The wildlife of Indian subcontinent consists of a diverse mixture of birds, animals and a variety species of plants. Suitable climatic conditions and the vast vegetation enable several endangered and rare kind of fauna and flora to flourish. India is blessed and successful in preserving this wildlife with the help of the locals, as well as the government. India wildlife tour destinations have been rated by most nature enthusiasts as a heavenly abode. The atmosphere at the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are filled with an aura and positive radiance that most visitors connect with. Listed below are the top 10 wildlife destinations in India.
Before addressing the wildlife locations, briefly stating the adventures and amusements that one can experience in the wild –
- Bird watching
- Water sports: rafting
- Elephant safari
- Boat/ jeep safari
- Exploring the wild on foot or cycling
India’s history of a rich culture, natural heritage has grown over the years. In this post read about the India’s best wildlife tourism destinations that attract adventure wildlife lovers from various parts of India and worldwide.
Top 10 India’s Wildlife Tour Destinations
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Declared as UNESCO world heritage site, this wildlife park is located in the delta region, formed by the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Sundarbans National park shelters the beautiful Sundari trees in the Mangrove forest. Endangered species like the Royal Bengal tiger, olive ridley turtle, river terrapin, mangrove horseshoe crab and different species of birds attract the most number of visitors to this national park located at South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.
How to reach Sundarbans National Park?
- Road: This Park shares a well-maintained route with Kolkata- Basanti Highway
- Rail: Canning Railway station is the nearest Railway station of the National Park. Located at a distance of 29 km from the Gateway of Sundarban.
- Air: Located at a distance of 140 km away from the park is the Kolkata Airport ( also known as Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Airport)
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas to the districts of Nainital and Garhwal, Jim Corbett National Park is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and is famous for its Royal Bengal tigers, elephant safari, bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. In the year 1987 it was inscripted as a UNESCO world heritage site and from 2001, Jim Corbett National Park is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the best wildlife tour destinations in India.
How to reach Jim Corbett National Park?
- Road: There are various road routes to reach the park out of which Ramnagar is the closest.
- Rail: At a distance of 12kms from the park, Ramnagar Railway station is the nearest and easily reachable one as this station is the terminus of Delhi-Moradabad-Ramnagar broad gauge branch of North East Railway.
- Air: Phoolbagh, Pantnagar Domestic Airport lies at a distance of 50kms away from the park. The nearest International Airport is at 295kms in Delhi.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Another National Park and popular wildlife tourism spot of India is located in Madhya Pradesh. This National park has the highest probability of witnessing a tiger in a jeep/car/elephant safari. These Bengal tigers are the pride of Bandhavgarh National Park.
How to reach Jim Bandhavgarh National Park?
- Road: Direct road routes are less convenient, it is much safer to travel from Nagpur Airport or Railway station and then carry the rest of the journey via cab service, which is easily available.
- Rail: Two major Railway stations- Katni and Umaria, offer good connectivity to reach the park.
- Air: Jabalpur city is the nearest location with Airport facilities but this area lacks facility for mainstream flights. Therefore in order to reach Jabalpur, one can board connecting flights, it is one of the best option. Umaria district also provides small airport facility for charter planes.
Gir National Park, Gujarat
India’s wildlife has its unique charm and attraction. Gujarat’s Gir National Park in Sasan Gir is blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna. A visitor of this site gets to witness Asiatic Lions, Jackals, leopards, Antelope etc. that sprawls in vast area in Gir National Park.
How to reach Jim Gir National Park?
- Road: This Park is well connected to most of the prominent cities of Gujarat via road. State as well as private buses are available from various part of the state. Cab services too can be found easily.
- Rail: Junagadh and Veraval Railway stations are at the nearest distance from Gir national Park, the other closest station is the Rajkot railway station, located at a distance of 165 km.
- Air: Keshod Airport and Rajkot Airport are located at 70km and 160km respectively from Gir National Park. Apart from these two Airports, the best route is by using Mumbai International Airport to reach Diu Airport and the hire a cab.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
This wildlife holiday destination of India is famous for one-horned rhinoceroses. Famous one-horned rhinoceroses are found in the UNESCO world heritage site, Kaziranga National Park, Assam. This park is also famous for its migratory birds and here one can study the wildlife, its habitat and explore nature in its best form.
How to reach Kaziranga National Park?
- Road: To travel via road one needs to aboard a flight or a train to a nearest place in Assam, that can be to Jorhat, Guwahati or Tezpur.
- Rail: Furkating Junction Railway station is the nearest station, which includes maximum two hour drive from the National Park.
- Air: Flight services are available to Jorhat Airport, which is 96km away from the Park. One can even opt to land at Tezpur Airport. From here the distance covered to reach Kaziranga National Park is 59.9km.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore National Park has two rivers flowing through it, Banas in the north and Chambal in the south. It is situated at the convergence of Vindhyan plateau and Aravali hill in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. All these location factors makes this Park a perfect place for the wildlife to flourish. It is also the best place to spot tigers in the safari rides.
How to reach Ranthambore National Park?
- Road: Frequent bus services are not available but Sawai Madhopur town offers services to all the major cities within Rajasthan. A car or taxi can be hired from Kota to Ranthambore.
- Rail: Regular train services are available, even luxury trains such as Maharajas’ Express has their station at Sawai Madhopur. Ranthambore National Park is at a distance of 11km from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station.
- Air: The closest Airport to the wildlife sanctuary is 160 km away at Jaipur.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is located in Madhya Pradesh in the districts of Balaghat and Mandla. It is named as ‘Kanha’ in reference to the clayey soil of the valley. ‘Kanha’ word has been derived from ‘Kankar’ (referring to the clayey soil). Jeep safari offers the view of different species of wild animals that are found here.
How to reach Kanha National Park?
- Road: The National Park can be reached from Raipur-Gandai-Malanjkand-Baihar highway route via Mukki gate.
- Rail: Trains connect from all over India to Jabalpur Railway station. The best route to travel from Jabalpur is via Mandla. This area has taxi services available; therefore no difficulty arises while travelling.
- Air: Flights from Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bhopal has direct flights to Jabalpur Airport which is situated 175km from the Park.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan
This bird sanctuary is declared as UNESCO world heritage site in India. Located in Rajasthan, this avifauna sanctuary is a paradise for nature and bird lovers. Thousands of bird species reside here, making it one of the major wildlife attraction sites. It is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Visitors can roam about in the Sanctuary on foot or even opt for a cycle ride to view over 230 species of birds.
How to reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?
- Road: Bharatpur roads are well routed to Agra, Delhi, Mathura and Jaipur.
- Rail: The nearest Railway junction is located at Bharatpur, 5km away from the bird sanctuary.
- Air: Agra Airport is the closest airport, about 54kms from Bharatpur. One can also travel from New Delhi, which will include a distance of 184km.
Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Located in Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park was established as a tiger reserve in 1992. It is named after the Pench River and spreads in an area of 257 sq km. This park was awarded the ‘Best Management Award’ in the year 2011. This wildlife spot in Madhya Pradesh, India is also famous for rafting, bird watching and is rich in a variety of flora and fauna. The best time to visit is between November and May. There are apprx 40 tigers in the park, 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians. Get best wildlife experiences in India by visiting this park.
How to reach Pench National Park?
- Road: Bus stand at Seoni has jeeps and buses that can be taken to reach the Park.
- Rail: Seoni also has the nearest Railway station at 30km away from the National park.
- Air: At a distance of 93km, the Sonegaon Airport is situated in Nagpur from the Park.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Located in God’s own country Kerala, Periyar National Park is situated high in the Western Ghats, along the coast of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the prestigious Wildlife Sanctuary, tiger and elephant reserve in India. This watershed of two important rivers of Kerala (the Periyar and the Pamba River) has a collection of rare, endangered species of flora and fauna, thus forming a major attraction site for the visitors.
How to reach Periyar National Park?
- Road: Both private and state buses serve from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai to Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar.
- Rail: Kottayam railway station is at the nearest distance of 114km from Periyar.
- Air: Two closest Airports are situated near Periyar, one at 200km in Kochi (Cochin) and another at 140km in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
You can explore here (External Link, Wikipedia) to check complete list of Wildlife sanctuaries of India.
India is home to a divergent class of flora and fauna. The brilliant landscapes, vegetation and the habitat of India have a treasure that has accomplished the position to be enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are also a number of bird sanctuaries where different breeds of avifauna and migratory birds thrive.
Also explore top 10 wildlife tour packages in India that covers the most popular wildlife destinations of India.