What are National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries?The wildlife of India is diverse and its national parks and biosphere reserves are home to many endangered wildlife species like Royal Bengal Tigers and Red Panda, the vulnerable one-horned Rhinoceros and Snow Leopards, and critically endangered Great Indian Bustard, among many other species of flora and fauna.
India boasts 104 national parks, 551 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 131 Marine Protected Areas, 18 Biosphere Reserves, 88 Conservation Reserves, and 127 Community Reserves, covering a total of 1,65,088.57 sq km. In total, there are 870 Protected Areas which make 5.06% of the geographical area of the country.
National ParksNational parks are the areas that are set by the government to conserve the natural environment.
National parks are areas that aim to protect the natural environment. They are also involved in public recreation and enjoyment activities. In a national park, the landscapes and its flora and fauna are present in their natural state.
India is rich in biodiversity. It comprises about 7.6% mammals, 6.2% reptiles, 12.6% birds, and 6.0% flowering plant species under the Indomalayan ecozone. Many eco-regions of our country like Shola forests exhibit high rates of endemism. The forests cover over the ranges from the tropical rainforest, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India to the coniferous forests in the Himalayan region.
Indian wildlife has around 99 world-recognized national parks in different parts of the country. All these national parks and wildlife reserves have been recognized by the IUCN or the International Union for the Conservation of Nature under the second category of protected areas.
List of National Parks in India
|STATE||NATIONAL PARK||YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT|
|Andhra Pradesh||Papikonda National Park|
Rajiv Gandhi(Rameswaram) National Park
Sri Venkateshwara National Park
|Arunachal Pradesh||Mouling National Park,1986|
Namdapha National Park
|Assam||Dehing Patkai National park ,2004|
Dibru Saikhowa National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Manas National Park
Nameri National Park
Orang National Park
|Bihar||Valmiki National Park||1989|
|Chattisgarh||Guru Ghasi Das (Sanjay) National Park|
Indravati (Kutru) National Park
Kanger Valley National Park
|Goa||Bhagban Mahavir /Mollem National Park |
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
|Gujarat||Blackbuck National Park|
Gir Forest National Park
Gulf of Kutch
Marine National Park
Vansda National Park
|Haryana||Kalesar National Park|
Sultanpur National Park
|Himachal Pradesh||Great Himalayan National Park|
Inderkilla National Park
Khirganga National Park
Pin Valley National Park
Simbalbara National Park
|Jammu & Kashmir||Dachigam National Park|
Hemis National Park
Kishtwar National Park
Salim Ali National Park
|Jharkhand||Betla National Park||1986|
|Karnataka|| Anshi national park|
Bandipur National Park
Bannerghatta National Park
Dandeli National Park
Kudremukh National Park
Nagarhole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Pambadum Shola National Park
Eravikulam National Park
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Silent Valley National Park
Anamudi National Park
Periyar National Park
|Madhya Pradesh||Bandhavgarh National Park |
Pench (Indira Priyadarshini) National Park
Kanha National Park
Kuno National Park
Madhav National Park
Mandla Plant Fossils National Park
Panna National Park
Sanjay National Park
Satpura National Park
Van Vihar national park
|Maharashtra||Chandoli National Park|
Gugamal national park
Navegaon National Park
Pench (Jawaharlal Nehru) National Park
Sanjay Gandhi (Borivilli) National Park
Tadoba National Park
|Manipur||Keibul Lamjao National Park ,1977|
Sirohi National Park,1982
|Meghalaya||Balphakram National Park|
Nokrek National Park
|Mizoram|| Murlen National Park,1991|
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park,1992
|Nagaland||Intanki/Ntangki National Park ,1993|
|Odisha||Bhitarkanika National Park ,1988|
Simlipal National Park ,1980
|Rajasthan|| Desert National Park|
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Mukundra Hills (Darrah) National Park
Ranthambore National Park
Sariska National Park
|Sikkim||Khangchendzonga National Park||1977|
|Tamil Nadu||Guindy National Park|
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) National Park
Mudumalai National Park
Mukurthi National Park
|Telangana||Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park |
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
Mrugavani National Park
|Tripura|| Bison(Rajbari) National Park|
Clouded Leopard National Park
|Uttarakhand||Gangotri National Park|
Govind Pashu Vihar
Jim Corbett National Park
Nanda Devi National Park
Rajaji National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park
|Uttar Pradesh||Dudhwa National Park||1977|
|West Bengal||Buxa National Park|
Gorumara National Park
Jaldapara National Park
Neora Valley National Park
Singalila National Park
Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary
|Andaman & Nicobar Islands||Campbell Bay National Park|
Galathea Bay National Park
Mahatma Gandhi Marine (Wandoor) National Park
Middle Button Island National Park
Mount Harriet National Park
North Button Island National Park
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
Saddle Peak National Park
South Button Island National Park
Sanctuary is a place of refugees, where injured, abandoned, and abused wildlife is allowed to live in peace in their natural environment without any human intervention.
There are 566 existing wildlife sanctuaries in India covering an area of 122420 km2, which is 3.72% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, Dec. 2020). Another 218 sanctuaries are proposed in the Protected Area Network Report covering an area of 16,829 km2.
List of Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries
1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand
It is Said to be India's most beautiful wildlife reserve, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, this National Park is spread over an area of 1318.54 sq. km. Home to a rich ecosystem the Jim Corbett consists of rolling grasslands interspersed with rivers and valleys. An ideal place for bird watchers and nature lovers this national park in North India is the residing place of the endangered Bengal Tiger. Consisting of diversified flora and fauna this sanctuary in India is home to about 600 different species of plants, over 650 species of birds and animals which includes gharial, elephant, chital, sambar, wild boar, King Cobra, Indian Pangolin nilgai, muntjac, common musk shrew, and the flying fox.
2. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
It is Situated in the mighty Western Ghats the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is said to be heaven for nature lovers. Set amidst the picturesque surroundings and vast tracts of lush greeneries of Kerala this wildlife sanctuary in South India is the adobe of some of the rarest endangered species in the country. Beautiful as it is this wildlife sanctuary offers enthralling views of nature and includes a host of wildlife attractions like Barking Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog, Deer, Mouse, and very rarely, a Tiger. There are also a number of birds that inhabit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which include Darters, Kingfishers, Cormorants and the Malabar Hornbill.
3. Gir National Park, Gujarat
It is Spread over an area of 1412 sq. km the Gir National Park lies in the Gujarat Peninsular region of India. Known to be the only habitat of the world-renowned Asiatic Lion, this wildlife reserve in western India is every nature lovers' dream. Consisting of a seamless blend of valleys, rivers, dense deciduous forests, and swampy grasslands this national park is considered one of the top wildlife habitats in the country. Apart from the Asiatic Lions, this wildlife reserve is also famous for species like; Grey Musk Shrew, Flying Foe, Hare, Hedgehog, Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Ratel, Porcupine, Fox, and Jackal. The peafowl is the most important bird found here. Kamleshwar Dam provides a large water body for marsh crocodiles, reptiles, and Birds.
4. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan
It is Counted as one of the most frequented wildlife reserves in India, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. Extending over 800 sq km of vast green milieu and encompassing certain important historical monuments, dating back to the 10 century, within the vicinity of the park this wildlife sanctuary is definitely eye candy to nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The biosphere of this wildlife sanctuary includes rocky landscapes, dry deciduous forests, and hilly cliffs. Sasrika is said to be ethereal for bird watchers with some of the rarest feathered species like Grey Partridge, white-breasted Kingfisher, golden-backed woodpecker, and the Sand Grouse. Some of the wildlife that resides in this sanctuary are; Four-horned antelope, hyena rhesus macaque, leopard, languor, and the jungle cat.
5. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Ranthambore National Park located between the Aravalli Mountains and the Vindhya plateau is one of the renowned national parks of India. This national park with an area of 392 sq km is famous for its Royal Bengal Tigers that can be seen near the marshes and the lakes even during the daytime.
In the past, this area was a hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It was declared a game sanctuary in 1955 and later became a National Park in 1980. Finally, in 1980, it became a Tiger Reserve in India. Ranthambore is also cited as a heritage site because of the pictorial ruins of the fort within the park.
6. Sunderban National Park, West Bengal
Sunderbans National Park is the undisputed gem in the crown of the eastern part of India. It is situated in the world's largest Delta this wildlife reserve in India spreads over an area of 4264 square km of impenetrable mangrove forests. Bestowed with the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site the Sunderbans in Eastern India is known to be the largest tiger reserve in the country. Idyllic for bird gazers and nature lovers the Sunderbans is home to species a multitude of species apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger like; Jungle Cat, Flying Fox, Chital, Wild boar, and Pangolin.
7. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is the only natural habitat of the endangered One-Horned Rhinos in India as well as in the world. Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, it is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries to explore the wildlife of Northeast India. It is also a highly visited park among the top 10 national parks in India. This park also boasts of its number of tigers and other wildlife species. Due to the noteworthy number of tigers, Kaziranga National Park has been declared as a Tiger Reserve forest in 2006. Other wildlife consists Elephants, Wild Buffaloes and Swamp Deer. The park also witnesses a large number of migratory birds during the winters.
8. Kanha National park, Madhya Pradesh
It is another sought-after destination in the list of national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Established in the year 1955, this park has gained a lot of attention due to its efforts in saving the rare and almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer, also known as ‘Barasingha’. It is also one of the well-maintained parks in Asia. The other feature of the Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadar. Almost the entire park can be seen from this point. It offers the most eye-catching views of the animals in their natural habitat.
9. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Bandhavgarh National Park is another enticing name in the list of national parks of India. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, it is one of the largest national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Declared as a national park in 1968, this park has a noteworthy number of Tigers in India.This park also has a significant number of Leopards and Deer. Among all the attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park, White Tigers are the most spectacular.
10. Manas National Park, Assam
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. It 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.