Many people travel to India to explore the famous jungles of the country. Amongst a slew of irresistible choices, some of the most popular picks are Corbett National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Gir National Park, and Sunderbans National Park.
India is full of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks many of which used to be the hunting grounds for the Maharajas and colonial masters of the bygone era. Every year, these wildlife holiday destinations attract thousands of visitors from different parts of the globe. A major reason behind the popularity of Indian forests is the economy factor as going on a wildlife tour to quite a few other countries works out to be much more expensive than visiting India’s jungles. Furthermore, the growing popularity of India on the tourist radar has also prompted many airlines to operate cheap flights to India. This has led to increasing competition and the availability of more and more cheap tickets for travellers. Anyone planning to visit India on a wildlife tour should definitely consider the following four places.
Corbett National Park
Sprawling over a humongous area in the hill state of Uttarakhand, the Corbett National Park was the erstwhile hunting ground of the legendary Englishman, Colonel Jim Corbett. Besides being home to the majestic Indian tiger, the park teems with dozens of other varieties of wildlife such as leopards, herds of wild elephants, wild boars, different deer species, and snakes and crocodiles to name a few. For many years, Corbett National Park has been the highlight of countless visitors’ travel to India. There are excellent accommodation facilities in areas near the Park as well as right in the heart of the jungle. One of the best ways to explore Corbett National Park is by going on an elephant safari. Bus and Jeep tours are available as well. Before visiting Corbett, one should be mindful of the fact that the best jungle experience is felt by staying inside the park rather than putting up in accommodation facilities outside the park’s boundaries.
Ranthambore National Park
The Ranthambore National Park is located in the desert state of Rajasthan. By visiting this park, it also becomes convenient to take a historical odyssey through Rajasthan and add more value to one’s expenditure on flights to India. In fact, the Ranthambore Fort is part of the forest. Besides being home to the big cats like tigers and leopards, Ranthambore National Park is also full of sloth bears, wild boars, sambhars, nilgais, dholes, and chitals. One of the best places in the park for catching glimpses of wildlife is Bakula as an abundance of watering holes and pools attracts many animals to this area and lucky visitors even get to see tigresses basking in the sun with their cubs. For touring the jungle, one has to buy tickets for bus or jeep safaris. Early mornings are the best times for taking these safaris.
Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is absolutely not to be missed during one’s India holidays. It is the sole surviving home of Asiatic lions. Another big cat to be found here is the leopard. Besides, there are various other forms of fauna life such as wild boars, blue bull or nilgai, striped hyenas, chousinghas or four horned antelopes, as well as numerous bird species like Saras Crane, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, crested serpent eagle, and red headed falcon. Gir also has plenty of reptiles and enjoys a robust marsh crocodile population. Most visitors take the morning and evening drives into the forest and utilise the time in between visit the famous temples of Somnath such as Shore Temple, Sun Temple, and Ahilya Temple.
Sunderbans National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is well-known for its dense mangrove forests and man eating Royal Bengal tigers. Even today, there is no consensus amongst scientists as to why tigers here are naturally man eaters. In fact, there is local superstition in the area that one is lucky not to see a tiger in Sunderbans as the person will end up as a meal for the tiger. Sunderbans also does not lack in aquatic and reptilian life forms such as crocodiles, olive ridley sea turtles, king cobras, hardshelled batgur terrapin, and chequered killbacks. For birdwatchers, the park is a veritable treat to the eyes with its exotic winged denizens such as herons, terns, white bellied sea eagles, whimprels, and eastern knots. A launch safari through the waters of Sunderban is one of the major draws here.