Considered as one of the youngest names in the list of National Parks in India, the Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam has a large number of rare and endangered species. Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hod are some of the most endangered species of this park.
This park boasts of its 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds and a substantial number of reptiles and amphibians. Asian Elephant, Indian Rhinoceros, Water Buffaloes, Leopard and Assamese Macaques are the other dwellers of this park. It is also one of the popular destinations for river rafting.
2. Nagarhole National Park,Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park is located in Mysore district of Karnataka and is a popular destination for Tiger spotting. It is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’. With quite a large number of Tigers, this park also has a significant number of Indian Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Elephant.
Forests of this park are extremely rich with several species of high commercial valued trees. Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oak are the major trees found in this park. Along with the endangered Mugger Crocodile, this park also has more than 250 species of birds, 96 species of Dung Beetles and 60 species of Ants.
Sunderbans National Park is one of the largest and oldest in India. Located in the deltaic region of India, this park also shares its boundaries with Bangladesh. Covered with mangrove forests, Sundarbans is the original abode of the stunning Royal Bengal Tigers.
It has the highest number of Bengal Tigers than any other parks in the world. Salt-Water Crocodile can also be found in this park. Sundarbans is extremely rich in avifauna, aqua fauna and reptiles. Some of the other endangered species in this park are Gangetic Dolphin, River Terrapin, Hawks Bill Turtle and Mangrove Horseshoe Crab.
4. Sariska National Park,Rajasthan
Image Source: Dawn Huczek
Sariska National Park is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Though it was declared as a Wildlife Reserve in 1955, due to the large number of Tigers within this park, it was later declared as one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in 1978.
Sariska National Park was the first national park in the world, which was successfully adapted by the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers as their natural habitat. Leopard, Jungle Cat, Stripped Hyena and Golden Jackal are also found in this national park.
5. Dudhwa National Park,Uttar Pradesh
The Dudhwa National Park, a part of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, is situated in Uttar Pradesh. History of this park lies back into 1958, when it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary for Swamp Deer. Later, in 1978, it was declared as a Tiger Reserve due to its large number of tigers.
6. Panna National Park,Madhya Pradesh
Panna National Park is one of the best maintained National Parks of India. Declared as a Tiger Reserve Forest of India in 1994, this park suffered a heavy downfall in the number of Tigers due to poaching.
Among other animals found in this park, Chital, Chinkara, Sambhar and Sloth Bear are found abundantly in this park. Bar-headed Goose and King Vultures are the most commonly found birds among the 200 species of its avifauna.
7. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve,Maharashtra
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Project, a Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra is the oldest and the largest National Park in Maharashtra. Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Stripped Hyena and Jungle Cats are some of the commonly found carnivores of this park. Sloth Bears, Gaur, Nilgai and Spotted Deer are the herbivores.
Forests of this park always bear the green colour due to the geographical topography of the park’s location. Axle-wood, a fire-resistant species of trees can be commonly found in this park. Among the other species, Black Plum, Arjun and Palas are dominant.
8. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,Kerala
After the Periyar National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. This sanctuary is located on the Western Ghats and shares its border with Tamil Nadu on the Annamalai Hills. Among the 34 species of mammals found in this sanctuary, Panthers, Spotted Deer, Indian Elephant, Tiger and Nilgiri Tahr are the most spectacular.
It is also the dwelling of Mugger Crocodiles and more than 240 species of exotic birds. The presence of Thoovanam Waterfalls within the forests has made this sanctuary, one of the popular trekking and camping destinations in Kerala.
9. The Great Himalayan National Park,Himachal Pradesh
The Great Himalayan National Park lies among the lush coniferous forests of and the snow-capped mountain peaks Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the high altitude national parks in India. While the location of this park is itself a stunning feature, the emerald meadows in some portions of the park makes it one of the stunning parks in India.
Snow Leopard, Himalayan Brown Bear, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and Himalayan Thar are the commonly found animals in this park. It also houses 181 species of birds, and many more species of reptiles, annelids, amphibians and insects.
10. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary,Karnataka
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Located on the banks of the Kali River, it is one of the highly visited wildlife sanctuaries in India. Black Panther, Flying Squirrel, Tiger, Elephant and Leopard can be easily spotted in this sanctuary. [Check out Dandeli Adventure] Among the wide range of amphibians, Crocodiles are the major attraction of this sanctuary. It is also an ideal place for river rafting, trekking, Bird watching, Tiger and Crocodile spotting.
Note: We have included National Parks in this list since there is a fine difference between a wildlife sanctuary and a national park.