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Wildlife Safari

Wildlife Safari

 

Bandhavgarh National Park - Uttar Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park is spread at vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh National Park consists of a core area of 105 sq. km and a buffer area of approximately 400 sq. km of topography varies between steep ridges, undulating, forest and open meadows. Bandhavgarh National Park is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. 

Bandhavgarh National Park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers. White Tigers, now a major attraction around the world's zoos, were first discovered in Rewa, not far from here. The terrain is broken, with rocky hill ranges, running roughly east west, interspersed with grassy swamps and forested valleys.

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the finest national parks in the India and has the distinction of harboring the highest concentration of tigers per unit area of forest. The Bandhavgarh National Park is spread over on area of 448 sq. km with a cross area of 105 sq. km. At the center of the park is the Bandhavgarh hill, rising 811 meters above sea level and surrounding it are a sloping valleys, These valleys end in small, swampy meadows locally known as “bohera”.

Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968. Since then many steps have been taken to retain   the park as an unspoilt national habitat for a variety of wildlife peculiar to the area. These includes gaur (Indian bison), sloth bear, leopard, porcupine, wild boar, Sāmbhar and spotted deer, among others and of course, the tiger.

 

Bharatpur National Park – Rajasthan

Bharatpur National Park is correctly identified as the pleasant niche of the migratory birds and not surprisingly the home of the world's most diligent bird watchers. Therefore, this is one of the most important breeding & feeding grounds for migratory birds in the world. Visitor birds swell the population of the park by one third traveling from as far as Europe & Siberia. These include the rare Siberian Crane traveling half the globe to reach Bharatpur.

The park covers an area of 40sq. km. & is refreshingly free from any motor vehicles. Walking & cycling along the raised embankments offer an opportunity to get close to the rich bird life. A cycle rickshaw is another way of exploring the sanctuary.

The major attractions of tourists visiting the park are the numerous migratory birds, who come from as far away as Siberia and Central Asia and spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include, several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc.

 

Jim Corbett National Park – Uttar Pradesh

Jim Corbett National Park was founded in 1936, as the Hailey National Park. Later it has changed to Jim Corbett National Park in the honor of fabled hunter-Jim Corbett is best known for his book “The Man-Eaters of Kumaon”, and was greatly revered by local people for shooting tigers that had developed a liking for human flesh. Corbett is famous for its wide variety of wildlife and its beautiful location in the foothill of Himalaya by the Ramganga River. With the recent inclusion of the Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary to the west, Corbett has grown from 520 to 1318 sq. km.

It is one of the majestic places for the Nature and Wildlife lovers. In this park Elephant Safari and Jeep Safari are favorite activity. This park is situated on the bank of Ramganga River. Forests of Sal are very famous for this area. In the park more than 600 birds, 50 mammals, and 25 reptiles can be found. The park is also very famous for the elephants and Indian tigers.

More commonly seen wildlife includes the wild elephant, langur, monkey (black face, long tail), rhesus macaque, peacock, and several types of deer including chital (spotted deer), sambars, hog deer and barking deer. There are also crocodiles, the odd-looking gavial or gharial, monitor lizards, wild boars and jackals. Leopards (referred to as panthers in India) are occasionally seen.

Corbett is also a bird-watcher’s paradise, and since the creation of the Kalagarah Dam on the Ramganga River, large numbers of waterfowl have been attracted here.

 

Dudhwa National Park - Uttar Pradesh

From mosaic grasslands and dense sal forests to swampy marshes, the terrain of Dudhwa National Park is as diverse as the wildlife population it harbors. While the northern edge of the Park lies along the Indo-Nepal border, the River Suheli marks the southern boundary.

A Tiger Reserve since 1879, Dudhwa became a National Park in 1977 and adopted the Project Tiger in 1988. Although the Tigers at the Park are numerous, sightings are rare due to the thick forest cover of the area. Besides Tigers, Leopards, Hispid Hares, Swamp Deer (Barasingha) and Rhinos thrive amidst the vegetation.

Apart from the swamp deer, there are at least 37 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles. Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary is said to have 101 tigers and four leopards. Recently, the hispid hare has also been spotted in the area. Dudhwa's birds, in particular, are a delight for any avid bird watcher. The marshlands are especially inviting for about 400 species of resident and migratory birds including the Swamp Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minivets and many more. Much of the park’s avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around Dudhwa’s lakes- especially Banke Tal.

 

Gir National Park – Ahmadabad

The Gir - the largest compact tract of dry deciduous forests in the semi-arid western part of India is the last abode of the big and regal predator Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), an endangered species. The sanctuary is internationally acclaimed for successfully saving this precious species from the brink of extinction. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1965. Subsequently, an area of 258.71 sq. km. was declared a National Park.

Gir lies has a topography made up of succession of rugged ridges, isolated hills, plateaus and valleys. Besides, being the last abode of Asiatic lions, Gir forms a unique habitat for ratel, rusty spotted cat, pangolin, ruddy mongoose, civets, paradise flycatcher etc.

The overwhelming presence of the omnipotent big cat diverts the attention of the common man from the remarkable bird population that the sanctuary has. At present, Gir forests of Gujarat (India) is the only natural place where this race of lion’s i.e. Asiatic lion is found.

 

Panna National Park – Madhya Pradesh

Panna National park is just 25 km from Khajuraho-a mere half an hour drive. It is extended over an area of 543 Sqkm along the banks of river Ken, the parks topography is a magnificent one of deep gorges, During the monsoons, the park is a lush green haven with cascading waterfalls.

The park's area includes the former shooting reserves of the erstwhile royal state of Panna and Chhattarpur and the jungles today harbour many species of wildlife, Tiger sighting is always a matter of chance but regular sightings of animals like Leopard, Wolf and Gharial. Herds of Blue Bulls, Chinkaras and Sambars are a common sight. The Wild Boar, the Sloth Bear, the Cheetal, the Chowsingha, the Indian Fox, the Porcupine, and a host of lesser fauna are frequently sighted at Panna national park.

A separate sanctuary for Gharial has been set up. The park can probably boast of the highest density of the Paradise Fly-Catchers. This rich avian and faunal life combined with its picturesque scenery make a visit to the Park a memorable.

 

Manas National Park – Assam

Lying on the foothills of the Himalaya, Manas is the most stunning pristine wildlife habitat in India, comparable to the best in the world in the beauty of its spectacular landscape. It is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage (in danger) site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve - a unique distinction. This Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forest Terrestrial Eco-region is also the richest in species of all Indian wildlife areas and the only known home for the rare and endangered Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.

The focus point of Manas National Park is the enchanting Manas River, named after the serpent goddess Manas. It is the largest Himalayan tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. Coming down the Bhutan Hills from the north, the crystal clear waters of the Manas river runs through the heart of the 500 sq. km core area of Manas Park. The main tourist spot of Mothanguri, on the northern border of Manas with Bhutan, is situated on the banks of this river.

A total of 55 mammals, 50 reptiles and three amphibians have been recorded, several species being endemic. Manas contains 21 of India's Schedule I mammals and at least 33 of its animals listed as threatened, by far the greatest number of any protected area in the country. Some, like the Assam Roofed turtle Kachuga sylhetensis, Golden Langur Presbytis geei, Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus, Pygmy Hog Sus salvanius and the only pure strain of Asiatic Wild Buffalo Bubalus arnee, are only found/best seen here.

 

Kanha National Park - Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National park is located in Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Kanha National Park is one of the India’s finest tiger reserves. It is spread more than 940 sq. km in a horse shoe shaped valley bound by the spurs of the Mekal range the park presents a varies topography.

Kanha national park is more famous for its wildlife; the natural beauty of its landscape is just as fascinating. One of the best locations to enjoy that bounty is Bammi Dadar, also known as the sunset point.  

Kanha also shelters one of the largest populations of the tigers in the country. Some of the other larger animal species found in the park are sloth bear, leopard, and striped hyena, spotted dear, wild boar, jungle cat, jackal and a variety of monkeys. Over 200 spices of birds have been spotted in the park. There are many folklore about how it got kanha name. Some say it came from kanha, the clay like soil of the river bottoms, Other say the area is named for kanha a holy forest sage, who once lived here and was the father of shakuntala, whose son was Bharat and whose story was told in our legends.

 

Pench National Park - Madhya Pradesh & Maharashtra

Spread over 758 sq. kms of tropical moist deciduous forest, Pench is one of the most accessible tiger reserves in the country, and just 90 kilometers north of Nagpur. The Reserve is located in the southern part of the Satpura hill range in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh. The terrain is undulating, with most of the area covered by small hills and mounds.

The forest area of Pench National Park is redolent with tropical dry deciduous teak and interspersed with bamboo trees and other species of shrubs. The 'Kullu tree' (a species of gum tree) in Pench is a highlight, and visitors are often mesmerized by its almost white bark and spread out branches that are a startling contrast to the lush greenery around. In addition there are many rare varieties of herbs and grasses in this region -many of them of medicinal use. Fauna-wise, a number of endangered species have made it their habitat including the Indian wild dog, the wild pig, nilgai, chital, muntjac, gaur, the four-horned antelope and of course tigers. The tiger population in Pench is one of the highest - 55, in number.

The park is also rich in bird life with over 200 species like barbets, bulbuls, minivets, orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls, and blue kingfishers. The Pench River and water streams that weave through the area, along with nallahs and ravines provide the perfect habitat for the water birds of this region. This is also the hunting ground for crocodiles and turtles.

 

Ranthambore National Park – Rajasthan

The north-western state of Rajasthan is home to the famous Ranthambore National Park, named after the historic Ranthambore fortress in the park. Ranthambore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the government of India and was declared as one of the project tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. The park covers an area of 392 sq. kms set between the Aravali and Vindhya ranges. The terrain comprises of dense tropical dry forest, open bush land and rocky terrain inter spread with lakes and streams.

The forest though mainly famous for the Asiatic tiger, is also the abode for various other species of mammals, reptiles and birds. The mammals include-leopards, striped hyenas, jungle cats, jackals, sloth bears, sambar deer, chitals etc. The majority of reptiles include-crocodiles, desert monitor lizards, tortoise, a variety of snakes etc.

Ranthambore is also home to a varied species of birds, resident and migratory. These include-Indian grey horn bills, parakeets, pelicans, flamingos etc.  Ranthambore national park has a variety of flora which mainly belong to the dry deciduous type. Various activities are carried out at the park which include special tiger tours, bird watching tours etc.

 

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary - Kerala 

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is located next to the Central state Farm at Aralam in the Kannur district in Kerala. The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1984. The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 55 square kms. The highest point is the Katti Betta peak in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary.

The vegetation in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary consists of coast tropical evergreen forest and west coast semi evergreen forest. There are about 490 hectares of teak and eucalyptus plantations within the forest area.

The major wildlife animals found in in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary are the Elephant, Bison, Sambar, Deer, Boar, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Jungle Cat and different types of squirrel.

 

B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary – Karnataka

B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at a height of 5,091 feet in the Kemmannagundi district of Karnataka. B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique blend of resort and wildlife sanctuary. The B R Hills Wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 540 square kms of undulating hills and valleys covered in deciduous forests and Sholas. The B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary forms an important link between the Eastern and Western Ghats. The river Cauvery flows in the south east and at Kollegal takes an abrupt turn towards the North and again returns to its initial course. The Biligiri Rangaswamy and Male Mahadeshwar ranges also bridges the gap between the Western and Eastern Ghats.

The B R Hills Wildlife sanctuary is a home to various species of wild animals. The main wildlife attractions in the B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary are Gaur, Chital, Sambhar, bear, elephant, panther and tiger. Over 200 species of birds, including the racket-tailed drongo and the crested eagle can also be seen in this sanctuary.

 

Bandipur National Park – Karnataka

Bandipur National Park is the beautiful forest reserve located in the Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka. This national park occupies a special place in India’s efforts towards natural conservation. This park was created in the 1930 from the local Maharaja Voodiyar’s hunting lands and named Venugopal Wildlife Park. In 1941, the Bandipur National Park was expanded to adjoin the Nagarhole National Park, which is situated towards its northern edge and Wayanad and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuaries, which are

situated towards its southern edge in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The entire area now constitutes the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one of the most extensive tracts of protected forest in India. In 1973, Bandipur became one of the India's first Tiger Reserves, established under Project Tiger. In 1974, Bandipur was declared as a National Park. The Bandipur National Park covers an area of 231 square kms.

The Bandipur National Park is one of the finest and most accessible habitats of the Asiatic elephant. Its vast open spaces make it a pleasant and convenient place for visitors to see the herds of elephants, gaurs, spotted deer, sambar and tiger in its natural surroundings. Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Barking deer, Wild dog, Jackal, sloth bear, four-horned antelope, Langur monkey and Chital are the various other animals which can also be seen in this national park. There is also a wide range of bird life.

 

Dachigam National Park - Jammu & Kashmir

Dachigam National Park located very close to Srinagar (22km) with its splendid forests and magnificent scenery, is easily accessible. The two sectors of the Park - Upper and Lower Dachigam are spread over an area of 141 sq. km. and altitudes vary between 1700 and 4300 meters. Two steep ridges enclose the Park with its great topographical variety - deep ravines, rocky outcrops, steep wooded slopes and rolling alpine pastures. Tumbling down from the Masrar Lake (4300m), up in the high ranges, the Dachigam River winds through Lower Dachigam .The Park is the habitat of the endangered hangul or the Kashmir stag - the only species of red deer to be found in India.

Winter is the best time to view the hangul, when they Musk deer congregate in the shelter of the lower valleys. Other inhabitants include the Himalayan black bear, species of wild goat like the markhor and ibex and varieties of exotic Himalayan birds. Colourful pheasants include the crimson tragopan, the iridescent monal pheasant with its glittering plumage, the blood pheasant and the koklass pheasant. The golden eagle and the bearded vulture or lammergeier are seen circling the brilliant blue skies. The leopard, which is the only predator in this paradise, is rarely seen as also the elusive snow leopard which is found in the higher altitudes.

Other animals include the rare musk deer and the Himalayan marmot. A metaled road takes visitors from Srinagar into Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can only be explored on foot.

 

Periyar National Park – Kerala

Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a perennial source of water for the local wildlife. Herds of elephant and sambar, gaur and wild pigs wander down to the lake-side and can be observed from the launches that cruise the lake. In March and April, during the driest period here, the animals spend a lot of time near the lake and the elephants can be seen bathing and swimming in the reservoir. A glimpse may be had even of the tiger during this season, as it comes to the water. Periyar also harbours the leopard, wild dog, barking deer and mouse deer.

On the rocky out crops along the lake, monitor lizards can be seen basking in the sun. Visitors who trek into the Park often see a python and sometimes even a king cobra. Among the unusual species found at Periyar are the flying lizard and the flying snake. With wings of Nilgiri tahr orange or yellow, the flying lizard is seen as it glides from one tree to the other. The flying snake is also brilliantly coloured in yellow and black with a pattern of red rosettes. The lake attracts birds like the darter, cormorant, grey heron and ibis and they are seen perched on the snags of dead wood that dot the lake. The great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbill are often seen flapping their ponderous way between trees. There are kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket tailed drongos, parakeets, including the unusual blue winged parakeet and fly catchers.

Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, common langur and bonnet macaque. Though this is also the habitat of the Nilgiri tahr, this elusive goat is rarely seen. The animals are viewed from motor launches on the lake and from watch towers. A summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancore, set along the lake, is a hotel and a fine place to stay.

 

Dajipur Bison Sanctuary – Maharashtra

The Dajipur Bison Sanctuary is situated on the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts. The jungle resort is a scenic spot near the backwaters of the Radhanagri dam. It is surrounded by hilly areas and thick forests abundant in wildlife. You can spot bisons, wild deers, chitals, gawas, etc. here.

You'll find Gagangiri Maharaj's Math in the forest area. The special trekking camp is more than just fun. It's an enlightening excursions; a must for botanical students.

 

Guindy National Park - Tamil Nadu

Guindy National Park is one of the prime visiting spots for those who come to Chennai during vacation period. It attracts visitors over three lakhs during a season. A recommended picnic spot for the entire family to spend a day amidst nature and return home joyfully in the evening.

This park boasts of over 24 varieties of trees, for example, Amona Squamosa, Atlanta Monoplylla, Feronia Limonia, Azadirachta India, etc. to mention a few. Also more than 14 varieties of shrubs, over 14 types of mammals like elephant, antelope, spotted dear, jungle cat, toddy cat, Indian civet, etc. The park also accounts for over 37 varieties of birds, like black crested, black winged kite, honey buzzard, pariah kite, and so on. There are also many kinds of amphibians and snakes to add to the variety that is already available.

 

Mudumalai Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

This sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the eastern Ghats. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary has varied mixture of flat land, undulating parkland, open grassland, swamp, valleys and nullas. The Mayyar river in this region forms a series of spectacular cascades on its way 65 kms away from Udhagamandalam - Mysore highway, this sanctuary could be reached from Mysore as well.

The fauna includes Elephant, Gaur, Bonnet, Macaque, Common langur, Tigers and Leopards, Chital, Dhole Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking deer, Four-Horned- Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (mugger), giant flying squirrel, Sambhar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose.

The Birds listed in this sanctuary are peacock-our national bird, grey jungle fowl, Malabar whistling thrush, large racket-tailed dronge, the shama, the magpie-robin, spotted babbler, small green barbet, germen pigeons, little brown dove, Malabar grey hornbill, bulbuls, mynahs etc. Among birds of prey, eagles, hawks, buzzards, harriers, falcons and king vulture are predominant, birdies some migratory water birds.

 

Point Calimere Wild Life Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

Sprawling on 17.26 sq. km surrounded by sea and shore, comprising forests of tidal swamps, dry evergreen forests of mangroves, and this sanctuary is situated in the Nagapattinam district. It is bestowed with population of varied wild life such as Chital, Wild boar, Bonnet macaque, Black Buck, Flamingoes, Teals, Gulls, Terns, Pavers and Stilts. Special attractions are close encounters with Dolphins and Turtles which often come quite close to the shore.

 

The Sunderbans National Park - West Bengal

The vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Ganga, extends over a vast area. Mangrove forests, swamps and forested islands are interwoven with a network of small rivers and rivulets. The Sunderbans National Park, covering about 1330.10 sq. km., forms the core of this area. This mostly estuarine mangrove forest is the habitat of nearly 200 Royal Bengal tigers. Bangladesh lies to the east of the Park and it is estimated that the combined population of tigers in the region could well be about 400 in number. Adapting itself to the saline and watery environment, the tigers at the Park are good swimmers and practically amphibious! Traversing the mangroves by motor launch is quite an experience, for the area is completely unspoilt and very different from the more conventional wildlife park. The estuarine crocodile is often seen along the mud banks but owing to the dense undergrowth the tiger is rarely sighted. The Park is also noted for its conservation of the Ridley sea truffle.

Sunderbans also harbors a good number of rare and globally threatened animals including Estuarine Crocodile ( Crocodilus porosus ), Fishing Cat ( Felis viverrina ), Common otter ( Lutra lutra ), Water Monitor lizard ( Varanus salvator ), Gangetic Dolphin ( Platinista gangetica ), Snubfin dolphin ( Orcella brevirostris ), River Terrapin (Batagur baska ), marine turtles like Olive Ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea ), Green Sea Turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), Hawksbill Turtle ( Eritmochelys imbricata ). Six species of Shark and Ray, which are found here, are included in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act. These indicate that Sunderbans Reserved Forest is a natural biodiversity hot spot.

Other mammals comprise of Wild boars, Spotted deer, Porcupines and Rhesus macaque. Among the reptiles, the King cobra, the common cobra, Banded krait, Russells Viper comprise the community of venomous reptiles, while the Python, Chequered Kil-Back, Dhaman , Green Whip Snake and several other species constitute the non-venomous snakes.

 

Nandankanan Sanctuary & Biological Park - Orissa

Nandan Kanan A short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan zoo lies in the splendid environs of the CHANDAKA forest, along the rippling water of the KANJIA LAKE. It also contains a botanical garden and part of it is has been declared a sanctuary.

It's famous for its white tiger population. Nandankanan or the garden of Gods has bocom a hot family favorite, with visitors getting an excellent opportunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in their natural glory-in an environment conducive to their growth.

Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion, three Indian crocodilians , Sangal lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding  successfully  at Nandankanan some of the other attractions of Nandankanan are the 34aquaria which are home to a large variety of fresh water fishes . The Reptile park's cave like entrance is guarded by a life-size tyrannosaurus inside numerous species of crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes share the park with natural ease.

 

Gulf Of Mannar Marine National Park - Tamil Nadu

This is a marine Bio sphere, running along with coasts of Ramanathapuram and Tuthukudi (Tuticorin) Districts. The entire Gulf of Mannar abounds in distinguished marine life covering, 21 Islands and 623 ha. This National Park is full of coral reefs, Dugong, Turtles, Dolphins and Balano-glossus. Kurusalai Islands of Manadapam boasts of a vast expanse of shallow waters. The presence of coral reef, flora and fauna here are in their virgin form. Dolphins could create euphoria to the tourists.

 

Rann Of Kutch – Gujarat

Gujarat is famous for its large herds of wild asses as it is for its lions. The Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary, can be from Dasada, 93 kms from Ahmedabad and on an important route. It has salt plains, caused by flooding of the Rann by sea, river and rain water; punctuated by highlands called beyts, above the monsoon flood mark where scrub flora and grasslands offer a refuge to wildlife. This is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India, spanning some 4950 sq. ft. in area, and comprising a range habitats from saline desert plains, arid grasslands, rocky and thorn scrub to lakes and marshes.

This is the only home for the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass, which is the member of wild horse family. These animals are tall, chestnut brown and white in colour, and are exceptionally fast. They does not survive elsewhere in Indian lowlands, but also supports a thriving population of gazelle, blue bull, wolf, and Indian foxes, jackal, jungle cat, hare and birds from the houbara bustard, spotted & Indian sand grouse, francolin partridge, bustard quails, desert wheatear, desert, larks, steppe eagle, imperial eagle, short toed eagle, 5 of vulture, laggar falcon etc. to flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, cranes and storks. The 11th century sandstone of Jhinjwada, historic walled town of Mandal, Rajput at Patdi, intricate temples around Munsar tank at Viragam and Darbargadh of Dasada can be visited on the way from to the Rann of Kutch. Indian wild ass, panther, Black buck, Chinkaras, Blue bull, Jackals, wild boar, Ghudkhur and rare birds Houbara Bustard, Falcons, Larks are the others who can be seen in this sanctuary.

 

Gir National Park – Gujarat

Located in the south west of the Saurashtra peninsula, the Gir National Park is a heaven to about 300 Asiatic lions. The 1,412.13 sq. km. Park has a rugged terrain and the steep rocky hillsides are covered in mixed deciduous forests. There are teak, ber, flame of the forest and banyan trees. Streams run through the deep ravines. The lions, a smaller more compact version of their African cousins, are best viewed at dawn or dusk when they are on the move. Gir has also nearly 210 leopards and numerous chital, nilgai, chinkara, the four horned antelope and wild boar. Marsh crocodiles are often seen along its rivers. The forest is rich in bird life and the paradise flycatcher, black headed cuckoo shrike, pied woodpecker, Bonelli's eagle; crested serpent eagle, painted sand grouse, bush quail and grey partridge are among the variety that is found here.

Three unusual reserves, the Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary, where large numbers of water-birds can be seen; the bare saline flats o the Rann of Kutch, incredibly the home of the Indian wild ass and the spectacular Flamingo Island where nesting colonies of flamingoes are be seen, make Gujarat an exciting place for wildlife enthusiasts.

 

The Great Himalayan National Park - Himachal Pradesh

The Great Himalayan National Park the largest protected area in Himachal Pradesh, the Park is carved out of the splendid mountain terrain of the Kullu district. Rich corniferous forests, alpine meadows carpeted with flowers, snow-capped peaks and glaciers provide a breath taking panorama. The secluded Sainj and Tirthan valleys harbour a variety of animals common to this area - wild mountain goats like the bharal, goral and serow, the brown bear and predators like the leopard and the rarely seen snow leopard. Varieties of colourful pheasants - monal, khalij cheer, tragopan and other Himalayan birds are part of its rich avian population. Trekking through the Park to Rakte Sar, the origin of the Sainj River brings in the added pleasure of seeing wildlife in this spectacular natural environment.

 

Nagarhole National Park – Karnataka

In Karnataka, the two attractive wildlife parks of Nagarhole and Bandipur, though separate entities, are part of a larger contiguous wildlife reserve that includes the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Waynad Reserve in Kerala. Both the parks are easily accessible from Mysore. The 874.20 sq. km. At Nagarhole, too, there are excellent facilities for viewing wildlife and large groups of gaur, elephant, sambar, chital and even the occasional tiger or leopard are seen. Among other mammals are the muntjac, the tiny mouse deer, wild boar, pangolin, giant squirrel, slender loris, langurs and macaques. The Park has about 250 species of birds and the Malabar trogan, the Malabar pied hornbill, the great black woodpecker, the Indian pitta and the green imperial pigeon are part of its avian variety. Lesser cats like the jungle cat, leopard cat and rusty spotted cat are also resident species.

 

Simlipal National Park – Orissa

The Simlipal National Park, one of the earliest to be taken under Project Tiger, is located in the forest belt of northern Orissa Once the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Mayurbhanj, the Park is set in an expanse of fine sal forests. Twelve rivers cut across the attractive terrain and there are innumerable waterfalls. The mugger is quite often seen along many of these rivers. The Park also holds tigers, leopards, elephants, sambar, chital, chausingha and mouse deer, the tiniest member of the deer family. Simlipal can be explored by jeep and the deer are especially seen in the grasslands along the rivers.

 

Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

Kalakkadu Wild Life Sanctuary is situated in area of 223 sq. kms in the Tirunelveli District, including the foothills of Western Ghats and the adjoining area. The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet ever-green to Tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest at down hills.

Lion tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque and Common Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, sambar, Sloth Bear, gaur, Elephant, Tiger, Flying Squirrel, Panther, Wild Dog, Pangoline are some of the wild life seen in the sanctuary. Besides, a wide range of birds and reptiles could be seen. Trekking can be done with prior permission from the Forest (Wildlife) Department.

 

Mundanthurai Wild Life Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

There is nothing to differentiate this sanctuary from that of Kalakkadu, except the absence of Elephant and the Gaur. Situated in the Tirunelveli district, This 567 sq km sanctuary boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forests patches of pure reeds.

Animal wealth includes Tiger, Bonnet macaque, Langurs, Slenders Loris, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Chital and wild dog. Excellent for various species of avi-fauna and verities of reptiles and insects. Trekking with prior permission from the Forest (Wildlife) Department, along trekking trails can be undertaken.

 

Buxa Tiger Reserve - West Bengal

Buxa Tiger Reserve was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. This picturesque reserve with its prodigious Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, is dissected by numerous rivulets. It’s declared a National Park in January 1992.

The veritable flora and fauna of these wet forests having an annual downpour exceeding 5000 mm, attracts tourists and nature lovers every year. This part of the country is characterized by its high degree of plant & animal bio-diversity where 60% species are endemic to the area. The Generic diversity of mammals is second highest among all the tiger reserves of India. Astonishing bio-diversity of animals comprise of a reach avifauna of more than 230 identified species, 67 mammals (out of which 21 are endangered), 36 species of reptiles (10 numbers are endangered). Apart from Bengal Tiger the flagship species, there are plenty of Leopard, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Wild Dogs, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Mongooses, Asian Elephant, Gaur, Small Claws Otter, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Buffalo, 3 varieties of Pythons, Monitor Lizard and a host of land tortoises. A number of animals like Chinese Pangolin. Regal Python (reticulate) Clouded Leopard are endemic to the region.

The Avifauna is rich in both endemic as well as migratory species. The swift rivers of Rydak and Jainti are visited by Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, the beautiful Ibis Bill, resident Fork-tails, varieties of Red-stars, Wag-tails; the Narathali Lake is visited by migratory Common Teal, Gargani Teal, Large Whistling Teal, and White Eyed Poachared etc. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill abound the area. One of the rarest bird of India the Black-necked Crane has been sighted in the Reserve during the early winter. The migratory beautiful Black Stork is a visitor of the area. The monsoon ends and beautiful Minivets, Sultan tits arrive, during summer rare Ashyminivet is also sighted.

 

Velavadar National Park – Gujarat

The only tropical grassland in India to be given the status of a national park, Velavadar National Park is a 36 km patch of Savannah type grasslands and thorn scrub. The park is set between two rivers, a few miles from the Gulf of Cambay sea coast. The rich soil is believed to have origins in the sea. The principal attraction of the park is the massive population of blackbuck, the handsome Indian antelope, seen here in numbers running into thousands. The blackbuck is endemic to India and is rated among the most elegant antelopes and the fastest animals over a long distance. During the rule of the Maharajahs of Bhavnagar, Velavadar was harvested for grass to feed the royal cattle herds and the antelope were protected except for an occasional hunting camp. This is where His highness Krishnakumar Sinhji coursed blackbucks using cheetahs and flew falcons.

Velavadar is one of the few places in the world where the wolf population is proliferating. The wolf is the prime predator of Velavadar national park. Other mammals seen in Velavadar are fox, jackal, jungle cat, wild pig, hare and rodents. The birdlife is extensive. Sand grouse, larks and other grasslands are seen in fair numbers. The harrier roost at Velavadar national park is one of the largest in the world.

 

Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary – Gujarat

Spread out over 56 sq km, Ratanmahal-on the Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border-is the only exclusive sloth bear sanctuary in Gujarat. And sloth bears are just part of the attraction: nature fulfills herself in many other ways. The River Panam criss-crosses beautiful small hamlets on the foothills of this sanctuary; lush green and thick woods full of natural goodness.

Kanjeta nestles at 230 meters above main sea level, offering a variety in terms of flora and fauna. Sloth bears (57 as per the latest census), panthers (9), large-size monkeys (900), langoors (800), jackals (100), antelopes (four) and hyenas (8), besides others numerous jungle cats, foxes, honey badgers, hare, porcupines and reptiles. To believe the beauty of flora and birds (120 species) you got to visit this place. And if you want to be on the hilltop-about 8 km from Kanjeta-you can do that as well, with the permission of the authorities.

 

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Sanctuary - Andhra Pradesh

The largest of India's Tiger Reserves, the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Sanctuary (3568 sq. km.); lies in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The terrain is rugged and winding gorges slice through the Mallamalai hills. Adjoining the reserve is the large reservoir of the Nagarjunasagar Dam on the River Krishna. The dry deciduous forests with scrub and bamboo thickets provide shelter to a range of animals from the tiger and leopard at the top of the food chain, to deer, sloth bear, hyena, jungle cat, palm civet, bonnet macaque and pangolin. In this unspoilt jungle, the tiger is truly nocturnal and is rarely seen.

 

Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wild Life Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

Located in the Virudhunagar District, 45 kms off Virudhunagar Town, this sanctuary has a composition of dry decidious forests, moist mixed deciduous forests and grasslands. Grizzled Giant Squirrels are abound. Other interesting species are flying squirrel, Tree Shrew, Elephant, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, and many a species of birds. This sanctuary can be visited all through the year.


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