nine times out of ten you are bound to catch sight of the majestic tiger in all its natural glory. It’s a sight like no other – unique and exciting!

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

One of India’s prime destinations for spotting the wild at their natural best is the Corbett National Park enshrined in the foothills of Himalayas at Uttarakhand. Corbett is not just about the elusive tigers that steal the show (or end up being a no show at all!) as it shelters a vast diversity of rare flora and fauna making it the wildlife hub of India. For a close encounter with the striped beast, go for an elephant safari and don’t forget to keep your binoculars handy. Identify distinct deer species at the water fills or indulge in some quality bird watching. Corbett gives you endless possibilities of interacting with the wild, so come and connect with these magnificent creatures and discover that unique bond you share with nature.

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Sheltered in the Vindhyas of Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh National Park was the original home of the precious white tigers where they were first sighted in Rewa. The lush greens of this wild paradise are spread across 437 sq. Kms of land. So there’s a lot the wildlife enthusiasts can look forward to. Nilgai, Chinkara and Wild boars are amongst those easily sighted. Spotting a fox could be tricky. The park boasts of a healthy population of tigers which translates into extremely favourable chances of a sighting. Meet all of them and the others at the woods of Bandhavgarh, where pristine nature embraces the wild.

Periyar National Park, Kerala

Perched high on the Western Ghats in God’s own country Kerala is the picturesque Periyar National Park and tiger reserve also called Thekkady. The park is widely known for the large herds of Indian elephants which thrive on the Periyar River nestled in the dense forests capping the Cardamom Hills. Once you’re here there are just too many things to do. Capture playful elephants in your camera or look for the rare lion tailed macaque and take the Periyar cruise for some gorgeous views of the park aboard a luxury boat. All you need is to leave your hassles behind and let Periyar work its magic on you.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Spot the rhino’s head on the map of India and you’ll know where Kaziranga is. Habitat of the one horned rhinoceros, paradise for wild elephants and water buffalos, a prominent tiger reserve and a world heritage site in the state of Assam, the Kaziranga National Park is a haven for the wild. Ride through its meadows and marshes for a tete-a-tete with the Hog deer, sloth bears, capped langoors and some of the largest pythons in the world. Or stick close to its rivers and you’ll probably see the Gangetic Dolphins in full swing. For more, come to Kaziranga and discover some exotic surprises on its wild vistas.

Sunderbans, West Bengal

Enshrined in the swamped mangroves at the tip of Bengal is the kingdom of Royal Bengal tigers known as Sunderbans National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans are spread over a massive land mass of 4264 sq Kms, disappearing towards the south into the sea. The swamps help you locate the striped beasts seen resting in the estuarine mangroves, escaping the scorching heat. And since you’re there, you may also get to see snakes, crocodiles and fishing cats, all looking forward to preying on tiny marine species. Sunderbans treasure numerous rarities of flora and fauna making it the finest destination for an unmatched wild adventure. So get here and be a part of this unique experience.

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

One of India’s best tiger reserves, the Kanha National Park is nestled in the valleys of Banjar and Halon in Madhya Pradesh. Wildlife lovers from all corners of the world flock to Kanha to catch a glimpse of its tigers, spotted deers and wolves. The spectacular sunset at Bamni Dadar tops every itinerary along with a photographic moment with barasinghas or the swamp deer that are naturally endowed to give great poses. If you need one excuse to visit Kanha it’s definitely got to be the tiger walking through its sprawling forests in all its resplendent glory.

Mudumalai National Park, Karnataka

The Mudumalai National Park is a passage to its neighbouring wildlife reserves situated at the crossroads of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka in the northwest of the Nilgiris. It harbours a large variety of fauna and an interesting mix of flora with tropical green forests in one corner and dry deciduous in the other. What to expect of your safari at Mudumalai? Well, there’s the regular fare of Sambhar, Chiltals, wild boars, primates and elephants. But keep your eyes wide open, not just for the exclusive tiger, but also for the fierce dholes, known to keep the most vicious predators at bay.

Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat

The last preserve of the Asiatic Lion, Gir Wildlife Sanctuary sits at the brink of peninsular Gujarat in the southwestern belt of dry deciduous forests. One of India’s prime wildlife attractions, Gir is a flourishing hub for the big cats, which includes lions as well as leopards. In fact, Gir has the largest number of leopards in the country. The sanctuary’s waters are known to be infested with numerous muggers or marsh crocodiles catering to the reptilian interests of spectators. However, it’s the majestic prides scattered sparsely throughout the sanctuary’s territory that leave visitors awe struck upon an encounter and place Gir in a special category of wildlife conservation centers.

Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan

Do you regret not being able to get up early enough to hear the beautiful and serene chirping of the birds at the break of dawn? Well, just head to Keoladeo in Rajasthan and witness the melodious symphonies of birds that fly here from all over the place. Formerly a duck hunting reserve of the Maharajas, it has now become one of the largest wintering areas for migratory birds. Watch out for the famous Siberian Crane, Warblers, and Babblers, Red Kite, Cinereous vulture and Sociable Lapwing among others. With lush green lands and lovely lakes, this place is truly a treat for your senses.

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