Incredible India, you must have heard it, right? But do you know that apart from all the breathtaking scenic and natural beauties of this majestic land, there is another dimension to its beauty and awesomeness. Well, if you haven’t guessed it yet, we are talking about the lust green forests and the national parks in India.
Apart from the climate, rich heritage and culture, ancient historic destinations and diverse religions; India also boasts a vast range of natural flora and fauna and has been preferred as one of the best places to visit for wildlife tourism by the tourists. India, roughly has a massive 140,000 square kilometers of forests and other protected wildlife reservoirs, which occupies approximately four percent of its total landmass.
Be it the majestic Bengal Tigers in the Jim Corbett National Park or the One-Horned Rhinoceros of the Kaziranga National Park; you can see it all in this magical country. So, get ready for a life-changing and thrilling journey as you are going to witness the top 10 national parks in India.
1. Jim Corbett National Park
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayan range, Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest and the first wildlife reservoir of India. To commemorate the legendary hunter and wildlife preserver Jim Corbett, this national park was inaugurated in the year 1936 and is spread over a massive 500 square kilometers. Virtue of its scenic beauty and breathtaking wildlife resources, Jim Corbett National Park has always been a paradise for the wildlife lovers and is one of the pioneering members of the well renowned ‘Project Tiger’.
This national park of India has always been known for its lush green forests, rivers, ridges and a unique amalgamation of mountainous and plain terrain. Among its vast range of fauna, the Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant holds special status and are the jewels of this national park of India. The Corbett National Park is also one of the bird-rich regions in the entire Indian landmass. Tigers, Wild Boar, Indian Pangolin, Chital, Nilgai, Flying Fox are some of the exotic species which you can see in Corbett.
2. Ranthambore National Park
Located in the southeastern region of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is one the biggest and most popular national parks in India. With a drive of around 180 kilometers from the capital city of Jaipur, this park was once considered as the hunting playground for the kings and members of the Royal family of Jaipur.
It was inaugurated in 1955 and undertook the ‘Project Tiger’ initiative in 1973. However, it was in 1980 when Ranthambore got its official status as a national park of India. Sprawled among the Vindyanchal and Aravali ranges, Ranthambore boasts a vast range of open bush fields, dense tropical forests, rocky terrains and numerous lakes and ponds. It has now become the heaven for wildlife tourists and photographers and is considered as one of the best tiger reserves in the country.
The Ranthambore National Park is popular for being the home of the some of the largest tiger species, mammals, reptiles and a large variety of birds. leopards, Jackals, Black Bucks, Chital, macaques, Indian Wild Boar and Indian False Vampires are some of the common animal species in the Ranthambore. Apart from these animals, Ranthambore also has a huge variety of species of birds which are a regular sight at this national park of India. Due to these majestic traits and breathtaking beauty, Ranthambore has established itself as one of the top 10 national parks in India.
3. Nagarhole National Park
Located in Karnataka, Nagarhole National Park was inaugurated in 1955 and is popular for the numerous streams of snakes found in this tropical area. This national park of India was mainly opened keeping in mind the sole objective of providing a secure haven for the wild animals of the areas adjacent to the national park.
Known as the hunting ground for the Royals of Mysore, Nagarhole National Park has a very rich collection of the natural wildlife resources and is one of the few places with a considerable population of the Royal Bengal Tigers.
Nagarhole National Park is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park and is sprawled on a massive 650 square kilometers of landscape, banked on the Nagarhole River. Apart from the national Park, it also consists of the sanctuaries such as the Mudumalai, Wayanad and the Bandipur wildlife sanctuaries. This park has a very rich population of Sambhars, crocodiles, King Cobras, Four-Horned Antelopes and the Black Napped Hares. Birds, too, are a very common sight in the Nagarhole National Park, with the main attractions including the bee-eater, dove, crested serpent, Malabar Pied, woodpeckers, peacocks, Golden-back Parakeet and the hornbill.
4. Kanha National Park
Occupying a breathtaking 1940 square kilometers of area in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is one of India’s finest national parks and is the proud habitat of the rarest species of the hard ground Barsingha, which is also known as the Swamp Deer.
Kanha National Park has a very special place in the hearts of every Indian, since it was the epicenter around which Sir Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book. The terrain of the Kanha National Park consists of lush green forests, grasslands and Sal vegetation. It is widely known for its beautiful, exotic landscapes and its wildlife resources, which is one of the finest in India. Along with 200 different species of birds, Kanha also boasts a huge number of tigers in the country. Be it the Gray Langurs, Chousingha, Indian Bison or the Nilgai, Kanha has a range of fauna which can be the ideal destination for a wildlife lover. And if you are lucky enough, you might get a glimpse of the endangered Black Bucks or the Barking Deer.
5. Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is perhaps India’s only place where you can find the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, it is located between two districts of Assam, namely Golaghat and Nogaon. Kaziranga is situated at a very unique geographical location, at the eastern region of the mighty Himalayas and it is due to geographical advantage that it enjoys a very large variety of species and the visitors can get a sight of diverse species in Kaziranga.
Sprawled on a massive 380 sq km of land, Kaziranga is the home to more than two-thirds of the majestic one-horned rhinoceros’ entire population in the world. Apart from the rhinoceros, Kaziranga has also been included under the ‘Project Tiger’ and boasts a considerably higher density of tigers when compared to the other parks in the country. Kaziranga also has huge populations of elephants, swamp deer and the wild-water buffalo. It is also considered as one of the biggest hotspots for the birds in the North-East region and visitors can witness more than 200 species of birds in the Kaziranga National Park.
6. Sunderbans National Park and Tiger Reserve
Located along the Ganges delta between India and Bangladesh, Sunderbans was declared a national park in 1984 and is one of the best and most diversified national parks in the country. It is one of the world’s biggest reserves for the Royal Bengal Tigers and the Sunderi trees. Considered by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans occupies a massive 4624 sq km and is one of the biggest wildlife reserve in the nation.
Apart from the tigers, Sunderbans also has the largest density of the estuarine mangrove forest in the entire world. The Sunderbans has a vast variety of flora and fauna. It is the home to a massive 400 Royal Bengal Tigers and also has an abundant population of Leopards, Jungle Cats, Chital, Wild Boar and Flying Fox.
7. Mudumalai National Park
The Mudumalai National Park is situated on the northwestern region of the Nilgiri Hills. Located at about 150 kilometers from the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Mudumalai National Park shares its periphery with Kerala and Karnataka.
Being a corridor to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Mudumalai National Park forms a very crucial part of the wildlife habitat of this region. Mudumalai is surrounded by various other national parks, which includes the Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. These parks along with the Mudumalai, occupies a massive 3300 sp km of land and has a very rich population of the elephants. Apart from elephants, Mudumalai also has considerable numbers of tigers which are free to roam in the entire park.
This national park of India is a protected area which houses several endangered species, including the Indian elephants, Indian Leopard, Gaur and the Bengal Tigers. Apart from these creatures, Mudumalai also has a whopping 266 species of birds, which includes some extremely endangered species such a the long-billed vulture and the Indian white-rumped vulture.
8. Periyar National Park
Situated in the Thekkady district of Kerala, Periyar National Park is one of the most astounding and breathtaking amalgamation of natural beauty and vivid wildlife creatures, all in one place. Being one of the most renowned national parks in the Southern part of India, Periyar National Park is considered one of the most protected and secured wildlife reservoir in the country. Inaugurated in the year of 1982, Periyar National Park is spread across a massive area of 930 sq km.
There is a very distinct feature about this park; it has a lake which is about 100 years old and has been made artificially. Periyar National Park is not only known for its wild elephants and tigers, but also for the lush green Western Ghats forests which gives a green blanket-like appearance of the entire park. The trees in this park can be as tall as 140 feet and it is due to this fact that the sun rays often cannot penetrate the canopy.
Apart from the wild elephants, Periyar National Park is also famous for other animals, including Sambar, Barking Deer, Gaur, Tigers and the Indian Wild Dogs. It is also the home of a very rare and endangered species called the Nilgiri Tahr, which can be only found in the Periyar National Park. Periyar also houses the five major species of the primates, namely the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee’s Golden Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque.
9. Gir National Park
Established in the year of 1965, Gir National Park is the home of the mighty Asiatic lions. Along with breathtaking beauty and varied wildlife resources, Gir is the perfect destination for a wildlife enthusiast. Sprawled on a massive 1415 sq km, Gir National Park is located in Gujarat, 60 km to south-west of Amreli district.
This kingdom of the Royal Asiatic Lions is the most ideal place for various creatures to roam around freely and the tourists can get a mesmerizing view of the 2375 different species of creatures present in this national park of India.
These species include the mighty Asiatic lions, Indian cobras, Sloth bears, Indian leopards, mongoose, Nilgai, Chital, Four-horned Chinkara and many more. And if you are lucky enough, you can also get a very rare glimpse of the extremely endangered Blackbuck.
Apart from these, Gir also has a huge number of crocodiles and scavenger birds, including 6 endangered species of vultures. Some of the species of birds found in the Gir National Park include Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk-eagle, Brown Fish Owl, endangered Bonelli’s Eagle, Indian Eagle-Owl, Rock Bush-Quail, Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-headed Oriole and the Crested Treeswift.
10. Keoladeo National Park
Keoladeo National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is a World Heritage Site declared by the UNESCO and is the home to millions of migratory birds who flock down here from all around the world to search for a warmer climate. Situated in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, Keoladeo National Park has established itself as one of the most protected and secured places for the birds to come in and live. Keoladeo hosts approximately 230 different species of birds annually and the most significant among them is the endangered Siberian Crane, which travels all the way from Siberia. Apart from the birds, the park also has huge population of Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar.
The migratory birds fly from various places such as Siberia and Central Asia to find better sources of food and a warmer climate. These birds include various species of Cranes, Geese, Eagles, Shanks, Wagtails, Flycatchers, Larks and many more, and it is due to these unique and magnificent species of birds that Keoladeo is one of the best among the top 10 national parks in India.