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10 Best National Parks in India
India with its diverse flora and fauna to exotic wild life makes for an ideal destination for nature lovers and wild life enthusiasts. If exotic wild life, charming landscapes, transcending natural beauty and serenity is your idea of travel then add these ten national parks to your bucket list:
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur
Popularly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, it is home to over 230 species of birds. It was once a venue for the annual duck shoots held in the honour of British viceroys, but now it is a declared protected sanctuary as well as a world heritage site. The sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise and scores of ornithologists and bird watchers arrive here in the hibernal season to watch the rare migratory birds.
Gir National Park, Gujarat
This wildlife haven is a forest and a national park located near Talala Gir in Gujarat. It is famous as the abode of the handsome Asiatic lions. The thick, dense and undistributed forests make it a perfect sanctuary for wild animals like asiatic lions, spotted deer, sambar, nilgai and antelopes. The forest of Gir was once the hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagarh. However due to the drastic drop in the lion population in Gir, the forest was declared as a national park and wild life sanctuary to preserve the lion population.
Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.— Stewart Udall
Mudumalai National Park, Tamilnadu
Mudumalai National Park and Wild Life Sanctuary with its splendid location in the foothills of Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu is a declared tiger reserve and paints a beautiful, lush-green scenery. The thin, spindly trees sprawling the park conceal many endangered and vulnerable species like tiger, leopard, gaur, spotted chital deer and wild grunting boar. There are about 266 species of birds here including the critically endangered Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Rudyard Kipling’s most notable work, The Jungle Book, is said to have drawn inspiration from the grassy meadows, ravines and bamboo forests of Kanha National Park. Located in Madhya Pradesh, this park is a popular tiger reserve. It has a significant population of Bengal tiger, Indian leopards, baraingha, the sloth bear and Indian wild dog. Adorned with captivating flora and fauna, it is the largest national park in central India.
A tiger is a tiger; he has his dignity to preserve even though he isn't aware of it!— Ruskin Bond
Sunderbans National Park, West Bengal
Sunderbans National Park is a national park and tger reserve which is a part of the Sunderbans, world’s largest estuarine forest and delta, situated on the lower end of Gangetic West Bengal. The delta is densely covered with mangrove forests making it one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of birds, reptiles and invertebrates including the salt water crocodile. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Tourists ususally travel to the heart of wilderness in national parks by jeeps. Sunderbans is unique in that way as here tourits explore the wild life through boats which glide through creeks and rivulets, bordered with mangrove forests.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
An ideal habitat for the one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park is located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. According to the census held in March 2015, , the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,401. Kaziranga is also home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger reserve in 2006. Besides tiger and one-horned rhinoceros, the park is also home to large populations of elephants, wild water buffaloes and swamp deer.This World Heritage Site is also a paradise for bird watchers as migratory birds in large numbers make their way to this place during winters. Vast expanses of tall elephant grass, marshlands and dense tropical forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra and numerous small water bodies make Kaziranga an ideal reserve for wild life.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Set in the heart of God’s own country, Kerala, Periyar Nat park is a popular tourist destination. Situated in the lap of Western Ghats, it is notable as an elephant reserve and tiger reserve. Its surrounding hills and picturesque lakes paint a beautiful picture. The lakes are also a source of water for the local wildlife tour. Apart from elephants, a repository of rare animals like gaur, wild pigs, sambar, barking and mouse deer can be spotted here.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
If sighting a tiger is tops of your list, then look no further as the density of tiger population here is one of the highest known in India. Known for its spectacular landscape enriched with green valleys & rocky hill terrains, this park in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh houses a wide array of wildlife like sloth bears, sambar, barking deer, Indian bison, leopards, nilgai, jackals, chital or spotted deer and birds.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Famous as the oldest national park in India, it was established in 1936 in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It was renamed after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. Corbett National Park was the first one to be listed in the Project Tiger initiative. Interspersed with hilly ridges and vast grasslands, Jim Corbett National Park is well known for its tiger richness and is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Bengal tigers, although plentiful in the reserve, are not easily spotted due to the abundance of foliage. Dense forest, the Ramganga river and plentiful prey makes it an ideal place for tigers.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Dotted with several lakes and rivers, the Ranthambore National Park lies at the junction of Aravali and Vindhyas in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. It was declared as Project Tiger reserve in 1973.The undulating landscape dramatically changes from gentle to steep slopes. The majestic Ranthambhore Fort towers over the entire area. Padam Talao is the largest of the many lakes situated in the park.The dry, deciduous forest of Ranthambhore is not only home to tigers, but also a variety of birds and animals like langur (monkey), Indian leopard, nilgai, caracal, striped hyena, jackal, sloth bear, jungle cat, marsh crocodiles, wild boar, chital and bears. It is one of the best places to see tigers in their natural habitat as tigers can be spotted here even in the day time.
7 Wonders of India: Sunderbans
© 2018 Shaloo Walia