India is home to several hill stations, scenic beaches and shimmering waterfalls making it a country which boasts of natural beauty in all directions. However, what makes it really unique is the presence of some of the top-notch wildlife sanctuaries in India which remain unmatched all around the globe even today.
Here is a list of wildlife sanctuaries in India which is a must visit for all nature and animal lovers alike and is flocked by thousands of tourists from both India and abroad annually.
Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
1. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Having been proposed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, this is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in India where wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy the rich flora and fauna all around and some o the world’s tallest and oldest oak trees. The park also allows visitors to witness an array of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals such as the endangered crocodiles, lion-tailed macaques, porcupines, and mongoose to begin with.
How to Reach – The Coimbatore Airport is 110 km away from this park while the Coimbatore railway station is the nearest railhead 96 km away.
Best Time to Visit – August to January
2. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Being one of the best amongst all wildlife sanctuaries in India, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary has proven to be a safe home for diverse conserved and endangered species of fauna and flora. Apart from the Elephants and Black Panther, you will find animals such as Sloth Bear, Pangolin, Malabar Giant Squirrel and Bonnet Macaque along with a variety of species of birds which are not easily spotted elsewhere.
How to Reach – The nearest train station is that of Alnavar which is just 30 km away. The nearest airport is that of Hubli, 74 km away.
Best Time to Visit – January to May and October to December
3. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
Located on the banks of the Bhadra River, this is a top-notch park which tops the list of wildlife sanctuaries in India and is enveloped by semi-evergreen, dry and moist forests. Offering an amazing experience of nature, it is flocked by hundreds of wildlife photographers and explorers and is home to animals like Leopard, Gaur, Bison, Tiger, Elephant, Sambar, Boar, Porcupine, and Muntjac along with birds such as Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Parakeet, Hill Myna and Emerald Dove.
How to Reach – Bangalore Airport is the nearest one which is just 285 km away.
Best Time to Visit – October to March
4. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Another one of the best national parks in Southern India, this place is located on the Western Ghats with its border extending to Tamil Nadu. Along with the Spotted Deer, Panthers, Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr and Indian Elephant, you will also find this place to be the dwelling place o Mugger Crocodiles and several exotic birds. Moreover, the Thoovanam Waterfalls fall within the sanctuary.
How to Reach – Nearest airport to this place is in Coimbatore which is 115 km away. The nearest railway station is 60 km away at Pollachi.
Best Time to Visit – December to April
5. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Providing shelter to the Asiatic Lions, this national park and sanctuary are one of the major protected areas in Asia. Densely teak forested valleys, rugged hills, and ridges make it a place worth visiting. You can spot the Indian Spotted Deer, the four-horned Antelope and Indian Blackbuck along with Wild Boars, Honey Badger and Spotted Cats during your trip.
How to Reach – The closest airport is Keshod Airport which is 70 km away. Alternately, fly from Mumbai to Diu and drive down to Sasan by road in 2 hours’ time.
Best Time to Visit – November to March
6. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
Settled in the lap of Western Ghats, this sanctuary is surrounded by picturesque forests all around. Not only does this wildlife sanctuary have an abundance of flora and fauna, but it has distinguished historical and geographical significance too. Some of the spectacular animals in the area include sambar, leopards, spotted deer, Malayan giant squirrels and snakes like python and cobra.
How to reach – The closest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa which is 67kms. away. You can also take NH4A to reach the place which is well connected with other public transport like interstate buses.
Best time to visit- November to March
7. Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh
Be it the Zoologists, Ecologists, Botanists or simply nature lovers or adventure seekers, this place proves to be a haven for all. Being in one of the most densely forested areas of the country, a visit to this little place is a complete delight. The rugged mountains, panoramic landscapes, and abundant wildlife further adds to the magic of the place.
How to reach – The nearest airport is Dibrugarh which has regular flight connections with Delhi and Kolkata. Alternatively, Tinsukia is the nearest railhead. Both of the above have convenient availability of public transport to reach the place like taxis and buses.
Best time to visit- November to March
8. Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
Being one of the rare wildlife sanctuaries that have remained unadulterated with hoarding tourists, this wildlife sanctuary has maintained the sanctity of the diverse wildlife and abundant forestation like nothing else. Though the sighting of animals is not very common, yet the exceptional setting of the place makes it rate high on the list of wildlife sanctuaries in India.
How to reach- The nearest airport is at Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh, located 172 km away and Belgahna is the nearest railway station. Alternately, one can hire private taxi operators to the sanctuary. It is 21 km away from Amarkantak and 55 km away from Bilaspur,
Best time to visit- November to March
9. Overa- Aru Sanctuary, Jammu and Kashmir
Spread across an area of 500 sq. Km., this Wildlife sanctuary is a host to mountains that peak up to a height of 5400metres. If the landscape is worth being the talk of the town, well so is the rare collection of wildlife in the sanctuary. This sanctuary prides itself on being a home for a number of endangered species like Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Hangul, and Snow Leopard.
How to reach- Jammu is the nearest railhead but the Srinagar Airport which is 87 km away is the ideal choice. Further public transport like taxis and buses can be used to reach the destination.
Best time to visit- May to August
10. Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Often referred to as the green oasis of Vidharba, this little wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 152 sq km, only. Though small in size, this wildlife sanctuary is a home to diverse wildlife like tigers, leopards, dholes, jungle cats, sloth bears hyenas, jackals, wolves, gaur, and sambar. Other than the abundant wildlife, the place provides shelter to an astonishing variety of reptiles and amphibians too.
How to reach – Nagpur Airport and the Gondia Railway Station are the nearest airport and the railhead, which are at a distance of 122 km. and 45 km. respectively. Further public transport like buses and taxis are conveniently available from these points.
Best time to visit – October to June
11. Itanki Sanctuary
All wildlife sanctuaries in India are distinct and exceptional in their own manner but one heaven of a place is the Itanki Wildlife Sanctuary that sits on the border of India and Myanmar. The vivid tribes and culture are just where the magical description of the place starts and the distinguished varieties of flora and fauna prove to be the climax of the area.
How to reach – The closest airport and the railhead are in Dimapur. From there on the destination can be reached easily through public transport like buses and taxis in the area.
Best time to visit – November to March
12. Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Bihar
Established in 1982, this wildlife sanctuary is the home for some species of tigers, leopards, Indian boars, bears, and deer. Also famous for its birds, this sanctuary is largest wildlife sanctuary of the state. Covering a whopping 134square kilometers, this sanctuary is one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in India. One for the botanists, this place has various varieties of flora too.
How to reach – The nearest railhead is Mohania also referred to as Bhabua road and the nearest airport is in Varanasi at a distance of 112kms.
Best time to visit – October and June
13. Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary
Being the homeland for diverse flora and fauna, this little paradise is essentially equipped with animals like Cheetal, Chinkara, Chousinghas, Sambar, Wild Boars, Gaurs, Hyena, Jackals, Panthers, Sloth Bear, Tigers and Black Bucks. Some of the wildlife and certain species of the plants found in this wildlife sanctuary are among endangered species and therefore this place holds eclectic value for botanists and wildlife experts alike.
How to reach – The nearest airport is in Hyderabad and the closest railhead is in Bhadrachalam and from there on the state transport buses are the best way to reach this destination,
Best time to visit – June to October
14. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
Thriving in the dense green forest reserve of Satara district of Maharashtra, this wildlife sanctuary spans over an area of 423 square kilometers. Royal Bengal tiger and King Cobra are the main highlights of the sanctuary, but the place is an abode to a variety of deer and leopards too. Owing to a number of architectural findings in the area, this place has garnered the title of being a World Heritage Site too.
How to reach – The nearest airport and railhead being located at a distance of 65 kilometers in Kohlapur, the destination has good connectivity. The place is easily accessible through road also and sits on the Kohlapur- Deogarh highway.
Best time to visit – June and August
15. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread in the vast area of about 289 km. This wildlife sanctuary is a favorite among nature lovers and explorers. Owing to the varied landscape of the region, this sanctuary is blessed with a plethora of rich flora and fauna. It is this feature of the sanctuary which brings in tourists from around the world for the sighting of the rarest species of plants like orchids and the wild roses.
How to reach – Udaipur Airport is the nearest airport which is at a distance of 108 km and Abu Road Railway Station is the nearest railhead.
Best time to visit – October to March
16. Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary
The oldest wildlife sanctuary of the state of the Telangana, this little haven of a place is the host to varied landscapes and the mesmerizing views of the Godavari River. The ideal conditions of the area have helped the land acquire some of the most distinguished forms of flora and fauna. Though everything about this sanctuary is completely wondrous, it is the scenic views that take the breath away.
How to reach – The nearest airport is Hyderabad which is at a distance of 250km and the nearest railhead is Warangal which is 100 km away. Private vehicles and public buses from there on are a good way to reach this sanctuary
Best time to visit – October to April
17. Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
Set up in 1968 with the sole aim of protecting the Musk Deer, this wildlife sanctuary is one of a kind. The most spectacular thing about this little place other than its altitude is the mesmerizing cape of blood red this place adorns during the spring season (owing to the rhododendron forests of the region). This area is abundantly blessed with other varieties of flora and several species of fauna and reptiles too.
How to reach – Naina Sani in Pithoragarh is the nearest airport and Tanakpur is the nearest railway station. This destination is comfortably accessible by road too and is a distance of 117 km from Almora.
Best time to visit – April to September
18. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
Again a wildlife sanctuary created to protect the habitat of the endangered Himalayan musk deer. One of the most peculiar facts about this sanctuary is the location of a large number of Hindu temples within the precincts of the sanctuary, owing to the religious significance of the place. Known to be one of the world’s richest bio-reserves, this sanctuary is rich in faunal, avifaunal and aqua faunal species.
How to reach – Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport and Rishikesh is the nearest railway station. Alternatively, you can travel by road from Chamoli which is at a distance of the 136 km.
Best time to visit- May and June
19. National Chambal Sanctuary
Named after the river Chambal, this wildlife sanctuary contains the largest wild population of the endangered Gharials. Other than the above, this sanctuary houses a plethora of aquatic and bird life too. Another striking feature of this sanctuary is the number of turtle species found here, out of the 26 species found in India, eight reside here only.
How to reach – Nearest railway station is in Dholpur. Alternately one can take a train to Agra (60 km) or Gwalior (60 km) or Bharatpur (100 km), which are well connected to all the cities throughout India.
Best time to visit – April to June
20. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Being one of the uniquely protected areas of the rain shadow areas of the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary has a rich variety of medicinal plants. Other than the wide spectrum of plant the area houses some exceptional wildlife too which includes a healthy population of grizzled giant squirrel, star tortoise, tufted grey langur, gaur, spotted deer, slender loris, wild elephant, crocodile, tiger, and leopard.
How to reach – The nearest airports are Coimbatore (115 km) and Kochi (208 km). The nearest railway stations are Pollachi (60 km) and Aluva (200 km).
Best time to visit – October to March
21. Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary
Located 70 km south of the paradise called Srinagar, this wildlife sanctuary spreads over an area of 341km. The varying landscapes of the region have blessed it with diverse flora and fauna. Among the exceptional animals found in the area, the Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, leopard, Tibetan wolf, and Himalayan palm civet are main highlights.
How to reach – It is located about 70km South of Srinagar. The nearest airport is the Srinagar International Airport which is about 75km away.
Best time to visit – March to November
22. Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the southeastern part of Lohit District in Arunachal Pradesh, this wildlife sanctuary is the home to a number of birds and animals. Though a little small in size this sanctuary is dotted with over 6 species of mammals and 105 species of birds. The common sighting of tigers, hoolock gibbons, elephants, stump-tailed macaques, boars, civets, capped langurs, deer, hornbills and flying squirrels are the main attraction.
How to reach – Nearest Railway station is Tinsukia and the nearest airport is Dibrugarh. Alternately the place can be approached by Namsai Wakro road.
Best time to visit – October to April
23. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary
Also a small estuary, this wildlife sanctuary is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India. Due to such convenient access to the backwaters, this sanctuary houses a number of birds including some critically endangered species of birds like the white-backed vulture and the long-billed vulture. There are a number of other birds in the sanctuary which make it fall under the famous wildlife sanctuaries in India.
How to reach – Chennai airport at a stretch of 685 km is the nearest airport and Kakinada is the nearest railhead at a distance of 17 km.
Best time to visit – October to May
With all the sanctuaries being top notch and offering an amazing experience of the wildlife, it often becomes difficult to choose which one to visit first amongst all wildlife sanctuaries in India. Take time to plan your entire trip to one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in India well in advance so that you can get the best experience of natural beauty and wildlife and come back home with some of the best memories ever!
Don’t forget to share that experience with us here in the comments section.