Must Visit National Parks in India
India is paradise for wildlife lovers. There is abundance of wildlife in every part of India. Today India is home to some rare wildlife species that have become extinct from the rest of the world. Today India is the only place in the world where you will find One Horn Rhino and Asian Lions. Since there are over 40 national parks in India, here are some of the best which you should consider visiting.
Corbett National Park
Corbett is India's oldest and one of the biggest national parks. It is located in Uttarakhand and despite the tragedy that happened in the state last year it is completely accessible to the tourists. There are over 100 wildlife species at the Corbett National Park but the star attraction are Royal Bengal Tigers. You can take Elephant or jeep safari to check out wildlife in the Corbett National Park.
The park is also a paradise for bird watching. There are whopping 500 species of birds at the Corbett National Park. The best time to visit is during winters when all the migratory birds take shelter here. You should however avoid visiting the park during monsoon due to floods and landslides that are common in the Uttarakhand.
Gir National Park
Gir is the pride of Gujarat. A lot of tourists Plan a vacation of India specifically to visit Gir National Park. The reason being that Gir National Park is the last remaining abode of Asian Lions on Earth. There is no other place in the world where you can spot Asian Lions. There are over 400 Asian Lions at Gir National Park. You can take an elephant or jeep safari to spot them.
A major misperception about Gir National Park is that it’s all about Asian Lions. While it’s true that Asian Lions are the major attraction, the fact is that Gir is home to over 30 wildlife species and 300 species of birds. Some very rare birds are found at the Gir National Park. Therefore do not forget to bring your camera to take some pictures.
Kaziranga National Park
If Gir is perceived to be all about Lions then Kaziranga National Park is all about One-horned Rhinoceros. The park is located in Assam and currently home to two third of the total population of One-horned Rhinoceros in the world. There are more than 2000 Rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park.
Kaziranga also serves as a tiger reserve. There are more than 100 Bengal Tigers at Kaziranga. Currently it has the highest density of Tigers in comparison to any other national park in the world. This is the reason why this park has got a place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is considered as one of the the best tiger reserves in the country. You have more chance of spotting a Bengal Tiger at Kanha National Park than several other national parks in the country. Kanha is located at the center of India in the state called Madhya Pradesh.
Kanha is a very beautiful national park. Each year thousands of tourists visit this park to see wildlife species such as Nilgai, Indian Wolf, Hyena, Chital, Sloth bear etc. Of course the main attraction is Royal Bengal tiger. You can visit Kanha throughout the year barring the monsoon season which is June to October. During this period, Kanha National Park remains closed for the tourists.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is located some 160 km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. It is one of the best places to see tigers in India. The tiger conservation at the Ranthambore National Park was started in 1975 by the government of India.
It is said that you can easily spot Tiger at the Ranthambore National Park during daylight. In fact it is believed that you are more likely to spot Tiger here than Kanha National Park.
To spot tiger the best time to visit Ranthambore is during winter. November to May is the period when park is opened for the tourists. Traveling around February and March is the best time to spot tigers however if you are bird lover then consider visiting in December or January.
Periyar National Park
Surprisingly a lot of international tourists haven't heard about the Periyar National Park in Kerala. There are very few travel guides of India that mention Periyar National Park. It may not get the same attention as some of the other national parks in India like the Gir or Corbett National Park but still it is worth visiting. Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. The current tiger population at the park is estimated to be around 53.
Elephants are another major attraction at the park. They are not just used for safari here. Periyar is one of the few national parks in the world that conserves Elephants. However the most deadly attraction of the park is Giant King Cobra, the biggest snake found in India. Since 70% area of the park is covered with rain-forest, it's a perfect breeding place for Giant King Cobra.
Hemis National Park
You can be forgiven for not knowing Hemis National Park because I think that not many Indians know about it either. Hemis National Park is located in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state. You would be surprised to know that Hemis is the largest national park in India. It’s even bigger than Corbett National Park which is believed by many to be the biggest national park in the country.
Hemis is home to several endangered species of wildlife animals. Snow Leopard is just one such example. The park has population of over 200 snow leopards. Eurasian Brown Bear, Tibetan Wolf and the Red Fox are some other endangered species that are protected here at the Hemis National Park.
Sundarbans National Park
Despite having one of the largest populations of Bengal Tigers, Sundarbans is less popular among the tourists. Sundarbans is located in West Bengal and shared between India and Bangladesh. The Indian side of the forest is called Sundarbans National Park while on the Bangladeshi side is referred as Sundarbans reserve.
As mentioned earlier Sundarbans is home to over 400 Bengal tigers. Wildlife lovers would also find other species such as saltwater crocodile, Leopard, Blue eared Kingfisher, Chital, Flying Fox, Olive Ridley Turtle, River Terrapin and many more. Some of the species are listed in the endangered species category.