With a coastline of 7,517 km, contrasting topography that spreads across the Himalayas, Thar Desert, Ghats and Sundarbans and four distinct climates, India is undeniably a veritable continent. India has abundant and rich biodiversity that runs throughout the country from the and from Kashmir to Kerala and Arabian Sea to Bay of Bengal.
India has close to hundred national parks that sum up over 1% of the nation’s land mass. While urban India, from Jaipur to Mumbai, Pune to Kolkata, is endemic with charm, India’s national parks depict a side seldom seen. Depending on terrain and the area National Parks also provide ample opportunities to the visitors to have a close encounter with the wilds. When it comes to watching the flora, fauna, avifauna, aqua fauna in their natural surroundings on a jeep safari or on an elephant, wild ventures are just perfect.
Let’s have a look at the top 5 National Parks in India:
Sunderbans National Park
The Sundarbans National Park is located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. The region is a magnificent tangle of mangrove jungle that’s the only one of its kind in the entire world. Spread a huge landmass of 54 islands, extending into neighboring Bangladesh, the Sundarbans is accessible only by boats. Exploring this region by boat is a thrilling experience that shouldn’t be missed. It has three wildlife sanctuaries, one within the national park at Sajnekhali, as well as south of the park at Lothian Island and Haliday Island. Other than the renowned royal Bengal tigers that can be found only in Sunderbans, the area also have reptiles, birds, and other animals such as monkeys, wild boar, and deer. The best time to visit the place is from December to February when the weather is cooler.
Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest and one of the largest national parks in India. Situated along the Ramganga River at the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, the park serves as a protected area for the endangered Bengal Tiger of India. The Jim Corbett National Park is a haven for the adventure enthusiasts and wildlife adventure lovers. It is the first national park in India which comprises 520.8 km area of riverine belts, hills, marshy depressions, large lake and grass lands. It can be explored by jeep safari, as well as on elephant back which is a thrilling experience of its kind. There are over 488 different species of plants and 585 species of resident and migratory birds in the park including eagle, blossom-headed parakeet and red junglefowl. Bengal tigers cannot be easily found due to abundance of camouflage in the reserve.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park has earned the honor of providing setting for Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel, The Jungle Book. Located in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, 160 kilometers of Jabalpur, the Park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. Kanha is well renowned for its research and conservation programs and many endangered species have been saved there. March and April is the best time to visit there when it starts getting hot and the animals come out in search of water. With a core area of 940 square kilometers and surrounding area of 1,005 square kilometers, the park is largest national parks in Central India.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh is renowned for its spectacular setting and having the highest concentration of tigers than any park in India. Located in the Madhya Pradesh state, about 200 kilometers north east of Jabalpur, the park features lush green valleys, rocky hill terrain and an ancient fort built on 800 meter high cliffs. It is a small park with an area of 105 squares that is open to tourists. Apart from tigers the park has huge array of wildlife including leopards, jackals, birds, bears and deers. The best time to visit the park is between March and April, when the temperature increases and the tigers come out to cool themselves in the grass or by a watering opening.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is a blend of nature and history. Located in the Indian desert state of Rajasthan, 450 kilometers south west of Delhi and 185 kilometers from Jaipur, the park features rocky plains and steep cliffs. It supports an assorted range of flora and fauna, including around 30 tigers. There is a formidable fort inside the park that was built in the 10th century and coveted by many rulers due to its strategic position between north and central India. The best time to visit the park is during the hot months of March and April, as most of the animals are seen that time when they come out in search of water. However it is comfortable to visit during the winter months. The best thing about this park is that it lies in close proximity to Delhi and tigers can be easily spotted here.