If you’re an animal lover, wildlife sanctuaries in India are the place for you. This culturally rich country is considered mega diverse – meaning that you can find a huge amount of the Earth’s fauna and flora within its borders. The rapid urbanisation of many regions around the world unfortunately threatens animal habitats but thankfully, Indian culture celebrates animal life and there are many sanctuaries where animal lovers can reconvene with nature.
Here is a taster of some of the very best wildlife sanctuaries in India:-
1. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
This UNESCO World Heritage site is located in northeast India along the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River. It features wetlands, grasslands and forests, allowing visitors to experience great biodiversity. The park is famous for its great one-horned rhinos, but wildlife enthusiasts can also find tigers, elephants, water buffalo, swamp deer and leopards.
Suggested safari: India Primate Tour
2. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The amazing wildlife sanctuary of Bandhavgarh National Park is the heartbeat to the popularly known Heart of India, the region of Madhya Pradesh. It has a high density of Royal Bengal tigers, leopards and deer. The different types of Indian deer include swamp deer, sambar, barking deer and chital. The best time to visit this park is between November and April when bush is green, the bird life sensational and temperatures are in the mid 20°C.
Suggested safari: Wildlife with Golden Triangle Tour
3. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
As the first wildlife sanctuary established in India this park is a must-visit destination on your wildlife trip. It was created in 1936 as Hailey National Park with the aim of protecting the endangered Royal Bengal tiger. Located in a sub-Himalayan region, most of the park is covered in forest. With rich flora and fauna as well as its conservation efforts, the park is known for its Bengal tigers. Leopards and wild elephants are also found here along with hundreds of species of birds (586).
Suggested safari: Wildlife Hiking Expedition in Indian Himalaya
4. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
This park in northern India is one of the best places to spot the Royal Bengal tiger, which are most active between November and May. It is named after a historic fortress nearby and is surrounded by two rivers. With plenty of jungle for its famous big cats, the park was home to one of the first recorded instances of a male tiger raising his cubs; Zalim the tiger cared for his offspring when their mother died. The most popular and best way to discover the park is on a morning or evening game drive, giving you access to an impressive list of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, crocodiles and monkeys.
Suggested safari: Lure of Indian Wilderness
5. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Located in southern state of Karnataka, Bandipur National Park was once the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore. In 1974 the Indian government initiated Project Tiger that helped to establish this park and put tiger conservation at the forefront. Tourists can visit all year although the very best season is March through June.
Suggested safari: Black Panther Expedition
6. Hemis National Park
Home of the elusive and endangered snow leopard, Hemis National Park is a high altitude national park in the Ladakh region of India. Living in the rugged mountain terrain, it can be very hard to spot snow leopards, but an incredible experience if you do. Other wildlife here includes the great Tibetan sheep, blue sheep, shapu, Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf and Eurasian brown bear (also endangered in India) as well as various birds of prey.
Suggested safari: Snow Leopard Expedition
More Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
The wildlife sanctuaries in India are among the most biodiverse in the world. However, be wary of wildlife attractions that allow you to interact too closely with wild animals. India also has fantastic history and culture so be sure to combine your wildlife trip with a visit to temples or palaces, or perhaps even a beach.
To find the best unique safari tours in India, see our full collection here >>
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