Looking at the raw setting of the these wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, there is an unforced and natural comfort that sets in. It might just feel like another home outside your home.
Yes, there could be a chance for you to get out of that city you live in and see where nature and it’s kids bloom!
To experience the freedom of being in nature!
The wild trees, mammals, birds, reptiles and anything else that we see here might just help us go through the adventure that nature brings and experience it at its best.
And we at Small Steps adventures want you to experience the BEST!
Here is a list of top wildlife sanctuaries and national parks you should definitely not miss!!
1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Being India’s first national park and the first sanctuary to come under Project Tiger, Corbett National Park in Nainital, Uttarakhand, has been named after the popular naturalist turned creator and picture taker, Jim Corbett. He spent a large portion of his years here in setting up the park.
The variety of vegetation serves as the ideal habitat for the Tiger and its prey. From hilly and riverine areas to temporary marshy depressions to plateaus and ravines, people can have a glimpse of a varied topography. You can find 110 tree species, 50 mammals species, 600 bird species and 25 reptile species here.
People come here hoping to get a glimpse of animals like Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephant, wild Boar, Spotted deer, Nilgai, Asiatic jackal, Swamp deer, Small Indian Civet, Hanuman Langur, Hog Deer, Sloth bear, Indian wild dog and migratory birds.
Total area: 1318 sq km
Core area: 520 sq Km
Places to Stay: 18 Best Resorts in Corbett National Park
Activities: There are various adventure activities like rock-climbing, rappelling, waterway crossing and crawl-ing.
Best time to visit: November 15 to June 15
2. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Ranthambore National Park surrounded by Banas and Chambal rivers is located in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. It was established in 1973 as the Tiger reserve forest. It serves as one of the great examples for Project Tiger’s conservation efforts in the state.
The rich diversity of the flora and fauna here attracts millions of tourists every year. The Indian tiger or the Bengal tiger are the main attractions except Sambar, Chital, Leopard, Hyena Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards and a large number of birds.
Total Area: 1334 sq km.
Core Area: 392 sq km.
Best Time to Visit: October: March and April to June
Places to Stay: 30 Best Ranthambore Resorts
Places to See: 13 Best Places to Visit in Ranthambore
3. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Located 80 kms away from Mysore city in Karnataka, this is one of the popular destinations for tourists in South India. This tiger reserve was utilized as a private hunting reserve by the Maharaja of Mysore in the older times. Along with Nagarhole National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary; it forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
You can get to see elephants strolling along with several other endangered species. It lies on the way to a major tourist city of Ooty with forests of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats.
Total area: 874 sq km
Places to Stay: 10 Best Resorts in Bandipu
4. Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Rajasthan
The word Keoladeo comes from the ancient Hindu temple of Lord Shiva which is at the centre of the thick (ghana in hindi) forest.
Keoladeo is one of the finest bird parks in the world, popularly known as Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary. It is perhaps the only case where the habitat has been created by a maharaja.
Located in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, this park hosts a large number of exotic migratory birds and other birds of India along with Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar.
Total area: 29 Sq Km
Places to Stay: Heritage Stay At Kiran Villa, Bharatpur
Places to see around: www.bharatpursanctury.com
Best time to visit: open throughout the year; still the ideal visiting months are from August-November for resident breeding birds and October- February for migrant birds.
5. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Located in Kodagu and Mysore districts in Karanataka, this park is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’. With quite a large number of Tigers, this park is counted among India’s best wildlife parks due to the large elephant and bison population as well. It also boasts of hosting approximately 250 species of birds. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern fringes is the Bandipur national park.
It has a rich forest cover with species of high commercially valued trees like Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oak.
Total area: 643 Sq km
Best time to visit: Months from October to May. It usually remains closed during monsoon season (June to September)
Places to Stay: Best Resorts in Nagarhole
6. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan
Sariska National Park is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Like most of the reserves were hunting grounds of the kings, this was also the former hunting ground of the Maharaja of Alwar. Declared as a Wildlife Reserve in 1955, a large number of Tigers within this park later made it one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in 1978.
It is famous for seeing increase in the tiger population and becoming a natural habitat of Royal Bengal Tigers. Other animals like leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, chital, nilgai, four-horned antelope ‘chousingha’ and Rhesus monkeys are also seen here.
Total area: 800 sq km
Core area: 500 sq km (appx)
Best time to visit: can be visited throughout the year, still the best period is during the months of October to June.
Places to Stay: 10 Best Sariska Resort
7. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Spread across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra river, Kaziranga National Park is one of the most picturesque wildlife parks in India and also highly visited. It is a natural habitat to the highest number of one-horned rhino in the world. You will also be able to see wild buffaloes, wild boars, elephants, Barasinghas (swamp and hog deer), leopards, tigers, Hoolock gibbons, Capped langur, Rock python and monitor lizards.
Located in the Golaghat & Nagaon districts of Assam, it is sprinkled with elephant-grass meadows, swampy lagoons and dense forests. It was declared as Tiger reserve forest in 2006.
If you want to explore the wildlife of Northeast India, then this is the place!
Total area: 430 Sq Km
Best time to visit: months between November to April (you can see the migratory birds closely in a fine tem-perature)
8. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
To experience the miracles of nature, this is a must visit when you go to the district of Chikmagalur in Karnataka. It has a beautiful setting in the midst of the western ghats.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary gets its name from the river Bhadra, due to which a lot of wildlife enthusiasts and photographers eye on it.
There are a number of animals like bison, gaur, leopard, elephant, tiger, sambar, boar, chital, deer, porcupine and muntjac. You can get to see some beautiful birds like emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, malabar parakeet and hill myna.
Total area: 492 sq km
Best time to visit: October to March
Places to Stay: 19 Beautiful Resorts in Chikmagalur
Nearby Attractions: Best Places to Visit in Chikmagalur
9. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Nestled in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, this park is another famous destination for the wildlife enthusiasts and the biggest in central part of the country.
Giving inspiration to the widely read author Rudyard Kipling for “Jungle book”, the lush sal, bamboo forests and grassy meadows and ravines can prove inspirational for you too!
Established in the year 1955, the park was able to save the rare and almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer, also known as ‘Barasingha’.
The other feature of the Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadar from where you can spot the Sambhars and Gaurs grazing.
You can see Striped Palm Squirrel, Common Langur, Jackal, Wild Pig, Spotted Deer, Barasingha or Swamp Deer, Sambar and Black Buck here.
Total area: 1940 sq. km (appx.)
Core area: 940 sq km
Best time to visit: November to June, as the park remains closed during the monsoon months from July to October.
Places to Stay: 25 Best Resorts in Kanha National Park
10. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
The Sundarbans are a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
Located in the deltaic region of West Bengal, this park also shares its boundaries with Bangladesh. Covered with mangrove forests, Sundarbans is the original and one of the largest abode of the Royal Bengal Tigers.
Some of the other endangered species in this park are Gangetic Dolphin, River Terrapin, Hawks Bill Turtle, Mangrove Horseshoe Crab and Salt-Water Crocodile
In the year 1984, it was declared a National Park. It is also the UNESCO world heritage site inscripted in 1987.
Total area: 1330 sq km
Best time to visit: between December and February
(open from September to March when you can see the maximum migratory birds)
Stay: Resort Stay in Sundarbans
11. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park contains a wide variety of habitats and is also known as the country of white tigers.
Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, it is covered with fine trees of Sal, while mixed forests are found in the higher reaches of the hills.
You can have a glimpse of Tiger, Panther, Spotted Deer, Sambhar deer, Nilgai (Blue bull), Gaur, Wild Boar and different kinds of birds here.
Total area: 105 sq km
Best time to visit: November to June, as the park remains closed during the monsoon months from July to October.
Places to Stay: Resort Stay in Bandhavgarh
12. Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat
The Gir National Park and the Sasan Gir Sanctuary of Gujarat are the only wildlife sanctuaries in India that have Asiatic Lions. Once on the verge of extinction, these wild cats are growing in number now and you can’t miss watching them roam freely in the wild.
Apart from the lions, Gir is home to different species of Deer like the Chowsingha – world’s only four horned antelope, Jackal, striped Hyena and India Fox.
It is situated approximately 65 Kms South East of Junagarh District.
Total area: 1412 sq km
Best time to visit: October-June
13. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Pench National Park falls under the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The name comes from the Pench River that flows through its heart and divides it into two parts – Chhindwara and Seoni respectively.
This park is also the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” along with the neighbouring Kanha national park.
Tourists also come here to experience the adventurous rafting.
Renowned as Wolf Safari due to consistent sightings of these carnivores, the tour displays varied animals ranging from spotted deer, jackals, sambar, deer, nilgai, leopards and tigers.
Total area: 758 sq km
Best time to visit: November to June (park remains closed during the monsoon months from July to October)
Stay: Stay In Wilderness Camp At Pench
14. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Situated in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, this park is the jewel in the state’s crown. Maharashtra’s largest and oldest national park is a home of threatened species and plays an important role as a functionary of Project Tiger.
The name Tadoba is bestowed by the God ‘Tadoba’ or ‘Taru’ who as per legends, used to be the village chief of the local tribals. ‘Andhari’ comes from the mesmerizing Andhari River flowing through the dense forests.
Wetland areas in the reserve include the Tadoba Lake, Kolsa Lake and Andhari River.
Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Stripped Hyena and Jungle Cats are some of the commonly found carnivores of Tadoba national park. Sloth Bears, Gaur, Nilgai and Spotted Deer are the herbivores.
Forests of this park always bear the green colour due to the geographical topography of the park’s location.
Total area: 625.4 Sq Km
Best time to visit: March-May and November- February.