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Wildlife

Northern India          Eastern India          Southern India          Western India

 

The Indian peninsula is a continent in itself, whose geographical diversity has encouraged the flourishing of a whole range of wildlife with over 350 species of mammals and 1200 species of birds in the country. While there is an overlap in the habitats of many species, each region has something special to offer the hangul is restricted to the valley of Kashmir in northern India, the rhino is found in North-East states of India and pockets along the Brahmaputra river area, the black langur in the western ghats, and western India is the home of the last remaining Asiatic Lions.

Two of India’s most impressive animals, the Bengal/Indian Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant are found in most regions, The tiger originated in Central Asia and migrated over the great Himalayas to the dense tropical forests, adapting itself well to the plains.

A herd of elephants in the wild is a breathtaking sight. These huge mammals are respected by all animals, including the Tiger. Widely distributed throughout India, the Indian Elephant is slightly smaller than its African counterpart. Generally, only the males have tusks. Today, most of India’s wildlife finds refuge in over two hundred sanctuaries and parks around the country. The following section gives a brief description of some of the more important of these. The accommodation often needs to be booked in advance, either by direct application to the hotel, rest house etc. concerned, or through the local State TDC or the controlling authority of the respective park. Brochures giving further information may be obtained from Government of India Tourist Offices.

WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES AND NATIONAL PARKS

NORTHERN INDIA

Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary (Kashmir). Broad valley; mountain slopes; rare hangul deer, black and brown bear, leopard; heronry. Airport: Srinagar 22km. Railhead: Jammu Tawi 311km. Season: June - July. Accommodation: Srinagar: Houseboats on Dal and Nagin Lakes.

Govind Sagar Bird Sanctuary (
Himachal Pradesh)
. Bird Sanctuary with crane, duck, goose, teal. Airport: Chandigarh 135km. Railhead: Nangal 13km. Accommodation: available at Bhakra.

Corbett National Park (
Uttar Pradesh)
. Himalayan foothills near Dhikala; Sal forest and plains; tiger, elephant; leopard and rich bird life. Excellent fishing in Ramganga river. Airport: Pantnagar 115 km. Railhead: Ramnagar 51km. Season: November-May. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Dudhwa National Park: (
Uttar Pradesh)
. Nepal border; tiger, sloth bear and panther. Airport: Lucknow 251km. Railhead: Dudhwa 4kms. Season: November-May. Accommodation: Within the Park. November - May. Accommodation: Within the Park: Sawai Madhopur.

Flower Valley National Park (
Uttar Pradesh)
. When in bloom this "roof garden" at 3,500 metres is a glorious blaze of colour. Location: Badrinath 44km. Railhead: Rishikesh 280km. Season: June-July.

Sariska National Park (
Rajasthan)
. About 200km from Delhi. Forest and open plains: sambar (largest Indian deer), cheetal (spotted deer), nilgai (Indian antelope), blackbuck, leopard, tiger; good night viewing. Airport: Jaipur 160km. Railhead: Alwar 35km (bus connections). Season: February-June. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Ranthambhor (Sawai Madhopur- Rajasthan). Hill forest, plains and lakes; simbar, chinkara (Indian gazelle), tiger, sloth bear, crocodiles and migratory water birds. Location: Railhead: Sawai Madhopur 11km. Airport: Jaipur 162km. Season :

Bandhavgarh National Park (
Madhya Pradesh)
. Situated in the Vindhya Mountains, this park has a wide variety of wildlife including panther, sambar and gaur. Airport: Jabalpur 166km. Railhead: Umaria 34km. Accommodation: Forest Lodge in the park.

Bharatpur National Park (Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary) (Rajasthan). India’s most outstanding bird sanctuary; many indigenous water birds; huge migration from Siberia and China; crane, geese, stork, heron, snake bird, etc. Airport: Agra 52km Railhead: Bharatpur 5km. Road: Jaipur 176km, Delhi 177km. Season: September - February. Accommodation: Within the Sanctuary.

Kanha National Park (
Madhya Pradesh)
. Sal forest and grassland; only home of barasingha (swamp deer), tiger, cheetal, gaur (Indian bison), monkey. Airport: Nagpur 270km. Railhead: Jabalpur 170km. Season: November - March. Accommodation: Within the Park; Kanha and Kisli.

Shivpuri National Park (
Madhya Pradesh)
. Open forest and lake; chinkara, chowsingha (four-horned antelope), nilgai, tiger, leopard, water birds. Airport: Gwalior 120km. Railhead: Jhansi 95km. Season: February-May. Accommodation: Forest Rest House, Motel.

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WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES AND NATIONAL PARKS

EASTERN INDIA

Kaziranga National Park (Assam). Elephant grass and swamps; one horned Indian rhinoceros, water buffalo, tiger, leopard, elephant, deer, rich bird life. Elephant transport available within the park. Airports: Jorhat 96km, Guwahati 217km. Railhead: Furkating 78km. Season: February-May. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Assam). On the Bhutan border, rain forest and grassland and river banks; rhino, water buffalo, tiger, elephant, golden langur, water birds; fishing permitted. Airport: Gauhati 176km. Railhead: Barpeta 40km. Season: January-March. Accommodation: Within the sanctuary.

Palamau Tiger Reserve (Bihar). Rolling, forested hills; tiger, leopard, elephant, sambar, jungle cat, rhesus macaque (monkey), occasionally wolf. Airport: Ranchi 155km. Railhead: Daltenganj 19km. Season: February-March. Accommodation: At Betla.

Hazaribagh National Park (Bihar). Sal forested hills; sambar, nilgai, cheetal, tiger, leopard, occasionally muntjac (lager barking deer). Airport: Ranchi 100km. Railhead: Hazaribagh 67km. Season: February-March. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (West Bengal). Mangrove forests; tiger, fishing cat, deer, crocodile, dolphin, rich bird life, Transport: access and travel by chartered boat. Airport: Calcutta 48km. Season: February - March. Accommodation: None available in or near the sanctuary.

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary (West Bengal). Tropical forest and grassland; rhino, elephant, rich bird life. Airport: Bagdogra 155km, Railhead: Madari Hat l 1 km. Season: March - May. Accommodation: Rest House at Jaldapara.

Similipal Tiger Reserve (Orissa) Immense Sal forest; tiger, elephant, leopard, sambar, cheetal, muntjac and chevrotain. Airport: Bhubaneshwar 310km. Railhead: Baripada 50km. Season: November- June. Accommodation: Several Tourist Rest Houses in the vicinity.

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WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES AND NATIONAL PARKS

SOUTHERN INDIA
 

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala). Large artifical lake; elephant, gaur, wild dog, black langur, otters, tortoises, rich bird life including hornbill and fishing owl. Viewing by boat. Airports: Madurai 160km, Cochin 208km, Trivandrum 258km. Railheads: Madurai, Kottayam 110kms, Bodinayakanur 67kms. Accommodation: Choice of several nearby hotels.

Vedanthangal Water Birds Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu). One of the most spectacular breeding grounds in India. Cormorants, herons, storks, pelicans, grebes and many others. Airport: Madras 85km. Railhead: Chingleput 28km. Season: October-March. Accommodation: Forest Resthouse.

Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu). Particularly noted for its flamingos, also for herons, teals, curlews and plovers and black buck and wild pig. Airport: Tiruchchirapalli 200km. Railhead: Point Calimere 0.5km. Season: November-January. Accommodation: Forest Resthouse.

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh). Flamingos, grey pelicans, herons, terns. Airport A Railhead: Madras 60km. Accommodation: Available at Nellore.

Dandeli National Park (Karnataka). Park with bison, panther, tiger and sambar. Easily accessible from Goa. Airport: Belgaum 142km. Railhead: Alnaver 20km. Accommodation: Resthouse at Kulgi Forest and Mandurli, and River View Bungalow at Dandeli.

Jawahar National Park
(This includes Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks (
Karnataka), and the Wildlife Sanctuaries of Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu) and Wayanad (Kerala). Extensive mixed forest; largest elephant population in India, leopard, gaur, sambar, muntjac, giant squirrel. Birds include racquet-tailed drongo, trogon & barbet.

Bandipur (Karnataka) : Airport: Bangalore 190km. Railhead: Mysore 65km. Approachable from Coimbatore and Ootacamund. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu) : Location: Airport: Coimbatore 16km. Railhead: Ootacamund 68km.

Nagarhole (Karnataka) : Airport: Bangalore, Railhead: Mysore. Accommodation: 2 Traveller’s Bungalows.

Wayanad (Kerala) : Airport: Cochin 300km. Railhead: Calicut l l 1 km. Accommodation: Forest Rest House.

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WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES AND NATIONAL PARKS

WESTERN INDIA
 

Wildlife Sanctuaries Holiday: With effect from Nov 2001, all the Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh, will be closed on Tuesdays.

Krishnagiri Upavan National Park (Maharashtra). Formerly known as Borvili, this park protects an important scenic area close to Bombay. Kanheri Caves and Vihar, Tulsi and Powari Lakes; water birds, smaller types of wildlife. Outdoor movie, nearby Lion Safari Park. Airport: Bombay 20km. Railhead: Borvili 3km. Season: October-June. Accommodation: Tourist Cabins.

Tadoba National Park (Maharashtra). Teak forest and lake; tiger, leopard, nilgai, gaur. Viewing by night. Airport: Nagpur 208km. Railhead: Chandrapur 45km. Season: March-May. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Sasan Gir National Park (Gujarat), Forested plains and lake; only home of Asiatic Lion, sambar, chowsingha, nilgai, leopard, chinkara and wild boar Airport Rajkot 153km. Railhead: Sasan Gir 0,5km. Season: January-May. Accommodation: Within the Park.

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary (Gujarat). Lake; migratory water birds; indigenous birds include flamingos. Airport: Ahmedabad 64kms. Railhead: Viramgam 40km. Season: November-February. Accommodation: Available near the lake.

Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary (Gujarat). Desert; herds of khur (Indian wild ass), wolf, caracal. Airport: Ahmedabad 195km. Railhead: Dhrangadhra 25km. Season: October-June. AccommodationWithin the Sanctuary / Dhrangadhra. Arrange access at Bhuj.

Velvadar National Park (Gujarat). New Delta grasslands, large concentration of blackbuck. Airport A Railhead: Bhavnagar 65km. Season: October- June. Accommodation: Within the Park.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Government of India.
 

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