National parks are filled with natural wonders that leaves everyone with unforgettable memories with factors like natural attractions, diverse geography and park accessibility. The valuable experience of recent visitors, as well as the travel experts, have enabled us to list some of India’s must-visit national parks that you must visit for at least once in your lifetime.
Presently, there are 104 national parks covering an area of 40,501 km2 which is 1.23% of India’s total surface area.
#1 Jim Corbett National Park
Located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest in India to protect the endangered Bengal tigers. It contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. Every season, more than 70,000 visitors come to the park. You can find more than 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.
The place is best if you are the camping enthusiasts because it is the only park in the entire country that allows overnight camping to the visitors. Other adventures include Jungle/Elephant safaris along with Wildlife spotting, nature photography, river rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing
#2 Sunderbans National Park
The Sundarbans is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal. It is the largest reserve for 400 Royal Bengal tiger that has developed a unique characteristic of swimming and home. They can be seen on the river banks sunbathing between November and February. A variety of bird, reptile and other species, including the salt-water crocodile are found along with Fishing cats, Leopard cats, Wild boar, Indian grey mongoose, Fox, Jungle cat, Flying fox.
Sundarbans is also unique because of the rich mangrove flora-fauna that makes it the richest mangrove forest in the world.
The park also supports a number of other threatened aquatic mammals such as the Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins along with threatened reptiles including crocodiles, chameleons, monitor lizards, also include snakes, such as python, king cobra, rat snake.
#3 Kanha National Park
Kanha national park, Madhya Pradesh spreads over two districts Mandla and Balaghat. The forest is portrayed in the famous novel, “The Jungle Book”. Bamni Dadar(Sunset Point) is one of the most attracting parts of Kanha National park. The frequent sightings of Tigers roaming in the wild at Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary draws most number of visitors. Around 300 species of birds are found in the reserve.
Among the deer species, swamp deer(Barasingha) is the favourite as it is the only subspecies of swamp deer in India, except the great swamp deer of Sundarbans. Blackbucks are being reintroduced inside a fenced area in the park. Nilgai is seen near the Sarahi Gate while Striped hyena and sloth bear are seen occasionally. Reptiles such as Indian pythons, Indian cobras, vipers while species of turtles and amphibians are found near the water bodies.
#4 Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambhore National park is located in the town of Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. Ranthambore National Park is for every wildlife enthusiast, photographer and it is noted for a higher number of tiger sightings. When it is hot, the better are the chances of spotting a Royal Bengal Tiger. Sloth Bears are very difficult to sight. Leopards are scattered across the park in significant numbers.
Mammals like the Nilgai, Striped Hyenas, Jackals, Hanuman Langur, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Indian Flying Fox, Sloth Bear, Jungle Cat and many others inhabit these forests. A very rich reserve of 270 birds species is found here, Peacocks are found in abundance, the Great Indian Owl, Common Kingfisher and other birds offer delight to the birdwatchers.
#5 Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga park is located in Assam spreading across an area of 430 sq km. It is best known for its rich biodiversity and the fact that it is the home of two-thirds one-horned rhinoceros. The park is declared tiger reserve along wildlife species such as Elephant, Leopard, swamp deer, sambar, wild buffaloes and Sloth Bear etc can be spotted. For bird watchers, more than 479 species of local and the migratory bird can be seen here.
Kaziranga National Park is open for visitors between the months of November and April. The park becomes inaccessible during the remaining
time of the year because it is flooded with water from Brahmaputra River during monsoon. The landscape of the national park is composed of Sheets of vibrant flowers can be seen floating on water bodies making it more attractive.
#6 Pench national park
It is located in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The park is famous for rafting. It houses over 300 species of Flora and Fauna. Elephant safaris, boating, bonfires, bird watching, wildlife spotting, and cycling rides are enjoyed. The park has several species of animals while the most dominant is Tiger which is around 25 in numbers.
There are some other predators like dhol (Indian Wild Dog), leopard, hyena, wolf, jackal and jungle cat. Prey species observed in the park are sambhar, chital, gaur, langur, wild boar, deer etc. There are around 210 species of birds observed in this park, 50 species of fishes, 30 reptiles, numerous kinds of butterflies, moths and amphibians. Wolf Sanctuary is famous for Blue Bulls, Wolves, and Leopards and night Safari is allowed particularly for this zone.
#7 Bandhavgarh National Park
It is located in Uramila district of Madhya pradesh. Mostly known for its tigers, Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for the variety of fauna with a lush green landscape. More than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds are present. Some of the animals which are found here are Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Gaur, Chausingha and Chinkara, the Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, grey mongoose, striped hyena, and jungle cat.
The popular birds which can be seen here are Steppe Eagles, Coppersmith Barbet, Browed Fantails, Green Pigeons, Black and White Malabar Hornbills, Grey Malabar Hornbills, Kingfishers, Blue Bearded Bee-Eaters, Green Bee-Eaters, Owls, Common Sandpiper, Laughing etc. The trees in Bandhavgarh National Park like amla, jamun are also found here.
#8 Ervakulam National Park
It is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki district of Kerala. 26 species of mammals including Nilgiri tahr(750 in numbers) along with 19 species of amphibians and 132 species of birds are found there. The other species are lion-tailed macaques, gaur, Indian muntjac and sambar deer. Golden jackal, jungle cat, wild dog, dhole, leopard and tiger are the main predators while elephants make seasonal visits.
The Atlas Moth, largest of its kind in the world, also found in the park. Anamudi (2695 m), the highest peak south of Himalayas is located within the park. These are stock goats with short, coarse fur and curved horns are seen.
# 9 Sariska National Park
Situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, one of the most visited national parks of the country. Ancient temples of Garh-Rajor build in 11th century, a 17th-century fort on the hilltop at Kankwari can also be found. The Sariska National Park covers the ‘Siliserh Lake’ and ‘Jai Samand Lake’, those feature crocodiles, water snakes and different creatures of land and water. Bird species, such as serpent eagle, woodpecker, horned owl, tree pie, bush quail and many more up to 225 bird species can be observed.
The National park has a rich wildlife that includes Tiger, leopard, Jaguar, Hyena, Jackal, and Jungle Cats, Wild Dogs. Some preys are the Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Hare and so forth. Sariska is also known for its Safari to regularly spot Langurs and the Rhesus monkeys. Langurs can be found in vast numbers at Pandupole, Slopka and Kalighati.
#10 Mudumalai National Park
It is present in the Nilgiri district which is roughly 150 kms from Coimbatore city of Tamil Nadu while the park shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. There are about 50 species of fishes, 21 species of amphibians, 34 species of reptiles, 227 species of birds and 55 species of mammals found in the park. 13% of all mammal species in India are present in Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary.
Interestingly there are 15 cat species in India out of which 4 are found in Mudumalai i.e The Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, jungle cat and leopard cat. 44 to 80 tigers are found in the Mudumalai forest. Such population exists because of the high density of prey species in the deciduous forests. Some reptiles found here are the python, flying lizard, spectacled cobra, krait and Asian pit vipers. Eight per cent of bird species in India are found in the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.