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.
Ranthambore National is a major wildlife destination in Rajasthan and other than tigers, it shelters a sizeable population of wildlife species like Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Rufoustailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Longeared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose. There are also about 272 species of birds that include Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove and Crakes. Reptiles like crocodiles also catch lots of attention of the tourists here.
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.
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.
Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Your wildlife exploration would not be complete without visiting the Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh. This national park was established in the year 1981. Satpura National Park is located in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh in Central India and spreads over an area of 1427 sq.km. This wildlife is famous for the tiger which roams around freely. For the wildlife lovers this place is the best option for you. There are variety of other wildlife like 50 species of mammals, 254 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 50 species of butterflies and much more.
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.
Satpura National Park is a newer establishment and is probably amongst those few wildlife reserves where one is allowed to explore the park on foot (led by a guide). Apart from tigers, the park is home to hyena, leopards, gaur, sambar, chital, barking deer, chin Kara, mouse deer, wild boars, wild dogs, bears, black bucks, foxes, porcupines and flying squirrel.
Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand
Named after the legendary hunter turned conservationist 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.
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.
Other than tigers, the pride of Kanha National Park is Swamp Deer or Hard Ground Barasingha. Indian Gaur, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned deer are other commonly spotted animals in the national park. Reptiles like pythons, cobras, krait, rat snakes, vipers, keelbacks and grass snakes are also found and amphibians like turtles can be sighted every now and then in the reserve. Kanha also has a large variety of exotic plants and trees; a sizable number of birds can also be spotted in this forest reserve.
Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
the wildlife enthusiast who are seeking for some adventure and want to take some good pictures of the tigers then Tadoba National Park is the perfect place for you. The national park is one of the largest and the oldest National Park which has various psecies of animals and trees. Tadoba National Park is situated at the core of a reserved forest and coners an area of 1725 sq.km. The whole firest is overshadowed by teak and bamboo. Get amazed by the magical landscape of the marshlands, lakes and the rigged cliffs. You can find a variety of wildlife like panthers, tigers, hyenas, sloth bears, wild dogs, jackals, barking deer, bison, sambar and deer.
Tadoba is reckoned to be the largest national park in Maharashtra and is home to mammals like tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, striped hyena, nilgai, dhole, small Indian civet, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, jungle cat, chital, and four-horned antelope. One has the good opportunity to sight 74 species of butterflies here along with 195 species of birds.
Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
There is yet another national park which is a striking one on our list. For the nature admirers and the wildlife lovers this park is a treat. Nestled in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after Pench River Pench National Park covers an area of 758 sq km.The national park boasts of 25 tigers. They are usually seen around the Pench River, as the density of prey population is higher here. The National Park has many other species of flora and fauna. There are around more than 210 species of birds, including a host of migratory species.
The best time to visit the park is between February and April. This park remains closed during the month of July, August and September.
Tiger sighting remains the utmost interest of wildlife lovers in Pench National Park, however, the commonly spotted animals like Chausingha, Flying Squirrel, Sloth Bear and Spotted Deer also manages to grab attention of the visitors. The national reserve is home to about 33 species of mammals, 50 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles. It is also a great place for bird watching as this national park is a safe shelter for about 150 species of birds.
Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala
Periyar National Park is a notable tiger reserve in South India. Situated in Idukki and Pathanamittha districts of Kerala, Periyar boasts of rich biodiversity and absolutely scenic location. There are conflicting reports regarding the actual number of tigers in this wildlife reserve; a report in 2011 states that Periyar has six male and 12 female tigers, however later the officials declared that tiger reserve has 35 tigers in total. In 2013, four tigers were spotted together and this brought a ray of hope that the number of tigers in the park are on the rise. The Tiger Trail is a popular tour that is offered in the national park; this tour is conducted by poachers-turned-protectors. Each tour consists of 5 visitors and 5 guides with armed guards.
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.
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
A lesser known national park, Nagarhole is said to be one of the safest places for Indian tigers. Living in an uninterrupted atmosphere, tigers can have their unperturbed large territories here. Although tiger sighting is unpredictable, it has comparatively increased from early 2000. Most of the tiger sightings here are reported on the bank of Kabini River that flows through this national park. Apart from the tigers the national park is also famed for its large population of elephants. This scenic wildlife reserve is situated in Kodagu district of Karnataka and is spread over an area of about 643 sq kms
The best time to visit this place is during the dry season of February till June.
You can take a flight to the nearest airports are Mysore which is about 96 km and from Bangalore 236 km.
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Bandipur is yet another good place for tiger safari in India. This national park extending across an area of 874 sq kms is known for its rich biodiversity and good tiger count. According to a census in 2010, there were about 115 tigers living in unperturbed territories in this national park. So, you see, one actually has a fair chance to sight a tiger in Bandipur National Park. On your safari into the wild, other than tigers, elephants can be of main interest here.
The wildlife park is 220 km from Bangalore, 80 km from Mysore and 80 kms from Ooty.
The nearest airport is at Bangalore which is 220 km from Bandipur.