Last Updated: June 19, 2018 Rashmi Rai
Whether you are looking for destinations to hide away from the city or finding an action-packed adventure spot or simply searching a peaceful stopage for your summer break, the wildlife holidays in India perfectly fits the bill for all of these. Leave behind the overcrowded tourist destinations and lace up your walking boots to roam around the verdant and diversified wildlife sanctuaries and national parks across the country. Though there are several known and famous names like Jim Corbett, Ranthambore, Kanha Tiger Reserve and many more. But to get the adrenaline rush you must explore the unexplored wildlife destinations in India. It doesn’t matter whether you are thrilled watching a tiger or excited seeing the endangered Great Indian Bustard, these amazing yet unknown wildlife places wonderfully embraces the rich exotic biodiversity. Let’s go through the lesser known wildlife destinations in India and find out what makes them so appealing and adventurous on the same hand.
Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary
Lying in the foothills of Himalayan Mountains alongside the border of India-Nepal, Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the terais of Uttar Pradesh. Covering the parts of Pilibhit, Bahraich and Lakhimpur Kheri districts, the sanctuary is among the 41 tiger reserves in India. It is one of the best place to explore Terai-Duar grasslands and witness savannah eco-system. Offering home to more than 127 animals, over 500 bird species and about 2000 flowering plants, the reserve is a wonderful escape for wildlife enthusiasts.
Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary
Tucked away in the lush vegetation of Western Ghats, Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the finest examples of less explored wildlife destinations in India. Listed as a wildlife sanctuary in December 2011, the area is famous for Barapede Caves, the only breeding area of Wroughton’s free-tailed bat. The sanctuary is situated in Belgaum district of Karnataka and is a habitat of subtropical moist broadleaf and tropical forests. Its woodlands and grasslands offer ideal location to spot Gaur, Sloth bear, spotted deer, wild dogs, Leopard and Fox.
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
The striking landscape and exotic flora and fauna make Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary one of the perfect getaways to enjoy wildlife tours in India. This open-air natural museum is located between Gondia and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra. Tourists can easily spot a large number of wild creatures such as Bison, Sambar, Wild boar, Panther, Sloth bear and of course the big wild CAT along with over 160 avian species and around 36 different types of reptiles.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering the most rugged parts of Aravalli hills in Udaipur, Rajsamand and Pali districts, the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is an asset to India wildlife tourism. The sanctuary covers an area of 578 square km and is known for providing habitat to some endangered species. The park is a great place to enjoy wildlife safari holidays and the visitors here can spot Leopard, Wolf, Sloth bear, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Jackal and jungle cat. An additional attraction of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is LION SAFARI and Kumbhalgarh Fort Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary If you have a keen interest in exploring the richness of Northeast then Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal escape to enjoy wildlife holidays in India. A drive of 13km from Pasighat, the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh, takes you to this distinct wildlife sanctuary, which is basically a series of river islands. This unusual ecosystem of water bodies provide home to a large number of migratory birds from Mongolia and Siberia along with hundreds of reptiles and animals. A wildlife adventure tour to Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary gives you opportunity to explore its alluvial grasslands, wooded areas and life hiding under Siang River (local name of Brahmaputra River).
Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary
When we talk about unexplored wildlife destinations in India, Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is the one that truly deserved to be included in your travel itinerary. This reserved and protected forest area is situated about 60 km from Aurangabad city in Maharashtra. Covering an area of 64,399 acres, the sanctuary is endowed with the beauty of southern tropical dry deciduous forest and grasslands. It is a good place to spot a large number of animals like jungle cat, Wanderoo, Leopard cat, barking deer, Jackal, Fox, Leopard, wild boar and Chinkara.
Mollem National Park
Indulge yourself in the eternal beauty of nature as you wade through the forest canopy of Mollem National Park in search of capturing sight of either Black Panther or Bengal tiger. A drive of about 57 km east of Panaji will take you to Molem town, the nearest place from the park. Originally, the park is the core area of Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and covers around 107 sq. km of area. Full of exotic flora and fauna , the place is a little heaven for those looking for something unusual to do during their Goa trip.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Relaxing yet adventurous, a tour to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is both at the same time. With a canopy of tall trees, light hardly reaches the ground in this protected and reserved area of Goa. It is situated around 2 km away from Poinguinim, a town in Canacona Taluka of south Goa. Covering an area of 86 sq. km that is mainly dominated by mixed deciduous woodland vegetation, the reserve is a lovely hidden place for nature lovers with some rare sights of Sloth bears, Hyenas, Panthers, Gazelles and Porcupines.
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
It is not wrong to say that Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary could be a best place to spot tigers in India. Established in 1975, it is one of most important tiger reserves in the country and is home to several endangered animal species including ROYAL BENGAL TIGER, WILD BISON AND LEOPARD. The sanctuary is a part of Bilaspur Forest Division of Chhattisgarh state and is linked with iconic Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh via Kanha-Achanakmar Corridor. You can easily reach Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary from Bilaspur, which is only about 60 km away via regular road transport modes.
Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1976, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is relatively a small yet important wildlife sanctuary in central India. It is situated in the northern part of district Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh. With a fusion of flat and hilly topography, the sanctuary is popular because of its striking flora diversity that ranges from tropical dry deciduous forest to bamboo groves. There is no shortage of wildlife adventure in this protected area. Flying Squirrels, jungle cat, Indian wild dog, Sloth bear, Sambar, Gaur, Nilgai and many more animal species as well as birds and reptiles live in Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Desert National Park
Among the several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in India, ones that are located in Rajasthan have their distinct charm and eco-system. Desert National Park is one among these distinct protected areas. As the name suggest, the park features a fragile ecosystem consisting of rugged rocks, sand dunes and salt lake bottoms. But despite it, the park supports a large number of avian species including resident birds of desert and migratory birds. However, the main attraction of Desert National Park is the endangered Great Indian Bustard, which is found in relatively good numbers along with Blackbuck and Chinkara. The park is also known for its rich fossil collections dated around 180 million years old.
Indravati National Park
Though there are several best parks to see wildlife in India, if you especially want to explore the central region of the country then simply head to Indravati National Park. Considered as one of the finest protected forest area and a tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh, the park is mainly famous for having the last remaining population of rare Indian wild buffalo. The unique topography of the park also supports a large number of wildlife including both herbivores and carnivores. Visitors can easily approach Indravati National Park from Jagdalpur in Bastar district.
Khangchendzonga National Park
Looking for amazing unknown wildlife places to visit in India then why not visit the striking Khangchendzonga National Park? Named after the mighty mountain Kanchenjunga, the park is one among the few high-altitude national parks in India. Earlier known as Kanchenjunga National Park, the park is located in the North Sikkim District. Along with abundance of flora, mammal and avifauna species, the presence of various glaciers and Lepcha tribal settlements within the biosphere reserve makes it a very interesting place for fun-filled adventure holidays.
Namdapha National Park
When it comes to amazing wildlife places to visit in India, it is hard to ignore the richness and unparalleled beauty of Namdapha National Park. It is not only the third largest national park in the country but is also the leading protected area in the biodiversity hotspot of Eastern Himalaya. The diverse bio-geographical areas, ranging from tropical moist forests to Alpine meadows provides habitat to diversified fauna and avifauna species. The park is home to all four BIG CATS – Leopard, Tiger, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard. There is much more to spot in terms of wildlife adventure at Namdapha National Park of Arunachal Pradesh.
Sanjay National Park
Placed in Sidhi District of Madhya Pradesh, Sanjay National Park is one of the hidden treasures of India’s wildlife tourism. Dense canopy of vegetation that mainly comprising of Sal forests, the park is home to several animals like spotted deer, wild boar, Nilgai, Chinkara and Tiger. Sanjay National Park is also a great place for birdwatchers as there are around 300 bird species, including both common and rare, living within its boundaries. The park, along with Dubri Wildlife Sanctuary, forms Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve.
Published: 02 Jul, 2014
An adventure aficionado from New Delhi, Rashmi is a travel writer who loves to share her expeditions’ memoirs with other travel junkies. She has a special place for India and its rich legacy. With a fascination especially towards adventure activities and delicious aromatic food, she desires to explore every nook and corner of India. Rafting, trekking and paragliding is her favourite activities while Ladakh and Rome are her dream destinations.