India is a country in which the list of national parks in India is as big as this country and its population. The Indian sub-continent is not only known for its cultural diversity but also has diverse species of flora and fauna. Therefore, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in India have been constructed in large numbers for the protection of endangered birds and animals, and to prevent the extinction of these mammals.
There are a total of 103 national parks in India. After China and Thailand, India has the third-highest number of national parks in Asia.
What is a National Park?
A national park is built to conserve wildlife, and it operates under specific rules. Animals are kept in national parks, and tourists are allowed to visit them. It is run entirely by the government; no person has any personal involvement in it. Different countries have different policies for their national parks, but in almost all of them, the main aim is to preserve the wildlife of the areas for future generations.
The Biggest National Park in India
India’s largest national park is “Hemis National Park”, which is located in the Ladakh area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This national park is spread over about 4,400 square kilometres. Apart from being the largest national park in India, it also has a park at the highest altitude. This park was established in 1981.
The park has about 200 snow leopards, Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapoo (Ladakhi Urial) Tibetan Wolf, Eurasian Brown Bear and Red Fox. Small mammals including Himalayan marmot, mountain vessel and Himalayan mouse hare are also present in Hemis National Park. Besides, birds such as the Golden Eagle, Lamargear vulture and Himalayan Griffon vulture are also seen in Hemis.
The Smallest National Park of India
The smallest national park in India is South Button Island National Park, located in the Andaman district of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Union Territory) of India. It was established in 1987. The total area of the park is 0.03 Km. This national park is a part of the Queen Jhansi Marine National Park. Scuba diving is a popular and world-famous sport.
South Button Island National Park is southwest of Havelock Island. The island has a marine climate driven by the sea around it. The average temperature is around 20°C to 30°C. The island receives heavy rainfall during the southeast monsoon season between June and October. The South Button appears as a small island within the sea. The island has a pleasant climate throughout the year, except in the monsoon months. The South Button appears as a small island within the sea.
Top Five National Parks in India
Here is the list of top 5 national parks in India that you must visit once in your lifetime. Learn all details about how to reach these national parks and the best time to visit them. Also, before planning your travel itinerary through trains, make sure to check train seat availability through RailMitra website or mobile app.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is situated in Assam, India. The park is a very prominent national park in India which accounts for two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceros population. The name of this national park is included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
Kaziranga Park has versatile biodiversity which makes Kaziranga National Park an essential and popular tourist destination. In this national park, you can see wild buffalo, deer, elephant, Chinese pangolin, gibbons, dark bears, Bengal foxes, flying squirrels and leopards. The park is a tiger reserve for Indian tigers.
How to reach Kaziranga National Park: The nearest railway station to reach Kaziranga National Park is Furkating Junction railway station (75 km away). The nearest airports are Guwahati International Airport (217 km away) and Jorhat Airport (97 km away).
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Kaziranga is anywhere from November to April.
Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, which is a perfect destination for nature lovers as well as wildlife lovers. Corbett National Park is one of the first wildlife reserve parks in the country which was established in 1936. Earlier it was named Ramganga National Park, but later the park was named Jim Corbett National Park after the famous hunter-turned-patron Jim Corbett who started Project Tiger.
This national park is one of the nine Tiger Reserves in the country. The park is divided into four different zones – Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna and Durgadevi zones. During the peak season, around seventy thousand tourists come from not only the country but from all over the world.
How to reach Jim Corbett National Park: The nearest railway station to reach Jim Corbett National Park is Ramnagar railway station. The nearest airport is Patanagar airport (50 km away).
Best time to visit: The month of November to June is the best time to visit Jim Corbett.
Gir National Park
The most important thing about the Gir National Park spread in Gujarat is that it is the only remaining home for Asiatic lions in the world. The park plays a vital role in preserving a particular species. Conservation of lions in Gir national park was started by the Nawab of Junagadh when lions were on the verge of extinction due to hunting.
Apart from the lions, 2,375 species of various fauna are also found in this national park which includes 38 mammals, more than 300 birds, and more than 2,000 species of insects. Other animals found in this national park include hyena, sambar deer, leopard, four-horned antelope, spotted deer, and chinkara.
How to reach Gir National Park: The nearest railway stations to reach Gir National Park are Junagadh and Veraval railway stations. The nearest airports are Keshod airport and Rajkot airport.
Best time to Visit: December to March is climatically the best season to visit the park.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is located in the Maikal Range of Satpura in Madhya Pradesh. It is the biggest national park of MP. This national park is famous as Tiger Reserve. It is spread over two districts of Mandla and Kalaghat. This national park was declared a reserve forest in 1879 and subsequently re-evaluated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1933. Later in 1955, it became a national park.
Kanha National Park is the only wild park in the country that is home to a large variety of native species. The place is home to more than 200 species of magical flowering plants and about 70 species of trees. Kanha National Park is an ideal home for a wide range of wildlife species, in addition to powerful tigers harbouring reindeer and countless species of plants, birds, reptiles and insects. The best place here is Bumni Dadar which is also known as the Sunset Point.
How to reach Kanha National Park: The nearest railway station to reach Kanha National Park is Gondia Junction (G), which is 145 km away. The nearest airport is Jabalpur Airport (177 km). Another nearest big airport is Nagpur airport (266 km away).
Best time to visit: The peak season for Kanha National Park is during winters, i.e., October to March.
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is considered to be one of the most beautiful and best managed national parks in India. This national park is located on the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka. It forms India’s largest biosphere reserve, known as the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’. The number of tigers in Bandipur is also significant. The Bandipur National Park in Karnataka state was once the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Mysore but was established as a reserve in 1974.
This national park is rich in various wildlife and flora. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its deciduous forest. It is the first biosphere reserve in the country with beautiful wildlife and a wide range of teak and sandalwood trees. This area is home to many animals such as hornbills, elephants, deer, bears, pythons, panthers and more. Ooty is a beautiful city to visit near Bandipur National Park.
How to reach Bandipur National Park: The nearest railway station to reach Bandipur National Park is Mysore Junction railway station (80 km away). The nearest airport is Coimbatore Airport (84 km away).
Best time to Visit: The best time to visit Bandipur National Park during the winter season between Octobers – March.