National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
Are you ready for UPSC Exam? Check your preparation with Free UPSC Mock Test
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are protected areas created by the government for the animals who live in their natural habitat – the primary objective being preserving wildlife, flora, and fauna, and nature. Some of the National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. These help in preserving different endangered animals and species. They also help in generating revenue thereby helping in the growth of the economy of our nation.
Do you want to crack UPSC in first attempt? Join UPSC Telegram Channel
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
Here is the list of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India:
1. Corbett National Park
Established in 1936, Jim Corbett National Park is located in the district of Nainital, Uttarakhand and it is the First Tiger Reserve in India. As we make our way in the depths of the forest during our jungle safari, one can also see like Rhesus Macaque, Langur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Asian Elephants, Jackal and Leopard.
2. Ranthambore National Park
Located in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan, this 1955 establishment serves as a wildlife tourism attraction for its variety of mammals, reptiles, Tigers, birds, plants.
3. Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also located in Rajasthan in the district of Bharatpur, is mostly known for its variety of exotic migrating birds. Animals such as Nilgai, feral cattle and chital deer are present here, whereas sambar can be spotted with some difficulty. This place has man-made wetlands as well.
4. Sariska National Park
Sariska National Park, the world’s first national park, successfully adapted the Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal as their natural habitat. This is situated in Alwar, Rajasthan. Previously this was a hunting preserve but was declared a national park in 1995.
5. Kanha National Park
Tracing its roots back to the 19th century, this National Park in Madhya Pradesh is the only place where “Barasingha”, rather “The Jewel of India” can be found.
6. Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park, another national park in Madhya Pradesh, specializes in preserving nature in the most unique way – consisting of White Tigers which is the most spectacular species found there.
7.Pench National Park
Pench National Park (Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” is based on its natural habitats) is placed in Chhindwara and Seoni districts of Madhya Pradesh (India). The name is derived from the Pench River, flowing through the National Park; this park is extremely rich in its flora and fauna.
8. Panna National Park
Panna National Park located in Panna and Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh also serves as one of the Tiger Reserve in India.
9. Sunderban National Park
The majority of its portion in Bangladesh, this national park in West Bengal has mangrove trees (Sundari) surviving via the breathing roots. This park sees the National Animal of India – the Royal Bengal Tiger surviving in its natural habitat. Many birds migrate to this region of Bengal during the winter.
10. Kaziranga National Park
Known for its greater one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon district of Assam. The national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has two-third of the total world population of greater one-horned rhinoceros. Apart from the one-horned rhinos, the national park spreads over an area of 430 sq km and has a high density of tigers, and a large breeding ground for elephants, swamp deer, and wild water buffaloes. The national park is also recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) making it an ideal wildlife sighting destination in India and a birdwatcher’s paradise as well. Manas National Park, another national park in India is also situated in Assam.
11. Taboda National Park
Situated in Maharashtra, this national park covers Chimur Hills, Moharli, and Kolsa Ranges. The park is adorned with distinguished teak, nature, and tiger along with bison and other mammals.
12. Bandipur National Park
Established in the year 1974 as a forest tiger reserve under the Project Tiger, Bandipur is the most prominent national park state of Karnataka and is best known for its varied wildlife consisting of different biomes amidst its deciduous forest.
13. Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole National Park, also located in Karnataka, previously known as the “Rajiv Gandhi National Park” also serves as a popular destination to watch tigers, Indian Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear, and elephant.
14. Bhadra National Park
Bhadra National Park, also located in Karnataka, attracts tourists due to its exotic trees and birds amidst the Bhadra River. The bird kingdom, a variety of species, consists of an emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, Malabar parakeet, and hill myna. The dreadful Indian rock pythons and king cobras can also be seen.
15. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, is known for easily spotting the Black Panther, Leopard, Flying Squirrels, Crocodiles.
16. Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary
Both of them located in Gujarat, they are the only places in India to have the Asiatic Lions. Established in 1965, these parks also consists of migrating birds.
17. Periyar National Park
Located in Kerala, this park is the only park in India that has an artificial lake flowing through it. Elephants, Nilgiri Tahrs, Langurs can be easily spotted here. This national park is a tiger and elephant reserve. In the north of the park, due to its water bodies, it is famous for its boat rides. It stretches over an area of 305 sq. km.
18. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Kerala, is a dwelling spot for Mugger crocodiles and 240 species of exotic birds. Thoovanamm Waterfalls is located inside this Wildlife Sanctuary. This place also consists of Tigers, Langurs, Panthers, and other species. Chinnar is known for its medicinal plants. It is under the jurisdiction of and contiguous with Eravikulam National Park to the south. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is to the north and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is to the east.
19. Silent Valley National Park
Silent Valley National Park, also located in Kerala, River Kunthi flows through this park. We can spot a large number of rare species of birds like the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, Malabar parakeet, grey-headed bulbul, broad-tailed grassbird, rufous babbler, the white-bellied short wing and the great Indian hornbill. This place is mostly occupied by tigers, leopards, sambar, wild boars, and gaur.
20. Rajaji National Park
Located in Uttarakhand at the foothills of the Himalayas, this park is home to Asian elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, and around 315 species of birds. The Ganga and the Song river flow through this Park. The park spreads over 3 districts in Uttarakhand – Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal.
21. Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary
The sanctuary located in Goa is home to gaur, sambar, spotted deer, flora and fauna, python, and cobras. The national park consists of an exotic variety of birds like fairy bluebird, wagtails, three-toed kingfisher, drongo, golden oriole, great Indian hornbill. Some of the birds found here are native to the region.
22. Hemis National Park
Located in Jammu and Kashmir in the district of Ladakh, this park shelters animal like snow leopards, Ibex, shapu, bharal, and many more. This park is the ideal place to spot a snow leopard. The Indus river flows in the north of the park and it is bounded by the Zanskar Range.
23. Dudhwa National Park
Located in Uttar Pradesh, this was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 due to its huge number of Tigers. It is a home for over 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, and numerous species of birds. It has two core areas: Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary which are 15 km apart with agricultural land between them.
24. The Greater Himalayan National Park
Located in Himachal Pradesh, this park is home to Snow Leopard, Himalayan Brown Bear, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, and Himalayan Thar. It also houses 181 species of birds, and many more species of reptiles, annelids, amphibians, and insects.
India is a land of beautiful natural habitat – hence there are a lot of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries all around. Some of the parks and sanctuaries also protect the tribals and the communities within it, thereby preserving the rich culture and tradition.