National Parks in India
National Park refers to an area that is reserved for the protection and betterment of the wildlife and biodiversity and the activities like poaching, hunting, development, grazing, etc., are not permitted. Besides this, its borders are well marked and distinct.
At present as of June 2020, there are 105 national parks in India. It has the third-highest number of national parks in Asia after China and Thailand. The list of top 30 national parks in India is given below including their characteristic features.
1) Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is located in the north-eastern region of India in the Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Assam. It is spread over 430 sq. km and is famous for being home to the largest population of endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Kaziranga National Park accorded with the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and in 2006 it was also declared a tiger reserve by the govt. of India under its 'Tiger Project.'
It has a rich variety of plants, trees and wild animals. Its flora comprises grasslands, evergreen forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests. Besides this, it also has water lilies, lotus, and water hyacinth and Rattan Cane (climbing palm).
It is home to over 30 mammalian species out of which 15 are in the threatened category. The popular species of reptiles in the park include Snakes, Tortoises, Alligator, Crocodile, etc. The park offers Jeep Safari and Elephant safari for the tourist to allow them to see the wildlife closely in their natural habitat. The best time to visit this place is between November and April. It may be closed during monsoon due to safety reasons.
2) Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India spread over 500 square kilometres. It is situated in the district of Nainital in the state of Uttarakhand, India and is also a part of Corbett Tiger Reserve. Jim Corbett is a perfect place for wildlife enthusiasts. It got its name from Jim Corbett that was a hunter who later became a conservationist.
It is home to royal Bengal tiger and various other types of wildlife such as leopard, buffalo, deer, sloth bears, jackals, elephants, etc. It is also home to around 600 species of birds. The flora of this place comprises tall grasslands, thick Sal forests, winding streams, etc.
The main attraction of this park is Dhikala, which is a forest lodge famous for picturesque locations and rich diversity in wildlife. Besides this, the park is famous for different types of safaris such as tiger safari, elephant safari, canter safari, etc.
3) Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is counted among the best parks in Asia. It was established in 1955 and located in central India in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is spread over 940 sq. km. and is home to 22 species of large mammals out of which royal Bengal tigers is the main highlight of this place.
Since its inception, it has helped in preserving many endangered species. In 1974, it also became a tiger reserve. Besides tiger, the rare species of deer (Barasingha) is also found here. Besides animals, it is home to over 200 species of flowers. It is a low land forest that comprises Sal and other common forest trees mixed with meadows.
The park is also known for its adventurous wildlife safaris that allow you to see wild animals closely such as leopards, tigers, wild cats, sloth bears, wild dogs, cobras, pythons, etc.
4) Periyar National Park, Kerala
Periyar National Park is situated in Thekkady, Kerala and is spread over 925 sq. km. It is also known as Periyar Tiger Reserve as it got the status of a tiger reserve in 1974. Later in 1982, it was also declared a national park.
It has around 35 species of major mammals. However, it is famous for the elephants and tigers that can be easily spotted here. The other animals include Nilgiri langur, sloth bear, fruit bat, sambar, wild pig, flying squirrel, gaur, etc.
Over 40 species of reptiles are found here out of which the famous ones are coral snake, king cobra, Malabar pit viper, etc. Besides this, it is also home to around 150 butterflies' species including the largest butterfly of South India, Troides Minos (the southern birdwing). The other popular butterfly species include lime butterfly, Malabar tree nymph, and Travancore evening brown.
It is also home to a wide range of tree species such as rosewood, sandalwood, jamun and trees of tamarind, bamboos, sacred fig, Indian conifer and plantation of cardamom, tea and coffee. The best time to visit this park is from October to June and main activities include jungle safaris and bird watching.
5) Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park, which is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is situated in the district of Mysore in Karnataka. It is spread over an area of 640 sq. km. It got its name from Naga which means snake and hole which refers to streams.
Along with a national park, it is also a tiger reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides this, it is located very close to three other parks that are Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
The animals commonly found at this place include royal Bengal tiger, elephant, panther, sambar, spotted deer, hyena, etc. The flora of park comprises thick green forests, gentle slopes, shallow valleys, etc. It is also home to over 200 bird species and a number of reptiles such as kings cobra, tortoise, Indian rock python, krait, monitor lizard, etc., and the best activities to do in the park include bird watching, jungle safaris, and nature walk and the best time to visit is from April to May.
6) Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat
Gir Forest National Park is located in Gujarat. It was established in 1977 and extends over 1420 sq. km. It is famous for spotting Asiatic lion in their natural habitat. Before it became a wildlife sanctuary in 1965, it was used as a hunting ground by the Nawabs of Junagadh. In the beginning, there were only 12 lions, fortunately, over time this number is increased to around 600 lions.
The other animals that can be spotted here include leopard, chital, wild boar, porcupine, sambar, chowsingha (four-horned antelope), and more. Its flora offers perfect shelter to over 200 species of birds. It is also home to critically endangered species of long-billed and white-backed vultures.
The park is also blessed with over 40 species of reptiles and amphibians such as king Cobra, saw-scaled viper, krait, and marsh crocodile, etc. The popular things to do in Gir Forest National Park include Jeep or tiger Safari, bird sighting, a visit to crocodile breeding centre and souvenir shop.
7) Sundarban National Park, West Bengal
Sundarban National Park is located in West Bengal in the Sunderban delta. It is also a tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve that is spread over 1330 sq. km. It is also the largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The park got its name from Sundari trees that are commonly found at this place. Formerly, it was a wildlife sanctuary. It became a national park on 4th May 1984.
The wildlife of Sundarban includes Bengal tiger, wild boars, saltwater crocodile, foxes, turtles, leopards and Ganges river dolphins. It also has a rich variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians. The main species of bird found in Sundarban National Park include black-hooded oriole, small minivet, mangrove whistler, brown fish owl, osprey, and more.
Some of the common tree or plant species found in this park include Golpati, Sundari tree, Champa, Dhundul, Genwa and Hatal. Popular things to do Sunderban national park include a jeep safari, night safari, bird watching, watching crocodile at Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project.
8) Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Pench National Park is situated in the southern part of Madhya Pradesh and extends over a total area of 758 sq. km. It got its name from Pench River that flows across this park and divides it into two equal parts eastern and western parts.
Apart from wildlife, this place is also home to humans. There is one village in the park and some are on the boundary. In 1965 it became a sanctuary and in 1975 it was accorded with the status of National Park and became a tiger reserve in 1992 under the Project Tiger of govt. of India.
The park is an adobe of royal Bengal tiger accompanied by other wild animals like wolf, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, four-horned antelope, jungle cat, chital, etc. Also, a large number of birds' species inhabit this place such as peafowl, crow pheasant, Indian roller, munia, blue kingfisher, red-vented bulbul, etc. some of the popular things to do in Pench National Park are Jeep Safari, Runi Jhuni Walking Trail, and Rukhad Cycling Excursion.
9) Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Bandipur National Park is located on the borders of Karnataka in the Nilgiris and is also called Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu. It neighbours with the Wayanad Wildlife sanctuaries and Nagarhole. It was established as a tiger reserve in 1974 under the Project Tiger.
It is spread over 874 sq. km. and is home to a various endangered species including royal Bengal tiger and other wild animals such as deer, hornbills, pythons, sloth bears, sambar, Indian porcupine, chital, panthers and leopards, and more.
If we talk about the flora, teak and sandalwood trees are very common in the park. Besides these trees, rosewood, Indian kino, clumping bamboo can be seen at this place. The best time to visit the park is from October to May. The popular things to do in Bandipur National Park include a jeep safari, mini bus safari, elephant rides, nature walk, and bird watching and more.
10) Manas National Park, Assam
Manas National Park is situated in Assam. It is not only a national park but also a tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve. It is spread over an area of 500 sq. km. and became a national park in 1990. The Manas River flows across this park and acts as a natural border that separates India from Bhutan.
Besides royal Bengal tiger and elephants, it is famous for red panda, rare golden langur, one-horned rhinoceros, and clouded leopard. The maximum number of endangered species as per the list of ICUN Red Book are living in this park. It is also home to the largest population of the endangered Bengal Florican and around 350 bird species including the Great Hornbill.
Apart from wildlife, it is also known for its rich biodiversity and natural beauty that comprises forested hills, tropical evergreen forests, and alluvial grasslands. Popular things to do in Manas National Park are Jeep safari, Elephant safari, bird watching, river rafting.
11) Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is located at the foothills of Vindhya and Aravali Hills in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. It is spread over 392 sq. km. of land. It got its name from the ancient Ranthambore Fort located inside the park.
It comprises deciduous forest, valleys, small hills and lush green landscapes. In 1973, it became a tiger reserve and in 1980 it was declared as the National Park.
It is home to 40 species of mammals out of which the famous ones are royal Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, striped hyena, desert fox, python, crocodile, etc., including various species of deer like sambar, antlers, chital, antelopes, etc. Some of the popular birds inhabiting this park are woodpeckers, graylag goose, cuckoos, kingfisher, owl, sandpipers, eagles, great crested grebe, etc.
The park is not only home to wildlife but also houses many heritage sites such as Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh ruins, Jogi Mahal and Ancient temple. Popular things to do in Ranthambore national park include a jeep safari, canter safari, bird watching, hike to Ranthambore Fort, and a visit to Padam Talab, etc.
12) Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu
It is located in the Seraj Forest Division in the Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains and is spread over 754 sq. km. It was established in 1984 and accorded with the status of a national park in 1999. On June 23 2014, it was accorded with the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It offers shelters to over 30 species of mammals, over 370 species of birds and more than 218 species of fishes. Some of the wild species that live in this park are Himalayan brown bear, snow leopard, thar, blue sheep, tiger, goral, monal, etc.
Its flora comprises trees, herbs, shrubs, and various medicinal plants and some rare species of buckthorn, valerians, balsams, valerians, etc. Some of the famous birds found in this park are golden eagles, raptors, lammergeyers, Himalayan griffon vultures, etc. Popular things to do in Great Himalayan National Park are trekking, hiking, camping, wildlife tour, etc.
13) Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Satpura National Park is located in the Hoshangabad District of the Madhya Pradesh, India. It was established in 1981 after joining together Satpura, Pachmari and Bori sanctuaries and is spread over 1427 sq. km. In around 1999, it became a part of Tiger Project of India and named Bodi-Satpura tiger reserve.
The land of the park is rugged and comprises deep valleys, narrow gaps, waterfalls, a thick forest of Sal and medicinal herbs and tracts amidst teak forests.
It has a rich variety of fauna that comprise tiger, leopard, spotted dear, gaur (Indian Bison), sloth bear, wild dog, black bug, porcupine, sambhar, four-horned antelope (chowsingha), langurs, crocodile, and more.
However, the main highlights of this park are white bison and Indian giant squirrel. The popular things to do in Satpura national park include Jungle safari, boat safari, canoeing, walking safari, elephant safari, etc.
14) Eravikulam National Park, Kerala
Eravikulam National Park is located along the Western Ghats in the Idduki district at a distance of 13 km from Munnar town in Kerala. It is also known as Rajamalai National Park and is famous for Neelakurinji, which is a flower that blooms once in twelve years, grows in abundance in this park.
The park is mostly filled with grasslands, however, shola forests are also found in the upper parts of the valley. The wildlife in the park includes endangered species of Nilgiri tahr (mountain goat shown in the above image), Nilgiri marten, dusky striped squirrel, ruddy mongoose, small-clawed otter, Nilgiri wood pigeon, etc. Besides animals, you can also spot a large variety of birds and butterflies. The Atlas moth which is the largest moth in the world is also found here.
Anamudi peak which is the highest peak in South India is also located in the park and provides shelter to some endangered animal species such as tigers, leopards, Nilgiri languor, and macaques. Famous things to do in Eravikulam National Park are a hike to Anamudi peak, wildlife safari, camping, bird watching, nature walk, etc.
15) Sariska National Park, Rajasthan
Sariska National Park is located at the district of Alwar district in Rajasthan and occupies an area of 866 sq. km. that comprises dry deciduous forests, grasslands and rocky terrain. Furthermore, it is mostly carpeted with dhok trees. In 1955, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary, and declared a tiger reserve in 1979, and upgraded to or became a national park in 1990.
The fauna comprises royal Bengal tiger, leopard, wild boar, rhesus macaque, hyena, sambhar, nilgai, and four-horned antelope. It is also inhabited by the largest population of peafowl, and other birds such as crested serpent eagles, sand grouse, and golden-backed woodpeckers.
Apart from wildlife and plants, it also houses ruins of Garh-Rajor temple of 11th centuries and 'Kankwari' fort of the 17th century. The 'Jai Samand Lake' and 'Siliserh Lake' are also located in the park in which you can spot crocodiles, water snakes, etc. Popular things to do in Sariska National Park are jeep safari, boating and fishing in the lake, a visit to the waterfall, haunted Bhangarh fort, etc.
16) Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh National Park is located in Vindhya hills in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. It got its name from the Bandhavgarh fort located nearby and is known to have the highest density of royal Bengal tigers in India. It was declared a national park in 1968.
The park is divided into four major zones namely Tala, Magdi, Panpatha, and Khitauli. The total geographical area of Bandhavgarh national park including the buffer zone is 1536 sq. km. It is also the place where white tigers used to live in the past. The land of park houses mixed vegetation mostly of the dry deciduous type including thick Sal forest and tall grasslands.
Apart from tigers and leopards, the other wildlife attractions at this place are chital, nilgai, chausingha, chinkara, Bengal fox, wild boar, jackal, grey mongoose, sambar, spotted dear, palm squirrel, etc. Famous things to do in Bandhavgarh National Park include a jeep safari, elephant safari, and main places to visit include Baghel Museum, Mahaman Pond, Climber's point, barfi gufa, and three cave point.
17) Dudhwa National Park, Uttara Pradesh
Dudhwa National Park is situated in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttara Pradesh on the Indo-Nepal border. It is spread over an area of around 811 sq. km. that comprises grasslands, marshes and thick forests and rivers and lakes, which fulfils the freshwater requirement of the park.
It is inhabited by 38 mammal species, over 15 species of reptiles and a large number of bird species. The commonly spotted mammals in this park include tigers, swamp deer, antelopes, elephants, rhinoceros, etc.
It is the only place in Uttar Pradesh where you can see the tigers and rhinos together.
If we talk about trees, sal, shisham, jamun, gular, bahera are very common here. The birds that you can easily spot here include Bengal florican, sarus cranes, great salty woodpecker, painted storks, kingfishers, bulbuls and bee-eaters.
First, this area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1958, then it became a national park in 1977 and a part of a tiger reserve in 1988. Popular things to do in Dudhwa National Park are jeep safari, elephant safari, bird watching, boating, etc.
18) Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Panna National Park is located in the districts of Panna and Chhatarpur of Madhya Pradesh. It covers an area of around 542 sq. km. It got the status of a national park in 1981. It was declared a tiger reserve in 1994 and in 2011 it got the status of a biosphere reserve.
In 2007, it was awarded the Award of Excellence by Ministry of Tourism for being the best maintained national park in India. Its flora consists of deciduous forests, dry and short grass, open woodlands, seasonal streams, and lush green vegetation in the Ken river valley. The hills and valleys also have some majestic waterfalls.
Its wildlife includes tigers, leopards, Indian wolf, four-horned antelope, rusty-spotted cat, gharial, caracal, etc., and over 200 species of native and migratory birds. Popular things to do in Panna national park include a jeep safari, elephant safari, hike to waterfalls, and sometimes boat safari.
19) Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located in Mumbai and is part of the Western Ghats. Formerly, it was known as the Borivali National Park. The park occupies 104 sq. km and is the only national park in the world located within the city premises.
It is inhabited by over 40 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 70 species of reptiles and amphibians, 140 species of butterflies and around 1400 species of plants. Some of the commonly spotted animals are leopard, tigers, monkey, spotted deer, wild cat and Indian hare.
Apart from wildlife, it also houses two famous lakes namely the Vihar and Tulsi Lakes. The crocodiles can be seen in these lakes as well as migratory birds. The other highlight of this place is the Kanheri Caves.
Some of the famous things to do in Sanjay Gandhi National Park are trekking, cycling, boating, safari ride, camping, a visit to lakes and waterfalls and a ride in van rani, which is a famous mini toy train in this park.
20) Nameri National Park, Assam
Nameri National Park is located in the Sonitpur district of Assam. It occupies an area of 1000 sq. km. including the Pakhui National Park of Arunachal Pradesh. It became a national park in 1998. The River Jia Bhoroli that flows across this park is famous as an angling (fishing) destination.
The flora of Nameri comprises semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests including grasslands along the rivers. It is also famous as a heaven for birdwatchers as it is inhabited by around 300 species of birds such as great pied hornbill, rufous necked hornbill, white-winged wood duck, wreathed hornbill, black stork, blue-bearded bee-eaters, plovers, and babblers, and more.
The famous wild animal species of this park are tiger, leopard, the Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild bison, leopard, gaur, sambar, Himalayan black bear, and Indian giant squirrel. Some of the famous things to do in Nameri National Park are elephant safari, boat safari, river rafting, etc.
21) Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
Rajaji National Park is located in the Shivalik mountain ranges in the Dehradun, Pauri Garwal, and Saharanpur districts of Uttarakhand. It has a rich variety of flora and fauna that make it a perfect holiday destination for wildlife and nature lovers. It covers an area of 820 sq. km. and was came into existence in 1983. The Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary is merged with Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries to create Rajaji National Park. It is named after Late Sri C Rajgopalachari who was a renowned freedom fighter as well as the first governor-general of India.
Over 50 species of mammals inhabit this place some of which are leopard, sloth bear, jackal, hyena, tiger, jackal, Himalayan black bear and endangered Asian Elephant. If we talk about its flora, it has different types of forests such as moist mixed deciduous forest, moist Shivalik Sal forest, Khair-Sissoo forests, and northern dry mixed deciduous forest and more.
The popular bird species residing at this place are great hornbill, northern goshawk, white-naped woodpecker, greater scaup, black-bellied tern, pallas's fish eagle, snowy-browed flycatcher, and more. Some of the popular activities in Rajaji National Park are jeep safari, elephant safari, river rafting, bird watching, and nature walk.
22) Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan
Keoladeo National Park is located in the district of Bharatpur in Rajasthan. Formerly, it was known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. This area was once used for duck shooting by the Maharaja of Bharatpur. In 1976, it became a bird sanctuary and in 1982 it became a national park and was also declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1985 owing to its rich diversity of flora and fauna. It got its name from Keoladeo temple located within its boundary.
The flora of the park is semi-arid biotype and dry deciduous types of forests with significant vegetation including medium-sized trees and shrubs. The north and east regions of the park are mostly covered with Jamun, Kadam and Babul trees and Pilu, which is a hardwood plant.
It is a famous place to spot over 100 species of native and migratory birds. Such as geese, ducks, eagles, cranes, pelicans, hawks, flycatchers, wagtails, shanks, etc. It is also a perfect place to spot a large variety of mammals in their natural habitat such as tigers, golden jackal, nilgai, jackal, jungle cat, wild boar, sambar, pythons, etc. Some of the popular things to do in the park include walking, cycling, ride on a horse carriage, sunrise viewpoint, etc.
23) Orang National Park, Assam
Orang National Park is located in the Sonitpur and Darrang districts of Assam on the north bank of the Brahmaputra. The park occupies an area of around 80 sq. km. formerly, it was declared a sanctuary in 1985. Later, in 1999, it got the status of a national park.
It is also known as the mini Kaziranga national park due to its resemblance with the Kaziranga National Park. Besides this, it is also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park and Orang Tiger Reserve after it was designated as a tiger reserve under the project tiger of govt. of India.
The flora consists of lush green forests, non-aquatic plants and grasses. The mammals that can be easily spotted in this park are tiger, rhinoceros, elephants, wild pig, hog deer, porcupine, civet cat, and Gangetic dolphin, etc. Besides this, over 200 bird species and over 50 species of fish have been found in the water bodies flowing across this park. Some of the popular things to do in Orang National Park are elephant safari, river cruise safari, bird watching, etc.
24) Gorumara National Park, West Bengal
Gorumara National Park is situated on the northern side of West Bengal on the foothills of Himalayas. It is spread over 80 sq. km. formerly, it was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1949. Later, it was accorded with the status of National Park in 1992.
The flora of the park mainly comprises tropical deciduous forests dotted with different types of trees such as sal, simul, teak, khair, siris, etc. Besides this, riverine grasslands and bamboo groves can also be seen growing in the park.
It is famous for its Asiatic one-horned rhino and is also home to the diverse wildlife that includes royal Bengal tiger, bison, jungle cat, elephant, wild boars, deer, cobra, Indian wild dogs, giant squirrel, etc. The major bird species found in Gorumara are hornbills, woodpeckers, pigeons, cuckoos, cormorants, mynas, orioles, and endangered brahminy duck. Along with these, the migratory birds can also be seen in winters.
The park also has five watchtowers for the visitors that allow them to view the wildlife and rhinoceros. Some of the popular activities to do in Gorumara National Park include jungle safari, bird watching, experience tribal dance & campfire, watching wildlife from watchtowers, and more.
25) Simlipal National Park, Odisha
Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. It is spread over an area of 845 sq. km. first, it was designated as a tiger reserve in 1973 and then a sanctuary in 1979 and finally, it became a national park in 1980. It got its name from the red silk cotton tree that is known as Simul and is found in abundance in the park.
The flora of Simlipal National Park houses around 1070 species of plants including over 90 species of orchids and various species of medicinal plants. It has a mix of different types of forests with sal as the main tree species and also has grasslands.
The fauna of the park consists of diverse wildlife some of which are tiger, elephant, leopard, gaur, spotted deer, sloth bear, flying squirrel, turtle, porcupine, langur, crocodile and four-horned antelope, and more.
The major birds found in the park include grey hornbill, crested serpent eagle, red jungle fowl, Malabar pied hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, and more. Popular things to do in Simlipal National Park are jungle safari, the view of Barehipani waterfall, visit to Devkunda Pond and Chahala spot, and more.
26) Dachigam National Park, Srinagar
Dachigam National Park is situated in the Zabarwan Range of the Himalayas at a distance of 22 km from Srinagar. It is spread over 141 sq. km. and is divided into two different zones; upper and lower Dachigam. Formerly, it was a wildlife sanctuary before it was declared a national park in 1981.
It is home to the hangul (Kashmiri stag) an endangered species of red deer shown in the above image. Its rich wildlife includes leopard, jackal, common palm civet, red fox, black bear, musk deer, yellow-throated marten and Himalayan Weasel.
The flora of Dachigam national park comprises the Rocky Mountains and lush green grasslands and forests that have coniferous trees and various fruit trees like plum, cherries, peaches, apple, walnut, and apricot trees.
The bird species in this park include exotic Himalayan birds, blood pheasant, koklass pheasant, crimson tagopan, bearded vultures, etc. The major activities in the park include camping along the river, fishing, bird watching, and different types of jungle safaris.
27) Jaldapara National Park, West Bengal
Jaldapara National Park is located at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas on the banks of River Torsa in the northern region of West Bengal. It is spread over 216 sq. km. and comprises grasslands and patches of riverine forests.
It was declared a sanctuary in 1941 to provide protection to the wildlife, especially one-horned rhinoceros. As of now, it is home to the largest population of one-horned Indian rhinoceros in the country. Apart from rhino, a large number of wild animals can be easily spotted here some of which are tigers, barking deer, hog deer, wild pigs, leopard, fishing cat, Indian civet, Indian pangolin, giant squirrel and Indian porcupine and more.
The land of the park is covered with savannah forest, mixed deciduous forests, grasslands, tall elephant grass, perennial streams, and sandy river banks, and more. It is also home to over 200 bird species and various types of reptiles and fishes. Some of the major activities to do in Jaldapara national park are jeep safari, elephant safari, bird watching, and more.
28) Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (Wandoor National Park)
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is also known as Wandoor National Park. It is located in Wandoor 29 km far from Port Blair in Andaman. The park consists of fifteen untouched islands that are inhabited by coral reefs and rich marine life such as colourful fishes, shells, molluscs, starfish, turtles, salt-water crocodile and more.
It was established in 1983 and is covered with mangrove tree and plants and rainforests. It is also home to various types of birds like parakeets, heron, terns, birds like white-bellied sea eagle, Andaman teal and more. A lot of endangered fish species can also be found here some of which are angelfish, scorpion fish, surgeon fishes, butterflyfishes, grouper fish and giant robber crab.
Being a group of islands and beaches, it offers lots of adventurous water activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, camping at the island, glass bottom boat rides, bird watching and a visit to a turtle breeding centre.
29) Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
Khangchendzonga National Park is situated at the Himalayan mountain range in the state of Sikkim. It is a high altitude national park occupying an area of 1784 sq. km. that consists of diverse plains, lakes, valleys, glaciers and snow-capped mountains including the Mount Khangchendzonga, the third highest peak of the world.
It was declared a national park in 1977 and is known for its exotic wildlife such as snow leopard, red panda, great Tibetan sheep, musk deer, bharal, etc. It is also home to various bird species such as black-necked crane, grey peacock pheasant, blood pheasant, Tibetan snow-cock, satyr tragopan, etc.
Besides this, it also houses around 18 glaciers including the famous Zemu Glacier and over 15 alpine lakes with a view of Himalayan peaks. The sacred shrine Tholung Monastery is also located in the national park. Famous things to do in Khangchendzonga National Park include trekking, spot endangered species, visit the famous monastery, view of spectacular peaks, and more.
30) Pin Valley National Park, Himachal Pradesh
Pin Valley National Park is located in the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It is a cold desert lying adjacent to the Rupi Bbabha sanctuary in the south and the Great Himalayan National Park in the southwest. It was designated as a national park in 1987 and is the only cold desert national park in Himachal Pradesh.
The flora of Pin Valley National Park comprises dry alpine and dwarf junifer scrub forest types with different trees like Birch, Juniper, Populus and Bhutal to name a few. It is inhabited by many rare birds like chukar partridge, Himalayan snowcock, snow partridge, including a number of endangered wildlife including Tibetan gazelle, woolly hare, Siberian ibex, snow leopard. Furthermore, rare medicinal plants are also found in this park.
Some of the popular things to do in the Pin Valley National park include trekking, exploring the tabo caves, camping at Mantalai Lake, night camping at Chandartal Lake, shopping at the flea market in Kaza.
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