India boasts some of the world’s richest biodiversity and natural resources. This vast country has numerous wildlife sanctuaries and conservation sites housing thousands of species of fauna and flora.
It’s clear to see why the adventurous tourist and nature-loving visitor flocks to Indian landscapes year after year.
From lions and tigers to giant squirrels and pandas, the plethora of diverse wildlife is a great reason to visit wildlife sanctuaries in India.
We’ve listed but a few of the best wildlife retreats to add to your bucket list. This incredible country has so much to offer its visitors, and these conscious, caring places are sure to leave you with some of the best memories of your trip.
List of Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
India has over 450 wildlife sanctuaries and 99 national parks all in the business of animal conservation – making it hard to narrow down your options.
Here’s a list of the top-rated national parks and sanctuaries in India to kick off your trip.
Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary
This top sanctuary is located over three different districts in India. Srisailam is the largest tiger reserve forest wildlife sanctuary in India, spanning over 2217 sq miles (3568 sq km).
This tiger sanctuary flaunts vast landscapes with rolling hills diving down into deep rivers and gorges, offsetting the red horizon. Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary is rated as one of the best spots to visit if you’re keen on seeing an array of wildlife species, flora, and amphibians.
The most popular sightings in this park include the Bengal tiger, sloths, Indian pangolin, and deer.
How to get to Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary
The best way to reach this park would be via plane. The nearest airport is located in Hyderabad, 124 miles (200 km) from Srisailam town. Once reaching the airport, you have the option to hire a taxi or catch a bus to the park.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
This incredible sanctuary is fixed between the vast Cardamom and Pandalam Hills in the southern region of the Western Ghats.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary covers a large area of 574 sq miles (925 sq km) and is home to countless must-see wildlife species. This spot is perfect for the avid outdoor enthusiast. It consists of tropical evergreen landscapes and dense forestry.
This protected piece of land is famous for elephant pack sightings and tiger encounters. You may even spot the uber-rare white tigers in the area, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How to get to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Reaching this sanctuary is relatively simple. There are two airports located under 124 sq miles (200 km) from the park. Regular busses run from both airports to the park that can take anywhere between 2 and 7 hours of travel time. Choosing a private taxi service will have you sipping on a drink in less than 2 hours.
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is one of the largest wetland deserts in India. The 4664 sq miles (7506 sq km) park turns into a saline wetland during the rainy season and is, therefore, a very famous spot among tourists.
A wide plethora of wildlife species can be spotted in the park throughout the year and they include water birds, hyenas, foxes, and many other indigenous mammals. This spot is popular among archaeologists due to the excavation of the buried city of Dholavira of the Harappan civilization.
How to get to Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearest airport is located just 68 sq miles (110 km) away in the Bhuja area and travel from the airport to the park can easily be arranged upon arrival. You will arrive at the sanctuary in under an hour, and enjoy the sunset in no time.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
This park is nestled between the Shivsagar lake on one side and the slopes of the Western Ghat on the other. Konya is one of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India and has been named a UNESCO world heritage site.
This park is simply one of the most beautiful and luscious locations in the country and carries one of the most diverse sets of wildlife. Popular sightings among tourists include the famed Bengal Tiger, the great giant squirrel, and the grey langur.
Reptile lovers flock to Konys Wildlife Sanctuary in the hopes to spot large pythons and cobras scattered throughout the thick vegetation of the 103 sq miles (167 sq km) area.
How to get to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearest airport is situated just 99 miles (160 km) away and travel can be arranged in advance or upon arrival. Reaching this top wildlife sanctuary in India is a breeze with multiple travel options to choose from once at the airport.
Important Wildlife Sanctuaries In India – Day Trips and Safaris
If you’re keen on going for a hike or paying a quick visit to a wildlife sanctuary in India, we’ve got you covered. Here are two of the best national parks to visit when you’re traveling on a time crunch.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
This park is located in the Western Ghats of India and is a vast wildlife haven. It’s home to multiple species of birds and wild animals, which can be seen during hikes and treks.
Chinnar is a favorite among tourists who love to wander through the expanse of forested areas and locate the beautiful waterfalls.
Tigers, elephants, and other magnificent creatures can be found lurking around every corner of the park, making it a perfect spot for a walking guided safari tour.
Book a farm-style guest house nearby for the perfect day trip into the park.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
Entered through Mollem National Park, this national park is located in the small town of Goa and is surrounded by awe-inspiring forested landscapes. It’s another great place to spot some of India’s indigenous wildlife and bird species.
While in this park, make sure to hike up the famed Devil’s Canyon Viewpoint. This is the perfect spot to admire a panoramic view of the entire park.
Final Thoughts On Wildlife Sanctuaries In India
The beautiful country of India has been known for its incredible wildlife for decades. The opportunity to spot Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat is one that is not to be missed.
Whether you’re looking for a hike up a canyon or a guided safari tour, wildlife sanctuaries in India are a must-see. India has some surprising aspects about it that every traveler will enjoy. You just need to know where to look!
P.S. To help you look in the right place, here’s a map with the location of each of the sanctuaries mentioned above.
Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip to India
BOOK YOUR FLIGHT
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Kayak. These are two of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.
BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
If you’re looking to save money by staying at a hostel, HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels. On the other hand, Airbnb offers a wide variety of rooms and apartments at affordable prices. (Get $40 off your first Airbnb booking with this link.)
For hotels, guesthouses, and other types of accommodation, I also recommend Booking.com. They usually have the cheapest fares for guesthouses and hotels. I always book my hotels with Booking.com.
DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness. I use World Nomads and highly recommend it.
If you’re a nomad and travel often or long term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on travel insurance.
FIND THE BEST TOURS AT THE BEST PRICES
If you’re looking for the best day-tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.
BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AHEAD OF TIME
Bookaway offers the easiest and most accessible way to book overland transportation with local operators; be it by bus, train, ferry, plane, mini-van, or even private transfers.
OTHER TRAVEL AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS?
Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.
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