Last Updated on March 20, 2021 by Editorial Staff
Since ancient times great spiritual personalities travelled to the wilderness, away from human settlement, for peace and spirituality. Nowadays, the problem is even more significant. Modern cities not only lack peace but also pure oxygen is a luxury.
In this situation, a trip to the wilderness increases the mental peace and spirit and the nearness to nature in the wilderness, detoxifies the lungs, heart, and whole of the body. India is a land where nature has not only been generous but also has been abundant.
India has many Wildlife Sanctuaries, which are sources of oxygen for India and beautiful places to travel. Let’s go through a list of India’s best wildlife sanctuaries to get a brief idea about them.
Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand
The first National park to be established in India. Located on the foothills of the Himalayas with an area of 520 sq.km. This forest is the home to Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Indian Python and other endangered species as various species of wild cats, leopards, etc.
River Ramganga flowing through the forest is home to Freshwater Crocodiles and Gharials. The forest is connected by roadway with Delhi the capital of India.
Government lodges and other private lodges are present in the forest with night stay accommodation. In Corbett, the ‘Man vs Wild’ episode with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was filmed.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Well connected by roadways with the capital city of Rajasthan- Jaipur, Ranthambore is famous for its large tiger population. Other wildlife includes the Indian Leopard, Nilgai, etc.
The forest also houses numerous plant species, like the banyan tree. The vast area of 1334 sq.km., is also home to wild boar, sloth bear, langur, etc. There are numerous resorts near to the forest, including Government guesthouses.
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
With 870 sq. km. area, it is located on the highway from Mysore to Ooty, a very famous hill station, a favourite tourist destination in South India.
As a result, this National Park sees a lot of tourists throughout the year. Wildlife includes the Indian Elephant, Tiger, Gaur, Dhole (Indian Wild Dog), etc. The forest is also teeming with different plant species as teak, sandalwood etc. There are various endangered species as Indian Speckled Cobra, Chameleon, Flying Lizards, etc.
The forest is home to numerous exotic species as different species of ants. The forest is especially famous for butterflies of varying colour and the back colour variant of Indian leopard, which is found in this forest in more number than in any other forest of India.
Government lodges and other private lodges are present in the forest with night stay accommodation.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Located in Assam, it is the abode of the one-horned rhino, the species found only in India. Other species include Indian Elephant, Tiger, Gaur, etc. With an area of 378 sq. km., this forest is a world heritage site. This forest has good connectivity via roadway from the city of Guwahati. The forest also has species as leopards, Indian Water Buffalo amongst others. However, in recent times, this forest has been subjected to frequent floods, resulting in a significant loss of animal life.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Located near Jabalpur, this is often mentioned as one of India’s best forests best for tiger sightings. With an area of 1067 sq.km., this forest is home to species as Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, Nilgai, etc. Scarce species as blackbuck is found in this forest.
Apart from animals, the forest is also abundant in plant resources. Flora includes over 1000 species of flowering plants. Big plants include Sal and other mixed wood trees.
The forest has numerous staying accommodations as Government rest house and other private resorts. This National Park is also a tiger reserve. The best time for a tourist visit is from February to April.
Sunderbans National Park, West Bengal
It is a National Park and located on the largest delta in the world, the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. Home to the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger, Saltwater Crocodile.
The vast greenery is situated in the southern part of state West Bengal, acts not only as a tourist destination but also the mangrove forest protects the coast of Bengal from sea erosion. The forest is well connected from Kolkata by rail and road, but the interiors are accessible only on boats.
There are Government tourist lodges. But generally, people stay on medium-sized floating ships on the river surface.
Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary, Gujrat
With 1153 sq.km. area of the sanctuary and 258 sq. km. area of the national park, Gir is the only documented forest in the world where Asiatic Lion is found. Gir is a grand success story in the history of conservation.
At a point of time, there were only twelve lions in Gir. At present, there are more than 500 lions in Gir. Apart from lions, Gir is home to Nilgai, different deer species as sambar chinkara, blackbuck etc.
The forest is easy to teach via road from Somnath as well as Junagarh. It is a semi-desert type of forest with desert animals also found sometimes. There are over four hundred plant species, including but not limited to, babul, different species of acacia.
The climate is predominantly of Savanah type. The best time to visit is the month of February to most April. The summers are long and uncomfortable.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
With an area of 925 sq.km., located on the Cardamom Hills’ foothills, this National Park is an evergreen forest. Rainfall is above 2000 mm annually.
Flora includes evergreen tropical deciduous species as eucalyptus, more than 170 species of grass and about 140 species of orchids. Fauna includes Indian Elephants, Bengal tiger with even a few white tigers. The forest has easy communication from Madurai as well as Kochi on roadways.
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh
It is located on the Terai belt at Indo-Nepal border. Wildlife includes tiger, swamp deer, leopard, barking deer, barasingha. The park has a big birdlife with over 350 bird species including swamp francolin, great slaty woodpecker.
The famous Bengal Florican bird is also a resident of this forest. Very rare white-rumped vulture is also seen sometimes.
Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
With an area of over 570 sq.km., this forest is located near Nagpur. Tadoba lake situated in the outskirts of the forest is home to crocodiles. Other wildlife are tiger, leopard, gaur, Russel’s viper, Indian cobra, etc.
There are numerous resorts near to the forest, including Government guesthouses.
The Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
With an area of 1171 sq.km., and at the height of 1500 to 6000m, this forest has a mountain ecosystem. Numerous endangered mountainous species as the snow leopard, musk deer are present in this forest.
There are multiple private resorts near to the National Park with reasonable accommodation. This forest, due to its vast height difference has mountain ecosystem which is not uniform.
It has a temperate climate, someplace it has an alpine ecosystem, at a someplace it is subalpine, etc. This forest is also an attractive geological area and provides interesting research scope for geologists.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
Located near Panaji, this forest has an area of 240 sq.km. Located in the Western Ghats, this forest has Dudhsagar Falls located in it. The forest has features of an evergreen ecosystem as well as deciduous ecosystem.
Fauna includes the leopard, barking deer, Royal Bengal Tiger, pangolin, porcupine, wild boar, wild dog, etc. Many species of bird, reptiles and butterflies are also present.
Government as well as private guesthouses are present near the forest and have good accommodation for night stay.
Hemis National Park, UT of Ladakh
Located in Ladakh, this National Park is located to the north of the Himalayas at a very high altitude. Famous for the snow leopard, this forest has the highest density of snow leopard in the world. Other animals include Himalayan griffon vulture, Tibetian wolf, etc.
This forest is also the biggest National Park in India with an area over 4000 sq.km. There is a trekking facility in this park as Markha valley trek and other such, from mid-June to mid-October. For a sighting of the snow leopard, visit in the late winters is the best.
However, accommodation for a night stay is very limited in this forest. Backcountry camps, villager homestays are tho only ways. However, staying in the nearby Buddhist monasteries can also be an option if permission for staying can be obtained from the monastery authorities, which is not an easy task.
To end, forests are our heritage. This world not only belongs to us but also to other species too, including plants and animals. So it is our responsibility to protect the forests, the animals and also the indigenous people in the forests.
While visiting forests, we should remember to maintain the peace and ecological balance of the place and not litter it with plastic or other such things. If we can do so, conserve the forests, then only will the forests stay and will stay the whole humanity; otherwise, a terrible ecological disaster might wipe out us humans off this planet.