India is home to some of the most diverse and unique wildlife on the planet, and its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries provide ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to experience this rich biodiversity up close. From the famous tigers of Ranthambore to the majestic elephants of Periyar, these protected areas offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of India’s wildlife.
Table of Contents
1. Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1910. The sanctuary is located in the western Himalayas and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna with grasslands, pastures, and meadows with rocky cliffs and rocky outcrops. Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Otter, etc. are a few of the many species that are found here.
2. Jim Corbett National Park
Located in the Nainital District of Uttrakhand, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936. The national park is located amidst a mixed terrain of deciduous forests and mountainous pine forests. As a result Jim Corbett National park is one of the most biologically diverse zones in India. Corbett National Park is a home to the Bengal tiger, Leopard, Leopard cat, Elephants, Sambhar Deer and Golden Jackal etc.
3. Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary
The protected forest area in West Bengal was declared a National Park in 1984 and is a rich biosphere reserve and the part of the Sunderbans situated at the Ganges Delta. Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to a wide variety of flora and fauna species. These include Tiger, Leopard cat, Fishing Cats and over 70 different species of endemic birds.
4. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Assam, the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1985 and is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. The sanctuary is home to a plethora of rare and endangered species of animals like tigers, Asian elephants, Golden Cat, Leopards, Clouded Leopard, Slow Loris, Chital, etc.
5. Kaziranga National Park
Known for the largest population of the Indian one-horned Rhinoceros and Tigers in the world, the Kaziranga National Park is located in Assam. The forests are spread across an area of 430 Square kilometers and are home to species like Tigers, Rhinoceros, elephants, Asian water buffalo, Swamp Deer, Monitor Lizard Spectacled Cobra, etc.
6. Ranthambore National Park
Considered to be one of the best spots to view the Bengal Tiger, Ranthambore National Park is located in Rajasthan and lies between the confluence of the Banas and the Chambal River. The protected forests are also famous for their large banyan trees and is enshrines a Medieval fort. Tiger, Hyena, Sloth Bear and Chital etc. are some of the rare species found here.
7. Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary / Bharatpur National Park
Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the Avifauna sanctuary is located in Rajasthan. Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary (or Bharatpur National Park) was created around 250 years ago and was named after a Shiva temple located within the forest by the Rajput King Maharaja Suraj Mal. Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary was announced as a bird sanctuary in 1971 and is famous for housing over 230 species of birds.
8.Sasan Gir National Park
Sasan Gir National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Gujarat for its thriving population of the Asiatic Lion. Due to its diverse ecosystem and geography, Gir Forest National Park is home to a large variety of species of flora and fauna. The rare species of animals found here are Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Jungle Cats, and Spectacled Cobra, and several rare species of birds are also found here.
9. Kanha National Park
Spread across a massive 940 sq kilometers, Kanha National Park is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. The park is characterized by grassy meadows and open bamboo forests. The rare animal species found in the park are Tigers, Leopards, Wild dogs, Jackals Sloth bear, etc. The park is also famous as being the original source of Rudyard Kipling’s imagination while writing the Jungle Book although the story was actually set in the Pench National Park in India. The Kanha National Park was established in 1955 and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.
10. Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary Park
Located by the Periyar River in Kerala, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1928 and is spread across 305 square Kilometers. Being situated between the mountain ridges the protected area is famous for its population of the Indian Tiger and the Asiatic Elephants. The rare species are the Tiger, Elephant, Travancore flying squirrel, Fruit bat, Giant squirrel, Wild pig, and lion-tailed macaque.
11.Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
The oldest water bird sanctuary in India, The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary was established in 1936. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu the protected area is home to more than a thousand species of birds along with several monkeys. Garganey teals, glossy ibis, grey heron, grey pelican, open-billed stork, painted stork, snake bird, spoonbill and spot bill duck are just few of the several species found here.
12. Sariska National Park
Located in Rajasthan, the Sariska National Park is one of the major areas of the Bengal Tiger population of India. Although the area wasn’t originally populated by the regal cat species, it is one of the few places in the world where an apex predator like the Tiger was successfully relocated from the other areas of India. Apart from the Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Striped hyena, Sambhar deer and Chinkara etc. are few of the rare species found here.
13. Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary
Also known as the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, the protected forest is located in Tamil Nadu and was established in 1962. The Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 1988 and is spread across an area of 895 square kilometers. The rare species found here include Tiger, Leopard, Jungle cat, Giant squirrel, wild dog Elephant, etc.
14. Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Also known as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, forest reserve is spread across an area of 958 sq kilometers. The Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Tamil Nadu and is home to several endangered animal species and is surrounded by several peaks and rivers. Bengal Tiger, Elephants, Sloth Bear, Indian Leopard, Pangolin and the Sambhar deer are few of the several rare species of animal housed here.
15. Campbell Bay National Park
Located on the Great Nicobar Island, the Campbell Bay National Park is spread over an area of 462 square kilometers and is a part of the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve. The protected forests are almost unexplored and contain several rare and endemic species of flora, fauna, avifauna, and marine life. The tropical evergreen forests situated in the Bay of Bengal make it one of the strongest eco systems in the world.
16. Dudhwa National Park
Located in Uttar Pradesh, Dudhwa National Park is spread across an area of 490.3 sq Kilometers. The Dudhwa National Park was established in 1977 as a sanctuary to the swamp deer or the commonly known Barasingha and is also one of the few remaining habitats of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceroses. Thanks to the efforts of famed conservationist Billy Arjan Singh, the predator species like the Leopard and the Tiger were introduced to keep the stag population in check. A plethora of animal, reptile and bird species are found in this park.
17. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Situated amidst the mighty confines of the Nanda Devi peak, the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and National Park was established in 1982. The protected forests are located in the state of Uttrakhand and lie at an average elevation of 3500 meters above sea level. The Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black bear, Himalayan Brown bear, Musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, and plenty of birds and breathtaking floral species.
18. Hemis National Park
Also known as Hemis High Altitude National Park, it is the largest national park in India with an area that spans across 4,400 sq kilometers. Interestingly the park also contains several Tibetan-Buddhist gompas and monasteries and is visited by several tourists. The Hemis National Park contains rare and endangered species like the snow leopard, Bharal sheep, Tibetan Wolf, Eurasian Brown Bear, Lammergeier Vulture, Golden Eagle, Himalayan Vulture and Mountain weasel etc.
19. Bandhavgarh National Park
With one of the highest tiger populations in India, Bandhavgarh National Park is said to be located on a place said to have been given by Lord Rama to Lakshamana, The National Park is located in Madhya Pradesh. The park is spread across an area of 446 square kilometers and is known to be the home of one of the most photographed tigers in the world. The park also contains a medieval fort, and primitive caves dating back to the 1st century AD.
20. Pench National Park
The name of the National Park is taken from the Pench River that flows through the national park from north to south, dividing the park in two equal halves. Pench National Park is famous as being the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous collection of stories ‘The Jungle Book’. Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Jackal and several species of birds and reptiles are housed here.
21. Kanchendzonga National Park
Located in the area containing the 3rd highest peak in the world, Kanchendzonga National Park lays at an elevation ranging from 1,829 meters to 8,550 meters above sea level. The Kanchendzonga national park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna species including several rare medicinal herbs and endangered species of animals, reptiles, and birds.
22. Bandipur National Park
Spanning across an area of 874 sq kilometers, the Bandipur National Park is located in the state of Karnataka. The national park was established in 1974 and is a refuge for several threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna. Tigers, Elephants, sloth bears, Mugger crocodiles, Dholes, Spectacled Cobra and flying lizards, etc. can be spotted here.
23. Wander National Park/ Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Known for its colorful marine life and coral reefs, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (Wandur National Park) is one of the most visited national parks in the Andaman Islands. The protected marine area is known for its views of some of the most coral reef-abundant places in Asia and is also a great place to view the sea turtles and pristine beaches.
24. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Karnataka and is known as a famous tiger reserve in India. The reserve forests are spread across 866.41 sq kilometers and are the second-largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Black panthers, and several species of birds and reptiles can be found here.
25. Valley Of Flowers National Park
Located in the foothills of the western Himalayas, the Valley of Flowers National Park lies in the state of Uttarakhand. As the name suggests the park is covered with grassy meadows that get covered with colorful flowers and is a major tourist attraction in India. The park is also home to the Snow leopard, Himalayan Brown bear, Asian Black Bear, and red fox, etc.
26. Panna National Park
Situated in an area of 542.67 sq kilometers, the Panna National Park and Tiger Reserve is located in Madhya Pradesh. The protected forest was declared as a tiger reserve in 1994 and is the 5th tiger reserve in the state. Apart from the tiger, the Sloth bear, chital, Chinkara and King Vulture etc. can also be spotted at the Panna National Park.
27. Balpakram National Park
Located in Meghalaya, the Balpakram National Park contains several plateau and adjoining forests and is placed around 3000 meters above sea level. The park is famous for housing several species of flora and fauna due to its diverse terrain along with marine fossil deposits. Tiger, Marbled Cat, Golden Cat, Red Panda, Elephant and Wild Water buffalo etc.
28. Similipal National Park
The Park is located in the state of Orrisa and is famous as a reserve for the Asiatic elephant. Similipal National Park is one of the most breath taking nature reserves in India with several, forests, grassy meadows and waterfalls. Tiger, Elephant, Indian Bison, Chausingha, Leopard, Jungle cat and several species of birds and reptiles can be spotted here.
29. Kudremukh National Park
Located amidst the lush green hillocks of the Western Ghats in the state of Karnataka, Kudremukh National Park is one of the best located nature reserves in India. The lush green grasslands and the confluence of three rivers have made it abundant in flora and fauna. Tiger, Leopard, Indian Bison, Sambhar deer, Dhole and Lion-tailed macaque etc can be spotted here.
30. Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is located in the state of Kerala in the Western Ghats and is characterized by high altitude grassy meadows and the tropical montane forests of the Shola. The park is surrounded by different tributaries of the Periyar, Kaveri and Chalakudiyar River and has several waterfalls. The Tiger, Leopard, Dhole, Indian Porcupine, Nilgiri Tahr, Stripe-necked mongoose, Golden Jackal and Sambar Deer can be spotted here.
Conclusion: Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks of India
In conclusion, the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of India are an integral part of the country’s natural heritage. They are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna and provide a sanctuary for endangered species. The efforts made by the Indian government and non-governmental organizations to protect and conserve these areas have been commendable. The creation of sanctuaries and national parks has also helped in promoting eco-tourism, which has generated employment opportunities for local communities. However, there are challenges such as habitat destruction, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict that threaten the future of these protected areas. It is important to continue to prioritize conservation efforts and raise awareness about the importance of these areas in order to ensure their survival for future generations.
Which is the national park of India and wildlife sanctuary?
Some of the Best National Parks to Visit in India
Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand. Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
Which is the 1st wildlife sanctuary in India?
The first wildlife sanctuary of India is Jim Corbett Wildlife Sanctuary that was established in 1875.
Which is the first national park in India?
Jim Corbett national park is the first national park in the country. It was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tigers. It is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett,a naturalist.
Which is the largest national park in India?
Hemis National Park is the largest national park with an area of 4,400 km² of while South Button Island National Park is the smallest with an area of just 5.19 km².
Which is India's largest wildlife sanctuary?
The Ranthambore National Park, located in the state of Rajasthan, is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India.
Which is the smallest sanctuary in India?
South Button Island National Park in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the smallest National Park in India.