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India...a land of wonder, used to pride itself as one the greatest hunting grounds the world has ever seen. A legacy of the British Raj, India has now gained a reputation of being one of the best places in the world to view wildlife.

This land of 'milk and honey' has a multitude of animals, with the spotlight firmly of the largest of the felines, the tiger. However, the wildlife of this country has many unique specimens other than the tiger. Logically speaking, in order to survive against one of the greatest hunters in the world, the animal population had to develop to be larger or smarter! From the immensity of the Indian elephant to the wily fox, every animal is matchless! From times immemorial, animals have played a very important role in Indian mythology. Lord Indra rides Airavat, an elephant with eight trunks and one of India's most beloved goddesses Durga Ma rides on a lion. Lord Hanuman, another of India's deity's has the tail and face of a monkey while Lord Ganesh, the son of Shiva has the head of an elephant. With its varied as well as unique wildlife, India has been and will always be a hotbed for wildlife. So come on over and share this wonderful natural resource with us.

The wildlife of India is derived not only from species, which are found in no other country in the world, but also from forms which are descendents of ancestors that migrated into India from the regions around it. Decline of wild life is a global phenomenon. Over population and the consequent pressure on land due to development have taken an increasingly heavy toll of the country�s wilderness. This century alone has seen the extinction of several species of the magnificent wild life. Chief among these is the cheetah. Emperor Akbar used to maintain a contingent of a thousand cheetahs trained to hunt. The last three surviving cheetahs were spotted and shot dead at night in 1948, North of Bastar, Madhya Pradesh. The Asiatic Lion was once found all over northern India. Today it is confined to the Gir Forest. The rhinoceros is found only in Assam, Nepal and West Bengal. The Tiger is also under threat. The growing awareness of the need for conservation of our wildlife has however resulted in setting up of a network of protected areas in the country. At present, there are 80 National Parks and 440 Sanctuaries in the country. Some of the major National Parks and Sanctuaries are unique in their faunal and floral compositions. The Kaziranga National Park in Assam is the true home of the Indian one-horned Rhinoceros: the Himalayan sanctuaries are the home of the highly endangered snow leopard. The largest, bulkiest, most powerful, most majestic of the bovines- the gaur- is found in all sanctuaries of the central Indian Region. The Dachigam National Park is home to the Hangul or the Kasmir Stag. The Manas Sanctuary provides an ideal habitat for the wild buffalo and the pigmy hog--the smallest of the pigs, 70 cm long and hardly 30 cm high.(will be crafted)

Looking for birds The uninitiated birder and the new arrivals in the country would do well to remember a few tips on where and when to look for birds. Early mornings are a great time to watch birds as their activities are at a peak. Banyan and peepul trees when laden with fruit attract a large number of birds of different species. Flowering trees like the Flame of the Forest, Silk Cotton and Coral Flower trees in bloom are another good place to watch birds. North India in winter can provide for very exciting viewing with multitudes of waterfowls rising almost vertically from the cold mirror-like surface of jheels emanating misty vapours giving an almost surreal atmosphere to the whole drama. Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary at Bharatpur, an ornithologist�s paradise by itself accounts for more than 331 winter migratory birds from different parts of Asia, Middle East, Siberia, Europe etc. Bharatpur is one of the best breeding grounds for water birds, where 103 species of birds breed. A different and unique world can be experienced at the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands and the Lakshdweep Islands. The wildlife heritage of India is well worth exploring. The thrill and excitement of watching wild animals in their natural habitat can be experienced at the National Parks and Sanctuaries that dot the country.

Wildlife Adventure Tours of North India

Places Covered: Delhi - Corbett National Park - Ranthambore - Keoladeo Ghana National Park - Agra - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Kanha - Nagpur - Mumbai - Bangalore - Bandipur - Nagarhole - Delhi : 20 Days - 21 Days
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

National Parks & reserves

visiting tips |

Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttaranchal) Habitat: Northern most deciduous dominated by sal, northern tropical dry decidious, Himalayan subtropical pine forests Wildlife: Elephants, Tigers, Gharials, birds Closest Town/City: Nainital (85 km) Best time to visit: November - April

Sultanpur National Park, Haryana. located 46 kms from Capital city of Delhi. ,just a short drive away from the Delhi -Jaipur Highway. The park is home to a large variety of birds, both resident and migratory. Migratory geese and Siberian cranes spend the winter in Sultanpur and the demoiselle cranes, ruddy shelducks, pelicans, flamingoes, bar-headed geese, grey lags, gadwalls, mallards, pochards, shovellers and teals are also found here. Other resident species include plovers, red-wattled lapwings, herons, cormorants, white ibises, spoonbills and painted storks. Other wildlife in the park include blackbuck, nilgai, hog deer, sambar, wild dog or dhole, caracal, wild cat,mongoose, striped hyena, Indian porcupine, wild pig, and four horned antelope..Dont forget to bring a good quality binocular as it provides immense opportunity of locating & identifying various specieof avian life. Bring a good quality camera with tele lens & proper clothing. Best time to visit is November-February

Bharatpur National Park: Rajasthan (4-5 hrs from Delhi) Keoladeo Ghana National Park,one of the most spectacular bird sanctuaries in India, nesting indigenous water- birds as well as migratory. More than 300 species of birds are found in this small park of 29 sq. km. Keoladeo, the name derives from an ancient Hindu temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park. 'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest. While many of India's parks have been developed from the hunting preserves of princely India, Keoladeo Ghana is perhaps the only case where the habitat has been created by a maharaja.. The area was declared a national park in 1982, and accepted as a World Heritage Site in December 1985. Over 350 species of birds find a refuge in the 29 sq km of shallow lakes and woodland, which makes up the park. A third of them are migrants, many of whom spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds, as far away as Siberia and Central Asia. Migratory birds at Keoladeo include, as large a bird as Dalmatian pelican, which is slightly less than two feet other migrants include several species of cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, etc. But of all the migrants, the most sought after is the Siberian Crane or the great white crane, which migrates to this site every year, covering a distance of more than half the globe.The journey to Bharatpur takes them 6,400 kms from their breeding grounds, in Siberia. They arrive in December and stay till early March. Route is -Delhi-Mathura-Bharatpur[3-4hrs journey]. Plenty of cheap, good places of stay on the entry of the park. Best time to visit this bird's paradise is December-February

Desert National Park, Rajasthan The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar desert and its diverse fauna. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The blackbuck& chinkara are the antelope of this region. Its other notable inhabitants are the desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf and desert cat.Bird life in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. Birds such as the sand grouse, partridges, bee-eaters, larks and shrikes are commonly seen. Demoiselle crane and houbara arrive in the winter. The birds of prey seen here are tawny and steppe eagles, long legged and honey buzzards, falcons and kestrels. But the most outstanding of the avifauna is the great Indian bustard. This tall, heavy bird is an epitome of confidence and grace. Park is also very rich in reptiles. Spiny tail lizard, monitor lizard, saw sealed viper, Russel's viper, Sind krait, toad agama and sandfish are found in large numbers.

Kanha National Park- the Kipling Country, Madhya Pradesh The Kanha National Park, in Madhya Pradesh, stretching over 2000 sq km, has horse-shoe shaped valley & grasslands surrounded by the Satpura Mountains.The vegetation, chiefly made of Sal and bamboo forests, grasslands and streams, this park is the sole habitat of the rare hard ground barasingha. The forests of the Banjar valley and Halon valley of the erstwhile princely provinces of Central India, respectively forming Kanha's western and eastern halves, had even, at the turn of the century, been famous for their deer and tiger population. KanhaNational Park came into being by a special statute in 1955,

Kanha boasts of about 30 species of mammals. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the magnificient Tigers, gaur, the largest of the world's cattle .Other frequent visitors include the Nilgai Antelope, The Sloth Bear, The Dhole, Or Indian Wild Dog. Some 300 species of birds inhabit the park that includes the Cattle Egret, Black Ibis, Hawk Eagle. It is one of the well maintained National Parks in Asia, and a major attraction for avid wildlife buffs all over the world. The Barasingha is undoubtedly, the jewel of Kanha, and drastic steps have been taken to rescue it from complete extinction. The enlargement of the grasslands, through village reallocation, has been responsible for this impressive achievement. Bamni Dadar, known as Sunset Point, is the most beautiful part of the park, and the view of the sunset from this spot is absolutely mesmerising. But for all the astonishing diversity in its wildlife population, Kanha is best known as the habitat of the Tiger.Sighting and photographing this magnificent animal from Elephant back, is an unforgettable experience. Route from Delhi-Agra-Biora-Jabalpur-Mandla-Kanha Kisli. Enjoy the Kipling country. Best time to visit -December-January, park closes during monsoon.

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan Located in Swai Madhopur area of Rajasthan, it is one of the nine original reserves set up under project Tiger in 1973. It lies at the junction of Aravallis & Vindyas in the south-eastern corner of Rajasthan. It was declared national park in 1980. Has core area of 392Sq km of dry deciduous vegetation � ideal tiger habitat- Surrounded by a buffer zone. It is facing severe poaching problems & number of tigers has reduced substantially. It has remains of once mighty Ranthambore fort Jogi mahal near a very beautiful-lotus-crowded lake Padam talao. which has forest rest house in remarkable location. Getting there:- Nearest airport is Jaipur. Approachable by Railways & Road-nearest is Swaimadhopur town -route is Jaipur-Tonk-Swaimadhopur. Private vehicles are not allowed. Where to stay- Tiger Den Resort-Rent Rs. 3300, 07462-52070 Vanyavilas (Oberoi group)� Rs.27000-32,000,2 N / 3D Ph: 07462 �2 23999,Taj, SawaiMadhopur lodge-Rs.9500-Rs13900 (all inclusive) 07462-220541 / 7191 247.

Gangotri National Park (Uttaranchal) Habitat: Himalayan moist temperate type vegetation consists of chirpine deodar, fir, spruce, oak and rhododendrons Wildlife: Lammergeirs, bharal, Himalayan black bears Closest Town/City: Dehradun (210 km) Best time to visit: February - May Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary (Uttaranchal) Habitat: Moist mixed deciduous forests, temperate moist coniferous forests, sublpine birch, fir and spruce forests and sub-pine pasture and scrub Wildlife: Goral, birds, butterflies, leopards Closest City/Town: Almora (25 km) Best time to visit: September - March

Valley of Flowers National Park (Uttaranchal) Habitat: Alpine meadows and sub alpine forests shelter about 500 species of flowering plants. A large portion of the park is covered with glaciers. Wildlife: Flowering plans and butterflies Closest City/Town: Joshimath (33 km) Best time to visit: July - August

Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh) Habitat: Confluence of temperate and alpine forest types with a mix of oak and conifers Wildlife: Musk deer, Himalayan black bears, snow leopards Closest City/Town: Kullu (55 km) Best time to visit: April - June & September-October Gir National Park (Gujarat) Habitat: Semi-arid and deciduous forest, stunted deciduous forest interspersed with grasslands and scrubland. Wildlife: Asiatic Lions, leopards, birds Closest City/Town: Junagarh (58 km) Best time to visit: November - March

Little Rann (wild ass) Sanctuary (Gujarat) Habitat: Predominantly Saline Desert. Some areas are semi-arid Wildlife: Asiatic wild ass, chinkara, wolves, striped hyenas Closest City/Town: Ahmedabad (105 km), Rajkot (140 km) Best time to visit: December - March Ranthanbhore Tiger Reserve (Rajasthan) Habitiat: Dry deciduous habitat dominated with dhak trees. Three lakes form the life support system for the park. Wildlife: Tigers, leopards, birds Closest City/Town: Sawoi Madhopur (12 km) Best time to visit: December - April

Keoladeo Ghana National Park (Rajasthan) Habitat: Man-made wetland; semi-arid and thorn forest with small patches of grass land. Wildlife: Migratory birds, rock python, Indian monitor, jackals Closest City/Town: Bharatpur (5 km) Best time to visit: November - February Melghat Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra) Habitat: Dry deciduous forest with teak and bamboo Wildlife: Birds, tigers, guars Closest City/Town: Amaravati (100 km) Best time to visit: December - March

Tadoba Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra) Habitat: Southern tropical deciduous forest with teak and bamboo Wildlife: Tigers, dhole, birds Closest City/Town: Chandrapur (45 km) Best time to visit: November - April Netravali Wild Life Sanctuary (Goa) Habitiat: Westcoast tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests. Wildlife: Birds, reptiles, amphibians Closest City/Town: Dabolim (55k km) Best time to visit: August - February

Kanha TigerReserve (Madhya Pradesh) Habitiat: Mixed deciduous on the plains and dry deciduous woodland on hilltops and slope. Wildlife: Tigers, swamp deers, birds Closest City/Town: Jabalpur (160 km) Best time to visit: November - March Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) Habitiat: Indus-Ganges Monsoon forest type mainly consisting of semi-evergreen sal forests mixed with Terminalia and mixed bamboo species. Wildlife: Tigers, birds Closest City/Town: Umaria (35 km) Best time to visit: December - April

Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka - Tamilnadu) Habitiat: Dry deciduous scrub, southern tropical dry deciduous and southern tropical moist mixed deciduous forests. Wildlife: Elephants, tigers, dhole, guar, four-horned antelope, birds, reptiles, butterflies Closest City/Town: Mysore (78 km) Best time to visit: January - May, September - October Periayar Tiger Reserve (Kerala) Habitiat: Mostly tropical evergreen forests and semi-evergreen forests, occassionally broken by large areas of grasslands. Wildlife: Elephants, guar, birds, reptiles, butterflies Closest City/Town: Kottayam (112 km), Madurai (140 km) Best time to visit: November - April

Silent Valley National Park (Kerala) Habitiat: West coast tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen and secondary evergreen, souther tropical hill savannah woodland, southern montane wet scrub and grassland. Wildlife: Birds, reptiles, amphibians Closest City/Town: Palakkad (58 km), Coimbatore (90 km) Best time to visit: July - February Annamalai (Indira Gandhi) National Park (Tamilnadu) Habitiat: Dry deciduous, evergreen, semi-evergreen and montane wet temperate forests. Wildlife: Elephants, Birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies Closest City/Town: Coimbatore (80 km) Best time to visit: September - April

Mahatama Gandhi Marine (Wandur) National Park (Andamans) Habitiat: Mangrove forest; tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests on the sorrounding landmass. Majority of the water dominated by coral reef. Wildlife: Corals, tropical fish, molluscs, salt-water crocodiles, birds Closest City/Town: Port Blair (29 km) Best time to visit: December - March Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (Orissa) Habitiat: Mangrove forest along creek and estuaries - an amalgamation of sea and freshwater habitat. Wildlife: Turtles, king cobra, water monitor, crustaceans Closest City/Town: Bhubaneshwar (190 km), Cuttack (77 km) Best time to visit: December - March

Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (West Bengal) Habitiat: Dense mangrove forests with several rivers, creeks and estuaries. Most of the area consists of inaccessible swamps. Wildlife: Tiger, mangroves, water monitor, crustaceans Closest City/Town: Jorhat (98 km), Guwahati (230 km) Best time to visit: December - April

Kaziranga National Park (Assam) Habitiat: Alluvial grassland, deciduous woodland scattered through the grassland, semi-evergreen forest and tropical wet evergreen forests Wildlife: One-horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, common otters, gangetic dolphins Closest City/Town: Kolkata (160 km) Best time to visit: December - March Manas Tiger Reserve (Assam) Habitiat: Tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous forests and extensive alluvial grasslands. Wildlife: Birds, hispid hare, pygmy hogs, golden langur Closest City/Town: Guwahati (180 km) Best time to visit: December - March

Eagle's Nest Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh) Habitat: Wet temperate evergreen dominated with bamboo. Heavily logged regions - with pine, birch broad leaved oak and rhododendron. Wildlife: Birds, reptiles, amphibians, yellow throated martens Closest City/Town: Guwahati (328 km) Best time to visit: October - April

Namdapha Tiger Reserve (Arunachal Pradesh) Habitiat: Wet evergreen rainforests, moist mixed deciduous forests and temperate alpine forests. Namdapha has an astounding diversity of forest types. Wildlife: Reptiles, amphibians, birds, small cats Closest City/Town: Digboi (85 km) Best time to visit: December - April

Betla National Park: (Bihar) Palamu shot to fame as early as 1932 for its tiger census - the first of its kind in the world. In 1974 it became one of the country's earliest Tiger reserves. Endowed with thick tropical forests and a rich variety of fauna, the core area of the sanctuary has been declared as Betla National park (232 sq. kms.).
This park is a great attraction to tourists. The Park, at an average elevation of 1,000 ft. is open throughout the year although February to April are the best months. It is 140 kms from Ranchi. Large herds of Gaur and Chital are commonly seen. Elephants are present mostly after the monsoons up to the time when water holes begin to dry up in March. Tiger, Sloth Bear, Wild Bear, Sambhar, Nilgai, Deer are also permanent residents. Palamu is now one of the nine Tiger Reserves in India under Project Tiger. It has waterfalls and hot springs too.The forest department has made arrangements for providing jeeps for viewing the wildlife here.


Chilika Lake - (Orissa) The pear shaped Chilika Lake is situated 50kms southwest of Puri and 110 km from Bhubaneshwar. It covers an area of 1100 sq. km.& is the largest salt & fresh water lake in Asia. It has many islands.Nalbana island is a bird sanctuary. Chilika is also known as 'Honeymoon Island. It is a good picnic spot. It attracts a large number of migratory birds, like the flamingo,bar headed goose, shoveller and white - bellied sea eagle. One can enjoy boating .Bird lovers can enjoy by visiting here in winter because migratory avian populations wing in from places as far as Siberia. It is home to an unusual species of dolphin, the Irrawaddy which is threatened by soaring pollution. Chilika is open throughout the year but best visit time is October-February ,avoid monsoon. The place isaccessible from both Bhubaneshwar and Puri by road, Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar[110km],railhead is Puri[50km].Ideal place for bird lovers.

Chail Sanctuary, (Himachal Pradesh) Chail is a small hill station in the vicinity of state capital, Shimla& is thronged by numerous tourists. The Deodar and Oak forests with grasslands around the township are the abode of wildlife. Chail sanctuary was notified in 1976 near Chail Town in District Shimla and covers an area of 10,854.36 hectares.
One can see Sambar, Goral, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Deer, Barking Deer, Indian Hare, Leopard,, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten,Common Giant and Kashmiri Flying Squirrel .and Chir Pheasants. Visitors are welcome to the Chir Pheasant Breeding Centres at both Blossom and Jhajja. Barking deer and Kalijin in the forests are sure to meet and greet the visitors at dusk and dawn. Sighting of the leopard is possible particularly in the dusk. This is a very beautiful,isolated area in contrast with polluted Shimla & can be visited any time of the year. Route is Delhi-Chandigarh-Solan-from here one can go to Chail via Kandaghat(25km) or go to Shimla & then reach Chail(20km more in distance). First route is very beautiful & rewarding however.

Kanha National Park- the Kipling Country, Madhya Pradesh The Kanha National Park, in Madhya Pradesh, stretching over 2000 sq km, has horse-shoe shaped valley & grasslands surrounded by the Satpura Mountains.The vegetation, chiefly made of Sal and bamboo forests, grasslands and streams, this park is the sole habitat of the rare hard ground barasingha. The forests of the Banjar valley and Halon valley of the erstwhile princely provinces of Central India, respectively forming Kanha's western and eastern halves, had even, at the turn of the century, been famous for their deer and tiger population. By a special statute in 1955, Kanha National Park came into being. Kanha boasts of about 30 species of mammals. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the magnificient Tigers, gaur, the largest of the world's cattle .Other frequent visitors include the Nilgai Antelope, The Sloth Bear, The Dhole, Or Indian Wild Dog. Some 300 species of birds inhabit the park that includes the Cattle Egret, Black Ibis, Hawk Eagle. It is one of the well maintained National Parks in Asia, and a major attraction for avid wildlife buffs all over the world. The Barasingha is undoubtedly, the jewel of Kanha, and drastic steps have been taken to rescue it from complete extinction. The enlargement of the grasslands, through village reallocation, has been responsible for this impressive achievement. Bamni Dadar, known as Sunset Point, is the most beautiful part of the park, and the view of the sunset from this spot is absolutely mesmerising. But for all the astonishing diversity in its wildlife population, Kanha is best known as the habitat of the Tiger.Sighting and photographing this magnificent animal from Elephant back, is an unforgettable experience. Route from Delhi-Agra-Biora-Jabalpur-Mandla-Kanha Kisli. Enjoy the Kipling country. Best time to visit -December-January,park closes during monsoon.

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh Set amongst the Vindhyas,it is located in the Northenmost spur of the Maikal hill range in the Vindhyas, which it shares with Kanha NP lying close to it in the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh is a small national park, but with the highest known density of tiger population in India. It was used to be the hunting ground of the rulers of Rewas. Covering 448 sq km area it is bounded by Sone river in the East, Johilla river in the South & drained by Umrar river in the west. The terrain is made of rocky hills, Sal forests and grazing areas, formerly agricultural land. This is also known as White Tiger territory. The finest of these hills is the Bandhavgarh hill, and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort which is believed to be about 2000years old. It was declares as as a National Park in 1968 Since then, stringent steps have been taken to retain it as an unspoilt natural habitat. The important species found in Bandhavgarh are tiger, the Gaur or Indian Bison, leopard etc. Nearest airport is Jabalpur [200km], Khujraho is another one [310km]. Nearest rail is Umaria [32km]. Best time to visit is- November-March, best sightings are in May-June, park is closed from July- October due to monsoons.

Simplipal National Park, Orissa Simplipal is located in the centre of Mayurbhanj district of Orissa & one of the earliest to come under Project Tiger. It has spread over an area of 2,750 sq kms & falls in the Mahanadian Biogeographical Zone. This sprawling ecosystem, thanks to the mega conservation efforts, has close to 100 tigers. Other mammalian species like Leopards, Sambars, Gaur (Indian bison), Elephants, Wild Dog, sloth Bears etal are also found here. There are around 230 species of birds in these forests. There is a sizeable population of reptiles as well, which include snakes and turtles. The population of crocodiles has increased considerably since the inception of the Mugger Management Program. Simlipal National Park is a floral treasure as well. It has close to 501 species of plants belonging to 102 families. Eighty-two species of orchids have already been identified here.Innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants are found. though best sightings are in April-May Nearest airport is Kolkata- 262km, Bhubneshwar- 270km, Nearest rail -Baleshwar-60km from Baripada .The waterfalls, tribal settlements and mountain peaks, increase the glory of the park. If you are interested in seeing the virgin green place this place fits in your itinerary. Best time to visit is November-February,

Desert National Park, Rajasthan The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar desert and its diverse fauna. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The blackbuck& chinkara are the antelope of this region. Its other notable inhabitants are the desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf and desert cat.Bird life in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. Birds such as the sand grouse, partridges, bee-eaters, larks and shrikes are commonly seen. Demoiselle crane and houbara arrive in the winter. The birds of prey seen here are tawny and steppe eagles, long legged and honey buzzards, falcons and kestrels. But the most outstanding of the avifauna is the great Indian bustard. This tall, heavy bird is an epitome of confidence and grace. Park is also very rich in reptiles. Spiny tail lizard, monitor lizard, saw sealed viper, Russel's viper, Sind krait, toad agama and sandfish are found in large numbers.

Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh It is possible to trek 30-km from Dalhousie to Chamba along the eastbound road from Gandhi Chowk. A short but steep ascent leads to the Kalatope wildlife sanctuary, from which one can walk into a pleasant track. This sanctuary area with its well-laid out trekking jungle trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar is a tourist paradise. Dense Deodar and Fir forests are places of solitude very close to Dalhousie town. .The sanctuary is rewarding for the splendid views but its Ibex, deer, bears and leopards rarely come out of their hiding. Visitors should look for pheasants and Serow in these forests but should be beware of Black bear, which can be encountered often in the area.See trekking routes for information.

Dachigam National Park, Jammu & Kashmir Dachigam is one of the India's most scenically beautiful wildlife reserves. It is located 22 kilometres from Srinagar and forms almost half of the Dal Lake's catchment area. Since 10 villages were relocated outside the boundaries of the reserves between 1910 and 1934, it has got its name Dachi-gam, which means 'Ten Villages'. Dachigam is spread over 140 square kilometres, spanning heights between 5,500 to 14,000 feet above sea level. It is considered home to some of the unique Himalayan range of flora and fauna. Primary amongst them is the Hangul or Kashmir stag, the most endangered species of red deer in the world. During winters, the upper reaches of Dachigam becomes inaccessible to the visitors and the temperature in lower Dachigam dips as low as -10 degree celsius. The main predator in the park is the leopard & other predators like the jackal, hill fox, yellow-throated marten and the wild boar. Himalayan griffon,leopard cat, , jungle cat and Himalayan weasel can also be sighted.. Nearest airport is Srinagar-22kms,railhead is Jammu,one can drive Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar highway which is quite adventurous experience.

Bhitarkanika National Park, Orissa Bhitarkanika parlk is a paradise for adventure lovers. It is also a breeding ground for the Olive Ridley turtles. This is the largest forest of the country covering 672 sq km of area. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975, just to protect the estuarine crocodile and turtles in their rare mangrove habitat& is a Ramsar site. Out of seventy-two species of Mangroves identified in the world, sixty-three species are found in Bhitarkanika. Reptiles are the dominant species here. The area is equally rich in mammals, birds, amphibians and fishes. This has the largest concentration of estuarine crocodiles with as large as 22feet. The Gahirmatha beach in this sanctuary is also the largest rookery of "Olive Ridley" turtles in the world. Best time to visit is November-February, the park is ideal for watching crocs, sea turtles, mangrove forests. Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar [130km] from here go to Rajnagar [185km] -Chandbali then to Bhitarkanika by boat. Nearest railhead is Cuttack. This is a well connected place perfect for reptile lovers.

Gir National Park, Gujarat The Gir wildlife sanctuary and national park, is located in the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat in western India. The Gir national park is a heaven to about 300 Asiatic lions. The Lion inhabits the forest of Gir in the Saurashtra peninsula, attracting thousands of visitors. Covering an area of 1421 sq km this was declared as N.P in 1974. It is home to 36 species of mammals,33 species of reptiles, 300 bird species, 448 species of flowering plants& largest population of marsh Crocodiles. Gir today is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The Asiatic lion is slightly smaller than its African cousin; nevertheless, a large male lion of the Gir is quite a sight to behold. The best way to observe the big cats is, of course, in their natural surroundings, at dawn and dusk, when they are on the prowl. Wildlife viewing in the Girs is best done by driving around the forest. Best time to visit is November-March. Nearest airport is Ahmedabad-415km or take a train to Junagarh,then taxi to Susan Gir.

The Hemis High Altitude National Park, Jammu & Kashmir The Hemis High Altitude National Park includes the catchments of two valleys, which drain into the River Indus. It is named after the famous monastery -- Hemis, and sprawls over 3350-sq-km in the Markha & Rumbak valleys of Ladakh. Declared as NP in 1981 it is home to snow leopard, Lynx, four species of wild sheep, goat, the marmot, snow cock, chukor, snow partridge The conditions are very bleak and desolate in this park. The terrain is rocky and the thin soil cover supports a poor vegetative growth. Dry alpine pastures are present in sheltered locations. Grass growth is relatively rapid during the summer season after the melting of the snow. Good time for trekking is summers though for wildlife sighting winter is ideal time. A permit is required at Leh to enter the park. Nearest airport is Leh- 45 kms, you can reach there by road via Manali- a treat for nature lovers. See valleys & treks for more informaton. It is a place fit for tough people but adventure of life time.

Kedarnath Sanctuary, Uttaranchal Founded in 1972, Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls over an area of 967 sq. km of the Garhwal Himalayas. This stretch of the Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts affords a splendid view of mountains and grasslands, exotic butterflies and flowers. Some of the interesting residents of the sanctuary are the snow leopard, leopard, tahr, snow cock and musk deer. Khaleej and monal pheasants are some of the feathered inhabitants. The Garhwal Himalayas have some of the highest peaks in India, housing the sacred Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines as well as several forest reserves. It is from here that the holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers originate.This place holds great religious significance & the source of great Indian rivers feeding millions in their journeys from hills to plains.

Manali Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh This sanctuary is located in District Kullu's town, Manali. The area of this sanctuary is 3,180 hectares. The sanctuary was established in 1954. It forms the catchment of Manalsu Khad. A bridle path from Manali log huts/ Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar forests. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of Leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibix in the glacier zone in summers. Other fauna in the sanctuary include Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Palm Civet, Goral, Himalayan yellow throated Marten, Serow, and Himalayan Tahr. Route is Delhi- Chandigarh-Manali [525km].

Manas National Park, Assam Manas is situated in Assam & spread over an area of 391 sq km, earlier it was known as North Kamrup, & declared as a sanctuary in 1928. It was accorded the status of World Heritage Site in 1985. In 2002 it was designated as core zone of Buxa-Manas Elephant Reserve. Manas houses 19 of India's most endangered animal populations. It has the largest population of tigers among Indian reserves. It is a home to the rare golden langur . The prominent fauna here are the rhino, wild buffalos, elephants, gaur, swamp deer, capped langur and clouded leopard. . The main highlight of the park is the giant hornbill, two subspecies of which, the pied and grey varieties are to be found here. It extends into the foothills of Bhutan where it is called the Royal Manas National Park. Its wetlands are of international importance and essential for the survival of the fast-vanishing hispid hare and pygmy hog. Butterflies and reptiles are also found aplenty in Manas.Best time is November-February & nearest airport is guwahati- go directly to Manas about 176km from here via Barpeta road. It is a must visit place.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat Just 65 kms southwest of Ahmedabad, is the delightful bird sanctuary of Nalsarovar nestling around the Nal Lake, extending over 11,500 hectares. Established in 1969, it is known to harbour over 250 species of wetland birds. Nalsarovar sees winter migrants from the north that includes Rosy Pelicans, Flamingoes, White Storks, Brahminy Ducks and Herons. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is one of the best of its kind in India during the winter months, teeming with thousands of Cranes, Flamingoes, Pelicans, Ducks, Storks and other birds. The Jungle Cat, the Jackal and the Hare can also be seen here. A pair of binoculars and a person well versed in the local bird life will surely make it one of your best outings.Visitors are ferried in small boats to experience a sunrise or sunset while gliding gently through the silent waters. Country boats of the local people are available for bird watching on the lake.


Namdhapa National Park, Arunachal Pradesh Namdapha National Park is situated in Arunachal Pradesh and famous for the extremely elusive snow and the clouded leopard. This Namdapha park is also the tiger reserve under Project Tiger & is termed as mystical forest because of its beauty. It is Easteren most Tiger reserve. It covers 2000 sq km of area having altitudinal variation from 200m-4500m.& has 90 mammal, 400birds, 72 species of snakes& amphibians. The inhabitants of the park which could be listed over there are the gaur or mithun, elephant, Himalayan black bear, the wild goat peculiar to the Patkoi range, slow loris, red panda. Several primate species like the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque and the hoolock gibbon can be found in the area. Nearest airport is Dibrugarh. One can access park from here via Miao to Deban, Nearest rail is Tinsukia-45km. It is wildlifer's paradise.

Nanda Devi National Park, Uttaranchal Nanda Devi National Park lies in Chamoli District, within the Garhwal Himalayas. The main entry point to the park is via Lata Village, some 25km from Joshimath township(see treks). Declared a national park in 1982, the park is bound by high mountain ridges and peaks on all sides except its western side, which features a deep and virtually inaccessible gorge. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1998 enhancing its significance as a protected forests. The area is reputedly one of the most spectacular wildernesses in the Himalayas. Nanda Devi, the highest complete mountain in India dominates the basin. It supports a diverse flora, largely on account of the wide altitudinal range, and an interesting variety of large mammals, including a number of rare or threatened species like elusive snow leopard, mountain goats. Unlike many other Himalayan areas, it is free from human settlement and has remained largely unspoilt due to its inaccessibility, particularly the forests of the lower Rishi Valley. Nanda devi is revered as manifestation of goddess parvati. It is an amazing place. Best trekking time is summer though best time to see wildlife is Oct-Nov.One can stay in the villages on the outskirts of park.

Orang National Park, Assam Popularly known as mini Kaziranga, Orang national park covers 72-sq-kms only and is located towards the north bank of Brahamaputra. This park is 140-km from Guwahati and 31-km from Tezpur. On October 1st, 1992 Orang Wildlife Sanctuary was renamed as Rajib (Rajiv) Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. It has 26 man made ponds home to numerous bird species.Coveted attractions here are the One-Horned Rhinoceros, Elephants, Leopard,Sambar,Barking deer, Tiger, 200species of water birds. During winter birds from far off places come here to nestle. Best sightings are in February-March.Nearest airport and railhead is Guwahati[140km], Park is 15km off a road connecting Guwahati-Tezpur via. Mangaldai.

Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh Panna National Park is located in the vindhya range of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Established in 1981 it is one of the best in the region covering 542.67 sq km area. The river Ken passes through the park, adding to its scenic beauty. The predominant species that inhabits the park is the deer, of which the most easily sighted are the graceful little Chinkara, the Indian gazelle and the Chital. Other species that have their habitat in the park are Nilgai, Sambar, Chausingha Or Four-Horned Antelope, Blackbuck, Sloth Bear, Leopard and tiger and others. The National Park is equally rich in avifauna. The artificial lake, Chandpata, is the winter home of migratory birds. The route is-Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Jhansi-Panna. Nearest airport is Khujraho about 26km, nearest railhead is Jhansi-176km, well connected to the park. Park is open from October to June & .best time to visit is winter though sightings are more in summer time. Interestingly night safari is available in this park .Best place to stay [if you can afford ] is Ken river lodge costing Rs. 7750 for two. Tel. 07732-275235.

Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh The Pench National Park on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has been known through the ages for its rich flora and fauna. Named after the river that flows nearby, Pench was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983. This park is the 25th Tiger Reserve in the country and takes pride in its tigers and other wildlife. The total area under the Pench Tiger Reserve comes to about 758- sqkm.In summer the river retains water in pools strewn along its bed, locally known as 'Doh'. This is southern topical dry deciduous forest and is a home to a variety of trees and wild animals. The common animals in this sanctuary are Jackal, Wild dog, Sloth bear, Grey Mongoose, Striped Hyaena, Tiger, Leopard, Jungle cat, Wild Boar, barking Deer, Indian Bison, Nilgai, Chausinga, Large Brown Flying Squirrel etc.

Pong Lake Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh The Pong Dam Lake is significant for a wildlife sanctuary with wild life species like Nilgai, Sambar, Barking Deer, and Leapord. It is a treat for bird lovers where more than one lakh birds congregate in winters in the backdrop of Dhauladhar. Lake has four islands & it is 42km long,19km wide. The reservoir is developed on a large scale for promoting water sports for tourists. This lake sanctuary is a big attraction for migratory ducks from Siberian region during winter. Best time is is October-March See treks/lakes for route. It is rapidly gaining significance as bird sanctuary.

Rajaji National Park, Uttaranchal The Rajaji National Park is rich in faunal wealth because of the varied types of ecological niches existing in the reserve. Spread over an area 820 sq km it consists of Motichur, Rajaji & Chilla together called Rajaji NP.The main groups occur are birds, mammals & reptiles snakes and lizards. The smaller carnivores as co-predators are leopard cat, jungle cat, civet cat and yellow-throated martin. Besides, other mammals like hyena, jackal and Bengal fox are not an uncommon sight and work as scavengers in the park. According to Latest census done in 1999, there are 445 elephants, 32 tigers and 177 leopards, besides thousands of other wild animals in the park. Like Corbett more than 300 birds species are reported to occur in the park. Twenty-eight species of snakes, 12 species of turtles & tortoises are being recorded from the park It is located near the famous religious centre of Hinduism, Haridwar & is accessible by rail & road. Route is Delhi-Haridwar- take a turn prior to reaching Haridwar then reach Chilla by crossing Ganga which is one of the entry points.

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park Mumbai, Maharashtra One can have encounters with several species including Spotted Deer, Barking Deer,, Palm Civet, Mouse Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Bounet Macaque, Hanuman Langur, Indian Flying Fox, and Sambhar in the heart of the over-populated Mumbai -this is an amazing protected area witnessing persistent conflicts of humanity with wild beasts.. The reptilian world has 38 species to show -off. Tourists can see crocodiles in the Tulsi Lake, and Pythons, Cobras, Monitor Lizards, Russell's viper,etc.This place is a naturalists treat which is well explored by various nature lovers residing Mumbai.It has a large variety of micro life of butterflies & other micro-organisms. Its a place worth visit by all nature lovers.

Silent Valley National Park, Kerala Located in Nilgiris, Western Ghats a biodiversity hotspot as per world conservation union (IUCN)- in palakkad district of Kerala. It is an explorer�s delight & trekker�s challenge. Its topographic isolation has resulted into ecological island. Silent valley boasts a wealth of biological & genetic heritage. Valley is unique as towering vertical cliffs of Nilgiri mountains surround it from all sides cutting it from rest of the world. Forests are primarily tropical wet green. In seventies, a proposed dam was to be constructed at this place which was opposed by environmentalists and by virtue of consistent efforts, the proposal was abandoned & area was declared as national park. It is home of lion-tailed macaque & Nilgiri langur and other rare fauna & flora. How to reach there :- By road & rail it is approachable viPapalakkad(65km), but nearest town to park is Mannarghat. First reach to Mukkali located about 20 kms from park, there you can hire jeep or van etc. Place of stay :- Forest Department Rest House at Mukkali. Tariff varies from Rs. 50-330 Ph. 0492 � 453225. Best season :- Between September � April. Contact :-Wildlife warden, Silent Valley Division, Mannarkkad, Palakkad district. Ph:04924-222056.

Renuka Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh Renuka sanctuary is situated at Renuka, which is an excursion from Nahan. Renuka Lake and the temples attract a large number of people from hills and plains. Forests and the catchments of the lake add to its beauty and attraction. The Renuka Sanctuary(zoo) also adds much to the ambience of the place. It is home to a large number of animals including Asiatic lions, spotted deer, lion tailed macaques, peacocks, nilgai or and Himalayan black bears. Around the place flutter thousands of gorgeous butterflies. There's a small aviary here, which houses a variety of waterbirds, red jungle fowl, black pheasant and peacock. Adjoining the zoo is a big lion safari and the Department of Forest provides an armoured van, which enters the large enclosures allowing a closer glimpse of at lions. See trekking routes for details of route.

Sunderban National Park, West Bengal Famous for its man eaters this protected area is located in the Ganga delta in West Bengal, spanning the Hooghly in the west and Teulia river in the east. Sunderbans was declared a National Park in 1984. The park covers a vast stretch of mangrove swamp, lush forested islands and small rivers near the Bay of Bengal. Most of the region comprises estuarine mangrove forests and swamps which supports an ecosystem specially adapted to great salinity. Home to the magnificent Royal Bengal tiger, the park holding more tigers than any other tiger reserve. More than 400 tigers were recorded during the mid-1980s.Crocodiles and the gangetic dolphin are to be found aplenty in the Raimgangal river. This remote place is a safe heaven for the highly threatened mighty tigers.This park holds its reputation due to substantial number of man eaters roaming its length & breadth.

Tadoba Andhari National Park, Maharashtra The oldest National Park in the state of Maharashtra, it is also a Project Tiger reserve, since 1995. The rich deciduous forest mainly consists of teak trees, The area around Tadoba was once highly populated by the Gond tribals. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, Tadoba is also referred to as 'The Jewel of Vidarbha'. It is very well protected park having sightings of wildlife from close quarters. The rich deciduous forests mainly consists of teak trees. Although the major attraction is the Tiger, large herds of Chital, the Sambar, the elusive Barking Deer, the majestic Gaur, the robust Nilgai, the Sloth Bear, Wild Dogs, the omnipresent Wild Boar, and Leopard make lasting impressions on the visitors to this Reserve. The lake attracts many water birds like Cattle Egrets, Purple Moorhens and Jacanas. It also has marsh crocodiles at the breeding farm. Nearest airport is Nagpur & railhead is Chandrapur[45km] from Tadoba NP.It has 195 species of birds,70 species of butterflies, numerous mammals.

Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch, Gujarat Gujarat is as famous for its large wild Ass herds as it is for its lions. To protect these rare animals, a sanctuary covering an area of over 4,953 sq. kms was created to offer protection to more than 2,100 wild Asses inhabiting this area which is largest sanctuary in India & is a Ramsar site.. In the Little Rann of Kutch, the Asses are attracted by the flat green grass covered expanse known as bets. ( The Agile Wild Ass are capable of marathon runs at a pace of about 24 km/hrs for as long as two hours, reaching a top speed of 70 km per hour over short distances. The Rann of Kutch is full of dry thorny scrub and there are no large trees. The main vegetation in the region includes many species of grasses that are widely available as the source of food for the wild Asses. The most famous wildlife of the region includes the Indian Wild Ass, as well as the Chinkara, Desert Fox, Jackal, Desert Cat, Caracal, Nilgai, Wolf, Blackbuck, and Striped Hyena The area is also well known for its birds the most notable being the flamingoes from Siberia.An excursion of the Rann of Kutch can enable you to see many species of birds.Nearest airport is Ahmedabad which is 129 km from Bajana, main entry point. Nearest railhead is Viramgam. It is a must visit sanctuary for desert lovers.

Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttaranchal The famous Valley of Flowers with the largest concentration of various species of wild flowers is off the Rishikesh-Badrinath road, 16 km from Govindghat. A virtual treat to the eyes, this beautiful valley in the Himalayas was established in the year 1982.This park holds an immennse variety of flowers & it is a treat for any naturalist. It is an unforgettable experience7 the place is somewhat intoxicating.It is virtually impossible to walk without crushing some priceless fauna. Must visit place. This park, the smallest national park in the Himalayas was created to protect the catchment area of the Pushpavati River.This stream emerges from a glacier then tumbles downward to meet the Ganges. The park spans an area of 87.5 sq. km and is perched on the upper reaches of the Bhyundia Ganga of Chamoli district of Garhwal.For detailed route see famous treks

 

Major Wild life Sanctuaries and National Parks
Bandhavgarh Bandipur
Corbett
Desert National Park Dudhwa
Gir
Kanha
Kaziranga
Mudumalai Nagarhole
Panna
Periyar
Ranthambore Sunderbans
Sariska Bird Sanctuarie
Bharatpur

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