To witness the sound of flowing rivers, the sight of grazing deer, the melody spread around by the chirping of birds and the sound of roaring tigers you will have to take a trip of your lifetime. A trip to the national parks in India where wild animals and birds can be spotted in their natural habitats. These national parks were established as an effort to conserve wildlife and the other endangered species. This experience of being in the nature’s lap and seeing all these animals from a close range is bound to be an unforgettable one.
In this series we bring you six national parks in India which would make your jungle experience totally worth it.
Jim Corbett National Park
Named after Edward James Corbett, yes our very famous Mr. Jim Corbett, this National Park is the first and the oldest national park in the country. It was established for the protection of the Bengal Tiger. It is located in the Nainital District of Uttarakhand. Corbett has been a hub for tourists and conservationists for a long time. Corbett seems to be one of those places where nature has spread its arms wide open to caress its inhabitants, the wild species of the park. The diversity here is worth watching. Bear and elephant are the two species found here in abundance. Go here for a thrilling jeep safari in the forest, a pleasant stay in the resort by the river where animals come to drink water, a visit to the Corbett Falls and if your lucky enough, a rendezvous with the Bengal Tiger himself. Best time to visit : 15th November to 15th June
Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National park is a tiger reserve in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh on the Indo- Nepal border in the Lakhimpur Kheri district covering an area of 490 sq. km. Apart from barasingha and rhinoceros, Dudhwa was also the home of the great Billy Arjan Singh. Interestingly, half of the world’s barasingha population is present in Dudhwa. Also, it became the first national park for the rehabilitation of rhinos from Assam and Nepal to save them from becoming extinct. Go to Dudhwa to see the majestic barasingha, swamp deer, sloth bear, jackals, rhinos and leopards along with a great variety of birds and reptiles. Dudhwa makes a perfect Jungle camping destination for adventure lovers. Best time to visit : 15th November to 15th April
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is the largest national park of the Tiger State – Madhya Pradesh covering an area of 940 sq. km. You must have read the famous novel “Jungle Book”, it were these lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines that inspired Rudyard Kipling for this eternal creation. The beauty of the forests of Kanha will inspire you too. Having saved the swamp deer from extinction, this national park boasts of a rich lineage of the rare Gaurs (belonging to the Ox genus), the rare black buck, sambhar, swamp deer, wild elephants and of course the tiger. It is said to be the most easy tiger spotting destination. While you prepare yourself for an eye to eye with the tiger do not forget to watch the sunset at Bamni Dadar, the most beautiful area in the forest. Best time to visit : October to June
Bandhavgarh National Park
This is the place where the famous white tigers of Rewa were discovered. It is located in the Umariya district of Madhya Pradesh. As history has it, this national park has a hillock which was given to Lakshmana by Lord Rama to keep an eye over Lanka, hence its name. This national park has a large biodiversity. It hosts the largest population of tigers in India and has a large breeding population of leopards. The first white tiger, named Mohan, captured here by Maharaja Martand Singh, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of Rewa. Visit Bandhavgarh to see where Charger, Sita, Mohini and B2 lived, yes these are the bengal tigers that became famous worldwide for being the strongest and most photogenic. Their cubs still rule the territory. The tiger density being 1 tiger for every 4.77 sq. km, so watch out! Best time to visit : February to June (The park is closed from 1st July to 15th October)
Kaziranga National Park
We often hear of Kaziranga when we hear of Rhino poachings in India. A world heritage site, Kaziranga national park hosts two- thirds of the world’s great one- horned rhinoceroses. Located in Assam, this park boasts of high species diversity and visibility owing to its location on the edge of Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot. The other major wild attractions include a large population of Indian Elephants, Indian Bison, Swamp Deer or Barasingha, Hog Deer, Sloth Bears, Tigers, Leopard Cats, Jungle Cats, Otters, Hog Badgers, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wild Buffalo, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, etc. Kaziranga National Park is also birding paradise. The grasslands are a raptor country that can be seen on safari makes a remarkable experience. These include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, etc.
Best time to visit : Mid November to early April
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger Reserve is located in the Idukki district of Kerala in the town of Thekkady. You must cover this on your trip to Kerala to make it complete. Periyar is known for the enchanting boat ride in the Periyar river through the middle of the forest. As the boat moves slowly in the water you get to see various wild animals that come out to quench their thirst at the banks of the river. Mostly Sambhars and Indian bisons can be seen at almost all times in the day. However, to spot a tiger you must be extremely lucky. A large variety of birds can be seen in Periyar for which do not forget your binoculars and camera. For more details read the blog. Best time to visit : October to June