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National Parks in India

National Parks in India

The Indian wildlife heritage has a unique status worldwide. It has the second largest base of bio diversity in the world, with 441 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 80 National Parks, which have become destinations for visitors from all around the world. Accounts of man-eaters of Kumaon and other wildlife encountered by Jim Corbett, are fascinating and true, and just a glimpse of many other mysteries and delights of the Indian wildlife that is housed in the sanctuaries around the country.

Another incredible feature of these amazing conservatories of exotic wildlife is that they are home to the largest number of tigers and one-horned rhinoceros in the world, as well as the almost extinct Asiatic Lion, and a large percentage of the total elephant population! Also, India's wildlife sanctuaries which cover about 90,000 sq km house more than 500 species of mammals, over 2000 species of birds, over 500 species of reptiles and amphibians and around 30000 species of insects!

Some of the major national parks in India are:

Corbett National Park

The Corbett National Park was India's first national park that was set up in 1936. It spreads across aboput 600 square km, form 400 to 1200 m above sea level. It is located foothills of the western Himalayas in the districts of Nainital and Pauri Garhwal in the state of Uttaranchal. It includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of its reserved forest area. The Corbett National Park was set up with the help and recommendation of great hunter and conservationist, Jim Corbett.

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is an internationally acknowledged as one of the last remnants of the once great virgin jungles in central India. Situated in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan, it is surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravali hill ranges and lies near the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. The entire area of 390 sq km is located 500 m above sea level and is a sprawling tract of desert and semi-desert vegetation. Originally a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1980s, it became a national park and was listed among the reserves protected under Project Tiger (1973). Presently the Kaila Devi Sanctuary, also famous for its tigers, and the Man Singh Sanctuary form a part of Ranthambore Reserve.

Kanha National Park

The Kanha Valley and and the Kanha national park were preferred hunting grounds for erstwhile rulers and viceroys. The park is spread over an area of 940 sq km at an altitude of 450-900 m above sea level, and situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The park is located in he middle of the country of India, with the forests of the Banjar and the Halon valley forming the western and eastern halves of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which have long been famous for their wide diversity of wildlife.

Periyar National Park

The Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. Situated within the confines of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, it spreads over 350 sq km. It is one of the 18 reserves under Project Tiger. Periyar is a national park as well as a protected tiger reserve, whose total area is about 778 km sq, and is located 1200 to 1800 m above sea level. The terrain ranges from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the man made lake which is a major tourist attraction, 914 m above sea level. Marshy grasslands, rolling and steep hills are also present here. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type.

Bandipur National Park

The Bandipur National Park is a beautiful forest reserve located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It lies in the shadow of the Western Ghats on the Deccan plateau, and spreads across an area of about 875 sq km, 780-1455 m above sea level. The region is well endowed with vegetation and flora that ranges from dry and tropical deciduous and evergreen forests to open grassy woodlands. Valuable hardwoods, including rosewood and teak, are found here. The Moyar River runs through this national park and irrigates it, together with two other minor rivulets.

Sunderbans National Park

The Sunderbans National Park is home to the Royal Bengal tiger, and is a part of the world's largest delta formed by the Ganga and Brahmaputra. It is also known for its unique mangrove forest ecosystem. The reserve spreads across 2,585 sq km, 0 to 10 m above sea level. It is a tiger and biosphere reserve and has been designated as world heritage site by UNESCO. It extends about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal from the Hooghly River Estuary (India) to the Meghna River Estuary in Bangladesh. The forest passes into a mangrove swamp along the coast. The southern region, with numerous wild animals and crocodile-infested estuaries, is virtually devoid of habitation.

Kaziranga National Park

The Kaziranga National Park is situated in the northeastern state of Assam in India on the southern bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River. It covers an area of 430 sq km and is located 40-80 m above sea level. It was formed as a reserve forest in 1926, primarily to safeguard the future of the diminishing Rhino population. It is now the natural habitat to one of the most endangered species in the world, the one-horned rhino. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940 and contains about 15 species of India's threatened mammal species.

Sariska National Park

Sariska National Park sprawls across 800 square kilometres of the Aravalis and is perhaps one of India's most exciting wildlife reserves. Spread over a core area of 474 sq km, 250 m above sea level, the park is easily accessible, lying just three hours away from Delhi by road. Sariska is one of the few remaining forest pockets in the Aravali range that has survived the onslaught of modern times. Situated in the state of Rajasthan with a backdrop of the Aravali Hills, the park boasts of quite a few tigers and other interesting flora and fauna.

Sasangir National Park

Sasangir is home of the world renowned Asiatic Lions, and India has the distinction of being its last earthly refuge. The Sasangir National Park and Lion Sanctuary is located in the Kathiwad peninsula of Gujarat and is the one and only remaining habitat of this proud and majestic species. The Sasangir sanctuary is spread over 1150 sq km and is located at an altitude of 225-648 m above sea level. Sasangir National Park is home of some 300 Asiatic lions. From being close to an extinct species, the number of Asiatic lions has been steadily rising here since 1980.

Bandhavgarh National Park

Ready to shot? Arrive at the Bandhavgarh National Park - the White Tiger territory. Though Bandhavgarh is home to fabulous flora and fauna it is renowned for its terrific tigers. Amidst the deciduous forests and the Bandhavgarh hills lies the former game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa. In fact it is the amalgamation of the deciduous, sal trees, grasslands, meadows and the stretches of bamboo that make Bandhavgarh National Park home for the 22 species of mammals and another 250 odd species of birds.

Nagarhole National Park

Looking forward for peace in the lap of nature? Welcome to the heaven for nature lover- the Nagarhole National Park. The exclusive hunting preserve of the erstwhile rules of Mysore is today one of the best retreat for the nature lovers. There is so much more to the Nagarhole National Park besides the elephant and bison population it is famous for. The renowned wildlife park is home to a variety of animal species along with approximately 250 species of birds.

Simlipal National Park

Wish to be in the lap of nature? Far away from the stress of the daily chores rejuvenate yourselves at the Simlipal National Park. There are wondrous waterfalls, high hills and forests in the National Park that is spread over an area of 2,750 sq kms. It takes days to cover the entire area of the National Park. In fact you will not be able to visit an area of about 850 sq km as most of the tigers are concentrated here. Just in case you are lucky enough you may spot a tiger wandering outside the core area. Elephants, monkeys, deer and birds are the easiest to spot at Simlipal National Park.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the best and famous wildlife sanctuaries in India. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in India that is artificially made by a Maharaja. One of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located in Bharatpur city of Rajasthan and also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Indigenous water birds and the migratory water birds in the sanctuary include Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar.

Chinnar National Park

Topographical extremes capture the imagination of a visitor to the Chinnar National Park, situated at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district of Kerala. Given the status of National Park in 1984, Chinnar treat the wildlife enthusiasts to more than 90.422 sq. kms of wilderness: expansive forests, jagged peaks, and a wide diversity of wildlife including endangered giant grizzled squirrel, elephant, gaur, panther, spotted deer and sambar.

Idukki National Park

Located in the southern state of India, Kerala, Idukki National Park is one of Kerala's finest havens for wildlife and is home to vast herds of Elephants, bisons, bear, wild boars, sambar wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar and has a very large concentration of various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones. The bird life in the sanctuary is equally impressive. Important birds include myna, jungle fowl, black bulbul, laughing thrush, woodpecker, peafowl, kingfisher etc.

Muthanga National Park

Also known as Wayanad National Park, Muthanga National Park is located 16 kilometers east of Sulthaan Bathery. It was set aside as a sanctuary in 1973. The sanctuary borders on the parks of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast.

Peechi National Park

Occupying an area of 125 sq km, the Peechi National Park was established in 1958. Located 23km from Thrissur, Peechi is famous for Peechi Dam. The reservoir at Peechi offers boating facilities to the visitors. The catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams form part of the sanctuary.

Peppara National Park

The catchment area of Peppara dam built across Karamana River to supply drinking water to Thiruvananthapuram city and suburban areas forms the forests of Peppara National Park. It was declared a sanctuary in 1983 as thanks to the ecological significance of the area. Located 50kms north east of Thiruvananthapuram city, the sanctuary occupies an area of 53 sq.kms out of which the area of the reservoir is 5.82 sq.kms.

Mudumalai Sanctuary

An extension of the Bandipur National Park, picturesque Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is a scenic reserve forest that boasts of an interesting selection of flora and fauna. River Moyar flows through the forests and separates the jungles of Bandipur from that of Mudumalai.

Indira Gandhi Sanctuary

Indira Gandhi Sanctuary situated amidst dense forest landscape in the Anamalai range of Western Ghats, in Tamil Nadu, is a preferred destination of nature lovers. Pollachi is the main town situated nearest to the Indira GandhiSanctuary. The animal reserve is both a sanctuary (958 sq km) and national park (108 sq km).

Kalakkadu Sanctuary

Kalakkadu Sanctuary is located in the picturesque and geographically rich surroundings of Western Ghats in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Two prominent sanctuaries of the region The Kalakkadu sanctuary together with the Mundanthurai sanctuary has been notified as a Tiger reserve. The immense geographical value of this place could be gauged from the fact that this reserve is part of one of the world's 18 biodiversity hotspots.

Mundanthurai Sanctuary

Mundanthurai Sanctuary is one of those animal sanctuaries, which are known not only for their beautiful landscapes, being a part of the lush green Western Ghats, but also for the rich variety of wild creatures present here. Located in Tirunelveli district in Tamilnadu, it's definitely a place worth exploring.

Point Calimere

Point Calimere sanctuary is situated in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. It was in 1967 that Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary was created and in 1988, the sanctuary was enlarged and renamed as Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, with a total area of 377 km˛. The sanctuary has been designated as a Ramsar Site in November 2002.

Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary

Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary is located in Virudhunagar District, Tamilnadu, India. Spread over 46,800 hectares, it was declared a sanctuary in 1989. Given its vast geographical expanse, the sanctuary falls under two districts Virudhanagar and Madurai. The varied climatic and topographic conditions of the Western Ghats, where this sanctuary is located, make it one of the richest and largest repositories for biodiversity in the country.

Vallanadu Blackbuck Sanctuary

Vallanadu Blackbuck Sanctuary, located in Thoothukudi district, is a biodiversity rich and ecologically diverse region. Maintained in the hills of Vallanad, this sprawling sanctuary houses innumerable animals, birds, and other wild creatures.

Panna Tiger Reserve

Set up along the Ken River, Panna Tiger Reserve got its declaration as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in the year 1995. Known for a variety of waterfalls and lake of Pandava Falls, Panna Tiger Reserve was one of the places visited by the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata. Created in 1981, Panna Tiger Reserve consists of areas from the former Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread over an area of 70 to 80 sq. kms, Panna Tiger Reserve is a delight for all the flora and fauna lovers. Get to know more about Panna Tiger Reserve during a tour with Prudent Networks.

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