Discover our selection of the diverse wildlife on offer at India's best National Parks.
Best National Parks to visit in India
India is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and is home to a myriad of indigenous species of wildlife. From the lofty regions in the Himalayas down to the lowlands in Kerala, India boasts an incredible breadth of natural spectacle. With almost 1,300 species of birds unique to India it is one of the finest places to see avian life whilst also being home to over 20 species of big and small cats. Thankfully, you can get the opportunity to spot some of these beautiful animals in the spectacular surroundings of their natural habitat. Here are India's top 10 best national parks.
1. Tadoba National Park
Tadoba National Park, located 150km south of Nagpur in Maharashtra state, is arguably India’s greatest national park and is home to the King of Indian wildlife, the Royal Bengal Tiger. It might be one of the best places to spot tigers anywhere in the world but it has so much more to offer. Riding around on an open top safari van, known as a gypsy, you’ll have the chance to spot striking Indian Leopards, wild dogs, sloth bears, crocodiles and bison to name a few. With over 250 bird species nesting in the park, you can look to the skies as you try and spot some of India’s finest game such as the crested serpent eagle. One of the few places in the world where you can take a night safari, Tadoba is a must-see.
2. Bandhavgarh National Park
Located in the peaceful Satpura Hills in Madya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is a smaller but no less impressive national park. Home to 60 Bengal tigers within its grounds, it has the highest density of tigers anywhere in the world. The former wild home of the spectacular white tiger, this smaller national park again boasts a beautiful array of fauna such as the chital or the spotted deer.
3. Kanha National Park
Nearby to Bandhavgarh lies the Kanha National Park and these two parks combined form the central Indian highlands. Spread out across almost 2000 square km, this incredible nature reserve was the inspiration for the famous ‘Jungle Book’ written by Rudyard Kipling. Here, it is one of the best locations to spot the Barasingha otherwise known as the swamp deer. After a day surrounded by countless wildlife you’ll be able to appreciate the true magic of the park as you watch the sun fall at the famous Bamni Dadar or Sunset Point.
4. Kaziranga National Park
A trip to Assam and Kaziranga National Park is a spectacular must-see. Here, you’ll appreciate the sheer diversity of India’s landscape as you trade jungles for the beautiful wetland habitat. In this UNESCO certified region, you’ll have the chance to spot some of India’s most iconic animals. On a safari tour, you can see the endangered One-Horned Rhinoceros, elephants and herds of water buffalo and swamp deer. This marshland is a paradise for waterfowl and your expert guide will help you spot an array of species such as the asian openbill stork. You’ll learn about the symbiotic relationship between the number of animals that enjoy living in the Kaziranga National Park as well as the amazing efforts of local people to conserve its extraordinary beauty.
5. Panna National Park
Another of Madya Pradesh’s magical natural parks, Panna is one of the best maintained in all of India. Home to a myriad of species of Indian fauna, it also has an impressive selection of waterfalls which give the park a unique quality. It is arguably one of the best places to try and see the spotted leopard. These incredible big cats are so elusive and well disguised in their natural habitat that it may be too hard. Nonetheless, there are nine species of vulture to be spotted here as well as the Ghariyal a huge crocodile-like reptile that is only found in the Indian subcontinent.
6. Kuno National Park
Nestled in the Vindhyan Hills in Madya Pradesh, this jungle oasis is another paradise for Indian Wildlife. The biodiversity of this ancient forest has been essential to local people for thousands of years as shown by the 30,000 year old cave paintings which detail wild animals. Today, as you spot incredible fauna you’ll see centuries-old forts that have been reclaimed by the natural world. Recently at Kuno National Park Cheetahs have been brought in as these animals went instinct in 1952 as they were hunted out. The safaris are expected to re-start very shortly.
7. Hermis National Park, Ladakh
All the way up in the Himalayan region of Kashmir lies Hemis National Park. Here, at Ladakh, winter temperatures can drop to -10 degrees celsius. The imposing power of the biggest mountain range in the world creates a truly sublime landscape unlike anywhere else in the world. The glacial water in Pangong lake is spectacularly blue as is the famous Indus River which courses through it. It is one of the most unforgettable places to trek anywhere in the world and home in winter to the endangered snow leopard.
8. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
In Karnataka lies the Nagarhole National Park. If you’re touring India's South, this is a great place to spot all of the country’s most iconic wildlife such as tigers, chital and elephants. Witness some of the 250 bird species on offer including the white-rumped vulture and many more.
9. Sasan Gir National Park, Gujarat
Sasan Gir National Park, Gujarat is only place in the world one can see the Asiatic (now essentially Indian) Lions which are different from the African species. The asiatic lion once roamed from the Middle East to India. Here, it is the chance to witness the king of the jungle in their natural habitat in the only place outside of Africa.
10. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
If you’re touring Northern India, one of the best places to see wildlife is the Ranthambore National Park. Arguably the most accessible of all the parks on this list from major tourist cities such as Delhi or Jaipur, the reserve is world renowned for its tiger population. Set amongst lush greenery, there are many ancient forts and temples to discover such as the UNESCO rated Ranthambore Fort as you try and spot these majestic big cats and occasionally Sloth Bears too.
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