India is unique in the richness and diversity of its vegetation and wildlife. Almost 350 mammal species, over a thousand and two hundred species of birds in nearly 2100 forms and more than 30,000 species of insects – provide evidence to the wealthiness of wildlife in India Besides, there are a number of species of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. With over 4.5% of its geographical area covered by more than 75 national parks and 425 sanctuaries, the range and diversity of India’s wildlife heritage match the grandeur and magnificence of her civilization.
India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries (including bird sanctuaries) from Ladakh in the Himalayas to the Southern tip of Tamil Nadu. These parks, reserves, sanctuaries, and forests are vital to the conservation of endangered species, such as Bengal tiger, the Asiatic Elephant, Lion, the Snow Leopard and Siberian Crane. India’s first national park, the Corbett was established in the foothills of Himalayas. It supports a great variety of mammals and over 585 species of birds. The Wild Elephant population is on the increase and both tiger and leopard are regularly seen.
Kanha National Park is the largest of the original tiger reserves. The park is noted for its local herd of swamp deer. Also in Kaziranga is found a species of the swamp deer found in Kanha A third subspecies (and the largest population) of swamp deer is at the Dudhwa National Park in the northeastern UP.
The magnificent bird sanctuary at Bharatpur Provides a vast breeding area for the native water birds. During the winters (November-March) migratory birds arrive in large numbers, including the Siberian Crane. In the Indian deserts, the most discussed bird is the Great Indian Bustard. In the western Himalayas, one can see birds like Himalayan monal pheasant, western tragopan, koklass, white-crested khalij cheer pleasant, griffon vultures, lammergeiers, choughs, ravens. In the Andaman and Nicobar region, about 250 species and subspecies of birds are found, such as rare Narcondum hornbill, Nicobar pigeon, and megapode. Here are also other birds like white-bellied sea eagle, white-breasted swiftlet, and several fruit pigeons. All these could be observed in Andaman’s 6 national parks and over ninety wildlife sanctuaries.
The Himalayas (foothills) is known for big mammals like elephant, sambar, swamp, deer, cheetah, wild boar tiger, panther, hyena, black bear and sloth bear, porcupine, Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, wild buffalo, gagetic gharial, golden langur. Wild ass, sheep, deer, smaller mammals, snow leopards, wolf, cats and brown beers are in plenty in the western Himalayas. While the national park and sanctuaries of northern and central India are better known, there are quite a few parks and sanctuaries in South India, too, e.g., Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka.
A tour of Indian wildlife sanctuaries and national parks is a fabulous travel masti. Contrary to the experiences of African Safari, the vegetation and terrain in India are such that wild animals are often solitary or in small herds, elusive and shy. The thick forest and dense grassland with openings for streams and rivers, provide the cover for Indian wildlife.
Unlike the situation prevailing over a decade or two ago, Wildlife Safari in India now facilitates seeing a tiger, a rhinoceros or a herd of wild elephant. Ranges of Safari Packages are on offer, courtesy the tourism departments of states as well as tour and travel agencies. These Safari / Safari Packages are unique and unparalleled. The kind of diversity. Indian wildlife can boast off is not available anywhere else in the world. The great Himalayan Mountains, forests, national parks, sanctuaries (including bird sanctuaries) – all constitute a terrific India.
List of Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks
|Andhra Pradesh||Arunachal Pradesh||Assam|
|Nagarjunasagar – Srisailam Sanctuary||Namdapha National Park||Kaziranga National Park|
|Manas Tiger Reserve|
|Gujarat||Himachal Pradesh||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Rann of Kutch ( Wild Ass )||Great Himalayan National Park||Dachigam National Park|
|Ratan Mahal Sloth Bear|
|Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary|
|Sasan Gir National Park|
|Velavadar / Black Buck National Park|
|Bandipur National Park||Periyar National Park||Bandhavgarh National Park|
|Nagarhole National Park||Kanha National Park|
|Dhakana – Kolkaz National Park, (Chikaldara)||Nandankanan Sanctuary & National Park||Keoladeo Ghana National Park|
|Dajipur Bison Sanctuary||Simlipal National Park||Ranthambore National Park|
|Sariska Tiger Reserve|
|Tamil Nadu||Uttar Pradesh||West Bengal|
|Arignar Anna Zoological Park||Corbett National Park||Buxa Tiger Reserve|
|Guindy National Park||Dudhwa National Park||Sundarbans National Park|
|Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park|
|Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Mukkurthi National Park|
|Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirell Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Vedanthangal National Park|