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Top 10 tiger reserves
Ranthambore Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

The park is filled with remnants of its historic past. The Ranthambhore Fort, old wells, mosques and other structures bear mute testimony of kingdoms and battles long forgotten. Overgrown with peepal trees, they perfectly blend in with their natural surroundings. Ranthambore is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India. Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 130 km from Jaipur, it is considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Today the Ranthambore National Park terrain is major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination. Tigers have often been seen roaming about in these ruins. The Tiger Reserves was established in 1973. The Tiger Reserve consists of distinct geographical areas linked by narrow valleys to the core. An estimated 34 tigers are found in Ranthambhore. Due to the open forests they are readily seen. This tiger reserve has been ground for many tiger tales, including an iconic fight between a tigress and the crocodile. Tigress ‘Machli’ has been the single most popular tiger anywhere in the world. Her legacy exists proudly.

How to reach: Ranthambore national park is well connected with all the major cities and station in India. The easiest way to reach Ranthambore is to take a train to Sawai Madhopur. This town is well connected with trains to/from Jaipur, Bombay and Delhi. Nearby Airports are Delhi, Jaipur and Kota. Distance by rail: Delhi - 362 km, Agra - 227 km, Bombay 1027 km, Kota - 108 km, Jaipur - 132 km, while distance by road: Delhi - 480 km (via Dausa), Jaipur - 180 km (via Tonk).

When to go: The Best Time to Visit Ranthambore National park will be from 1st October to 30th June. Rest of the Time Park is closed for the Visitors. Timings for entry into, and exit from, the park vary according to the season. In winters, due to the shorter duration of daylight hours, the morning entry time is later and evening exit time is earlier.

Places to stay: There are a number of high-end resorts, luxury hotels, deluxe hotels and budget hotels in Sawai Madhopur city and also on the way to Ranthambore which is approximately 25 kilometres from the city.

Kanha Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. This 'Tiger Country' is the ideal home for both predator and prey. Kanha is an interspersion of flat hilltops, grassy expanses and dense and riverine forests. The reserve is rich in diversity and has distinguished itself in saving the Central Indian barasingha from extinction. This deer species is currently only found at Kanha. An estimated108 tigers are also found in this Tiger Reserve. A heightened attraction within the Park is Bamni Dadar, popularly known as Sunset Point that offers the most awe-inspiring backdrop of the sunset against grazing Sambhars and Gaurs, magnifying the natural splendor of the area. Aside from its diverse wildlife and bird population, the frequent sightings of Tigers roaming in the wild at Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary remain the most popular draw. In 1935 the Banjer valley was declared a sanctuary and in 1955 expanded as a National Park. Kanha belongs to the initial nine Tiger Reserves that were constituted in 1973.

How to reach Nagpur at 266-kms is the nearest Airport to visit Kanha National Park and is connected by various domestic airline services with Mumbai. Jabalpur at 169-kms is the convenient rail head to visit Kanha. Kanha National Park is connected by road with Jabalpur 175-kms, Khajuraho 445-kms, Nagpur 266-kms, Mukki 25-kms, Raipur 219-kms. Within the park: Koshi - Kanha (9-kms), Kishi - Katia (4-kms), Kishi - Mukki (32-kms). There are regular to and fro bus service available from Jabalpur to Kanha.

When to go: The climate of this region is tropical. Summers are hot and humid with a maximum and minimum temperature of 40.6°C and 23.9°C. Winters are pleasant with an average maximum and minimum temperature of 23.9°C and 11.1°C, respectively. The annual average rainfall is 152 cm. The park is closed from July to mid-October during monsoon.

Places to stay: There are enough decent accommodation options in Kanha and the scene is getting better every passing day. There are a number of star category hotels catering to the needs of tourists coming to explore Kanha or interesting in exploring the scenic region around.

Jim Corbett Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Corbett has been described as "the land of roar, trumpet and song". It represents a area of incredible beauty. It is the oldest National Park in India and was established as Hailey National Park in 1936, renamed to Ramganga National Park in 1954-55 and finally Corbett National Park in 1955-56. Corbett was one of the 9 Tiger Reserves created at the launch of Project Tiger in 1973. Corbett is located in the foothills of the Central Himalayas and both Himalayan and Peninsular flora and fauna are found here. The variety of habitat supports a remarkable rich biodiversity with a minimum of nine different forest types and expansive grasslands around the Ramganga Reservoir. The Zoological Survey of India has recorded over 585 species of birds, making Corbett a bird-lovers paradise. An estimated 138 tigers are found in Corbett. It's located in Uttarakhand, around three hours from Nainital and seven hours from Delhi. The park is a large one and has five zones. One zone, Jhirna, is open all year round. The rest of the park closes during the monsoon. The chances of seeing a tiger at Corbett aren't great but there are plenty of other animals, and elephant safaris are possible. For the best wildlife viewing, stay deep in the reserve in the Dhikala zone.

Bandhavgarh Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Bandhavgarh, also in Madhya Pradesh, is best known for its spectacular setting, as well as having the highest concentration of tigers in any park in India. The park features dense green valleys and rocky hill terrain, with an ancient fort built on 800 meter (2,624 ft) high cliffs. Although it's relatively difficult to reach, this park offers the best chance of seeing tigers. Prior to India’s independence and the abolition of the Princely States in 1947, the area was protected by the erstwhile rulers. They used Bandhavgarh as their hunting grounds for centuries. In 1965 it was declared a National Park with an initial size of 105 km². In 1993 the park was included in the Project Tiger Network. Typical Central Indian species are represented in this reserve. Grassy meadows and Sal trees in the plains are replaced by mixed forests on the upper slopes. Bamboo is abundant giving good cover for animals. A few rare species such as the insectivorous plant Drocera peltata and some medicinal plants occur at Badhavgarh. A estimated 52 tigers are found here.

Sundarban Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Sundarban is part of a vast estuary in the Bay of Bengal. The mangrove forests are the only tiger habitat of its kind. The trees and other wildlife have adapted to the estuarine conditions of high salinity, lack of soil, erosion and daily overflow by high tides. Sunderbans, in West Bengal, is a magnificent tangle of mangrove jungle that's the only one of its kind in the world. It's spread over 54 islands and extends into neighboring Bangladesh. The Sundarbans is only accessible by boat and exploring it this way is a thrilling experience that shouldn't be missed. An estimated 270 tigers are found here. Sundarban Tiger Reserve was created in 1973, and constituted as a Reserve Forest in 1978. The current core area was established as a National Park in 1984. Recognising the region and its unique biodiversity, the National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985. The entire Sundarban area was declared a Biosphere Reserve four years later.

Tadoba Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Tadoba-Andheri supports a pristine and unique ecosystem. It has a rich biodiversity and contains one of the best remaining forests in India. It is prime habitat for tigers. An estimated 42 tigers are found in the reserve. Tadoba National Park was established in 1955 and the adjoining Andheri Wildlife Sanctuary was declared in 1986. This area was added to the Project Tiger Network in 1993-94. Often referred to as "The Jewel of Vidharba", the Tadoba National Park lies in the district of Chandrapur in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra. Located in the heart of a reserved forest, it is an infinite treasure trove of innumerable species of trees and plants - and wildlife that includes tigers, panthers, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, bison, barking deer, Nilgai, Sambar, and Cheetal. In fact, the Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Santuary together form the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The park derives its name from "Taru" the local deity, whereas the Andhari river that meanders through the forest gives the sanctuary its name.

How to reach: The nearest airport is Nagpur (140 km via Umrer, Bhisi and Chimur). The nearest railway station is Chandrapur (on the Delhi-Madras main line) 45 kms away. Nearest main bus stand is Chandrapur and Chimur (32 km).

When to go: Best time to visit is February to May.

Places to stay: MTDC provides self-contained rooms with adjoining restaurant at Tadoba.

Dudhwa Tiger ReserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Dudhwa, often called 'The Last Terai' – remains one of the few remaining dense forests that once existed along the foothills of the Himalaya. An aura of mystery and prehistoric nostalgia envelops you as you tread into Dudhwa. These are forests of the unexpected... where species threatened across the rest of India continue to thrive. The abundance of rain makes Dudhwa brim over with fresh plant life – grasslands, thick forests, marshes, wetlands... Dudhwa is one of the few places in India where as many as five species of deer coexist – the chital, sambar, muntjac, hog deer and the endangered swamp deer. But Dudhwa is also tiger country and a good prey base allows for a sizeable tiger population. It is also one of the best spots to birdwatch! Over 400 avian species have been recorded. The tals and jheels are ideal spots for birdwatching. The star attraction is of course the Bengal Florican whose aerial mating rituals are almost ballet-like. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts and comprises the Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is a vast alluvial plain interspersed with numerous rivers, lakes and pools. The rich and extremely fertile Indo-Gangetic plains support a luxuriant growth of grasslands and woodlands, consisting mainly of Sal forests and a diversity of fauna. The one-horned rhinoceros was recently reintroduced in the area. Thanks to the conviction of a conservation-minded prime minister, the late Mrs Indira Gandhi, and the continuous endeavour of conservationist Arjan Singh Dudhwa was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1965 and a National Park in 1977. It was added to the Project Tiger Network in 1987-88. Dudhwa is an entirely different terrain in comparison to other tiger reserves. Katarniaghat is said to be completely untouched wild beauty.

How to reach: Dudhwa, on North-Eastern Railway’s metre guage section is connected via Mailani to Lucknow & Nainital. Dudhwa is connected by road to other parts of the state. Lucknow is 238 km; Bareilly 260 km; Delhi 430 kms and Palia 10 kms from the park. Coaches and jeeps can be hired from national park office at Dudhwa for travelling inside the Park. Elephants are available for wildlife viewing at Dudhwa only.

When to go: November to May is the best time to go.

Bandipur Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Another vital tiger preservation area, Bandipur National Park is within the state of Karnataka and links with Mudumalai National Park in the state of Tamil Nadu. The mist-covered peaks of the Nilgiris set the backdrop for the park. The picturesque setting is home to a staggering variety of wildlife, making it one of the best game sanctuaries in India. A potential new UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park features leopards, elephants, sloth bears, wild boars and wild dogs. Bandipur receives rainfall from both the south-west and the north-east monsoons. This results in a fairly long wet season, supplying the fauna and flora with sufficient water. During the dry season the Kabini Reservoir provides water as well as grazing grounds for hundreds of elephants. It is estimated that 75 tigers reside in this reserve. In 1973 it was established as Bandipur National Park, and constituted as a Tiger Reserve. It is also part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve now, which was the first Biosphere Reserve in India. This 800 odd sq. km. of pristine wilderness, once used to be the private hunting grounds of the Mysore Maharajas.

How to reach: This park is located 90 kilometres south of Mysore.

Pench Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Pench is of great ecological significance as it represents the floral and faunal wealth of the Satpura-Maikal hill range. The story of Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli, it is widely held, was set in the forests of Seoni in Madhya Pradesh. This is the region where the Pench Tiger Reserve sits, alongside the river Pench and in the Satpura Hills. Pench Tiger Reserve serves as the prime habitat of Indian Tiger and Panther, the key species in these areas along with other species of cat family. Pench has very good Tiger density.The mammalian population comprises of mainly species like Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Gaur, Wildboar, Chausingha, Sloth bear, Wilddog, Langur, Rhesus monkey, Mouse deer, Black naped hare, Jackal, Fox, Hyena, Porcupine, Flying squirrel, etc as well as wide variety of aquatic life, amphibians, reptiles and avi-fauna. Over 285 species of birds have been sighted here. The most seen include four species of vultures – the white-rumped, longbilled, white scavenger and the King. Pench Tiger Reserve area constitutes a unique ecosystem, comprising, wide variety of flora and fauna including diverse and rich aquatic life and avi-fauna with unique natural scenic beauty.

When to go: Pench Tiger Reserve remains open for tourist from 1st October to 15th June. 'November to January' is the winter season and 'March to June' is the summer season. Tourists usually prefer to visit in winter as it's is pleasant and green everywhere. Also migratory birds can be found in Pench as they fly from across Northern Pole of the Earth. In summer season tiger & other animals can be sighted around the water sources.

Periyar Tiger reserveTop 10 tiger reserves

Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty, with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 sq .km., Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba. Periyar Lake is the nucleus of the Tiger Reserve; it provides water to an extensive area. 1963 species of flowering plants have been documented, along with a large variety of animals. Among them are 49 mammal species, 265 bird species, 36 reptile species, 12 amphibian species, 35 fish species and 160 species of butterflies. A dam was constructed across the Periyar River in 1895. The forest around the new lake was declared a Reserve Forest in 1899. In 1934 it was established as Nellikkampetty Sanctuary. This was extended and renamed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950. It became a Tiger Reserve in 1978, with the core area declared a National Park in 1982. People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programmes are conducted by local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. By taking tourists along, they are involved in the conservation of the forests of Periyar and some valuable revenue is generated for community welfare. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through these programmes.

How to reach: Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady is about 4 km from Kumili in Idukki district, central Kerala and is well connected by road from all the major towns of Kerala. Cochin International Airport is 190 Kms, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is 267 Kms and Madurai is 140 Kms from here. Kottayam (114 Kms) is the nearest town and railhead.

When to go: Best time to visit the Reserve is September to May. The months of March and April constitute the driest part of the year, because of which the animals spend a lot of time near the lake in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Even the tiger may be spotted approaching the waters in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Animals may be seen from motorboats on the lake or from watchtowers set up in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. June, July and August is the monsoon season. The park is at its best greenery during this period and you can enjoy the showers of monsoon.

Places to stay: There are atleast three forests huts provided by Kerala forest department in the tiger reserve.

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