India is famous for its large population and development to move out of the third world country status it currently has. However, the country has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that preserve its natural beauty as well as its endangered species of animals. These national parks of India provide a beautiful destination for vacation and eco-friendly tours.
National Parks of India
Hemis National Park, Jammu and Kashmir
Hemis Park is a protected area surrounded by the Indus River and home to a large population of snow leopards. The park boasts many walking and hiking trails. You can also see the red fox, the Eurasian brown bear, and the Tibetan wolf. With plenty of native plants and wildlife, Hemis Park provides much to see for the nature lover.
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Sundarbans National Park is a national tiger preserve, boasting almost four hundred of the endangered species. The park follows the Ganges River Delta and contains many other species, including the Grey Mongoose, macaques, leopards and wild boar. Cameras set up throughout the preserve captured an unknown cat in 2012. The preserve is a great place to see tigers and other endangered species in their natural habitat.
Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manipur
The national park contains Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater in India and covers over forty kilometers of pristine floating flora. Known as Phumdi, the floating vegetation is the only known area like it in the world. The park protects a large population of exotic animals, including the brow altered deer. It is a sight to see for nature lovers.
Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
Located on the southern edge of the Gulf of Kutch, Marine National Park encompasses 42 different islands over 458 square kilometers. A nature lover’s dream, the park is a haven for such wildlife as Painted Storks, Shelled Mollusks and Coral Lichen. You can see sea cucumber, octopus and jellyfish seen nowhere else in the world. It is the first maritime wildlife sanctuary in India.
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
As one of the national parks of India, this is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot. You can see Mongoose, Asiatic black bears, the red panda, wolves and sambar, and it is the only preserve of Hoolock Gibbons. It provides a safe haven to snow leopard, the Bengal tiger, and the cloud leopard; the study of this beautiful preserve is ongoing.
Corbett National Park
Established in 1936 by tiger hunter Jim Corbett, the national park is located in Uttarakhand, which lies about seven hours from Delhi. It has five zones, though only the Jhirna is open all year round to visitors. You can take an elephant safari or stay in the Dhikala zone when it is open. You can see tigers as well as other animals that call the park home.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Located in Madhya Pradesh, this park boasts the highest population of tigers in India. Hike through the park’s rocky terrain and deep valleys full of lush vegetation. The park also contains the ruins of a fort built high above rocky cliffs. Beware, though, as it is the most expensive park to visit in India.
Ranthambore National Park
Located in Rajasthan, the park contains a historic fort built by the British during the colonial period of India. Made up of steep cliffs and rocky terrain, the park is home to diverse wildlife and plant life. It is not far from Delhi and is home to around thirty tigers. There have been some issues of mismanagement and overcrowding, but it is still a good place to spot the tigers.
Other National Parks of India
India boasts over eighty national parks and preserves that protect natural wildlife and plant life. Among some of the others include:
Kanha National Park—Located in Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park proudly provides the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous tale, The Jungle Book. Many endangered species have been saved due to the park’s extensive research and preservation.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary—Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the bird sanctuary is one of the largest in the world. The park contains a large temple devoted to Lord Shiva and is a nesting ground to many migratory and indigenous water birds.
Eravikulam National Park—Spread over ninety-seven square kilometers, the park is a sanctuary for such species as Nilgiri Tahr and the mountain goat of South India. The park provides plenty of hiking, including the slopes of Anamundi, where you can see many unique species of animal and plant life.
Velavadar National Park—Home to the blackbuck, a species found only in India, the park is a leader in preservation. It is mostly arid, though there is plenty of green to be seen during India’s monsoon season.