India is a truly unique land with some of the most diverse seasons and landscapes within one country. You can experience snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, scorching desert sands, and tropical rainforests all within its boundaries. To discover the best natural areas of this remarkable country, check out the ten most beautiful national parks in India.
Kanha National Park
Located in the heart of the Central Indian Highlands is the Kanha National Park in the Maikal range of Satpuras. The park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, especially its tiger reserve. With over 480,000 acres, Kanha is a vast expanse of dense jungle, crystal clear streams, and countless wildlife species. This well-preserved Indian jungle was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. So, if you needed another reason to visit, put that on there.
Jim Corbett National Park
The Jim Corbett National Park is India’s first national park and is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. It is over 128,000 acres of hills, grasslands, jungles, rivers, and a large lake. Because of the dangerous natural wildlife, you must stay in designated tourist zones and use guided safaris to view the animals. The wildlife includes Bengal tigers, buffalo, elephants, leopards, deer, Himalayan black bears, rhesus monkeys, crocodiles, pythons, nightjars, and many more.
Ranthambore National Park
Rajasthan is a state in Northern India that contains almost 330,000 acres of dry tropical forests, open bushland, open meadows, and rocky terrain, with streams and lakes, interspersed. Ranthambore has a large tiger population and many other species available for viewing on guided safaris. As one of the largest national parks in India, it houses many animals, trees, and plants, including the second-largest banyan tree in the country. While nature and wildlife are preserved within the park, visitors can purchase travel packages and stay at resorts near the property.
Bandhavgarh National Park
The Bandhavgarh National Park has a core of nearly 26,000 acres over the Vindhya Hills and features great biodiversity. The area is renowned as a place of history, featuring the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. It also has the largest density of royal Bengal tigers and a healthy population of white tigers. You can take safaris across rocky hills, grassy swamps, and forested valleys. Other than tigers, you can expect to see gaur, nilgai, Indian wolves, striped hyenas, Indian leopards, and caracals. There are also hundreds of bird species, including breeding sarus cranes.
Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park features snow-laden rocky cliffs, forests, and lush green hills. It’s located in the Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh and has over 375 fauna species, including mountain goats, snow leopards, blue sheep, Himalayan brown bears, Himalayan tahr, and musk deer. This park is unspoiled and consists of alpine meadows and forests in their original state, including an endless variety of vegetation, such as pines, spruce, and horse chestnuts.
Pench National Park
Situated in Madhya Pradesh is Pench National Park, featuring 63,000 acres of dry deciduous forests and the Pench River that flows from north to south. This national park was also an inspiration for Kipling’s The Jungle Book and features around 40 Bengal tigers. Other animals include monkeys, jungle cats, foxes, leopards, wild boars, sloth bears, wolves, wild dogs, deer, nilgai, gaur, and antelope. The park features travel packages, which include safaris and luxury resorts.
Kaziranga National Park
The Kaziranga National Park is over 100,000 acres teeming with dense forests, swampy lagoons, elephant-grass meadows, and crisscrossed rivers. The park is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. It is an important habitat and preserver for the one-horned rhinoceros, including many other species, such as elephants, swamp deer, and water buffalo. Kaziranga is also an essential bird area in India, consisting of storks, herons, vultures, geese, ducks, pelicans, and much more. The area is also home to the reticulated python and the Ganges dolphin.
Periyar National Park
Periyar National Park lies in the Cardamom Hills, a mountain range in Southern India with an expanse of over 75,000 acres. It’s located in protected districts in Kerala, India, and features an elephant and a tiger reserve. Visitors can hike and camp throughout miles of tropical forests, montane grasslands, savannas, and wetlands. While there, you will see rare and endemic flora and wildlife, including 17 near-extinct flowering plants. You will also find animals, such as tigers, elephants, primates, giant squirrels, and wild pigs.
Sundarbans National Park
Located in West Bengal, India, is the Sundarbans National Park, one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is part of the Ganges Delta, which is covered in mangrove forests and features species like the saltwater crocodile. The area is abundant in wildlife, where it thrives surrounded by dozens of small islands and several tributaries of the Ganges River. Sundarbans gets its name from the Sundari tree, a unique mangrove tree found in the area. Along with man-eating tigers, the park is home to many river animals and marine animals, such as dolphins, snakes, lizards, turtles, and whales.
Nagarhole National Park
Nicknamed the “gateway to the jungle,” Nagarhole National Park is covered in rich forests, streams, waterfalls, hills, and valleys. It’s located in Karnataka, a state in Southwestern India. This is another tiger reserve, but you will also find elephants, leopards, deer, jackals, sloth bears, primates, jungle cats, and countless other creatures.
Native tribes still exist within the national park’s boundaries. Officials are working with the Jenu Kurubas to continue their conservation efforts. Threats to the forests and wildlife include illegal hunting, large-scale tree cutting, forest fires, and human-wildlife conflicts. Nagarhole offers multiple ways to enjoy the park, including safaris, jungle lodges, and resorts. Festivals are also held in the region, drawing thousands of people to celebrate special occasions.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pav-Pro Photography Ltd/Shutterstock.com
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