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Top 10 National Parks in India for Wildlife Safari


India is a country blessed with abundant wildlife and natural beauty. It is home to some of the world's most amazing and diverse wildlife species, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. With over 100 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, India has a rich and varied ecosystem that provides a habitat for various animals and birds. This article will look at the top 10 national parks for a safari in India.



Best National Parks in India for Safari


#1: Jim Corbett National Park



Jim Corbett is located in Uttarakhand. Established in 1936, it is the first and the oldest national park in India. It is spread over an area of 520 square kilometres and is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, and over 500 species of birds. The park is named after Jim Corbett, a British hunter turned conservationist who played a key role in the park's establishment.


Park Timings: Jim Corbett national park is open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Visitors are advised to check the park timings before planning their trip, as they may vary depending on the season.

Price: Rs 4000 per jeep ( Maximum six people allowed in one jeep) 

Best Season to Visit: Mid-November to mid-June as at this time, the weather is pleasant, and spotting animals is easy. The park is closed during the monsoon season from mid-June to mid-November due to heavy rainfall and flooding.

Jim Corbett is famous for the Bengal tiger, sambar deer, leopards, elephants, and sloth bears.

How to Reach Jim Corbett National Park?

  • The nearest airport to Corbett National Park is the Pantnagar Airport, located approximately 80 km away.
  • The nearest railway station is Ramnagar Railway Station.
  • Visitors can also reach Corbett National Park by road as it is well-connected to major cities in North India. Private taxis and buses are available from nearby cities to the park.


#2: Kanha National Park



Kanha National Park is one of the largest national parks in India, covering an area of 1,945 square kilometres. It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The park is known for its dense forests and grassy meadows and is home to tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and the rare barasingha or swamp deer.


Park Timings: The visiting hours for Kanha National Park are from sunrise to 12:00 pm for the morning safari and from 2:30 pm to sunset for the evening safari.


Price: From Rs 1200 to 2400 (varies depending upon zone)


Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit Kanha National Park is during the winter months from November to February, when the weather is pleasant and the wildlife is more active. However, the peak season for visitors is from December to January. You can plan your visit in April to June when the park is less crowded.


Kanha National Park is famous for tigers, leopards, sloth bears, Indian wild dogs, and Indian bison (also known as gaur). 


How to Reach Kanha National Park?


Kanha National Park is located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. 

  • The nearest airport to the park is Jabalpur Airport, approximately 165 km away. 
  • The nearest railway station is Jabalpur Railway Station, which is around 145 km away from the park. 
  • You can also reach the park by road from nearby cities like Nagpur, Jabalpur, and Raipur.



#3: Gir National Park



Gir National Park in Gujarat is famous for being the only place in the world where you can find the Asiatic lion. It is spread over an area of 1,412 square kilometres and is also home to leopards, hyenas, and several species of deer and antelope.


Park's Timings: The morning safari usually starts around 6:30 am and lasts about three hours, while the afternoon safari starts around 3:00 pm and lasts until sunset. 

Price: Rs 4500 per jeep. (Maximum six people allowed)

Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit Gir National Park is from December to March. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more frequent as the animals come out to bask in the sun. The park is also less crowded during this time, which makes it an ideal time to visit. However, if you want to see the Asiatic Lions, the best time to visit is from April to June as they are more active during this time.

The park remains closed during the monsoon season (mid-June to mid-October) as the park gets flooded and is not safe for visitors.

Gir National Park is famous for Asiatic lions, leopards and jungle cats, chital, sambar, and nilgai.

How to Reach Gir National Park?

Gir National Park is located in the state of Gujarat, India. 

  • The nearest airport is Diu Airport, which is around 100 km from the park. 
  • The nearest railway station is Junagadh, around 60 km from the park. 
  • From both the airport and the railway station, you can hire a taxi to reach the park. Alternatively, you can also take a bus from Junagadh or Ahmedabad to Sasan Gir, the town where the park is located.


#4: Kaziranga National Park



Located in Assam, Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its one-horned rhinoceros. This national park in India is spread over an area of 430 square kilometres and is also home to tigers, elephants, and several species of birds.


Park’s Timings: The park timings for safari at Kaziranga National Park depend on the season. During the winter season (November to February), the park is open for visitors from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. However, during the summer season (March to April), the park timings are from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM.


Price: Rs 1200 for Indians and Rs 2000 for foreigners


 Best Season to Visit Kaziranga National Park: The best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is during the winter months from November to February. The weather during this time is pleasant, and the park is open for visitors. Moreover, during this time, visitors can spot a wide variety of animals as they come out to bask in the sun.


Kaziranga National Park is famous for One-horned rhinoceros, tigers, elephants, and water buffalo.


How to reach Kaziranga National Park?


Kaziranga National Park is well-connected by road, rail, and air. 

  • The nearest airport to the park is Guwahati, which is around 217 kilometres away. 
  • The nearest railway station is in Furkating, about 75 kilometres away.
  • Visitors can also reach the park by bus or taxi from Guwahati or Jorhat.



#5: Bandhavgarh National Park



Located in  Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the most popular national parks in India. The park is known for its high density of tigers and is also home to leopards, deer, and several species of birds.


Park’s Timings: Bandhavgarh National Park offers two safari timings in a day, morning and evening. The morning safari starts at 6:30 AM and ends at 10:30 AM, while the evening safari starts at 2:30 PM and ends at 6:30 PM

The park remains closed on Wednesday evenings.


Price: Rs 2450 for weekdays & Rs 3050 for weekends. For foreigners: Rs 4850 for weekdays & Rs 6050 for weekends.



Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit Bandhavgarh National Park is from October to March, during the winter season. The weather during this time is pleasant, making it an ideal time for wildlife sightings. However, the park remains open from October to June.


Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for tigers, leopards, and sloth bears. The park is also a bird watcher's paradise, with over 250 species of birds in the area.



How to Reach Bandhavgarh National Park?

  • The nearest airport is in Jabalpur, about 200 km away. 
  • The nearest railway station is in Umaria, about 35 km away. 
  • One can also take a bus or hire a taxi from nearby cities like Jabalpur, Katni, or Satna.



#6: Sunderbans National Park



Located in the state of West Bengal, Sunderbans National Park is the largest delta in the world and is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. The park encompasses an area of 4,260 square kilometres and is also home to several species of deer, monkeys, and birds.


Park's timings: The park's timings for safari are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The best way to explore the park is through a guided boat safari.


Price:  The entry fee for Sunderbans National Park is Rs 60 per person for Indians and Rs 200 per person for International Tourists.



Best season to visit: The best time to visit Sunderbans National Park is during the winter months, from December to February. The weather is pleasant, and the chances of spotting wildlife are higher. However, the park remains closed during monsoons (June to August) due to heavy rainfall and high tides.


Sunderbans National Park is famous for its Royal Bengal Tigers, saltwater crocodiles, spotted deer, wild boars, and a variety of birds.



How to reach Sunderbans National Park:

  • The nearest airport to Sunderbans National Park is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. 
  • From Kolkata, you can take a train to Canning or Namkhana; from there, you can take a boat to the park. 
  • Alternatively, you can also hire a car from Kolkata to reach the park.



#7: Periyar National Park



Located in Kerala, Periyar National Park is known for its picturesque beauty and diverse wildlife. The park is spread over an area of 777 square kilometres and is home to tigers, elephants, leopards, and several species of birds.


Park Timings: Periyar National Park is open every day of the week from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The best way to explore the park is through a safari, which is conducted twice a day from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Visitors are advised to reach the park at least half an hour before the safari timings to complete the formalities.


Price: 

The entry fee for Periyar National Park for adults is Rs 45 per person, while for children (aged 5 to 12), it is Rs 15 per person. 

For foreigners, the entry fee is Rs 300 per person for adults and Rs 125 per person for children (aged 5 to 12).



Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit Periyar National Park is during the winter months of October to February. The weather is cool and pleasant during this time, making it perfect for exploring the park. The summer months, March to June, are also good times to visit, but the weather can be hot and humid. The monsoon season from June to September should be avoided as heavy rainfall can disrupt the safari and other activities.


Periyar National Park is famous for elephants, tigers, leopards, sambar deer, and bison. 


How to Reach Periyar National Park?


Periyar National Park is located in the state of Kerala, in southern India. 

  • The nearest airport is Madurai Airport, which is about 140 kilometres away. 
  • The nearest railway station is Kottayam, about 114 kilometres away. 
  • From both these points, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the park. The park is also well-connected by road and can be reached by hiring a private vehicle or taking a bus from nearby cities.


#8: Pench National Park



Located in Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park is famous for its tiger sightings and is also home to leopards, wild dogs, and several species of birds. The park is spread over an area of 758 square kilometres.


Park's Timings: During summer (April to June), the morning safari starts at 5:30 am and ends at 10:30 am, while the evening safari starts at 3:00 pm and ends at 6:00 pm. In winter (October to February), the morning safari starts at 6:30 am and ends at 11:00 am, while the evening safari starts at 2:30 pm and ends at 5:30 pm.

Price: A Jeep safari costs around Rs. 4,000-5,000 for six people. 

Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit Pench National Park is from October to June. The peak season is from November to March when the weather is pleasant, and the wildlife is easily spotted in any national park in India.

Pench National Park is famous for its tigers, leopards, wild dogs, spotted deer, sambar, and barking deer. 

How to Reach Pench National Park?

Pench National Park is well-connected by road and air. 

  • The nearest airport is Nagpur, which is about 90 km away. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Nagpur to the park. 
  • The nearest railway station is Nagpur, and you can take a taxi or bus from there. 
  • The park is also accessible by road, and you can drive from Nagpur or Jabalpur.



#9: Ranthambore National Park



Located in Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best national parks in India to spot tigers in India. The park is spread over an area of 392 square kilometres and is also home to leopards, hyenas, and several species of deer and antelope.


Park’s Timings: The morning safari starts at 6:30 am and lasts for about three hours, while the afternoon safari begins at 2:30 pm and continues till 6:00 pm. Visitors are advised to arrive at the park at least 30 minutes before the safari starts time to complete the necessary formalities.

Price: For Indians, the fee ranges from Rs 1000-1500, while for foreigners, it ranges from Rs 2000-2500. 

Best Season to Visit: The best time to visit the park is from October to June, with November to February being the peak season. During this time, the park remains open for visitors, and the weather is pleasant, with minimal rainfall.

Ranthambore National Park is famous for Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, Indian wild boars, and striped hyenas. 

How to Reach Ranthambore National Park?

  • The nearest airport to Ranthambore National Park is in Jaipur, about 180 km away. From Jaipur, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town to the park. 
  • Sawai Madhopur also has a railway station that connects it to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur. From Sawai Madhopur, visitors can take a taxi or hire a jeep to reach the park.


#10: Valley of Flowers National Park



Located in the state of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers National Park is a beautiful and unique national park home to a wide variety of alpine flowers. Spread over 87.5 square kilometres, the park is also home to several species of birds and mammals.


Park's timings: The park timings for safari are from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Price: The entry fee for Indians is Rs 150 per person, while for foreigners, it is Rs 600 per person. There are additional charges for cameras and vehicles.

Best season to visit: The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park is from mid-July to mid-August when the flowers are in full bloom. The monsoon season brings lush greenery and a variety of flowers to the park. However, it is advisable to avoid visiting during the peak monsoon months of July and August due to the risk of landslides and flooding.

How to reach The Valley of Flowers National Park?

The Valley of Flowers National Park is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India.

  •  The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 285 km away. 
  • The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, about 276 km away. 
  • From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to the park. The park is also accessible by road from Joshimath, about 17 km away.

The Valley of Flowers National Park is famous for the Asiatic black bears, Himalayan musk deer, snow leopards, and blue sheep. 



Conclusion

In conclusion, India is a treasure trove of wildlife wonders, and these national parks in India offer an excellent opportunity to explore India's rich and diverse wildlife. So, whether you're a wildlife enthusiast or just looking for a unique adventure, visit one of these top 10 national parks for a safari in India. And for those searching for "safari park near me" or "animal parks near me," there are many options available depending on your location, from local zoos to wildlife sanctuaries.


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