Tiger Safari destinations in India | Jungle Safari

Exploring the beauty of India, especially its wildlife is very appealing and attracts a huge crowd of tourists across the globe. Watching the wildlife, especially the big cats in their natural habitat is a delight. There are over 500 small and big wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country that have been successful in conserving the biodiversity. Exploring the wildlife is exciting but watching the giant beasts is even more exciting and Tiger safari offers an extraordinary treat, which no traveler, especially the wildlife enthusiasts would want to miss. India has several sagas and legends on wildlife, especially tigers. These giant cats are the national animal of the country and also they have found mention in Hindu mythology. However, in recent times, the population of tigers, particularly Royal Bengal Tigers has reduced. From approximately 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the population has decreased to as few as about 2000 in the entire Indian Sub-continent.
In order to save them from being extinct, Tiger Reserves were founded and most of these reserves were later designated as National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries. There are 47 tiger reserves across the country, which are administered by Project Tiger and this is further governed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. You can visit these tiger reserves if you wish to see them living in their natural habitats. Tiger safari provides you an opportunity to watch them in their natural habitat and some of the best tiger safaris in India are listed below:

Jim Corbett National Park , Uttarakhand

The oldest national park in India, Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve was founded in the year 1936 in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It lies on the foothills of the great Himalayan mountain rage, at an latitude that ranges between 360 m (1,181 ft) and 1,040 m (3,412 ft). It was established as National Park to protect the Royal Bengal Tiger as they were in the verge of extinction and it was the first park, which was chosen by Project Tiger as it is the home to a huge population of the Royal Bengal tigers. Later during 1954-55, it was renamed as 'Ramganga National Park' and finally in the year 1955-56, it was named as 'Jim Corbett National Park' after the famous British hunter, conservationist and author Jim Corbett. The area covered by Tiger Reserve is about 80 sq km and between the year 1973 and 1974 it 160 tigers were reported there. The entire park is home to 488 species of flora, 50 species of mammals, 580 species of avifauna and 25 species of reptiles. The entire area of the park is 1,318.54 sq km including 520 sq km of core area and 797.72 sq km of bulwark area, where the core area forms the Jim Corbett National Park and the bulwark area comprises the reserve forest along with Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers an area of 301.18 sq km. It is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and is the best place to see the giant beasts in their natural habitat. Tiger safari in the National Park is worth and no one would want to miss it.

Kanha National Park , Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Madhya Pradesh and is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in India owing to the lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines. It is said that Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel "Jungle Book" was inspired by Kanha National Park. Covering an area of 1,945 sq km, it is famous for the significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. The park is rich in flora and fauna, and has over 1000 species of flowering plants along with a wide variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 sq km and the neighboring 110 sq km Phen Sanctuary forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. It is considered to be one of the best places to stop tigers in India owing to its population. In the year 1973-74, 87 tigers were reported. A safari in the wilderness of Kanha is a treat, which no wildlife enthusiasts would want to miss.

Ranthambore National Park , Rajasthan

Ranthambore National Park is famous for its tiger safari, which attracts huge crowd of both domestic as well as International tourists. It is one of the largest National Parks of Northern India located in Madhopur district of Rajasthan. Sprawling over an area of 392 sq km, this national park constitutes dense tropical forest, waterfalls and canals. It lies on the intersection of Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges, about 14 Km from Sawai Madhopur in Eastern Rajasthan between two sanctuaries, namely the Mansingh Sanctuary and Kaila Devi Sanctuary. In the year 1973, it was declared as one of the Project Tiger reserves to protect the endangered Royal Bengal tigers. In the year 1973-74, 68 tigers were reported in the park. However, presently over 45 tigers are there in the national park. It is famous for its tiger population and getting a chance to see tigers in this national park is much more than that in other national parks and tiger reserves; however, it is also a matter of luck. It is an abode of several mammals and avian species. Owing to this extreme climatic condition, it is covered with dry deciduous forest. The best time to visit this park is between November and May.

Sunderbans National Park , West Bengal

The best place in India to get a glimpse of Royal Bengal Tiger in its natural habitat is Sunderbans National Park, which is located in the Delta of West Bengal, which is the world's largest delta formed by the mighty rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, amid mangrove forest; this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is made up of 54 small islands and is crisscrossed by several tributaries of the Ganges.It is the largest tiger reserve of India and besides tigers; it is home to different species of animals, birds and reptiles. The park is also known as also noted for its conservation of the Ridley Sea Turtle. There are incredible variety of reptiles also found in the park, which includes king cobra, rock python and water monitor. The park is home to 250 tigers forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. It is also a haven for birdwatchers as it is home to some of the rare bird species the Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Pitta and the Mangrove Whistler. You can also find several endangered species such as saltwater crocodile, river terrapin, olive ridley turtle, Gangetic dolphin, ground turtle, hawksbill turtle and mangrove horseshoe crab.

Kaziranga National Park , Assam

Kaziranga National Park is the most famous parks in Assam, which attracts both domestic and international tourists. It is famous for being the home to some of the endangered species such as one-horned rhinoceros, golden langur, royal Bengal tiger hoolock gibbon, and an extravagant variety of avifauna. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site sprawling over an area of 858 sq km. It lies in the floodplains of Assam on the banks of the River Brahmaputra. It boasts of having the highest number of tigers amongst the protected areas in the world declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. Tiger safari in the park will definitely leave the visitors spellbound as it offers an opportunity to get a glimpse of the giant cats in their natural habitat. Besides being a host spot for tiger safari, it is an abode of over 180 species of mammals, which include species that are rare and in danger of extinction. The national park is the home to 2/3rd of the population of the greater One-horned rhinoceros along with a large population of elephants, wild water buffalo and swamp deer.

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park is perhaps the ideal place for tiger safari in India. It is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe and tigers are the major attraction of this park, which entices several travelers to visit the park. It is located in the Vindhya Mountain Range of the Umaria district in Madhya Pradesh. Sprawling over an area of 105 sq km, this National Park was earlier the hunting ground of the Kings of this region. This park was the former hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and here he found the first White Tiger in the year 1951. Until the year 1968, there was no conservation of the wildlife or the forest was initiated. It was only in the year 1968, it was constituted as national park and in the year 1972, Project Tiger was constituted and became one of the foremost Tiger Reserves of India. The park is divided into four main zones, namely Panpatta, Magdhi, Tala and Khitauli and Tala is considered as the richest biodiversity zone with the maximum number of tiger population. There are over 37 different species of mammals, 250 species of birds and approximately 80 species of butterflies and a number of different reptile species in the park. The park remains open from 16th of October to 30th June; however, the best time to visit the place is between the months of February and June.

Pench National Park , Maharashtra

Pench National Park is located in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges, along the northern boundary of Nagpur District. It got the accreditation of National Park in the year 1975 and was declared a Tiger Reserve in the year 1999. The park was named after the Pench River, which meanders through the park. The park is home to 33 species of mammals, 164 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles, and a wide variety of insects. It is one of the habitats for tigers in India and is popular for its huge population. Sprawling over an area of 275 sq km, 35 tigers were recorded in the year 1999. It is one of the best places in India for Tiger Safari and is besides it, visitors will be able to get a glimpse of other wild animals, birds and reptiles in their natural habitat.

Bandipur National Park , Karnataka

One of the most popular places in India for Tiger Safari is Bandipur National Park. It is a part of the Nilgiri forest range and is located in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka about 80 km from the Mysore City. It was once the private hunting grounds of the Kings of Mysore Kingdom. Featuring a dry deciduous forest, it is home to myriad of wildlife species, which attracts a huge crowd of nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts across the globe. It is an important Tiger Reserve and there are about 70 tigers in this park. It covers an area of about 874.2 sq km and has created India’s largest biosphere reserve, named 'Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’ covering an area of 2,183 km2 with adjoining wildlife parks, namely Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and Nagarhole National Park in the North. It is an abode of about 3000 Asiatic Elephants apart from those giant beasts. It can be visited all throughout the year unlike other wildlife sanctuaries; however, the best time to explore this place is between the months of March and May. Owing to the presence of large number of tigers in the park, the chances of spotting it is more, nevertheless it depends also on the luck.

Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve , Maharashtra

A not so known wildlife sanctuary in the country is Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve, which is located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. It is also one of the National Parks in the state with highest number of tiger population. It covers a total area of 625.4 sq km and is home to about 65 tigers, which is one of the highest in India. Besides the tigers, visitors can spot leopards, antelopes, sloth bears, gaur, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, jungle cats, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, chital, and chausingha. It is also a paradise for ornithologist owing to its richness in avifauna. Over 195 species of birds, which include three endangered species, are found in the park. It is one of the best places for tiger safari in India and is not to be missed.

Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Another popular place for tiger safari in India is the Panna National Park. Covering an area of 542.67 sq km, it is famous across the globe as a Tiger Reserve. Located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh at a distance of about 57 km from Khajuraho, this park attracts a huge crowd of tourists, both domestic and International with its rich biodiversity. Here, a tiger safari is indeed a treat; however, with the decrease in the number of tigers in the recent years because of poaching, spotting a tiger here in the present time is all about luck. Few years back, the safari was completely closed as most of these big cats were poached and there were hardly any of them left. Nevertheless, tigers from nearby reserves and national parks were relocated in Panna and today, the safari has started again, which attracts an enormous crowd of wildlife enthusiasts.

Manas National Park , Assam

A tiger safari in the jungles of Manas National Park in Assam can really be cherishing. It is a World heritage site declared by UNESCO and is about 176 km from Guwahati. It is a Tiger Reserve as well as an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve for protecting the endangered wildlife. Spread over an area of 950 sq km, it forms the nucleus of Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve, which reserve covers an area of more than 2600 sq km that stretches up to the bordering nation Bhutan. It has a special value within the country’s protected areas, as it is one of the most significant of all the existing wildlife parks in the region. It has a considerable population of endangered species that are still surviving. It is a must visit place in India, especially for those who are enthusiastic to witness the beauty of nature along with the various wildlife residing harmoniously in their natural habitat.

Sariska National Park , Rajasthan

Sariska National Park located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan is one of the most visited wildlife parks in India. It is also a Tiger Reserve another Project Tiger, declared in the year 1979. Covering an area of over 800 sq km of vast green surroundings and encompassing significant historical monuments within its vicinity, this park is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. The dry deciduous forests, rocky landscapes, and hilly cliffs, personifies this wildlife sanctuary. It has only 6 tigers and spotting one is really difficult but a tiger safari in its jungles can really be a great experience. It is the home to some of the rarest avian species such as white breasted Kingfisher, Grey Partridge, golden backed woodpecker and the Sand Grouse. Four-horned antelope, leopard, hyena rhesus macaque, langur and the jungle cat can also be spotted here.

Satpura National Park , Madhya Pradesh

A good place for Tiger Safari in India is Satpura National Park, which is located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. It has been named after the Satpura range and covers an area of 524 sq km. This national park was primarily established for the conservation of Tigers in the year 1981 as it had quite a large population of these giant cats. The terrain of the national park is very rugged and consists of captivating deep valleys, sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, rivulets, waterfalls, dense green forest of Sal and other medicinal herbs. Besides tigers, there are a wide variety of wild animals in the park.

Nameri National Park, Assam

The 3rd largest National Park in the state, covering an area of 200 sq. km, Nameri National Park is another place in the country for tiger safari. Sharing its border with the state of Arunachal Pradesh, it is the foundation area of Nameri Tiger Reserve adjoining the Pakhui (Pakke) Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh. With semi-evergreen, soggy deciduous forests with cane and bamboo and narrow strips of open grassland along rivers, it is an abode of over 300 species of birds, which makes it a haven for Ornithologists and birders. It is also known as the “Last house of White Winged Wood Duck” as it is the only place on earth where White Winged Wood Ducks, an endangered species can be found. In the year 1999, 37 tigers were recorded in the park and a visit to this park can be really enchanting.

Nagarhole National Park , Karnataka

Nagarhole National Park is another place in India, which can be visited for tiger safari. It lies in the conjuncture of the two districts of Karnataka, namely Mysore and Kodagu, forming a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It covers an area of 643 sq km and is also among the Project Tiger reserve of India. Located between the latitudes 12°15'37.69"E and longitudes 76°17'34.4"N, the boarders of Nagarhole National Park states from foothills of the Western Ghats spreading down the Brahmagiri hills and south towards Kerala state. Once the hunting ground for the kings of Mysore; this park was declared as the thirty seventh Project Tiger reserve in 1999. Considered as one of the best wildlife parks in India, this national park is the home to the largest number of bison and elephants. It is an abode of a variety of mammals and about 250 species of avifauna. Officially known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, this park is an abode of the endangered Royal Bangal Tiger and Nagarhole National Park in conjunction with Wayanad, Bandipur and Mudumalai, forest reserves has the densest tiger population with the Nilgiri biosphere Reserve having about 48 tigers.

These are some of the best and most popular places in India for Tiger Safari. However, there are many tiger reserves that can be visit to get a glimpse of these enigmatic and giant cats in their natural habitat.
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