India Travel

Top 6 Wildlife Sanctuaries to Get Close to Nature in India

Wildlife Sanctuaries are becoming increasingly important because there is an urgent need to stop the reduction of flora and fauna in India. Most obviously, irresponsible and cruel activities of humans are the primary reason for their quickening disappearance. Thankfully, the Indian Government, realising this issue, has set up plenty of wildlife sanctuaries.

These wildlife sanctuaries display not only a variety of flora and fauna but also show immense natural beauty. Since India is blessed with varied landscapes and vegetation, you will see something new everywhere. So, if you love being close to nature and animals, I’m going to list down six wildlife sanctuaries that offer you all of these.

1. Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand

Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers. Photo by Alosh Bennett.

If there is a paradise on earth, this valley has to be it.

It is located on the border of Manipur and Nagaland. Also known as the Dzukou Valley, this picturesque national park is like a piece of a child’s wildest dreams. After a lot of trekking through the rainforest, several bumpy ups and downs and following the trail, you will be rewarded with this beautiful haven. Every inch of these hills is covered with green grass. Mist always surrounds the mountains.

The best part is that the meadows are filled with endemic species of flowers of all colours. Because of the rich variety of flora and a few species of animals found here, the Government decided to protect this area before it was too late.

In fact, the trekking on the way up here is not even a bad part because, on the way, there are plenty of small waterfalls and streams to refresh your body and soul. The valley has remained untouched by human technology in any manner, and it’s wonderful to experience this bliss.

There are two villages nearby, namely Zakhama and Viswema, from which you can start your trek. There is no shortage of accommodations because a lot of people visit this place. So don’t worry about trekking alone through the forest as there will probably be 30-40 people along with you.

2. Periyar National Park, Kerala

The Periyar Lake
The Periyar Lake. Photo by Mikko Koponen.

Coming back to lots of greenery and water, Periyar is one among the most beautiful national parks of India.

Surrounded by evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, Periyar National Park presents beauty beyond words. It has an artificial water body, the Periyar Lake, flowing through it. You can boat through this lake and encounter the endangered species of this park which includes elephants, tigers and Nilgiri tahrs (a special type of sheep native to Kerala).

3. Sunderbans National Park, West Bengal

Sunset in Sunderbans
Sunset in Sunderbans. Photo by joiseyshowaa.

Moving a little bit to the east of India, Sunderbans is one of the most famous national parks in India. Sunderbans translates to beautiful forests. It is indeed beautiful.

What sets Sunderbans apart from other national parks is the fact that it is covered with mangrove forests. It is a profoundly old forest. It is the first home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Since it’s their original habitat, these tigers can be found in plenty here. Well, not plenty because they are endangered, but comparatively, this park has a larger population of the Bengal Tigers.

You can also find the saltwater crocodile here. Since its located in the deltaic region, Sunderbans is very diverse in aquatic flora and fauna. Species like the Gangetic Dolphins can be spotted here.

The natural background of mangrove forests offers a different view than the common woods you find around India. It is also a must-visit place if you are into wildlife.

4. Hemis National Park, Jammu & Kashmir

The Hemis National Park
The Hemis National Park. Photo by Adam Greig.

Talk about high altitudes, and you cannot miss out on Hemis National Park. This national park is assumed to be the highest altitude national park in the world.

Situated at an elevation of 3500-6000 m above sea level, it is a fantastic park indeed. If you are an adventurer at heart, this is the ideal place for you.

Snow-capped mountains set a beautiful background for the park. Many species of alpine trees can be found in this area. In addition to that, animals like the gorgeous snow leopard and many indigenous species are also protected here.

It’s a one of its kind in the world.

5. Silent Valley National Park, Kerala

The Silent Valley National Park
The Silent Valley National Park. Photo by ashok sp.

The Silent Valley National Park got its name because of the pin-drop silence within the forest. Located very near to the Western Ghats at a high altitude, this place has a multitude of indigenous and exotic species of plants and butterflies. There are also a variety of snakes to be found here. Sometimes, exotic birds have also been spotted in the park.

The park is highly protected by the Kerala Government because it spans vast hectares of land and any disturbance in the area would mean a destruction of the rich diversity within it.

Another fascinating factor about the Silent Valley National Park is that many tribal communities live within this park. They have been living here for centuries, and the government was considerate enough to realise that it was necessary for them to live in close sync with nature otherwise they would not survive.

While going for a safari within the park, you can visit the tribes. They are extremely friendly. It is an incredible experience to watch that people live in such a close connection with nature even today

So it’s the ideal destination for all the nature lovers.

6. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Jim Corbett
Jim Corbett. Photo by netlancer2006.

Jim Corbett is another important national park in India. In fact, it is the oldest. Tigers are the major endangered species found here besides elephants and deer.

Camps and small houses are available for stay in this park. But here, they take it one step ahead by placing the accommodations very close to the park, or rather in its periphery. Although it’s risky, it’s definitely worth it. If you would like to know about other exciting camping sites in the country, check out The Ultimate Camping Spots in India.

You can spot tigers more readily here. You can even swim in the forest’s small and beautiful streams and rivers. Other than this, rock climbing and safari are also available options for you to venture.

So get adventurous and camp at Jim Corbett. It is your opportunity to live closer to nature.

By Merlin Chacko

Currently studying English Literature at Delhi University. Obsessed with Harry Potter and NOT Shakespeare. I believe that nothing nourishes the soul like books and travelling. Constantly amazed by the Indian culture and its history. Personally feel that the old forts and ruined palaces in India are almost magical.

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