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Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuary in India

Amit Singh
Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuary in India

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India's Rich Biodiversity and Enigmatic Wilderness Sanctuaries

India boasts one of the most opulent troves of biodiversity on a global scale, coupled with an extensive repository of natural resources. Within this tapestry of natural wonder, India shelters a distinctive menagerie of flora and fauna, which freely roam within its protected, pristine wilderness sanctuaries. These sanctuaries represent a veritable haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature aficionados, drawing multitudes to witness the verdant landscapes and dense jungles that grace this enchanting land. To delve deeper into the realm of India's wildlife sanctuaries, here is an inventory of these ethereal realms along with detailed insights into each national park. From colossal squirrels in the south to Asiatic lions in the west, these sanctuaries cradle a cornucopia of exotic species, seldom found elsewhere on Earth.

Deciphering Wildlife Sanctuaries

10 Best Tiger Safari Destinations in India | Tour My IndiaA wildlife sanctuary, by definition, serves as a realm where the habitats of animals and their surrounding environs find sanctuary from any manner of disruptions. The malevolent trifecta of killing, capturing, and poaching is sternly prohibited within these hallowed precincts. These sanctuaries constitute secure havens for animals, with their principal objective being the provision of an undisturbed, wholesome existence for these creatures, who are integral constituents of the ecosystem. India's multiple wildlife sanctuaries are characterized by lofty mountain ranges, meandering rivers, and densely cloaked forests, all of which endow sustenance and refuge to its myriad inhabitants. These sanctuaries were conceived with the overarching goal of safeguarding, enriching, and nurturing wildlife at their core.

India's Preeminent Wildlife Sanctuaries

Now that we comprehend the essence of wildlife sanctuaries, let us embark on a journey to explore the top ten sanctuaries that grace the Indian subcontinent. These sanctuaries are not only revered by the denizens of India but beckon to visitors from all corners of the globe.

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park takes pride in being one of India's most expansive wildlife sanctuaries, and it ranks as the foremost national park in Northern India. Its historical resonance extends to the days of the Maharajas of Jaipur, who held it in high esteem, often frequenting its precincts for hunting expeditions. Today, Ranthambore is a magnet for tourists and wildlife photographers from across the planet. The park is the domain of India's emblematic pride, the majestic tiger. Beyond this regal feline, it is home to a pantheon of creatures, including leopards, hyenas, wild boars, and jaguars.

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Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar Deer, Chital Nilgai, Jackal, Jungle Cats, Hanuman or Common Langurs, Chinkara, Common Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Black Bucks, Sloth bears


Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, India

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Sanganer Airport in Jaipur

Nearest railhead – Sawai Madhopur Railway Station

By road – Cabs can be booked from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.

Best Time to Visit

October to March

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

Travel Articles | Travel Blogs | Travel News & Information | Travel Guide |  India.comVisit Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve – Maharastra's Oldest And  Largest National Park | India.com

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve stands as one of the most renowned tiger sanctuaries, also holding the distinction of being the oldest and most extensive wildlife sanctuary in India. Its evergreen expanse owes its existence to the region's geographical topography. Apart from its diverse array of animal species, it harbors rare plant species, such as axle wood, known for its fire-resistant qualities.


Leopards, Bengal Tigers, Sloth bears, striped hyenas, Nilgai, Spotted Deer, Jungle cats


Chandrapur, Maharashtra

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Nagpur airport

Nearest railhead – Chandrapur Railway Station

By road – State-run bus from Chandrapur to Chirmur or via taxis

Best Time to Visit

October to March

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary Images - Wildlife Photography - Karnataka Tourism

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, besides boasting a magnificent collection of rare animal and plant species, is renowned as a bird sanctuary and a popular haven for avid birdwatchers. This protected expanse showcases a wide spectrum of rare and exotic plant species, in addition to a myriad of amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Adventurers are drawn to this sanctuary for river rafting, trekking, and a plethora of other exhilarating activities.


Crocodiles, Blue-throated Barbet, Great Pied Hornbill, Peregrine Falcon, Tigers, Black Panthers


Solad Complex, J N.Road, Dandeli, Gokarna, Uttara Kannada

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Hubli Airport

Nearest railhead – Alnavar and Londa railway stations

By road – Buses and private cabs from Bangalore, Karwar, Hubli, Dharwad, and Belgaum

Best Time to Visit

March to October

Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

Kutch Desert SanctuaryA wildlife sanctuary transcends the realm of tiger reserves and foliage, as it can encompass ethereal landscapes adorned with pink flamingos, gracefully dispersed across vast stretches of white desert. The Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary ranks among the top ten in India and plays host to pink flamingos that migrate during certain seasons. Besides its extraordinary scenic beauty, this sanctuary is deemed one of the largest seasonal saline wetland areas. The depths of its waters, spanning from 0.5 to 1.5 meters, prove irresistibly attractive to a substantial population of flamingos.


Flamingos, Greater Flamingos, Indian Porcupines, Spiny-Tailed Lizards, Black-necked Storks, Wild Ass, Indian Cormorant


Rann, Dholavira, Kutch, India

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Bhuj Airport

Nearest railhead – Bhuj railway station

By road – Bus or taxis from Rajkot or Ahmedabad

Best Time to Visit

November to March

Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

Have you paid a visit to these remarkably unique animals in India? | ixigo  Travel Stories

Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, a distinguished member of India's top ten wildlife sanctuaries, lures numerous birdwatchers from distant lands. It plays host to captivating snow leopards and stands as a prominent tourist attraction. With snow-capped mountains, meandering streams, and dense forests, this sanctuary emerges as a premier wildlife haven that warrants at least one visit.


Sclater’s Monals, Blyth’s Tragopan, Snow Leopards, Mishmi Takin, Clouded Leopards, Red Pandas, Musk Deer, Asiatic Black Bear, Tigers


Dibang Valley, Roing, Arunachal Pradesh

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Dibrugarh Airport

Nearest railhead – Tinsukia railway station

By road – Taxi services from Roing, Anini, and Tinsukia, along with state-run buses.

Best Time to Visit

November to February

Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary

.Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary In Maharashtra - Tour And Travel

Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary in India is celebrated for its resplendent landscapes, profuse flora, and an abundance of avian and mammalian species. It doubles as a bird sanctuary, harboring a spectrum of avian life. It also serves as a tiger reserve, being the residence of King Cobras and Royal Bengal Tigers. The sanctuary enjoys a temperate climate, with an elevation ranging from 600 to 1000 meters above sea level. The principal water sources in this sanctuary are the Kandati, Koyna, and Solashi rivers. The sanctuary's pristine beauty and the presence of a heritage site within have merited its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Royal Bengal Tiger, King Cobra, Barking Deer, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Rufous Woodpecker, Crested Goshawk, Bison, Sambar Deer, Indian Giant Squirrels, Sloth Bears, Indian Leopards


Koyna Nagar, Koyna, Maharashtra

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Pune Airport

Nearest railhead – Kolhapur railway station

By road – Cabs or buses from Pune and Kolhapur

Best Time to Visit


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar National Park: The Complete Guide

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, India's largest, teems with avian and terrestrial life. Verdant grasslands draw sustenance from Periyar Lake, from which the sanctuary derives its name. Beyond its enchanting wildlife, the sanctuary is adorned with a spice garden that hosts an array of spices such as clove, cardamom, nutmeg, and pepper.


Lion Tail, King Cobra, Mouse Deer, Indian Elephants, Barking Deer, Sambar Gaur, Foxes, Bison, Nilgiri Langur


Periyar, Kerala

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Madurai Airport

Nearest railhead – Kottayam Railway Station

By road – Take a bus or cab via NH 220 to reach Kumily, from where the sanctuary is just 4 km away.

Best Time to Visit

March to May

Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilika - Get an amazing travel experience in the beautiful lake

Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is among India's most extensive wildlife sanctuaries, enveloping an area of approximately 1100 square kilometers in Odisha. It ranks as a preeminent destination for picnicking among friends and families, offering the spectacular backdrop of sunsets and sunrises. In addition to its abundant wildlife, it houses aquatic species, counting around 225 fish varieties.


Open-billed stork, Golden Jackals, White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Ehret, Kingfisher, Spot-Billed Pelican, Brahminy Kite, Dolphin, Wigeon, Ibis, Avocet, Hyenas, Spotted Deer, Pintail


Near Kalijai Temple, Puri, Odisha

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Bhubaneswar Airport

Nearest railhead – Balugaon Railway Station

By road – Catch a cab from Bhubaneswar

Best Time to Visit

November to February

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

Manas National Park: A Handy Guide For Travelers To Visit In 2023

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, among India's top ten, derives its name from the Manas River that meanders in proximity. Though it may not claim the title of the largest sanctuary in India, it hosts a project tiger reserve, a biosphere reserve, and an elephant reserve. Established in 1985, it was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, it enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year.


Capped Langurs, Black Panthers, Gaurs, Macaques, Asian Golden Cat, Indian Rhinoceros, Hoolock Gibbons, Red-Headed Trogon, Bengal Florican, Finn’s Weaver, Asian Water Buffaloes, Chital, Otters


Manas Road, Barangabari Gyati Village, Dist Baksa, Gobardhana, Assam

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Guwahati Airport

Nearest railhead – Barpeta Railway Station

By road – Easily accessible via major towns like Guwahati, Johrat, Barpeta, and more, with buses and taxis readily available.

Best Time to Visit

October to February

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary

Students Walk To School Through Forest Alongside Elephants, 53% OFF

Formerly known as the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, this Indian wildlife sanctuary was rechristened as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in 1987, in commemoration of the Prime Minister. It spans an extensive 950 square kilometers, encompassing deciduous forests, grasslands, and dry scrub forests, presenting an ever-changing topography.


Nilgiri Tahr, Bonnet, Common Langur, Malabar Hornbill, Dollar Bird, White-Bellied Woodpecker, Painted Bush Quail, Great Pied Hornbill, Hill Myna, Grey Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Lion-Tailed Macaque.


Pollachi, Tamil Nadu

How to Reach

Nearest airport – Coimbatore Airport

Nearest railhead – Pollachi Railway Station

By road – Public transport is available from both Pollachi and Coimbatore.

Best Time to Visit

December to April

The Significance of Wildlife Sanctuaries

10 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in South India - Tusk  Travel Blog

Wildlife sanctuaries proffer a multitude of benefits, not solely to humanity but to the natural world as well. They serve as a reservoir of natural resources, deserving preservation at any cost. The following elucidates the reasons underpinning the importance of wildlife sanctuaries:

Wildlife Preservation: The sanctuaries offer a refuge for endangered species, alleviating the exorbitant costs of relocating them. Biologists find these sanctuaries invaluable for observing animal behavior in their natural habitat.

Landscape Protection: In an era marred by deforestation, sanctuaries play a pivotal role in safeguarding the aesthetics of landscapes.

Cultural Heritage: Several sanctuaries are inhabited by indigenous tribes with deep-rooted traditions. These sanctuaries ensure the protection of these communities.

Protecting Wildlife Sanctuaries

A series of measures have been undertaken to safeguard wildlife sanctuaries:

The Indian government enacted the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972, prohibiting sport hunting and endorsing the legal preservation of habitats.

Various initiatives have been launched to protect threatened species like one-horned rhinos and tigers.

The Bombay Natural History Society, established in 1883, continues its mission of studying and conserving wildlife.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority, formed in December 2005, aims to bolster the Tiger Project in India and protect the declining population while preserving their natural habitat.

In Conclusion

The sanctuaries of India have, over time, conferred numerous benefits to both humanity and the natural world. They afford a sanctuary to potentially dangerous wildlife, maintaining a delicate equilibrium by enabling them to inhabit their natural habitat, all the while upholding peace and harmony.


Q1 How many wildlife sanctuaries exist in India?

India boasts a total of 543 wildlife sanctuaries, established between 1936 and 2016.

Which is the smallest wildlife sanctuary in India?

The title of the smallest wildlife sanctuary in India goes to Bor Tiger Reserve, established in 1970 near Hingani in Maharashtra's Wardha District, spanning approximately 121.1 square kilometers.

What is India's first wildlife sanctuary?

India's maiden wildlife sanctuary was founded in 1936 for the protection of endangered Bengal Tigers and bears the name Jim Corbett National Park.

Amit Singh
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