The Indian subcontinent is a vast land of varied geographical areas and varied climatic regions which serves as a natural home to a wide numbers of flora and fauna. There are over 442 wildlife sanctuaries in India. They are the natural occurring sanctuary or protect areas for animals. These are of national importance to conservation as many of them hosts some of the rarest and endangered animal and bird. They are among the best tourist places in the world. Each of the wildlife sanctuary attracts thousands of visitors every year. Here is the top 10 best wildlife sanctuary in India.
10. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary- Kerala
An important Tiger reserve located in Palakkad district of Kerala, the Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary is a memorable place for anyone who visits here. This is a place of rich diversity of animals and birds. Among the others the lion-tailed macaques, elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, and gaur are mostly seen here. Among the birds, the grey-headed fish-eagle, darter, great pied hornbill are some of the prominent members. It also hosts many reptiles and variety of fishes. This place is sometimes revered as ‘Nature’s own abode’. This is a good place if you want to be in the lap of Mother Nature and gain treasured memories of animal sighting.
Visiting Information: This is only accessible by road from Pollachi (Tamil Nadu) which have a railway station. The nearest airport is Coimbatore. The best time to visit is between Augusts to January.
9. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary- Kerala
Known as the paradise of Ornithologist’s and a favorite haunt for migratory birds, this bird sanctuary is the best place you can think of if you happen to be a bird lover. This is located on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kottayam district. Its neighbor places like kaipuzha Muttu, Thollairam Kayal, Narakathara are also good for bird watching. Birds like cuckoo, heron, darter, and waterfowl are some of the main attraction here. Among the migrators, the Siberian Crane and parrot offers good views to the watchers. Dawn is the best time to watch the birds and early morning is recommended for avid bird watchers.
Visiting Information: Kochi is the nearest airport at a distance of 106 km from Kumarakom. The nearest railway station is Kottayam which is 14 km from Kumarakom and easily reachable by roads. The best time to visit is June to August and if you are planning to click migratory birds then November to February is the recommended period.
8. Govind Wildlife Sanctuary- Uttarakhand
This amazing sanctuary is situated in greater part of the Tons River, near Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand-the ‘Land of the Gods’. It offers great view to the visitors. This sanctuary hosts wildlife’s like black bear, leopard, Himalayan tahr and musk deer. The birds include tragopan, golden eagle, snowcock, cuckoos and finches. If you are lucky enough you may get the view of the elusive snow leopard sometime. Its lush greenish beauty with the snow clad peaks and glaciers are a major tourist attraction.
Visiting information: Naitwar is the entrance to the sanctuary and is well connected by road from Dehradun. It is also easily reachable from Delhi. The best time to travel here is April–June and September–November. Avoid travelling in Monsoon as it receives heavy rainfall.
7. Tal Chhapar Sanctuary- Rajasthan
This lovely sanctuary is known as a refuge to the Black bucks. This place is located in Churu district of northwest Rajasthan and is a home to many birds. During September to March many migratory birds like harriers, little green bee-eaters, tawny eagle, and sparrow passes through it. Birds like skylark, ring dove and Blue Jay are permanent here. Desert fox, Black naped hare and desert cats are also spotted frequently. This is a place for the bird watcher to give their dream a reality.
Visiting information: It is located on Nokha-Sujangarh state highway at a distance of about 85 km from Churu and 132 km from Bikaner. Chappar is the nearest railway station and Sanganer (Jaipur) is the nearest airport. The period from September to March is recommended for visit.
6. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary – Kerala
The northernmost wildlife sanctuary of India, Aralam sanctuary is another major tourist attraction. This is a common place for the Western Ghats animals like deer, boar, bison, leopard and squirrels. Among others it hosts some of the threatened species of birds including the Nilgiri wood pigeon, Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-winged parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Ceylon Frogmouth to name a few.
Visiting information: Iritty is the nearest town at 20 km from Sanctuary where the wildlife warden’s office is located. Thalassery is the nearest railhead at a distance of 70 km and Kozhikode is the nearest airport at a distance of 150 km from the sanctuary. The best time to visit is from September to May. It is also accessible by road from nearby places like Kannur, Wayanad and Virajpet.
5. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary- Gujarat
The largest wildlife sanctuary of India and the only home on earth for the endangered Indian Wild Ass, this great sanctuary has many things to offer the visitors. Located in Little Rann, it hosts jackals, desert fox, blackbucks, and striped hyenas among many others. It is also a great place for birds to feed and breed. its annual nesting goes up to 75,000. The sessional guest includes Ceraneous vulture from Egypt, cranes from Siberia and Houbara Bustard of Iran.
Visiting Information: Bhuj is the nearest airport at distance of 150 km. Dhrangadhra is nearest railway station at a distance of 22 km from sanctuary. It is well connected by road transportation. The best time to travel is October to March.
4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary- Kerala
Located around 16 km east of the town Sulthan Bathery, it is the second largest wildlife of Kerala. Wayanad is a home to variety of wild animals like tiger, deer, elephant and bison. Among the birds, the peacock woodpeckers, owls and jungle fowls are mainly seen here. You can frequently see a herd of elephants here.
Visiting information: Calicut international airport, Karipur is the nearest airport and Kozhikode is nearest railway station at about 110 km away. It is well connected by road. You may visit here any time as the climate quite salubrious throughout the year.
3. Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary- Tamil Nadu
A tiger reserve and an important wildlife habitat which is surrounded by other protected areas, Mudumalai is a great tourist attraction. It is a habitat to some of the rarest species on earth like Bengal tiger and Indian elephant. You can expect animals like the gray langur, Sambar deer, wild boar and birds like the threatened Black and orange Flycatcher, Emerald Dove, Jerdon’s Baza to name a few. This is the highest density of tigers in India and hosts around 80 percent bird species occurring in India. There are many bonus attractions nearby.
Visiting information: Coimbatore is nearest airport at around 130 km. Ooty is the nearest railway station at around 67 km from the sanctuary. It is conveniently accessible by roads with good bus service. The period from February to May and September to October are recommended for visit. The clear days from Late January to early April is advisable for wildlife enthusiast.
2. Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary- Gujarat
Famously known as the only place you can find the Asiatic Lions, Gir Sanctuary is the place if you want to get the best out of your vacation. Considered to be one of the best protected areas, it is located in Junagadh and Amreli district. It is the jewel of Gujarat. You can find the Indian leopard, golden jackals, desert cats, sloth bears, blackbucks and many more rare species. It provides residences to birds like the endangered Bonelli’s eagle, black headed oriole and the crested serpent eagle to name a few.
Visiting information: Diu is the near airport from where it is around 2 hour drive to Gir. Junagadh is the nearest railway station from where it is about 1¼ hour-drive and is well connected from buses and taxies there. The best time to visit December to march, i.e. during winter. However if you are going there especially for the lions, make sure you go during March to May as the lions come out for weather and early morning is the best period in a day.
1. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary – Kerala
The best of its kind, Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala is the most famous sanctuary in India. Located in Kumily district in Kerala, in the middle of the Cardamom hills, it is a pride of Kerala. It is known for its elephants and tigers. This is the home of many threatened wilds like the Lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, and bonnet macaque. It also hosts mammals like barking deer, gaur, sambar, dholes, mongoose, foxes, leopards, and of course the elusive Nilgiri tahr. Several birds like kingfishers, racket tailed drongos and darter adds to its attraction. You can also find the python and king cobra here.
Visiting Information: It is well connected by roads from major towns of Kerala like Cochin, Kottayam, Munnar, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram. Madurai is the nearest airport at a distance of 140 km. Kottayam is nearest railway station at a distance of 114 km. October and June are the best period to visit Periyar if you want to enjoy the best.