The Indian subcontinent has always been a natural home to a wide variety of flora and fauna owing to its rich geographical areas and varied climatic regions. The country hosts as many as 442 wildlife sanctuaries which include natural occurring sanctuary and other protected areas for animals. Many of these centuries host some of the rarest and endangered animal and birds of the world. Any trip to India is incomplete without a trip to some of these centuries.
Below are the top 10 best wildlife sanctuary in India. Have a look:
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
The Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary located in Palakkad district of Kerala is a place of rich diversity of animals like the lion-tailed macaques, elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, and gaur. The grey-headed fish-eagle, darter, great pied hornbill are some of the rich birds species to be found. It also hosts many reptiles and variety of fishes in the sanctuary. It is regarded as ‘Nature’s own abode’ and perfect to take home some of the best memories of animal sighting.
The Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary is only accessible by road from Pollachi (Tamil Nadu). The nearest airport is Coimbatore. August to January is the best time for visiting the sanctuary.
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, Rajasthan
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is considered as the refuge to the Black bucks. Located in the Churu district of northwest Rajasthan, the sanctuary is home to migratory birds like harriers, little green bee-eaters, tawny eagle, and sparrow. Birds like skylark, ring dove and Blue Jay are most common. Desert fox, Black naped hare and desert cats are also spotted.
It is located on the Nokha-Sujangarh state highway, 85 km from Churu and 132 km from Bikaner. The nearest railway station is at Chappar and Sanganer, Jaipur is the nearest airport. The best time to travel September to March.
Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand
Govind Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the greater part of the Tons River, near Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand. This sanctuary hosts a variety of wildlife species like black bear, leopard, Himalayan tahr and musk deer. The birds include tragopan, golden eagle, snowcock, cuckoos and finches. The elusive snow leopard is also spotted at times. The lush greenish beauty with the snow clad peaks and glaciers make the Wildlife Sanctuary a must visit.
The gateway to the sanctuary, Naitwar is well connected by road from Dehradun. You can also reach there from Delhi. The best time to travel is April–June and September–November.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the ultimate paradise of Ornithologist’s and a favorite haunt for migratory birds in the country. The sanctuary is located on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kottayam district and is surrounded by places like Kaipuzha Muttu, Thollairam Kayal, Narakathara. A few of the major attractions include cuckoo, heron, darter, and waterfowl. The Siberian Crane and parrot are some of the migratory attractions. The best time to watch the birds is at dawn and early morning.
The nearest airport is at a distance of 106 km from Kumarakom in Kochi. The railway station is 14 km away from Kumarakom and is easily accessible by road. The best time to visit is June to August but if you are fond of photography, November to February will be the best time.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Aralam sanctuary is the northernmost wildlife sanctuary of India situated in Kerala. Western Ghats animals like deer, boar, bison, leopard and squirrels are most spotted here. Some of the threatened bird species like Nilgiri wood pigeon, Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-winged parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Ceylon Frogmouth are also spotted.
The warden office of the wildlife sanctuary is located in Iritty, 20 km away. The nearest railway station is at Thalassery which is at a distance of 70 km and the airport at a distance of 150 km in Kozhikode. You can also take a road trip from places like Kannur, Wayanad and Virajpet. The best time to visit is from September to May.
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Gujarat
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary is the largest wildlife sanctuary of India. It houses the most endangered Indian Wild Ass in the sanctuary. Jackals, desert fox, blackbucks, and striped hyenas are few of the animals found here. It also offers a good feeding and breeding environment for birds. The annual nesting count goes up to 75,000. Seasonal migrates includes Ceraneous vulture from Egypt, cranes from Siberia and Houbara Bustard of Iran.
The nearest airport is in Bhuj at a distance of 150 km and Dhrangadhra is nearest railway station at a distance of 22 km from the sanctuary. They also have a well connected road transportation system. The best time to visit is October to March.
Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
Gir Sanctuary is one of the best protected areas located in Junagadh and Amreli district of Gujarat. It is the only home for Asiatic Lions in the world. Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is roughly known as the jewel of Gujarat. Indian leopard, golden jackals, desert cats, sloth bears, blackbucks are few of the rare species to be found. Birds like the endangered Bonelli’s eagle, black headed oriole and the crested serpent eagle are frequently spotted.
The near airport is at Diu which is a 2 hour drive from Gir whereas Junagadh is the nearest railway station at a distance of 1¼ hour-drive. The sanctuary is also well connected to the roads. The best time of the year is March to May as you can easily spot the Asiatic Lions.
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a great tiger reserve too. It is home to some of the rarest species of the world like tiger and Indian elephant. Other animals like the gray langur, Sambar deer, wild boar and birds like the threatened Black and orange Flycatcher, Emerald Dove, Jerdon’s Baza are also spotted. It houses the highest density of tigers in India and around 80 percent bird species.
The nearest airport is at a distance of 130 km in Coimbatore whereas the nearest railway station is at 67 km from the sanctuary in Ooty. You can also travel on road. February to May and September to October are the most visited time of the year. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, late January to early April will be most ideal for you.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife of Kerala. It is situated 16 km east of Sulthan Bathery. A variety of wild animals like tiger, deer, elephant and bison is to be found here. Peacock woodpeckers, owls and jungle fowls are a few of the bird species. Herd of elephants are the most common site.
The nearest airport is the Calicut international airport in Karipur whereas the nearest railway station is at Kozhikode at a distance of about 110 km from the sanctuary. There is not specific time of the year to visit this sanctuary. Any time is favorable.
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
The Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Kumily district of Kerala in the middle of the Cardamom hills is one of the most famous sanctuaries in India. Elephants and tigers are found here in abundance. It is also home to threatened species like the Lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, and bonnet macaque. Mammals like barking deer, gaur, sambar, dholes, mongoose, foxes, leopards, and of course the elusive Nilgiri tahr are also spotted. Beautiful birds like kingfishers, racket tailed drongos and darter and reptiles like python and king cobra are most common.
The nearest airport at a distance of 140 km in Madurai and the nearest railway station at a distance of 114 km in Kottayam. The sanctuary is also well connected by roads to towns like Cochin, Kottayam, Munnar, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram. The best time of the year to visit is October and June.