On the edge of your seats, with bated breath, you wait for the king of the jungle to show up! National parks, wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves of India can claim to offer enthusiastic travelers a tryst with the wild, as well as the excitement of coming face to face with wild animals, and that too in their natural habitat. The list of national parks in India has about 400 such avenues in it, and each one of them has something unique to offer, be it the tiger or lion sightings, rhino or elephant spotting, or any of the other predators and prey animals!
22 Incredible National Parks In India One Must Visit
Since the enormous forest cover of India is spread unevenly across the country, it is sometimes difficult to distribute these national parks in India state-wise . But we have tried to list one from every major state. Take a look at this list of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India before you decide to go on a wildlife watching spree.
- Jim Corbett National Park
- Kaziranga National Park
- Gir Forest National Park
- Sundarban National Park
- Satpura National Park
- Eravikulam National Park
- Pench National Park
- Sariska National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Ranthambore National Park
- Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
- Bandipur National Park
- Nagarhole National Park
- Periyar National Park
- Manas National Park
- The Great Himalayan National Park
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- Rajaji National Park
- Silent Valley National Park
- Dudhwa National Park
- Panna National Park
- Van Vihar National Park
1. Jim Corbett National Park
Located close to Nainital, Jim Corbett National Park is a favorite destination for people looking to spot tigers, making it one of the important national parks in India. Other animals to be spotted here include several species of deer, leopards, jackals, red foxes, black bear, sloth bear, and monkeys. Tourists can book jeep safaris for early morning and afternoons.
The park is divided into four separate zones, known as Durgadevi, Dhikala, Jhirna, and Bijrani, sprawled across an area of 520 square kilometers. All four of these are ideal for spotting a tiger in its natural habitat.
There is also an option for trekking around the park, albeit in the company of a guide.
Best season to visit: November to June
How to get there: Well connected by road and rail to Delhi, Nainital, Moradabad and others.
Price: INR 4000 per jeep, maximum 6 people allowed in one jeep.
Famous For: Red fox, black bear, jackal
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Popularized as the home of the “Big Five”, Kaziranga National Park is the perfect place to spot a few wild animals such as Rhinoceros, Tiger, Elephant, Wild Buffalo and Swamp Deer. Unlike Hemis, which is the highest national park in India , this reserve houses some common hilly animal and bird species.
Covering an area of 378 sq km, the park also offers shelter to bears, leopards, and several species of local and migratory birds, but the biggest attractions remains the one horned Rhino.
UNESCO declared it to be a World Heritage Site, due to it residing in an Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, making it one of the most diverse national parks of India. Tourists can opt to enjoy jeep safari in the early morning or afternoon; elephant safaris in the early morning are also available.
Best season to visit: November to April
How to get there: Well connected to Kohara, the closest town, by road.
Price: Around 1200 INR for Indians, and 2000 INR for foreigners
Famous For: UNESCO world heritage site
3. Gir Forest National Park
Located in Gujarat, the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places to spot wild Asiatic lions in their natural habitat. It used to be the hunting reserve for the Nawabs of Junagadh before it was turned into a sanctuary in the year 1990.
When it was started, there were a mere 12 lions here, and the number has now grown to reach nearly 600. Other animals that one might spot here include sambar, chinkara, chital, porcupine, wild boar, black buck and others. Tourists can enjoy jeep safaris here, towards early mornings, afternoons and early evenings.
Best season to visit: December to March
How to get there: Well connected by roads to Rajkot and other cities.
Price: INR 4500 per jeep, maximum 6 people allowed in one jeep.
Famous For: Sambhar, porcupine, black buck
Suggested Read: 10 National Parks In Turkey For An Escape Amidst Nature
4. Sundarban National Park
Located in West Bengal, the Sundarban National Park is a Tiger and Biosphere Reserve on the Ganges Delta. Its signature mangrove forest, is a particularly popular attraction here, making it one of the most visited national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
One can spot Bengal tiger, saltwater crocodile, wild boars, foxes, leopard cats, huge turtles, Ganges river dolphins and several other varieties of mammals and reptiles, along with a huge variety of local and migratory birds.
The only way to travel around and across the park is by boat; there are no jeep safari or walking tours available. Another unique aspect of this national park is that the tigers have developed the ability to swim in the saline waters here. With ease, one can spot tigers sunbathing on the river banks during November to February. It is surely among the best tiger national parks in India .
Best season to visit: December to February, the park remains open from September to March
How to get there: Gosaba is the nearest town from where it is connected by road. Tourists can also take the motor boat from Canning, which is the nearest railway station.
Price: Entry for Indians is free, although hiring a boat will cost you between 1000 to 2000 INR for a day
Famous For: Tigers
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5. Satpura National Park
Covering an area of 524 sq km, Satpura National Park is home to a terrain most unique, with sandstone peaks, dense forests, narrow gorges and deep ravines. One can spot a large variety of wildlife here, including leopards, wild boar, bears, black buck, several kinds of deer, and a several species of birds. There have also been sightings of tigers and barasinghas.
Tourists can book jeep or elephant safari, and even enjoy boating and walking tours. There are different routes for the jeep safari, with options to stay overnight at a camp on some of the routes.
Best season to visit: October to April
How to get there: The nearest town, Pachmarhi is well connected via road. The nearest railway station is Piparia, also well connected by road.
Price: From INR 2750 to 7000, depending on which route you take.
Famous For: Barasinghas
6. Eravikulam National Park
Spread across an area of 97 sq km, Eravikulam National Park in Munnar offers protection to the endangered Nilgiri Thar. One of the most scenic national parks in south India, it is also home to elephants, deer, jackals, leopards, tiger, otters, mongoose, and a huge variety of birds and butterflies. The national park is also home to Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India.
A unique aspect of this national park is the blooming of the Neelakurinji, a plant that blooms once every 12 years, and turns the entire forest a deep shade of blue. Tourists can enjoy the beauty of the rolling hills and wildlife on safari buses. Tourists can also enjoy early morning and evening treks.
Best season to visit: September to November, and April to June
How to get there: It is a mere 15 km from Munnar, and well connected by road
Price: INR 100 for Indians, and INR 360 for foreigners
Famous For: Neelakurinji plant
7. Pench National Park
Another worth-a-visit national park in Madhya Pradesh is the Pench National Park, which is a haven for Royal Bengal Tigers. The park is also popular among adventure enthusiasts for rafting. It is also the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book”. Truly, one of the top national parks in India.
Although there are less than 50 tigers in the park currently, daily sightings are reported. Other wild animals that one might spot here include deer, elephant, wild boar, wolf, sloth bear, leopard, fox, striped hyena, and much more.
Best time to visit: November to May
How to get there: Seoni, the closest city, is well connected by road.
Price: Under INR 100 for Indians with guide, INR 150 per vehicle for foreigners
Famous For: Striped hyena, leopard, sloth bear
Suggested Read: 10 Best Wildlife Resorts In India For A Thrilling Experience
8. Sariska National Park
The Sariska National Park is a refuge for Royal Bengal Tigers, located in Rajasthan. It is sprawled across an area of 866 sq km and supports a rocky landscape. The scrub thorns in the forest make it easier for tourists to spot the elusive “king of the jungle”.
Other animals that one might spot here include leopards, striped hyenas, wild boars, jackals, serpent eagles, monkeys, hares, as well as several varieties of deer. Jeep safaris are available for tourists to traverse the park. Visitors can also choose to book a “hide” overlooking a watering hole, for chances of spotting wildlife from us close.
Best time to visit: October to June
How to get there: Well connected by road to Hindaun, Jaipur, and Delhi.
Price: Under INR 100 for Indians, INR 470 for foreigners
Famous For: Serpent eagles, hare, boars
9. Kanha National Park
Sprawled across more than 1,945 sq km, Kanha National Park is one of the first national park in India for tiger reserves to work for Project Tiger. Considered one of the national parks of India, it is also a refuge for the Barasingha and is known to be one of the most well maintained National Parks of Asia. It has been divided into two separate parts, Banjar and Hallon, named after the rivers that flow across it. There are separate zones here, including Kisli, Sarhi, Mukki and Kanha Zone.
Tourists can hope to spot a wide variety of animals here, apart from the tiger, such as elephants, jackals, leopards, striped hyenas, monkeys, and several varieties of deer including black buck, swamp deer, chital, and sambhar. Jeep safaris are available for traversing the park.
Best time to visit: November to June
How to get there: Well connected by road from Nagpur and Jabalpur
Price: From INR 1200 to 2400, depending upon zone
Famous For: Black buck, jackals, leopards, sambhar
10. Ranthambore National Park
One of the largest national parks in North India, Ranthambore National Park covers an area of 392 sq km. It is a part of Project Tiger and has been a refuge of Royal Bengal Tigers since 1974. The national park also houses a fortress within the park premises, which is a popular attraction for visitors.
Apart from tigers, visitors can also spot other animals such as bears, leopards, jackals, elephants, striped hyena, bison, monkeys and several types of deer. The park is also famed for being home to snakes of different varieties. A unique fact about the tigers of Ranthambore is that they lack fear of humans, and continue hunting even in their presence making it apt for spotting them.
Best time to visit: October to May
How to get there: Sawai Madhopur is the closest town and well connected via road
Price: 510 INR for Indians (Canter), 1250 INR for Foreigner (Canter), 750 INR for Indian (Gypsy), 1350 INR for Foreigner (Gypsy)
Famous For: Different species of snakes
11. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh is a well renowned tiger reserve in the world. Located in Madhya Pradesh inside a beautiful forest, this reserve is famous for having the highest number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the world. In fact, you’re sure to have more frequent sightings of these majestic beings here than in any other tiger reserve across the country, making this place a must-visit for all wildlife enthusiasts. Other than 44-49 tigers (according to the latest record), this park is home to over 22 species of mammals as well as 250 species of birds. It’s among the best national parks in India and their famous animals include Asiatic jackals, sloth bears, foxes, gray mongoose, ratels, jungle cats, deer, wild boars, Chinkara, Nilgai, striped hyenas, and even leopards.
Best time to visit: October – June
How to get there: The nearest railhead is at Umaria 35 km away, while the nearest airport is at Khajuraho 270 km. You can take a cab from these two places.
Price: INR 2,200 for Indians | INR 4,300 for foreign tourists (For a group of 6 people and inclusive of guide and vehicle)
Famous For: Highest number of Royal Bengal tigers
12. Bandipur National Park
Located on the borders of Karnataka, the lush green Bandipur National Park is the gem of the Nilgiris and was established as a protected reserve in 1974. With a verdant canopy of deciduous forests that give shelter to a wide variety of wildlife and flora, this place has recently gained tremendous popularity on the national parks in India map. The park has taken several measures to ensure the safety of the animals here as well as to ensure that the park remains clean and thriving. Replete with teak and sandalwood trees, this happens to be the first ever Biosphere Reserve of India. Also called the Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu, the park is home to a large number of endangered species.
Best time to visit: October – May
How to get there: The nearest airport is the Bangalore Airport, while the nearest railway station is in Mysore 80 km away. One can take a bus from Bangalore or Mysore.
Price: INR 300 per person for Indians | INR 1,100 per person for foreign tourists | INR 200 for camcorder. The entry charges are inclusive of safari.
Famous For: Blissful atmosphere
13. Nagarhole National Park
Located near Bandipur National Park, this enchanting national park in the Mysore district of Karnataka has rich wildlife including both flora and fauna. It is home to almost 250 varieties of birds as well as a variety of animals such as Elephant, Tiger, Jackal, Gaur, Panther, Sambar, Mongoose, Spotted deer, Sloth Bear, Civet cat and Hyena. The place offers lush green forests, shallow valleys and gentle slopes making it truly a heaven for all nature lovers and those seeking peace.
Apart from this, the park also has beautiful plantation and vegetation along with tropical and deciduous forest land. It is also home to a number of majestic reptiles such as vine snake, Tortoise, King Cobra, Indian Rock Python, Krait, Russel’s Viper and Monitor Lizard.
Best Time To Visit: April to May
How To Get There: Tourists can take a taxi from Mysore or buses which ply from Mysore till HD Kote which lies at a distance of about 30 km from the park.
Price: Indian (Adult): INR 50, Foreigner: INR 150 and Still Camera: INR 50
Famous For: King Cobra, Krait, Indian rock python
14. Periyar National Park
Spread over 257 square miles, the Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Kerala is the best-protected reserve area in India. You can find various species in the gorgeous park including the majestic elephants and royal tigers, apart from other fishes, reptiles and birds. The park is well-known for its stillness and greenery and is an amazing blend of adventure with beauty.
You can enjoy the boat cruises, jungle safaris, eco-tourism activities including options like Bamboo Rafting, Jungle Patrol, Bamboo Grove, Periyar Tiger Trail, Jungle camp, Border hiking, Jungle Inn and Bullock Cart discoveries. The wide range of activities attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Best Time To Visit: November to February
How To Get There: The nearest railhead is in Kottayam, 114 kms away while the nearest airports to the park is Madurai which is at a distance of 136 kms. You can take a cab from both these places.
Price: Adult – INR 33, Child – INR 5, Foreigners: Adult – INR 450, Child – INR 155
Famous For: Adventurous activties like bamboo rafting, safari, tiger trail
15. Manas National Park
A UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Manas National Park is a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam. This reserve is famous for the rare golden langur and the red panda and is recognized for its mesmerizing scenery, natural landscape and a rich biodiversity.
You can easily spot tigers and rhinos while sitting on an elephant. The park is also famous for retaining the maximum number of endangered species from India as listed in the IUCN Red Book.
Best Time To Visit: October to April
How To Get There: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (GAU) is located 91 kms away from the Park while the place is also accessible from Guwahati, Kaziranga, Darjeeling, Shillong and Siliguri.
Price: INR 20 for Indians and INR 250 for foreign tourists
Famous For: It is a UNESCO world heritage site
16. The Great Himalayan National Park
Located in Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, Great Himalayan National Park is home to diverse wildlife species. At present, it houses more than 375 species of fauna, 31 species of mammals and 181 species of birds. It acquired the status of a national park in 1999. Some fairs are organized in this beautiful park in April, May, August, and September. The park offers an amazing place to relax to the tourists from the hustle-bustle of the city and is also a delight for the nature lovers.
Best Time To Visit: April to June and December to February
How To Get There: Well-connected by roadways, You can come to Joginder Nagar, which is connected to Pathankot. Take a cab or bus from here.
Price: Indian Nationals: INR 50, Foreign Nationals: INR 200, Indian Students: INR 30, Foreign Students: INR 100
Famous For: It is a UNESCO world heritage site
17. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, previously known as the Borivali National Park is an ideal spot for picnics and weekend getaways. Visitors from all over come here to spot Flying fox, Kingfisher, Leopards, Lions, Macaques, Boars, Sunbirds and a significant number of butterflies here. Kanheri caves are more than two thousand years old and are a major tourist attraction inside the park premises. The park houses more than hundred species of flora and more than five hundred species of fauna and is well-known for its bird population, evergreen dense forests, butterflies, and the small population of tigers.
Best Time To Visit: During monsoon
How To Get There: Take the local train in Mumbai to Borivali from Churchgate, which will take about an hour. You can take an autorickshaw right up to the park gate. The nearest railhead is the Borivali railway station.
Price: INR 48 per adult and INR 25 for children above five.
Famous For: Tigers, porcupine, hanuman langur
18. Rajaji National Park
Encompassing the Shivalik mountain ranges, Rajaji National Park is abundantly rich in flora and fauna and proves a great holiday destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Rajaji National Park is famous for its wildlife, especially for tigers and elephants. It has recently received the recognition of a Tiger Reserve by the Government of India. The park is rich in flora and fauna and is a great holiday destination for all nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts wanting to spot Tiger and King Cobra, Asian Elephants, Panther, Bear, Python, Wild Boar, Kakar, Monitor Lizard, Chital, Sambar and Wild Cats. Spread over 3 districts of Uttarakhand including Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal, you can also spot many migratory birds especially after the monsoon.
Best Time To Visit: Mid November to Mid June
How To Get There: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun while railhead is at Rishikesh located at a distance of 35 km and 18 km respectively from the park.
Price: Indian Nationals: INR 750 per person, Foreign Nationals: INR 1500 per person
Famous For: Panther, python, kakar, sambar
19. Silent Valley National Park
Spread across an area of 89 square kilometres, the Silent Valley National Park offers beautiful views of the rich flora and fauna to its visitors from all across the globe. Though smaller in size, a visit to this national park holds significance for visitors as this site is the last remaining characteristic of tropical evergreen forests in India. The park is home to many endangered species residing peacefully and the ones most commonly found here are lion-tailed macaque, wild pig, panther, elephant, tiger and gaur.
Best Time To Visit: December to April
How To Get There: Well connected by road from Mannarghat located at a distance of 32 km from the park.
Price: Entry Fee: INR 50, Still Camera: INR 25, Video Camera: INR 200
Famous For: Gaur, panther, elephants
Suggested Read: 7 Mystical National Parks Of Madhya Pradesh
20. Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National Park is famous for its wildlife, nature and diversity and is a perfect spot for nature and wildlife lovers. One of the finest tiger reserves houses plethora of rare and endangered species including Hispid hare, Tiger, Swamp deer, Leopard and Bengal Florican. The place is also home to nearly 400 varied species of birds including several migratory birds like kingfishers, bulbuls, woodpeckers, owls, orioles, bee eaters and barbets.
Best Time To Visit: December to April
How To Get There: Nearest railheads to the National Park are Dudhwa, Palia and Mailani from where you can reach the park in hired cars or buses.
Price: Indians: INR 50 and INR 300 for foreigners.
Famous For: Hispid hare, swamp deer, florican
21. Panna National Park
Located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts, Pana National Park is well-known for its plentiful wildlife and avifauna. Covering an area of around 542.67 km square, this properly maintained national park of India by the Ministry of Tourism of India received Award of Excellence in the year 2007. The park is home to more than 200 species of birds and is famous for its attractions like wild cats, including tigers as well as antelope and deer. Sometime you might get to spot unique animals like black buck, spotted deer or chital and the Indian gazelle or panthers.
Best Time To Visit: November to April
How To Get There: Nearest bus stand is in Panna town which is well- connected to Khajuraho, Satna and many other places in Madhya Pradesh.
Price: Indians: INR 40, Foreigners: INR 500
Famous For: Black buck, spotted deer, chital
22. Van Vihar National Park
Van Vihar is a National Park and a Zoological Space located in the city of lakes, Bhopal. The place is a heaven for nature lovers where you can spot a vast variety of animals including Neelgai, panthers, leopards, cheetah as well as birds such as bulbuls, wagtails, kingfishers and some migratory species. Spreading over a vast area of 4.45 sq.km, this protected area has categorised animals in 2 categories, i.e., carnivores and herbivores. If you want to see the migratory birds, travel during the winter season.
Best Time To Visit: July to September
How To Get There: Van Vihar has two entrances, Chickoo Dwar and Ramu Dwar. The nearest Bus Stop to Cheeku Dwar is Kilok Park while the nearest point from Ramu Dwar is Bhadbhada Bridge.
Price: Differs on the basis of the vehicles used, number of people, and purpose of visit
Famous For: Neelgai, kingfishers, cheetah
For a rendezvous with wildlife at its best, visit any of these national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.While you make a long list of places to meet these wild beasts, take a look at the various customized tours by TravelTriangle to experience an adventure amidst the wildlife.
Frequently Asked Questions About National Parks In India
Still confused? See if these following common questions help you decide:
A. Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. It was established in 1936 under the name of Hailey National Park. The objective of the park was to protect tigers from being poached.
A. Manas National Park in Assam is named after the Manas river.
A. Jim Corbett, Sariska National park, Kanha tiger reserve, Nagarhole National park, Kaziranga National park are some of the famous national parks for tigers.
A. Kaziranga national park, Namdapha national park, Orang National Park, Nameri National Park are some of the famous national parks in North-east India.
A. According to the National Wildlife Database of May 2019, there are 104 national parks in India. They cover an area of 40501.13 square kilometres. This area is 1.23% of the geographical area of the entire nation.
A. There is no such state in India without a national park.
A. The South Button Island National Park of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the smallest national park of India. It has an area of 0.03 square kilometres. It appears as a rock emerging out of the surrounding waters.
A. Hemis National Park in Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest Indian national park. It covers around 3350 square kilometres of area. You will find an array of animals like elephants and deers there.
A. Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest national park in India. It is located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. It was declared a national park by the year 1986 to save the endangered species of Bengal Tiger.
A. Madhya Pradesh in India has the maximum number of national parks. It has 96 national parks and 510 wildlife sanctuaries. You will find an array of animals like the striped hyena, Indian fox, jungle cat, and the golden jackal.
A. Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for Indian elephants. Situated 197 kilometres north east of Jabalpur, it also offers incredible elephant safari options.
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