If you are looking to sample India’s incredible biodiversity, there are few better places to head to than its numerous stunning national parks. We’ve rounded up a list of the country’s most incredible parks to locate rare animals and plants, take in breathtaking views and immerse yourself in dense greenery.
Established in 1936, Jim Corbett is the oldest national park in India. Built to protect the endangered Bengal tiger, this historic park in Uttarakhand receives more than 70,000 visitors every year. Along with plenty of tigers, the park is home to Indian elephants, leopards, sambar and barking deer, Himalayan bears, and several other animal species. The park offers a range of safaris, treks and other attractions for visitors.
Great Himalayan National Park | Pbhuker007 /WikiCommons
Spread across 1,171 square kilometers (452 square miles) in the mountainous Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is among India’s most stunning national parks. Home to various protected animal and plant species, the park offers various treks and tours with stunning views of the Himalayas.
Periyar National Park | Bernard Gagnon / WikiCommons
Surrounded by the hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, the Periyar National Park is among South India’s most visited national parks. Home to a large elephant population in addition to a significant number of Bengal tigers and other endangered species, this dense park also has two major south Indian rivers—Periyar and Pamba—flowing through it.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site spreads out across the state of West Bengal and the neighboring country of Bangladesh. The Sundarbans, the world’s largest coastal mangrove forest, covers an area of about 10,000 square kilometers (3,816 square miles) and is home to the Bengal tiger, among other endangered animal species.
Home to two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, this national park in Assam also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With significant elephant and tiger populations, in addition to several rare species of plants and animals, this stunning park spreads out across about 430 square kilometers (166 square miles) south of the Lower Himalayas.
Home to the Asiatic lion, Gir National Park is one of the most important protected natural areas in the country. Spread across 1,412 square kilometers (545 square miles) in the state of Gujarat, the area was first declared a protected area in 1900 to preserve the fast-dipping lion population. Once as low as 20, the population has now climbed to about 650 in 2017. With many safaris and tours, the park has remained among Gujarat’s prime tourist attractions since its founding in 1965.
Also known as the Kanha Tiger Reserve, this is the largest national park in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Home to a large population of Bengal tigers, leopards, and other wild animals, this dense forest is the one in which Rudyard Kipling based The Jungle Book.