14 Best National Parks in India

India has diverse and rich wildlife which is drawing the attention of nature lovers across the world. Numerous National parks and Wildlife sanctuaries are established all over India. It is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world. India is a home of many rare species like clouded leopards, Asiatic lions, numerous species of Deer, Hangul, Chital, snow leopards and many more.

Wildlife tourism gives you a chance to go on bird watching, jeep safari, jungle safari, elephant ride, boat safari. From the Great Himalayan National Park in the north to the Dandeli Wildlife Reserve in the south, India has a large number of wildlife reserves in the vicinity.

In India, reserves are natural habitats and not artificially created. India is home to 75% of total tiger population in the world which has been breeding in their natural existence. Since no cost is involved in creating an artificial environment for them the charges are quite cheap and economical in India.

Best National Parks in India Here is the list of best wildlife destinations in India:

1. Gir National Park

Gir National Park is one of the most brilliant jewels in Gujarat's treasure. If we focus on the part of Gir's focal attraction then the coherent answer would be the Asian Lions. With a major contribution to Indian wildlife tourism, Gir National Park is like a home to Asian lions and other related species of big cats.

This well-protected habitat also shares its shelter with different species of birds, mammals and reptiles. Its rich biodiversity is the fundamental reason behind its day-by-day nature appreciators more and more.

2. Jim Corbett National Park

Also, If you wish to spend a nice time with your family or with your own self, away from the crowd, then travel a little more and go to Corbett National Park near Ramnagar in Uttarakhand. Jim Corbett National park, located in Uttarakhand is one of the largest national parks in India. Corbett forest is surrounded by forest and mountains.

Corbett Park is spread over 521 square kilometres known mainly for Royal Bengal Tiger. Apart from that other animals and birds can be seen here. You can enjoy Jungle Safari over here. If you have enough time, few tourist attractions like Corbett Fall, Jim Corbett Museum and Kosi River can be included in your package.

Jim Corbett National park is one of the best national parks to visit in India. When compared to all the national parks, Corbett National park is the oldest and list among the top 10 national parks in India. It is one of the hot spots for wildlife lovers and is named after one of the most popular wildlife writer Jim Corbett. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain ranges in Uttarakhand.

The beauty and wilderness of this park attract the attention of tourists from various parts of the world. This wildlife tourist destination in India is also featured in many wildlife documentaries to raise awareness of the mighty and amazing Bengal Tigers. The living members of this most established national park are the most rabid species of the cat family, the Tigers.

People from different parts of the world visit Corbett just to take a look at these wonderful, dangerous felines. Other than tigers, Jim Corbett Park, is a living space for fishing cats, Serow, Goral, Himalayan Tahr, and some other fascinating wildlife.

Situated close to the Jim Corbett National Park, the resorts give you the opportunity to stay in the wilderness close to nature reserves and protected areas. Spend your day in sightseeing from the room or you can also stroll down the narrow pathways of the jungle around.

Ease yourself taking advantage of the garden and fitness center in the resort. The rooms tend to give a homely feeling with its decorations and design. Anyone who has a love for nature and wildlife will have a memorable weekend in the Jim Corbett National Park, one of the ideal weekend getaways from Delhi.

You can never get a more calm and serene place than this. No need to hunt for tigers, just take a dip in cool water of Ramganga or Kosi river.

Also, if you are an animal lover and love playing with them then you must not skip visiting Jim Corbett National Park where you can spot the exotic species of animals. The rich wildlife of the national park includes sloth bears, tigers, jackals, leopards, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, common otter, spotted deer, porcupine, Indian grey mongoose, etc.

If you want to spend more time in attaining wildlife experiences then you must visit High Altitude Zoo in the city to spot the animals that survive at higher altitudes. Okay, if you are a person who wants to see if tigers are real, Jim Corbett is your destination. Start the tour with a wildlife safari and a stay in the Corbett National Park. Then you can visit the Corbett museum in Kaladhungi as well.

Corbett, is the perfect chance to satiate your appetite. No crowds, no worries, just you and the flowing Ramganga river before you to wash your concerns away. Sit back with a book in the cool, mud-walled open verandahs, or go for an early morning walk in the woods. Pack your bags for a long weekend, and get a hold of this environmentalist home before it’s gone - so you can enjoy some much needed forest bathing, cool laps in the river, organic food, and memorable fireside chats.

Everything in Jim Corbett is Govt. regulated. So there is nothing like Govt. Safari or private Safari. As everything is organized fully by govt. officials.

However, there are private vendors who offer jeep safari in different zones of Jim Corbett National Park but again all these jeep safaris are fully govt. regulated. These vendors only have jeep of their own for which they have the permit to run safari in Jim Corbett. They also need to do the bookings with the government as there are a limited number of jeeps allowed every day in the zone.

The Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve is divided mainly into five zones namely Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Dhela, and Durga devi. It is also be noted that you can only do canter safari (basically a bus) in the “Dhikala” zone. And it is fully owned by govt. As “Dhikala” is the popular zone for spotting Tigers and a large number of tourists want to do their safari in this zone.

Best time to visit Jim Corbett National Park: March to May

It's one of the most visited places in winter in Uttarakhand. The main gates for Corbett Safari every year opens from 15 November to 15 June. There are forest rest houses in Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna, Dhela and Sonnadi zone to stay. Forest rest houses require booking in advance and can be booked through online websites. Also many hotels and resorts are near the Corbett forest border.

Jungle safari is also required to booked in advance and can be booked through their official website online. You can also take help of travel/booking agents.

3. Sundarbans National Park

Impenetrable forests, winding rivers, numerous Sundari trees, somnambulist crocodiles, spotted deer, Sundarbans is all that and the most. Look carefully in his soul and you will see nature in its pure state. Sunderban National Park is India's largest crown in a form of the world's largest mangrove forest and the largest tiger reserve in India.

In the largest delta and the largest estuarine national park in the world, you will be amazed at the diversity and stunning beauty of this tiger reserve. Its main attraction is the Royal Bengal tiger, but it also houses endangered species such as Batagur Baska, King Crabs, and Olive Ridley Turtles. With a walk in the creek, walk in the forest, visit a fishing cove, tour the village and visit watchtower offering the best experience of this treasure that has a myriad and mysterious life.

Thoughts are bound to cross your mind as we take you for this magical and mystical journey. Sundarbans, the largest ecosystem in the world was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and was honored as a Biosphere Reserve. To add to this are the Sundarban and Bengal folklore parties and shows, talk shows and movie screenings, enriched the experience.

A cruise will take you through the Ghats of Kolkata, Mousuni Island, Namkhana, a fishermen's cove, Bhagabatpur, a crocodile project, a thrilling ride in the Lothian Island, a 300-year-old temple in the Netidhopani forest, Dobanki, Sudhanyakhali deer rehabilitation center, the watchtower for the Tiger in Sajnekhali, Bali Village, a typical village of Sundarban, Kalas Beach, and Burirdabri.

Want to experience staying amidst wilderness and get closer to wildlife? How about if I say you can have a comfortable stay in the dense jungle atmosphere? Spend a night at the resort and enjoy watching the flowing river on one side and thick jungle on the other.

Best time to visit Sundarban National Park: March to May

4. Kanha National Park

If you are a nature lover looking for an immerse experience among luscious flora and fauna, you should consider a trip to Kanha National Park. Kanha National Park, aka Kanha Tiger Reserve, is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh. Often reckoned as the plot base for the famed Rudyard Kipling’s composition, Jungle Book, Kanha is nothing short of a breathtaking wildlife park that has an opulent flora and fauna to boast about.

The romance with the unruly breeze, the sound of the forest, the curiosity of meeting wild creatures and the unpredictability of each turn in the jungle filled with dense vegetation and diverse wildlife will fascinate you the most.

Home of the grand, majestic tiger population of India, Kanha is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh and in fact the largest in the central Indian region. It is so large that the entire area of 940 sq. km. has been divided into 2 different parts to accommodate as much tigers in need as possible. If lucky you can easily spot various species of tigers like the royal Bengal tiger, sloth bears, Indian wild dogs and so much more.

With a mixture of forests and shrubland, a day spent here exploring on a jeep safari ride will be something that you will always cherish.

Give your body and mind the breath of fresh air it deserves. Take a trip to a glamping site in Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Nestled in the midst of greenery, flora and fauna, and wide open terrain, it is the perfect way to satiate your senses during winter. Watch the birds fly, try to spot a tiger, or simply take a refreshing nap in one of many luxury tents.

For travelers seeking some comfort with adventure, Kanha is the place to be. Get the taste of wildlife and culture all at once. Stay in a lodge tucked away amidst nature and explore a life that seamlessly blends hospitality and culture with the backdrop of a beautiful forest and diverse wildlife.

Kanha National Park is another destination sought in the list of national parks in Madhya Pradesh. This national park is a well-maintained park in Asia. Another feature of Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadart. Bamni Dadar, known as the Sunset Viewpoint offers splendid views of the gaur (Indian bison) and the sambar (Asian deer) in the light of the west. It offers the most interesting views of animals in their natural habitat.

The Kanha National Park, south of Jabalpur is one of the three natural gems of the state of Madhya Pradesh, in the center of India, and one of the pillars of the tiger project. It is perhaps the last hope to save the king from the fauna of the Indian subcontinent. More prevalent than the land of Mowgli, together with the Pench National Park, it served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling to write the famous Jungle Book.

As Sher Khan roars in Rudyard Kipling's writing and you can observe the live view of the roaring tiger in the real woods of Kanha. You can witness the whole characters of the Jungle books here as the likes of Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa, Hathi or Sher Khan in a real form of black panther, bear, python, elephant and Bengal tiger.

Thanks to the effectiveness of the personnel involved, a small miracle has been achieved with the salvation of the deer of the marshes, Barasingha, which was on the verge of extinction. This deer is the favorite prey of the park's wildlife star, the Bengal tiger. No other national park offers as much variety in tiger sighting modes as Kanha.

With open grassland, bamboo forest, lakes and streams, the park is well regarded for its conservation programs. You will sight host of major animals including swamp deer, tiger, Indian wild dog, and likewise. The park is known as Tiger Reserve due to significant amount of population of tigers. If you are planning an excursion from Kanha, then you can visit Khajuraho, Orcha, Gwalior.

Best time to visit Kanha National Park: March to May

5. Panna National Park

In Panna National Park located about 57 km from Khajuraho you can admire some of the most interesting wildlife species in India, including the famous Indian tigers. The safari in the jungle in this nature reserve is an exciting experience. The park is known throughout the world for its wild animals, including tigers, leopard, wolf, hyena, deer, chital, chowsingha and antelopes.

You can see the white stork, the Bavarian goose, the honey vulture, the king's vulture, the parakeet with the flower, the flycatcher of Paradise and the Slaty, to name a few. Jungle safari in this nature reserve is an exciting experience. The jeep passes through the dense teak forests and picturesque gorges.

You can admire the diversity of flora and fauna, including unique animals such as spotted deer or chital, black buck, the Indian gazelle or the panther. As for the vegetation of the park, you will find different types of plants unique in their kind. In addition to being a refuge for wildlife fans, the national park also boasts spectacular natural beauty with its gorges and waterfalls.

Best time to visit Panna National Park: March to May

6. Silent Valley National Park

The Silent Valley National Park is one of its kind bio-reserve in India which thrives on abundance of flora and fauna. Silent Valley National park is located in Kundali Hills near to the Western Ghats in Kerala. Located in the middle of Nilgiri, Nilambur, Palghat, and the Attappadi Forest Reserve, this place captures an enchanting panorama. Adding to the beauty of this park River Kunthi flows through this park.

Many rare species of birds like Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri wood-pigeon, rufous babbler, grey-head bulbul is present in this park. It is home to around 150 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and 1000 species of flowering plants.

Best time to visit Silent Valley National Park: December to April

7. Tadoba National Park

Tadoba is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park. It is one of the 47 parks that is included under the project tiger reserves. The term tadoba is derived from the name of a local deity. Spread out over a sprawling area of 1,727 sq. km. and about 150 km away from Nagpur city. Dotted with local tree population, a rich tiger community and lakes, the national park is graced by the presence of Andhari River.

During a jeep safari one can happen to spot various animals such as: Chital, Sambar, Indian Civets, Barking Deer, Striped Hyena, Indian Cobra etc.

The Tadoba Buffer in Madnapur support the spillover from the core ranges of the forest. Not only is the place a rich resource of forest reserves, it also house the villages. Forestry in India is more than just about wood and fuel. India has a thriving non-wood forest products industry, which produces latex, gums, resins, essential oils, flavours, fragrances and aroma chemicals, incense sticks, handicrafts, honey, thatching materials and medicinal plants.

But then its all about co-existence as the wild animals tend to stray into the villages in search of food. Thus often killing the domesticated cattle or at times attacking the humans too. The Indian Gaur is also called a bison and is a huge animal of the wild. But even then it is predated. Other than humans, leopards, dhole packs and large mugger crocodiles occasionally attack unguarded calves or unhealthy animals.

Only tiger and saltwater crocodile have been reported to kill adult gaur. Interestingly, when a gaur is confronted by a tiger, the adult members of the herd forms a circle surrounding the vulnerable young and calves, shielding them from the wild tiger.

Best time to visit Tadoba Andhari National Park: December to March

8. Periyar National Park

Thekkady is famous for Periyar National Park located in the well preserved high ranges of Western Ghats. One of the most stunning places in Thekkady is the Periyar National Park. The soft contoured hill slopes of this National Park will bring you the unspoiled wildlife of Kerala and spoil you with the mesmerising view of the landscape.

The serene nature of this place is something very different from the all of the Kerala. Also, you can opt for some good trekking option in Thekkady as well. The top birds to spot in Thekkady are grey hornbill, wood pigeon, flycatcher, black baza, Oriental darter, black necked stork, brahminy kite, little spider hunter and many others.

9. Great Himalayan National Park

Located in Kullu district, the GHNP is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest National Park in Himachal Pradesh. The region is divided into Ecozone and Buffer zone while many of rural settlements thrive on the periphery of the National Park. The GHNP is spread in the South-Eastern Ridge of Kullu and many of High altitude Passes like Balsheo Pass are some of the highest elevations here.

The GHNP region has Sairopa and Bah Complex which are accessible from Tirthan and Sainj Valley Respectively and both the valleys are connected by Roads. The national Highway 305 passes through the outer limits of GHNP.

10. Pin Valley National Park

Pin Valley National Park is situated in Lahaul and Spiti district and is a beautiful region and home to endangered species of Snow Leopard, the Ibex, lynx, red fox and Himalayan Bear. Walk all day through the Pin Valley National Park that is home to the elusive snow leopard. This endangered species are mostly found in the craggy mountains of Central Asia and perfectly adapted to the cold and barren landscape in high altitude zones. These solitary mammals are mostly active during dusk and dawn.

This elusive mammal is frequently sighted in the snow covered Spiti Valley and it's always delightful for the wildlife lovers to see them even in pairs in this region. Spiti is a safe haven for this species where locals are protecting it and also learned to live with it. It really requires lot of patience to get the sight of this beautiful cat. Snow leopards can grow to the height of 55-65 cm and their main prey are Argali, Urial, Ibex and blue sheep.

11. Khirganga National Park

Kheerganga National Park is located in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh and is a high altitude region with variety of flora and fauna. It is also a home to some of the most uncommon plants and herbs found in the Himalayas.

12. Simbalbara National Park

Simbalbara National Park is located in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh and often observes plying of wild animals from neighbouring Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand. It is a national park with great presence of wildlife including Tiger, Elephants and Birds. It is the only national park in Himachal Pradesh having sighted a wild Tiger.

13. Inderkilla National Park

INP is also located In Kullu district and has a wide variety of plant and animal species native to the Himalayas.

14. Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, located 42 kms from Bhavnagar in Gujarat, was created to protect the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra). Adult males weigh ~40 kg and have an average lifespan of 12 years. It is only the adult males that have the distinct black colour and sport the photogenic spiral/ringed horns.

They can run upto a speed of 80 kmph, an adaptation that was molded by an evolutionary arms race with their chief predator, the Asiatic Cheetah. Now that the Cheetah has been hunted to extinction, the only natural enemies of the Blackbuck are the occasional wolf packs and illegal poaching.
Kalyan Panja