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Situated in the Kumaon hills in Nainital district, Corbett National Park is where the Project Tiger (1973) was inaugrated. There are around 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. The hilly ridgesand the distant snow capped mountains offers a idyllic scenic spot. The peace gets disturbed either by squabbling monkeys, heards of elephantsor unhurried brooks of birds fluttering away as a warning sign of a tiger in proximity.
A tiger basking in the Corbet jungles
Eravikulam National Park in Munnar
Apart from the sprawling greenery of tea gardens Munnar also boasts of the Eravikulam National Park. It is instituted as a natural habitat of the Nilgiri tahr and it protects the largest population of tahrs in the world. Spread over an area of 97 sq. kms along the hilly heights of the Western Ghats in the Munnar forest division of Idukki district of Kerala. India's highest peak Anaimudi(2,695m) falls in the limits of the park.
The spectacular Neelakurinji plant that blooms once in 12 years between September and December transforms the hills into a riveting purple blue carpet is also found in the park. One can see tigers, Malabar civets, lion tailed macaques, wild dogs, barking deer, sambars, elephants, nilgai etc are found here. Birds of a wide variety may appease your eyes like black eagles, mountain hawk eagles, peregrine falcon, jungle fowls, painted bush quails, horn bills, Malabar whistling thrush, Malabar parakeets, Asian fairy bluebirds, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malabar lark etc.
Manali Wildlife Sanctuary in Manali
Notified as a sanctuary in 1954 Manali Wildlife Sanctuary has a beautiful view. The lush alphine green pastures and glaciers draw the attention of the tourists from all over the globe. The fragrance of deodars, kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple fills the forest air and one gets a easy view of the pugmarks of bears and loepards. Spread across a srea of 31.8 sqkm, it has the himalayan black bear, the himalayan palm civet, barking deer, flying fox, ghoral, Indian hare, striped hyena, the leopard, Himalayan yellow throated marten, serow, Kashmir flying squirell and the Himalayan tahr. Trekking takes you through the bubbling streamsand the snow capped mountains gives a pristing beauty.
Nagarhole National Park in Coorg
The park is named after the river that flows through it and it means "snake river'. It has been recently renamed as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. A huge reserve of bisons and elephanst the park has three forests merged which offer decidous trees and grassy swamps with little streams. One gets a good view of elephants, barking deers, wild boar, mongoose, peacock, jungle fowl, antelopes, gaur, pangolin, jungle cats, wild dogs, civets, hares and more. One can have a early morning or evening tour organised for a view of the national park.
Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Kumbalgarh
Named after the Kumbalgarh fort located nearby is located in the Aravalli mountains in pali district of Rajasthan. The entire park is not open to the public. The tour strats from the sanctuary and reaches the Ghanero. It further leads to a old abandones road. On this road one can spot chinkaras, nilghais, four horned antelopes and many birds. Project tiger is a part of this park. The other species to be seen here are the sambars, hares, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas and jackals.
Pong Lake Sanctuary in Dharamshala
The Pong dam reservoir is 65 kms from Pathankot and 115 kms from Dharamshala on the Beas river. The Pong Dam Lake is significant as a wildlife sanctury with species like nilgai, sambar, barking deer, clawless otter and leopard. The reservoir is developed on a large scale for promoting water sports for tourists.
Binsar Santuary in Binsar
On top of the Jhandi Dhar Hills the Binsar Sanctury encompasses an area of 50 sq.km in the middle of Himalayas near Almora. The forest has leopards, deer, wild boar, civet cat, serow, ghoral, musk deer, brown bear and khaleej pheasant and trees like the chir, pine, oak, rhododendron etc. It is a haven fro bird watchers.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa
Located in the Chorao islands near Panaji the sanctuary is shrouded by mangroves and can be reached by a ferry. The swamp is the location of the migratory as well as the local birds and hence the much sought after spot for the bird watchers. The species visible here are eagles, kites, kingfishers and egrets. The visit to the sanctury requires permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department in Panaji. Besides one can aslo spot crocodiles, foxes and jackals. The sanctuary is open all throughout the year.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in Auli
Mount Kedarnath is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Charaterised by its unpredictable terrain varying altitudes and a much favoured route for adventure enthusiasts it is loacted 60 kms from Auli and forms a natural habitat for animals like the leopard, himalayan bear, musk deer, muntjac, ghoral, bharal, himalayan fox and flowers and birds. The best season to visit is April to June and September to November.
Annamalai Park in Kodaikanal
Better known as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctury the Park is located 62 kms from Kodaikanal. Suitable for treks, the park has an area of 960km and houses animals like tigers, panthers, sloth bears, Nilgiri langur, lion tailed macaque, wild boar, Flying squirrel, civet cat, pangolin, and more. There is also a large population of crocodiles in the Amaravati reservoir in the park. The park is open throughout the year.
Rajaji National Park in Mussourie
Spread across three districts of Uttaranchal, Haridwar, Dehhradun and Pauri Garwal the Park spans about 820 sq km. Tigers, leopards, himalayn bears, chitals, hog deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar, antelopes, nilghai and more. The Indian cobra, monitor lizard and the asian elephant are also home here. The birds here are peacocks, woodpeckers, phesants, kingfishers etc which are the migratory species coming in during the winter months. The exclusive droves here are attracting a large number of tourists.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Nilgiris
Mudumalai wildlife reserve is a continuation of the Bandipur National Park. The 321 sq. km. reserve is situated in Tamil Nadu. Mudumalai wildlife reserve was the first sanctuary in south India. Langur, bonnet macaque, tiger, leopard, wild dog, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, elephants, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, Indian muntjac, mouse deer, wild boar, rodent and flying squirrel are part of the wildlife in Mudumalai. It has a rich bird life that includes Malabar trogan, Grey hornbill, crested hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, etc. The best time to visit the reserve is from February to June.