Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur is probably India’s most romantic city. Formerly called Mewar, this city has also acquired the tag ‘The city of Palaces’. A visit to this city is reliving the era of royalty and an experience hard to forget. Here are some top attractions waiting for you, to be explored:

Things to do in Udaipur

City Palace

This imposing beauty towering over the lakes is quite a sight. Graceful balconies, towers and cupolas surmount Rajasthan’s largest palace and the architecture is bound to leave you awestruck. Constructed by Maharaja Udai Singh II, the founder of the city, this palace now has two authentic palace hotels and the city palace museum.

Crystal Gallery

The crystal gallery in the palace showcases the crystal collection of the Royal family which is probably hailed as the only private collection of crystal in the world. This collection consists everything from furniture, dinner sets, perfume bottles and even the only crystal bed in the world! Another amazing fact is, this was customized for the Mewar house and hence the crest of Mewar is etched on each of these crystal objects.

Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake

These are Udaipur’s most popular manmade lakes and the panorama is marvelous. One can go for boats ride from various ghats. Jagmandir and Jagniwas, on lake Picholaare islands which now hold luxury hotels and are open for visitors. The city palace stands on jagniwas island.

Bagoreki Haveli

It was constructed by the Prime minister of Mewar. Located at Gangaurghat, this architectural splendour has been converted to a museum. Inside the Haveli are more than 100 rooms, courtyards, terraces with frescoes and fine mirror work of the Rajput era. It also has a puppet gallery and turban collection with world’s biggest turban. Every night a puppet show and folk dance performance is held there. Make sure you don’t miss that!

Monsoon Palace

As the name suggest, this was the royal home for the monsoon season and is also known as Sajjan Garh. Perched high on a hill, this place is not very well kept but is a popular sunset point due to its magnificent view of the city. For the movie buffs, this palace was also featured in James Bond’s movie Octopussy as the villain’s house. Ring any bell?

Shilpigram

Shipigram, the rural art and crafts village is located 3 kms away from the city. It was set up by the government and showcases Rajasthan’s rural life and traditions along with some other states. The complex has many huts each of which represent a different state. Artisans sell their work here and conduct folk performances. Every year in the month of December, the craftsman hold a fair.

Shopping

Udaipur is famous for miniature paintings done on paper, wood, cloth and stone. Scores of shops are found selling miniatures. Silver jewellery, paper mache, block printed clothes, wooden and stone statues are also on offer. You could explore the array of shops outside the City palace.  A visit to the government run Rajasthani store may prove to be worthwhile.

If you have a little more time to spare on sightseeing, we suggest you go about the following places too:-

Saheliyon Ki Bari

This quaint little garden was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. It has fountains, kiosk, marble elephants and a gorgeous lotus pool.

Ahar

About 2 kms away from the Udaipur, it lies over 250 cenotaphs of the Rulers of Mewar. This city of domes is obviously worth a visit. Nearby are the remains of Sisodiya’s capital and a museum.

Jagdish Temple

North of The city palace lies this Indo- Aryan temple with a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagganath, lord of the universe.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum

A small museum showcasing tribal art, jewellery, musical instruments etc.

How to Reach Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

By Air:

The nearest airport to Nagzira is Nagpur which is 120 kms (2 hours and 30 minutes) and has a good connectivity throughout the country.

Additional info
Nagpur to Delhi – 2 Hours
Nagpur to Mumbai – 1 Hour 30 minutes

 

By Rail:

All major cities throughout the country are well connected with nearby railway stations to Nagzira.

Additional info
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary to Gondia– 2 hours (25 kms)
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary to Nagpur – 2 hours 30 minutes (120 kms)
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary to Bhandara Road –1 hour 30 minutes (50 kms)
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary to Soundad–1 hour (20 kms)

By Road:

The major and the closest city to the Park is Nagpur which is just 120 kms by road. It is situated 22 kms away from Sakoli via NH 6 (route of Bombay – Kolkata). Gondia is another city which is close to Nagzira which is 60 kms away.

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How to Reach Satpura National Park

By Road

The main gate of the Satpura National Park is Madhai entrance gate, which is about 18 kms inside from Jabalpur – Hoshangabadroad. One can reach Bhopal or Jabalpur by air or train and drive to Madhai entrance gate of Satpura National Park.

Additional info
Satpura National Park to Bhopal via NH 69 – 180 kms (5 hours)
Satpura National Park to Jabalpur via NH 69 – 360 kms (8 hours)

By Rail

Satpura falls enroute of Howrah – Mumbai rail track. It has nearby railway stations like Sohagpur (18 kms), Hoshangabad (45 kms), Itarsi (65 kms) and Pipariya (40 kms). One may also take a train to Bhopal (210 kms) and drive from there.

Additional info
Satpura National Park to Sohagpur Railway Station – 4 hours
Satpura National Park to Hoshangabad Railway Station – 3 hours
Satpura National Park to ItarsiJunction – 3 hours
Satpura National Park to Pipariya Railway Station – 4 hours

By Air

The nearest airport to Satpura is at Bhopal which is 210 kms(5 hours) and other airport close by is at Jabalpur which is 260 kms (7 hours). Both the airports have direct flight connectivity with major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai.

Additional info
Bhopal to Delhi – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Bhopal to Mumbai – 1 hour 30 minutes
Jabalpur to Delhi – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Jabalpur to Mumbai – 2 hour

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Bandhavgarh National Park

Planning on travelling in the wild? Get up close with tigers this time, at Bandhavgarh National Park. Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the most popular national parks and the best-known tiger reserve located in central India. It boasts to have the highest density of tiger population in the country.

It is blessed with varied landscape encircled by cliffs and wooded Vindhya Mountains, grasslands, densely packed bushes and trees, forts and caves that form the iconic attraction. The beautiful scenarios of this Indian Wildlife Park offer picturesque view to the tourists and nature lovers.

Bandhavgarh National Park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which was handed over by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshman. Hence the name, Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother’s fort).

Apart from various denizens and varied flora of the forest, Bandhavgarh is famous for its rich history.The history of Bandhavgarh National Park can be traced back to the 1st century. There are 39 caves in the Bandhavgarh fort and in the surrounding hillocks up to a radius of about 5 km. Bandhavgarh fort is thought to be more than 2000 years old and there are references to it in the ancient books, the “Narad-PanchRatra” and the ”Shiva Purana”.The fort houses the 10th century rock images of incarnations of Vishnu. A temple at the top of the hill inside the fort is open for public on Ram navmi (a Hindu festival).

It was ruled by various dynasties over a long period of time with Baghels being the last rulers who shifted their capital to Rewa in 1617. Before becoming a national park in 1968, this forest was a game reserve maintained by Maharaja of Rewa and was used as hunting grounds for himself  and his guests. It was constituted in Project Tiger in 1972 and various steps have been taken for its conservation since then.

Flora & Fauna

Tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild dogs, nilgai, muntjac, sambar, wild boar, jackal, fox, rhesus macaque, black-faced langur (Hanuman langur), jungle cats, hyenas, Indian fox, porcupines, ratels and a variety of other mammals and birds are found here.

The vegetation of Bandhavgarh National Park is specially filled with sal forest in the valleys and bamboo stretches on the lower slopes of the region. While half of the forest is being covered with fine trees of saldhobin, and sajaon the upper slopes of the region.

Bandhavgarh Weather

Summers (April – September): Summers are hot and humid. During summers the maximum temperature goes up to 45°C in May and June and minimum temperature recorded is 23°C.

Monsoons (July – September): Average rainfall of 1133 mm is recorded and the park is closed during this period.

Winters (November – March)
: Winters are pleasant. End of December and January become extremely cold with temperature falling upto 2°C in the month of January. Some rainfall due to the southern cyclones also occurs between the months of November and February.

It is advisable for the tourists to carry heavy woollens  in December and January because the safari vehicles are open. During summers one should carry light clothes preferably full sleeves to protect them from harsh sun.

Tigers in Bandhavgarh

Some Tigers of Bandhavgarh have acquired names just like human beings. The names were given by naturalists or park authorities from time to time. Some tigers such as Sita, Mohini, Charger, B1, B2, B3 and Challenger have become famous throughout the world and attained a celebrity status. Now their off springs such as Bamera(M), Kankatti(F),Blue eyed(M), Banbahi (F) and Sukhipattiya (F) are the prominent ones here. Before even entering the jungle, conversation with the drivers, guides, local residents of the lodge/hotel and village would give you a feeling that life in Bandhavgarh revolves around tigers.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

During October to January migratory birds visits Bandhavgarh. One can view red-headed vultures and other birds along with tigers. There are chances of spotting a tiger in all the zones of Bandhavgarh.

From mid-January to March, weather is quite pleasant. Local birds start appearing as Mahua tree as well as Dhak (Flame of the forest) starts flowering. Animals such as sloth bear, chital, sambar deer also comes to feed on Mahua flowers.

Period from April to June is ideal for tiger sighting. The undergrowth starts vanishing and water resources also get starts drying up. The denizens of the forest are forced to come to active water sources to quench their thirst. One  may be fortunate to get some once in a lifetime sightings nearby water bodies during this time.

Khitauli zone is good for birders as it has water resources such as Bamera dam, Khitauli reservoir.

Bandhavgarh USP

It is known for having the highest density of tigers among tiger in India. Meadows of Chakradhara and Siddhbaba in Tala Range provide excellent opportunities of tiger sighting.

Interesting story about Bandhavgarh

A tiger earned a name “Charger” because of his aggressive nature towards tourist jeeps and elephants. This tiger gives a thrill and adventure to game drives. Although he showed aggression but never injured and it became a legend of Bandhavgarh and died in September 2000. A memorial has been raised in its memory at “Charger Point”.

 

How to reach Bandhavgarh

By Road

Bandhavgarh National Park is well connected from the nearby towns & cities like:

By Rail

The nearest railway stations for Bandhavgarh National Park are:

By Air

The nearest Airport from Bandhavgarh National Park is Jabalpur (200 Kms / 04 Hrs Drive). One can get flights for Jabalpur from major cities of India.

How to Reach Dudhwa National Park

By Road

Dudhwa National Park can be reached from Lucknow, which is around 240 kms in approx. 5 to 6 hours. There are two routes to go, one is via Sitapur-Lakhimpur-Gola-Khutar-Mailani-Palia-Dudhwa ( approx. 248 kms) and another is via Sitapur-Lakhimpur-Bijua-Bhira-Mailani-Palia-Dudhwa (approx. 219 kms).

From Delhi, Dudhwa National Park is approx. 430 kms, It takes around 8–9 hours to reach there via Moradabad – Bareilly – Pilibhit -Khutar -Mailani – Palia-Dudhwa route.

By Rail

Nearest convenient railway stations to Dudhwa is Shahjahanpur which is about 110 km, approx. 3 hours drive from there to Dudhwa via Shahjahanpur-Powayan-Khutar-Mailani-Palia-Dudhwa route.

By Air

Nearest airport in Lucknow (238 km), which is well-connected to major cities in India.

How to Reach Kanha National Park

The park has two entrance gates at its opposite ends, one at Khatia-Kisli and other one is at Mukki. The distance between these two gates is of 40 kms.

By Road

Kanha National Park is well connected from the major destinations of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Chhattisgarh. Jabalpur city(165kms/4 hrs) located in North-west of the park. Raipur located in South-East of Park is about 260kms(6 hrs) from Mukki entrance gate. Nagpur is about 260 kms away from Kanha National Park (Khatia entrance gate).

By Rail

The Nearest Railway Stations for accessing Kanha National Park is Gondia& Jabalpur. Gondia railway station is 145kms/3 hrs drive from Kanha (Khatia Entrance Gate). Jabalpur railway station is 160kms/4hrs drive from Kanha (Khatia Entrance Gate). However, one can take a train upto Nagpur (300 kms) or Raipur (250 kms) as well.

By Air

Kanha National Park can be reached through flights. Some of the nearby airports are Nagpur(300kms/6.5 hrs), Raipur(250kms/6.5 hrs) and Jabalpur(165kms/4 hrs). All these cities are well connected to major cities in India.

How to Reach Kaziranga National Park

By Road

Kaziranga National Park can be approached from either side via national highway 37. This highway leads to Guwahati (220 kms) in the west and to Jorhat (90 kms ) in the east. It is well connected by buses and taxis from both these towns.

By Rail

If one is coming by rail Jorhat (90 km ), Furketing ( 75 km ) and Guwahati ( 220 km ) are the nearest stations.

By Air

Guwahati (220 kms) and to Jorhat (90 kms ) are the closest airports.

How to Reach Keoladeo

 By Road

Bharatpur or Keoladeo Ghana National Park is connected with an excellent network of roads to all the major cities of the Rajasthan as well as the neighboring states like Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Cities like Agra (60-kms, 1 hour), Delhi (190-kms, 4 hours) and Jaipur (180-kms, 3 hours) are well connected to Bharatpur.

 By Rail

The railway station at Bharatpur is about 5 Kms from Keoladeo Ghana National Park and is well connected with all the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra.

 By Air

The nearest airport is at Agra, which is 60-kms away. Other airports include Jaipur (180 kms) and Delhi (190 kms) and are well connected to other major cities in India.

How to Reach LRK

By Road

Dhrangadhra (18kms) from Little Rann of Kutch is well connected to other important places in the State by the State Transport Buses as well as other private luxury coaches.

By Rail

Nearest Railway Station is Ahmedabad (130 kms) from Dhrangadhra, has connectivity to all the major cities in India.

By Air

The nearest airports are Ahmedabad (130 kms), Rajkot (145kms) and Bhuj (200 kms) from Dhrangadhra.

How to reach Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park is situated near Sawai Madopur town(10 kms from Ranthambore) of state Rajasthan. The easiest way reach Ranthambore is to take a train for Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, Which is connected to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai

By Road

The drive from Jaipur to Ranthmbore National Park takes three hours(160 kms). The drive from Agra to Ranthambore takes six hours(250 kms). The drive from New Delhi to Ranthambore via Alwar-Dausa, takes approximately eight hours(370 kms).

By Rail

Sawai Madhopur (10 km) from Ranthambore National Park is on the main rail line between Delhi and Mumbai and is also well connected to Jaipur. There are regular super fast trains like Jan Shatabdi, Rajdhani between these destinations. The travel time from Sawai Madhopur to Jaipur is approximately 2.5 hrs, to Delhi is 5 hours and to Mumbai is around 15 hours by train.

By Air

The closest airport is Sanghaner Airport in Jaipur, which is 180 kms(3.5 hrs drive). Delhi Airport is 350 kms(approx 5 hrs drive) from Ranthambore National Park.

How to Reach Chambal

By Road

Dholpur is situated on NH-3 between Agra and Gwalior. Distance from some important nearby cities is as follows: Delhi-260 Km, Jaipur 300Km, Bharatpur – 100 Km, Agra-60 Km, Gwalior-60 Km, Jhansi-160 Km.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is in Dholpur. Some major trains from places such as Delhi, Mumbai etc. stops here. Alternately one can take a train to Agra (60 km) or Gwalior (60 km) or Bharatpur (100 km), which are well connected to all the cities throughout India.

By Air

Nearest Airport is in Agra (60 Km) and Gwalior (60 Km) and is connected to Mumbai (position as in July 2014). New Delhi airport is 270 km away and is connected with all the cities in India.

 

How to Reach Panna

The park has two entrance gates for the tourists, one at Madla, it is more popular and has good accessibility from nearby major destinations,other one is at Hinouta. The distance between these two gates is about 40 kms.

By Road

The drive from Khajuraho to Panna Tiger Reserve (Madla gate) takes less than an hour (37 kms).The drive from Jhansi and Orchha to Panna (Madla gate) takes four hours (approx. 180 kms). Bandhavgarh is about 260 kms away from Panna National Park (Madla entrance gate).

By Rail

The nearest railway stations are Khajuraho, 37 kms from Panna National Park, which has limited connectivity and Satna, 90 kms from Panna National Park,which is a major railway station and is linked to various places in central and western India. Jhansi located at 180 km away from Panna is also a major station and has very good connectivity.

By Air

Airport at Khajuraho (37km) is the closest to Panna National Park. It has connectivity from few major airports – Varanasi, Delhi, Agra etc. Jabalpur located about 230 kms (5 hrs) from Panna is well connected to various cities in India.

How to Reach Rajaji

By Road

There is good bus service as well as taxi service available between Delhi (220 km away) and Haridwar (8km away). Lucknow is located at a distance of 510km from Haridwar. The way from Delhi to Rajaji National Park is via Meerut, Khatauli, Muzaffar Nagar, Roorkee, Haridwar to Chilla located on the other side of the river Ganges.

By Rail

Chilla range is 8 Kms from Haridwar Railway Station which is well-connected to major cities. Other close railheads are at Rishikesh (18 Kms) and Dehradun (56 Kms).One can also opt to travel by train up to Delhi and come by road to Haridwar.

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (56 km away from Chilla Range) has a daily 55 minutes flight from Delhi. Airport at Delhi has good domestic as well as international connectivity.

How to Reach Sariska

By Road

Closest city to Sariska is Alwar, which is around 37 kms away. If you are travelling from Delhi, Sariska is around 200 kms whcih will take approx four hours by car. From Jaipur, it is around 107 kms via Shahpura , it will take nearly two hours.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Alwar (37 kms) from Sariska Tiger Reserve. Other stations, through which Sariska can be reached, include Jaipur (110 kms) and New Delhi (195km) which is a major railway hub and is connected to many places in central and western India.

By Air

The airport closest to Sariska Tiger Reserve is at Jaipur (110 kms). All major cities have flights to Jaipur. The airport at New Delhi is situated at a distance of 175 kms and has connectivity throughout India and major cities worldwide.

How to reach Bandipur National Park

By Road

Mysore is located approximately at a distance of 80 kms from the National Park which takes 2 hours. If you are travelling from Bangalore, it will take 5 hours to reach a covering distance of 230 kms.

Additional info
From Ooty to Bandipur – 50 kms (1 hour 30 minutes)
FromKozhikode to Bandipur – 140 kms (4 hours)

By Rail

The nearest railway station to Bandipur is Mysore (79 kms), Coimbatore (135 kms) and also Bangalore (230 kms). These cities are well connected to many places in central and western India.

By Air

The closest airport to Bandipur is Mysore which is 70 km. Bengaluru Airport is also nearby and has direct flight connectivity to major cities throughout India.

Additional info
Bengaluru to Delhi – 2 hours and 30 minutes
Bengaluru to Mumbai – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Bengaluru to Chennai – 45 minutes

How to Reach Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

By Road

Closest city is Nagpur (150 Km/ 3 Hrs Drive) and closest town is Chandrapur (45Kms/ 1 Hr Drive).

By Rail

Closest Railway station is in Chandrapur (45Kms/ 1 Hr Drive) but has limited connectivity.  Nagpur is well connected to all the major cities in India by train.

By Air

The nearest airport is Nagpur (150 Km/ 3 Hrs Drive). Nagpur is well connected to all the major cities in India by air.

How to Reach Desert National Park

By Road

Bikaner is 385 km from Desert National Park and takes over six hours to reach. If you are travelling from Jodhpur (296 km), it will take you nearly five hours.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Jaisalmer (30 km) from Desert National Park. Other stations through which the park can be reached, include Jodhpur (291 km) and Bikaner (357 km).

By Air

The airport closest to the park is at Jaisalmer (35 km). All major cities have flights to Jaisalmer. The airport at Jodhpur is situated at a distance of 296 km and has connectivity throughout India.

How to Reach Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

By Road

Tal Chhpar is well connected by roads to major cities in Rajasthan. Jaipur is situated around 215 km from Tal Chappar.

By Rail

The nearest railway station to Tal Chhapar is at Ratnagarh (37 km). Other stations through which the park can be reached, include Churu (85 km) and Bikaner (132 km).

By Air

The airport closest to Tal Chhapar, is at Bikaner (148 km). Bikaner can be reached through connecting flights from Jaipur, Jodhpur and a number of other cities. The airport at Jaipur is situated at a distance of 215 km and has connectivity throughout India.

How to reach Pench National Park

Air:

The closest airport to Pench is Nagpur. The airport is very well connected by flights from Delhi and Mumbai.

Additional info-
Nagpur to Delhi- 2 hours
Nagpur to Mumbai- 1 hour and 30 minutes

Rail:

Nearest railway station is at Nagpur (90 kms ) away and is well connected throughout India.

Road:

One can easily reach Pench National Park from the route of Nagpur via NH7.

Additional info-
Nagpur to Pench National Park – 160kms (3 hours and 30 minutes)
Route –Nagpur – Kamptee – Ramtek – Seoni- Pench National Park

How to Reach Sultanpur National Park

By Road

Sultanpur National Park is 17kms from Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon and around 50kms from New Delhi.

By Rail

Gurgaon railway station is nearest railway station on Delhi- Rewari Railway line. New Delhi Railway station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway stations are also nearby.

By Metro

Take a Metro from New Delhi to Huda City Centre Gurgaon(23 kms from there) and make arrangement for local conveyance from there.

By Air

Nearest Airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport, at New Delhi (35 km)

How to Reach Gir National Park

By Road

Gir National Park is well connected to other important places in the State by the State Transport Buses as well as other private luxury coaches.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations are Junagadh (60 kms ) and Veraval (40 km ). The railway station there receives trains from Ahmedabad and Rajkot, and major cities interstate

By Air

Gir National Park can be reached through flights. Some of the nearby airports are Rajkot (165 kms via Junagadh) , Keshod (90 kms via Veraval) and Diu (110 kms). Ahemdabad airport lies 360 kms away from Gir. All these cities are well connected to major cities in India.

How to Reach Velavadar National Park

By Road

Velavedar is well connected from Ahmedabad (142 km away) around two and a half hours away by Bhavnagar highway.

 

By Rail

Bhavnagar (45 km away) is the nearest railhead, well connected by trains from Mumbai and Ahmedabad apart from Ahmedabad (142 km away) that is very well connected to all the major stations throughout India.

By Air

Nearest airport at Bhavnagar (45 km away) is connected to Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Airport at Ahmedabad (142 km away) is connected well by domestic as well as international flights.

How to Reach Sundarbans National Park

Sunderbans is accessible only by waterway. Gadhkali is the main jetty point. As, it is the most convenient jetty point to reach Sajnekhali Interpretation Center, Forest department tourism office, Watch tower and resorts located on island opposite to Sajnekhali. One has to take a boat from there, which takes around two hours to reach Sunderbans.

By Road

Below mentioned jetty points from Kolkata are at a distance of: Gadhkali (112 km), Namkhana (105 km), Sonakhali (100 km), Raidighi (76 km), Canning (64 km), Najat (92 km).

By Rail

The nearest railway station is at Canning (48 km) away and Kolkata (112 km) away. One can travel by road from Kolkata to the nearest jetty or alternatively take a train to Canning and take a taxi from there to the jetty point.

By Air

Nearest airport is at Kolkata (112 km) around three hours away from Gadhkali Jetty.

How to Reach Nagarhole National Park

By Air:

The nearest airport to Nagarhole National Park is Mysore (95 km), and one can also reach to Bangalore Airport (220 km).

By Rail:

The Park is well-connected to nearby cities in Karnataka, the closest railway station is Mysore Junction.

By Road:

By road one can take route of Madikare (90km) or Mysore.

By Road

Ramnagar (12 km) is the nearest town and is well-connected by road to Delhi (247 km), Lucknow (429 km), Nainital (66 km).

By Air

The closest domestic airport to Corbett National Park is 50 kms away at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar but has limited connectivity. Nearest International Airport is at Delhi (280 km) and is well-connected throughout India and abroad. The other major air link for tourists coming from northern parts of India is at Dehradun (222 km) and Lucknow (429 km).

By Rail

The closest railway station to Corbett National Park is Ramnagar (12 km) and is well-connected to Delhi.

About Bera

Hidden in the belly of Rajasthan, Bera is a small town in Pali district with a considerable number of leopards but very few tourists. Bera was hardly known amongst the wild lifers. However of late it is gaining popularity and also known as leopard country. To photograph leopards in Bera is in the to do list of every wild lifer. It has a classic landscape with Aravalli hills dotting scrub-land vegetation such as cactus and keekar. Hillocks with caves present here provide a perfect habitat for leopards. Close to this village, lie the river Jawai and the Jawai dam. The result of these two structures is a lake-like water body. A scenic place amidst the hills is home to some of the biggest crocodiles apart from a number of resident and migratory birds.

The entire hill locks where leopards have their habitat, is a revenue land and it has not been declared a wildlife sanctuary. Govt. of Rajasthan is in the process of declaring this area as wildlife sanctuary for giving protection especially to leopards, the most elusive cat in the wild.

Flora & Fauna

Leopards, crocodiles, nilgai, hyena, jungle cat, Indian grey mongoose, sloth bear, owl, osprey, egret, pond heron, Indian robin, black shouldered kite, parakeet, common sandpiper, house sparrow, sarus crane, large cuckoo shrike, pelicans, ruddy shelduck, greylag goose, pelicans,  Asian openbill stork, common sandpiper, grey-headed canary fly-catcher, Indian pond heron, black ibis, red throat-ed fly-catcher, and oriental magpie robin.

Bera Weather

Summers (March to June) are very hot with the mercury level rising up to 45°C. While Monsoons (July to September) offer medium rainfalls. Winters (November to February) are quite cold with temperature going down as low as 2°C in December and January. November and February are pleasant with slight cold in mornings and evenings. Heavy woolens are advised during winter months and light cotton clothing is recommended during summers.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

There is no restriction for viewing wildlife in any time of the year. But during summer, the weather is unbearably hot so the sightings too reduce, as leopards prefer staying hidden in their shelter. During the months of October, November and February, weather is quite pleasant and one can see leopards for long duration without any difficulty. The months of December and January are quite cold but one can not only see the elusive cat, but also enjoy migratory birds in the waters of Jawai dam.

Why Travel to Bera?

Before Bera came into prominence, Nagarhole National Park was known for best of the sightings of leopard. But Bera has surpassed Nagarhole. In fact one can spend the entire duration of morning or evening safari observing leopards. It is also good place to see birds such as flamingoes, sarus crane, bar-headed geese, ruddy shelduck and around waters of Jawai Dam which itself is surrounded by picturesque hills. Crocodiles are also seen basking on the boulders.

How to Reach Bera

Bera is located around 140 kms from Udaipur, situated in Rajasthan state. Road from Udaipur.

Reach Bera by Road: Bera can be reached from Udaipur (140 km) in a little over two hours.

Reach Bera by Rail: Jawai Bandh (28 km), Falna (40 km) and Udaipur (140 km) are the closest railway stations to Bera. These stations are connected to the bigger cities in Rajasthan.

Reach Bera by Air: The nearest airports to Bera are Udaipur (161 km), Jaipur (398 km), New Delhi (607 km). All these cities are well connected to major cities in India.

Trip Reports on Bera

Cat Me If You Can – by Vinod Goel

Activities in Ranthambore

Jungle Safaris in Open Gypsy

One of the best way experience Jungle is to do a open gypsy safari. Maximum six Particpants can sit in a gypsy apart from drivar and mendatory forest guide.

Note: There is sharing system in Ranthambore i.e. you have to share your vehicle (Gypsy or Canter) with other visitors unless you have a group to full board the vehicle. The gypsy/canter will pick you from your resort as well as others from their respective resorts.

Jungle Safaris in open Canter

Canters are bigger from of gypsy which can accomodate 20 travelers.

Note: There is sharing system in Ranthambore i.e. you have to share your vehicle (Gypsy or Canter) with other visitors unless you have a group to full board the vehicle. The gypsy/canter will pick you from your resort as well as others from their respective resorts.

Apart from Jungle safaris, one can engage oneself in other activities such as seeing archaeological monuments, temples, nearby birding places.

Ranthambore Fort Visit

Built in 944 AD, the Ranthambore Fort is a massive fort situated on top of a hill. The fort lies between the Vindhya Plateau and Aravali hills and is about 700 ft. high from the surrounding area. Ranthambore Fort is a must visit. If you are an archeological enthusiast, you would definitely enjoy everything this historic monument has to offer.

The fort is spread across 7 kilometers and is home to many Hindu and Jain temples, and a mosque. You can enjoy a marvelous view of the National Park from the fort. In 1964, the Archeological department undertook the upkeep of this extravagant Rajput fort and it has been marveling tourists ever since.

You can reach the Fort premises by open gypsy available at Ranthambore or by private vehicles too, but be prepared to take the stairs to enter the Fort. You will spot three artificial lakes inside the fort that solely rely on water harvesting for supply.

The aerial view of the jungle makes the Fort an ideal place to spend time with your loved ones. To explore the vastly spread Fort better without missing out any important sight, opt for a guided tour.

Ganesh Temple Visit

The vast magnificent Ranthambore Fort houses a Ganesh temple at its center that attracts devotees from all over the world, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. You can find postmen bringing up sacks of letters and mail to the temple sent by devotees to Lord Ganesha, which is a unique spectacle to experience.

Amreshwar Mahadeo Temple Visit

Situated on the road to Ranthambore from Sawai Madhopur, Amreshwar Mahadeo Temple is one of the most famous religious attractions near Ranthambore. As its name says, Lord Mahadev or Lord Shiva is the prime deity worshipped here. Apart from the historical and religious importance, the beautiful groves, waterfalls and lovely hills seen in its vicinity make the temple visit spectacular.

Visit to Surwal Dam

Surwal Dam is situated 25 Kms away from Ranthambore. This beautiful, mesmerizing, seasonal lake is ideal to visit from November to March. The lake is a paradise for birds especially during winter season. Plenty of migratory birds including Flamingos, Black-headed Gull, Pelican – Dalmatian and Rosy, Tern, Lark, Pipit, Raptor and Chestnut Bellied Sand grouse can be seen here. Another significance of this place is the picturesque view of sunrise and sunset it offers.

Blackbuck Safari

Around 14 Kms from SawaiMadhopur and near to Surwal villages lies – Deopura, a place famous for being home to Blackbucks. These beautiful creatures generally prefer to wander in open spaces than forests, so you may not be able to find them inside the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. However, as Deopura is close by, you can take a trip to the place in a 4×4 gypsy and with the help of a local guide explore the village, understand their culture and get a closer look at the magnificent Blackbuck.

Chamatkarji Jain Temple

Sawai Madhopur houses the very famous historic and religious attraction, the Chamatkarji Jain Temple. The temple was built-in order to worship Shree Adinath Bhagwan and has Tirthankaras idols as the prime attraction. It is believed that the temple has many miraculous powers and any wish made at this temple will be fulfilled; hence the name ‘Chamatkar’, meaning ‘miracle’.

Apart from this temple, Sawai Madhopur has many other Jain temples too, including the Mahavirji temple worshiping Lord Shantinath and those located inside the Ranthambore Fort.

Kala Gaura Bhairav Temple

Kala Gaura Bhairav temple is one of the most mystical temples in India as Tantrik rituals are practiced here. Situated in SawaiMadhopur, this temple has a beautiful structure and architecture. The temple is dedicated to the Bhairav brothers – Kala Bhairav and Gaura Bhairav. Their idols are worshipped here along with those of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga. It is considered to be auspicious to send an invitation to Lord Ganesha here before any personal ceremony. Many devotees request the priests to read out invitations before the Ganesha idol.

Amli Deh on Banas River

Amli Deh is one of the best spots in Sawai Madhopur for birding. Located around 40 Kms away from the town, Amli Deh is a natural habitat to varieties of birds and animals including Indian Skimmers and River Lapwings. Apart from bird watching, Amli Deh offers recreation opportunities like boating on the very famous Banas River and camel rides in the deserts. The countryside can also be considered as the perfect picnic spot for those who rejoice in peace and serenity.

Pali Ghat

Pali Ghat on the famous Chambal River is an excellent destination for those seeking tranquility and serenity. Hop on to the boat rides with a picturesque view that can take your breath away. The large Indian crocodiles – Gharials, can be seen at Pali Ghat, hence it is also known as Gharial Sanctuary. Pali Ghat, with its river view and natural beauty is one of the most serene places to visit in the region.

Fort of Khandar

On the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park stands the majestic and historic Fort of Khandar. It is worth a visit especially during the winters. Through the forest, you can reach the Fort in an open gypsy viewing the natural beauty and wildlife around. The Fort of Khandar offers a stunning view of the nearby areas. It also has a Jain temple inside. You can also visit the resettlement area of the communities of Kailashpuri and Gopalpura, who left the area in order to provide a habitat to the tigers to flourish.

Mansarovar

Inside the boundaries of Ranthambore National Park and on the way to Khandar Fort sprawls Mansarovar – yet another birding location in Ranthambore. You can get the best view of nature from here and the place is perfect for photography.

Rameshwar Ghat

RameshwarGhat is 65 Kms away from Sawai Madhopur. It is the meeting place of two rivers –Banas and Chambal. The place is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, as it is the natural habitat for many wild animals and migratory birds including Skimmer. The water body also serves as a habitat for aquatic life including various fishes, endangered river dolphins and crocodiles. Rameshwar Ghat has many temples nearby, making it a quintessential tourist spot.

Village Visit

Sawai Madhopur and Ranthambore have clusters of local villages that can be visited as a part of a separate tour that is often organized apart from the wildlife safari. It is advised to take a local guide along with you who would help you to communicate with the villagers better. You can learn about the lives of the locales who have preserved their traditions till date, without getting carried away by the city buzz.

Pancholas Dam

Pancholas dam is yet another perfect location for keen birders, as you can find many varieties of birds here. The lake and the birds along with the greenery surrounding the dam provide a peaceful atmosphere, giving you surreal flavors of nature.

Get Set for a City Tour

Throughout Sawai Madhopur, there are various breathtaking views and attractions that can make each day of your visit memorable. You can also visit various ancient temples in and around the town that dedicated to different Hindu deities. During the tour to the old city of Sawai Madhopur, you can find various local small-scale industries that focus on pottery, beedi making and so on. There are also shops selling traditional clothes and jewelry that showcase the Indian culture.

Indian Sparrow at Desert National Park Lizard at Desert National Park Chinkara at Desert National Park lizard photography at desert national park

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Bandipur National Park

The Bandipur National Tiger Reserve was formed in the year 1941. Brought in under the Project Tiger in 1973, it is India’s biggest biosphere reserve known as the Niligiri Biosphere Reserve. It is surrounded by Western Ghat Mountains, and is located in the Mysore – Ooty Highway in Karnataka; touching three recognized parks named as Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerela and Nagarhole National Park in the North.

Considerably known as one of the most preserved National Parks of India, Bandipur is famous for having sizable numbers of Royal Bengal Tigers. It is also known as the finest habitat of Asian Elephants.

Flora & Fauna

Flora
With a moderate climate and diverse geographical features, Bandipur has dry deciduous, evergreen forestland and scrub forest. Intermixed with grassy land and bushes, it is a diverse habitat of many plants and vegetation. River Moyar plays a pivotal role in offering life to the needs of all the residents of the forest. Bandipur is famous for Timber but there are many other flowering plants and trees found here such as Kadam Tree, Indian Gooseberry, Crape Myrtle, Axle-wood, Black Myrobalan, Satinwood and many more.

Fauna
The Park is a habitat to a variety of animal species. In the Sanctuary, animals move freely from one part of the reserve to another. One can easily spot wild animals such as Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Indian Gaur, Sambar (deer), Chital, Sloth Bear, Mouse Deer, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel, Four-horned Antelope, Nocturnal Porcupine and Hyena. Apart from these – Panther, Mouse Deer and Osprey are some of the endangered species which are also found here in the Park.
An incredible birding destination, Bandipur National Park is home to over 200 species of avian. To name a few, one can find Grey Jungle Fowl, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Honey Buzzard, Red-headed Vulture, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Brown Hawk Owl, Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Little Spider-hunter, Peacock, Plain Flowerpecker, Woolly-necked Stork, Peafowl, Partridge, Quail, Hornbill and Ibis.
There are other residents which can also be seen here such as King Cobra, Python, Adder, Viper, Rat Snake, Water Snake, Marsh Crocodile, Lizard, and the Monitor Lizard among many others. Wide varieties of butterflies are found in plenty here.

Bandipur Weather

Bandipur has a moderate climate throughout the year.

Summers (March to June) are hot due to a temperature ranging from 25 degrees to 35 degrees. The park is closed in the month of March and April for the fear of forest fires.

Monson (July to September) experiences heavy rainfall. Tourist should avoid this time to visit the park as it will be difficult to sight the animals.

Winters (November to February) in Bandipur are extremely pleasant with temperature ranging between 11 degrees to 25 degrees. It is an ideal time to visit the park.

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Activities in Corbett

Open Gypsy Safari in Forest

In Corbett Tiger Reserve gypsy Safari can be done in different zones, which are:-

  • Dhikala Zone(One has to stay in forest rest house to avail this safari)
  • Bijrani Zone
  • Jhirna Zone
  • Durgadevi Zone
  • Sitabani Zone

Canter Safari in Dhikala Zone.

Elephant Safari in Bijrani and Dhikala Zone.

Elephant Safari in Sitabani Forest.

Garjiya Devi Temple Visit.

The temple is built over a small hill amidst Kosi River. Surrounded by lush greenery and flanked by the gurgle of the river Kosi, Garjiya Devi temple is a beautiful centre of spirituality near Ramnagar. It is located 12 kms from Ramnagar.

Adventure activities

Rock climbing, river crossing, flying fox, bridge fall, jungle cycling, horse riding.

Trekking

Jungle trekking is a wonderful experience in the areas around the reserve forest and along the various hill tracks.
Corbett Museum at Dhangarhi gate – The Corbett Museum at Dhangarhi houses the belongings of Mr. Jim Corbett. Here you will watch the educational details about floras and faunas of Corbett Park with trophies of naturally dead animals i.e. tiger, leopard, tusker, deer, sambar, crocodile etc.

Chhoti Haldwani

Jim Corbett’s home at Kaladhungi around 32 kms from Ramnagar on Nainital Road, is now a museum. Today this unique home is a comprehensive museum housing souvenirs, relics, mementos related to Jim Corbett.Chotihaldwani and its residents are vividly described in the book written by Jim Corbett called “My India”. The trail takes you along the Bour River through the ChotiHaldwani village in Kaladhungi, which was settled by Jim Corbett. The trail offers glimpses into the typical Kumaoni village culture and also provides bird watching opportunities. The trail ends with a visit to Jim Corbett’s home. Today this unique home, is a comprehensive museum housing souvenirs, relics, mementos related to Jim Corbett and his famous exploits.Along the trail one can see the boundary wall, which was constructed by Jim Corbett to protect crops from the wildlife. There is also the house that Jim Corbett built for his associate Moti. One can see a gun gifted to a village man Sher Singh by Jim Corbett.

Corbett Waterfalls

The Corbett Waterfalls, a small but awesome view, is from a height of about 60 feet and is in the backdrop of scenic greenish forest. The area is popular as a camping and picnic site. It is located 35 kms from Ramnagar and 3 kms fromKaladhungi.

Marchula

Thirty kilometres from Ramnagar, Marchula is known as the tip of Corbett National Park and is situated on the banks of the Ramganga River. It is surrounded by mountains and dense forests and is famous for its wildlife. It is a good spot for angling and to catch the mighty Mahaseer.

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About Desert National Park

Do the words “wildlife sanctuary” conjure a picture of dense forests, of tall thickets of grass, of lush greenery? You’re in for a surprise then. Desert National Park is nothing like that. As its name suggests, one-fifth of the park is composed of sand dunes – yellow and shimmery – demonstrative of the fragile ecosystem of the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan. The rest of the landscape consists of scrubby thorns and extinct salt lakes.

Surprisingly, despite such harsh conditions, flora and fauna continue to thrive in the park. Desert National Park is the only place in Rajasthan where the state bird, animal, plant and flower of Rajasthan – the Great Indian Bustard, chinkara, khejra and rohira respectively – naturally exist. Due to the park’s proximity to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, it also plays host to flocks of demoiselle cranes and the houbara bustard in winters.

However, the Great Indian Bustard steals the show due to its endangered status. The tall, graceful bird is found aplenty in this park; it is one of the last spots to have a considerable number of the bustards. Due to the bird’s seasonal migration to local areas, sometimes it can be taxing to spot it.

One of the best kept secrets of the park is its rich herpetofauna. Over 11% of the 456 reptile species found in India, inhabit the national park. Persian gecko, dwarf gecko, Indian spiny-tailed lizard, desert monitor, Sindh awl-headed snake, toad-headed agama and saw-scaled viper.

Desert National park is one of the rare parks that also attract palaeontologists (people who study prehistoric life). Fossils of 6 million year old dinosaurs have been found here. 180 million years old fossils of animals and plants are preserved at Wood Fossil Park at Akal, situated 17 km away from Jaisalmer.

All in all, the Desert National park should be on the must-visit list of every traveller seeking a new and thrilling adventure. Safaris on bullock cart to explore the place is a rare experience to cherish in this park.

Flora & Fauna

Ronj, khair, rohira, dhok, khejra, palm trees, ber, aak shrub and sewan grass

Animals include blackbuck, wolf, chinkara, Indian fox, desert fox, desert hare, desert cat and the long-cared hedgehog.

The birds that can be spotted include the Great Indian Bustard, oriental white-backed vulture, partridges, larks, the sandgrouse, doves, shrikes, bee-caters, chats, babblers, buzzards, falcons, kites and  different species of eagles. These birds are residents of the park. Migratory visitors include demoiselle cranes, the houbara bustard and waterfowls.

About  Dudhwa

It is located in the Terai region of state, Uttar Pradesh. It represents one of the last remaining examples of a highly diverse and productive terai ecosystem and supports a large number of endangered species. The Sal (Shorearobusta) forest is quite dense and grassland comprises about 19% of the park. The wetlands form the third largest habitat. The park is home to one of the finest and best forests in India and thus for nature enthusiasts an exceedingly productive and diverse eco-system with pristine beauty is a dream destination.

Observing the wildlife in open gypsies or on elephant backs offers a thrill of its own at Dudhwa National Park. This picturesque reserve is really a haven for wildlife lovers and eco-biological students.

Sprawling over the vast area of 1,284.3 sq km in Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts of Uttar Pradesh, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is one such destination. Nestling in the Himalayan foothills, Dudhwa is a unique forest reserve.

Comprising Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarnia ghat Wildlife Sanctuary:

Dudhwa National Park

With an area of 490.3 sq km, Dudhwa National Park is the largest among three forest fragments of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. It is one of the few dense forests where endangered species continue to thrive. Tigers, one-horned rhinoceros and barasingha (swamp deer) are the major attractions of the Dudhwa National Park. It is also home to rare species like Bengal florican and hispid hare.

Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary

Covering an area of 227 km, the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary is another part of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The area is covered with green open grasslands and Terai forests. With a miraculous variety of flora and fauna, Kishanpur Sanctuary is home to rare barasingha. One can view these rare animals in the open meadows of Kishanpur Sanctuary.

Katarnia ghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Sprawling over an area of 400.6 sq km, the Terai ecosystem of Katarnia ghat forests comprise lush green grasslands, Sal and Teak forests, wetlands and steaming swamps. Girwa River, flowing through this sanctuary is one of the best places in the world for seeing the gharial in its natural habitat. Mugger crocodiles are also seen though in much smaller numbers, as they prefer stagnant wetlands like the many taals (small lakes) that occur in the sanctuary.

Flora & Fauna

The extensive grasslands, thick forests and wet marshes of the reserve inhabit over 350 species of birds, 37 species of mammals, and 16 species of reptiles.Itis home to a wide variety of endangered and rare species that comprise swamp deer, tiger, leopard, elephant, jackal, civet, sloth bear, chital, sambar, fishing cat, rhinoceros, and hispid hare etc.

Park has a rich bird life, including the swamp florican, Bengal francolin and great slaty woodpecker. Other birds which are found here are painted storks, black and white necked storks, sarus cranes, woodpeckers, barbets, kingfishers, minivets, bee-eaters, bulbuls, hornbill, peafowl, fishing eagle, emerald dove, serpent eagle, orioles, red jungle fowl and many others.

It also has highly fascinating and unique herpeto fauna, represented by wide variety of species such as the Burmese rock python, the banded krait, paradise flying snake and the yellow speckled wolf-snake.

The main flora includes sal, shisham, gulal, baheraand asna.

Dudhwa Weather

Summers (March to May)
Summers are hot with temperatures rising up to 45 °C. Loo (hot dry wind) is prevalent in from mid April to end of May.

Monsoons (mid-June to September)
There are heavy rains during monsoons hence the park remains closed.

Winters (mid-October to mid-March)
Average temperature is around 20 and 30 °C with minimum temperature dropping to 0°C in late December and January.

During the summer months, tourists should preferably carry light cotton clothes. In the winter season people are suggested to carry light woolen during November and February and heavy woolen clothes in December and January.

Tigers in Dudhwa

Although one can see tigers in different wildlife parks of India such as Ranthambore, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Bandipur etc. but the tigers of Dudhwa has distinct beauty as their skin coat has more shining due to the conditions such as cold weather and tall, dense grasslands in the Terai region.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open from 15th November to 15th June.

During winters (November to March), tiger sightings are high as tiger comes out in the open to dry their skin coat, as grasslands are wet because of mist and dew. Large number of birds can be seen in and around the park. Mugger crocodiles can be seen basking lazily on the sandy riverbanks of the Suheli-Neora.

During summers (April to June), apart from tiger and barasingha, there is high probability of seeing Bengal florican, an endangered species in the grasslands. Probability of seeing herds of elephants is also good.

This is one of the best places to see red jungle fowl at any time. One-horned rhinoceros can also be seen during whole season.

Dudhwa  USP

There are five deer species that are found in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. These are swamp deer, spotted deer, hog deer, barking deer and sambar. This is the most unique feature among Indian forests.

Jhaadi Taal(lake) inKishanpur wildlife sanctuary is the place where one can see the maximum number of barasinghas during summer.

One-horned rhinoceros roamed freely up to 1878 in Dudhwa. Then they got extinct on account of poaching and habitat loss. In 1984, they were reintroduced here from Assam and Nepal. At present (as of July 2014) their population is around 30. Other than wildlife sanctuaries or National Parks of northeastern states of India, Dudhwa is the only place where one can see them in wild.

Interesting story about Dudhwa

  • Dudhwa National Park is the outcome of efforts of Sh. Billy Arjan Singh.The area was initially established as a wildlife sanctuary for Swamp deer in 1958. Later on it was declared as National Park in 1977.
  • Billy Arjan Singh who was a hunter who later on turned into a conservationist.
  • He was the first in India to reintroduce zoo born tigers and leopards into the wild at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

About Gir

Mostly famous for being the only abode of Asiatic Lions, Gir National Park has a lot more to offer. Gir National Park has 38 species of mammals, 37 species of reptiles, around 300 species of birds, and more than 2,000 species of insects. Noted ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali reckoned that this area would have been a popular bird sanctuary in the country, had it not been for the lions.

However, the presence of lions has made this sanctuary one of the most protected areas in the country. It acquired the protected status as early as the 1900s, when the Nawab of Junagadh prohibited the killing of lions as their numbers had dropped to a meager 15. Following heroic attempts by the Nawab and the post-Independence ban on lion killing, the numbers have risen to 452.

Gir National Park is also an excellent place for seeing marsh or mugger crocodile in its rivers and in the lake of the Kamaleshwar dam. A crocodile-rearing center is present at Sasan.

While jungles bring images of magnificent greenery and a swirl of colors, Gir strives to be different. Its topography consists of brooding hills, rugged ridges, densely forested valleys and plateaus.

A community called the “Maldharis” lives in the Gir too. This religious pastoral community has cohabited the jungle through the ages, forming a symbiotic relationship with the dreaded lion. While the Maldhari community sustains itself by grazing their cattle and harvesting what they require from the forest, the cat and other predators help itself to their livestock. This practice is readily accepted by the community, who sees it as a fair price for trespassing on another’s land.

Flora & Fauna

Deciduous forests and dry scrub land – the Asiatic Lion’s habitat – comprise 10% of the total area of the park. However, the lions can be spotted near the seven rivers that flow in Gir. The vegetation that grows along the course of these rivers provides for the lion’s prey.Teak is the dominant one here consisting nearly half the forest, with other trees such as khair, simaldhavdotimru, khakhro, amlasamai and kalam, asundro, amlijambuumro and vad. Plenty of “poor quality teak” is found in the northern part of the park, with hard teak trees growing up to 10 m.

The other areas of the park consist of savannah-type grassland lingering between the forests. In regions that receive a good amount of rainfall, the forest is a closed canopy with taller trees. It is particularly true for the central and southwestern parts of Gir.

Asiatic lion, leopard, sloth bear, jungle cat, desert cat, rusty-spotted cats, jackal, striped hyena, common and ruddy mongoose, chowsingha, sambar, chitalnilgaichinkara, wild boar, Indian palm civet, Indian mongoose, porcupine, hare, many snake species including Indian Cobras, python, common ratsnake, keelbacks, Common Indian Krait, Russell’s viper and saw-scaled viper. Other reptiles include fan throated lizard, star tortoise, calotes lizard, monitor lizard, Indian chameleon and common skink.

Birds like great horned owl, Shaheen falcon, tawny eagle, black winged kite and Bonelli’s Eagle are a plenty. Malabar whistling thrush, orange-headed ground thrush, black naped flycatcher, Indian pitta, crested serpent eagle, king vulture, crested hawk eagle, painted storks, paradise flycatcher, pelicans, peafowl, grey and jungle bush quail, black ibis, grey partridge, black-headed cuckoo shrike, nightjar, grey drongo, pied woodpecker, and white-necked stork are also found at Gir National Park.

About  Corbett

Corbett National Park is the oldest national park of Asia established in 1936 and India’s one of the first tiger reserves declared in 1973. It is named after Jim Edward Corbett, a hunter turned conservationist.

Blessed with a wide variety of landscapes due to its geographical location between the Himalayas and the terai, which provide varied habitats such as wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands, it supports diverse ecosystems. Ramganga River flowing through the jungle is the largest of the precious few perennial sources of water in the park and provides the most picturesque views. A dam on Ramganga at Kalagarh forms a reservoir of about 80 sq. km, the backwaters of which reach till Dhikala.It is truly recognized as the “Jewel of the Crown”.

Owning to its unique location, bird population is quite high throughout the year with winter visitors, summer visitors, altitudinal migrants, passage migrants and local migrants.

Flora & Fauna

The main attractions of Corbett National Park are the Asiatic wild elephants, tigers and the wide variety of birds found here. Other commonly seen wildlife includes leopard, sambar deer, spotted deer, hog dear, barking deer, jackal, langur monkey, rhesus macaque, wild boars, peacock etc.Various aquatic species such as mahseer, crocodile, gharial, turtles etc are also found here.

Corbett’s rivers attract specialist birds of prey such as Pallas’ fish eagle and the rare tawny fish-owl. Other water dependent birds like kingfishers, cormorants, storks, terns, shanks, sandpipers, dippers, forktails etc. also frequent the park’s rivers. During winters many long-distance migrant birds throng the Ramganga Reservoir. These are mainly storks, herons, sandpipers, plovers, waterfowl (ducks and geese) and ospreys.

Distinct variation in flora is clearly visible in the park. The lower areas consist of sal and associated forests while as you go higher you encounter progressive belts of mixed forests, chir pine, oak and rhododendron, khair (Acacia catechu) and shisham or sissoo (Dalbergiasissoo) trees which grow on sandy, gravelly areas all along the Ramganga and streams and chaur (local name for extensive savannah grasslands) which is the most unique vegetation of Corbett National Park. More than 600 species of trees, shrubs, herbs, bamboos, grasses, climbers and ferns have been identified in the Park.

Corbett Weather

Winter (Nov – Feb)
(Max. 25°C – 30°C Min 4°C-8°C)

Clear sky with comforting sunshine, good for wildlife viewing between November and December. In January one may see frost on the meadows.While the days are pleasant, nights are fairly cold.

Spring (Mid Feb to April)
(Max. 35°C-40°C Min 9°C-13°C)

Clear weather with excellent visibility and moderate day temperatures.
Summer (May – June)
(Max. 44°C-46°C Min 19°C-22°C)

Hot in the afternoons. Mornings and evenings are pleasant. Long daylight hours facilitate longer wildlife viewing time.

Monsoons (Mid June- October)
The weather becomes quite pleasant with the drop in temperature. The park is closed for the tourists during the rainy season, However, the Jhirna (gate) region of the park is open throughout the year and tourist can visit and enjoy rainy season with wildlife safari.The main reason for closure of the park during the rest of the year is that during the monsoons most of the roads get washed away. Repair work starts after the rains end and it is only by November that roads are back in motorable condition.During monsoons, the humidity soars up to 98 percent, making the weather very sultry.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

Winter (November – March): Days are clear and pleasant, Nights get cold. Great time for bird-watching and tiger sighting.

Summer (April – June): Hot days with pleasant nights. Ideal time for animal sightings, especially elephants and tigers.

Monsoon (July – September): Humid days and nights. Most areas of the park are closed during this time. Good time for walks and trekking. Because of less crowd and rush, good probability of animal sightings. Good for observing flora.

About  Kanha Natioanl Park

Kanha National Park, the biggest park of central India, is the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s unforgettable classic Jungle Book, offers magnanimous sightseeing experiences for the nature lovers.

Kanha National Park is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh. The tropical central highlands of this park make a perfect habitat for the splendors of wild animals including the majestic tigers, wild dogs to countless species of plants, birds, reptiles and insects. However, if one animal species were to represent Kanha, it would probably be the hard ground “barasingha” also known as “the jewel of Kanha”. The barasinghas at Kanha are unique and are found in abundance here. In 1970 successful attempts were made to save the hard ground Barasingha, from extinction. A special enclosure was made inside the forest to encourage the breeding and to protect them from wild beasts.

Diverse landscapes consists of the meadows that are basically open grasslands that have sprung up in fields of abandoned villages, evacuated to make way for the animals, lush forests of sal and bamboo, plateaus and meandering streams. One of the most picturesque locations here is Bammi Dadar, also known as the Sunset Point. Kanha National Park was declared a reserve forest in 1879, became a wildlife sanctuary in 1933 and upgraded to a national park in 1955.

Flora & Fauna

The lowland forest is a mixture of Sal (Shorearobusta) and other mixed forest trees, interspersed with meadows. The highland forests are tropical moist dry deciduous type and of a completely different nature with bamboo on slopes. There are many species of grass recorded at Kanha some of which are important for the survival of barasingha. Dense forested zones with good crown cover has abundant species of climbers, shrubs and herbs flourishing in the understory. Aquatic plants in numerous “tal” (lakes) are lifeline for migratory and wetland species of birds.

Barasingha, barking deer, chitalgaur, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, langur, leopard, sambar, sloth bear, tiger, wild boar, wild dog, Indian hare, blue bull (Nilgai)

Kanha Weather

Like most of the forests of Central India, climate of Kanha Tiger reserve is extreme.

Summers(April-June): Summers are extremely hot and dry with the maximum temperature going up to as high as 46° Celsius.

Winters (Nov- Feb): Winters remains cold and sometime mercury dips to zero degree celsius. Meadows are covered with frost.

Monsoons (mid June-September): During monsoons Kanha receives heavy rains with average rainfall around 1800 mm and the park is closed during this time.

Clothing: Light cotton clothes are advised for visitors in warm weather whereas heavy woolens and jackets are recommended in cold weather.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open from 16th October to 30th June. November to March is the most comfortable time to go and enjoy sighting of tiger, Indian gaur and barasingha. During December & January, one can see courtship of Barasingha. Best sightings of animals are from March to June, as undergrowth is minimum and visibility is maximum. Months of April and May provide a great and almost sure opportunity to see tigers.

Kanha USP

It is the best park in the country to observe barasingha and tiger in the meadows of BishanpuraSondarKanhaSaunf etc. Sighting of wild dogs (Dhole) during summers are treat to the eyes when the undergrowth is almost washed out. It is also one of the best places to observe Indian Gaur in its natural habitat.

Interesting story about Kanha National Park

This park has been the hub for the researchers and conservationists for over a century. Various books such as “The Highlands of Central India” by Captain J. Forsyth, “Wild Animals in Central India” by A. A. Dunbar Brander are based here. After the first ever scientific study of tiger behavior in natural habitat was done by American Scientist namely George B. Schaller for a number of years, the book “The Deer and the Tiger” was published in 1960’s. This book is bible for present day naturalists.

Rudyard Kilping’s classic “The Jungle Book” was written in the backdrop of forests of Kanha and Pench National Parks.

About Kaziranga

Lying in the pockets of the far North East of India, beside the great Bramhaputra River, Kaziranga is one of the most successful examples of wildlife conservation in India and one of the largest strips of protected terrain in the sub-Himalayan belt. The park, which celebrated its first centenary in 2005, has an area of 430 km², mostly covered with marshlands and elephant grass. Thereby, making it the ideal habitat for Kaziranga’s most famous resident – the Indian one-horned rhino.

The population of one-horned rhinoceros had reduced to only 10 to 15 in 1905 and acting on feelings of Mrs. Curzon who could not see rhino but their footprints, it was converted into a reserved forest and later (1940), to a wildlife sanctuary. Now, the population of rhino has exceeded 2000.

Kaziranga has a varied composition. From swamps to tall elephant grass and dense tropical broad leaf forests, from four big rivers, including the Bramhaputra, to little ponds made by floods (bheels), the park has it all. Chapories or elevated regions are also present. Quite a few of them had been artificially made with the help of the Indian Army, to safeguard animals from the frequent floods that occur.

Regarded as the heaven of northeast, the park is very dear to the hearts of people of Assam. That is why it continues to survive the wounds inflicted by both, mankind and nature. Initially exploited by hunters and wrecked by naxalites, the park is now being plundered by poachers who have their eyes on the horns of the rhinos – each one worth more than gold.If you thought only humans are to blame, you’re wrong. Nature charts its own course of destruction. Every year, the Bramhaputra river floods and some animals drown while the others migrate to higher ranges because their natural habitat is destroyed.

Not only the government of Assam expends a huge sum to protect its precious and rare ecosystem but the people of Assam have also contributed to the cause of conservation. Lot of foresters have devoted their lives to protect it. Thereby making it is one of the most thrilling wildlife destinations in India and abroad.

By the end of February, grasslands are burnt and new grass starts growing, so the visibility of Rhinos and other mammals is fantastic in March. The sanctuary truly transforms into a paradise.

Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary – a minuscule 21 km² sanctuary inhabited by India’s only ape, the western hoolock gibbon is also very near to Kaziranga National Park. Apart from gibbon, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, slow loris and three other species of primates are found here. The forest also houses the Malayan giant squirrel as well as leopard, pythons, king cobras and over two hundred bird species, thereby making it a “biodiversity hotspot”.

Flora & Fauna

Mainly four types of vegetation can be found in the park: the alluvial savanna woodlands, alluvial inundated grasslands, tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical moist mixed deciduous forests.Near the Panbari, Kanchanjhuri and Tamulipathar blocks, thick evergreen forests are found. These forests contain trees such as TalaumahodgsoniiAphanamixispolystachyaDilleniaindicaFicusrumphiiGarciniatinctoriaCinnamomumbejolghota, and species of Syzygium. Areas near the Baguri, Bimali, and Haldibari blocks have tropical semi-evergreen forests.Common trees and shrubs are AlbiziaproceraLagerstroemia speciosaDuabangagrandifloraMallotusphilippensis, CratevaunilocularisGrewiaserrulataSterculiaurensBrideliaretusaLeeaindicaLeeaumbraculifera and Aphaniarubra. Common tall grasses are elephant grass, spear grass, the common reed and sugarcanes.

The big five would be great one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Asiatic wild buffalo, swamp deer, Royal Bengal tiger. Other animals include the hog deer, hog badger, jungle cat, fishing cat, civet cat, leopard, sloth bear, leopard, ruddy mongoose, and porcupine.

More than the 500 birds take refuge here. Some of the birds that can be found here include: the Himalayan griffon, oriental honey buzzard, black-shouldered kite, Brahminy kite, black kite, white tailed eagle, Pallas’s fishing eagle and the grey-headed fishing eagle.During winters, the lakes and marshes of Kaziranga are a sight to behold. Migratory birds like bar-headed geese, greylag geese, Ruddy shelduck, Falcated duck, Gadwall, northern shoveller and red-crested pochard, can be spotted in the sanctuary.

Kaziranga Weather

Summers (February to May)
Summers are dry and windy with maximum and minimums of 37 °C (99 °F) and 11 °C (52 °F), respectively.

Monsoons (June to September)
Monsoons are hot and humid with mean rainfall of 2200 millimeters.  During the months of July and August, three-fourths of the western region of the park is submerged under water, due to the rising water level of the Brahmaputra.

Winters (November to February)
Winters are mild and dry with maximum and minimum being 25 °C (77 °F) and 5 °C (41 °F), respectively

About  Keoladeo

Keoladeo Ghana National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary as it was previously known, is one of the most famous tourist stops in India. Parked between the historical cities of Agra and Jaipur, the park receives over a lakh tourist – both human and avian, with avian visitors coming from places as far as Siberia, Europe, China and Tibet. Migratory birds are found in huge numbers here due to Keoladeo’s strategic position on the North-South avian route of India. During the hibernation season, the trees are over flowing with nests. A tree is observed to house up to fifty nests belonging to different species of birds.

The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its incredible biodiversity. Hundreds of large, medium and tiny birds such as darter, cormorant, purple and grey herons reside here. One can see open-billed, painted, white-necked and black-necked stork, spoonbill, white ibis, night heron and other birds busy courting and mating.

However, sarus cranes – the world’s tallest flying birds – takes the prize for the most wonderful display of courting. They come to the wetlands of Keoladeo when water is drying up elsewhere. One can see them in the park during the month of March and April but they leave as soon as monsoon sets in. Only a handful remains at the sanctuary in July. But it is a delight to see the mating pairs court each other, cooing and dancing during this time.

Flora & Fauna

Apart from 375 species of birds, the park also has a rich assortment of floral species – nearly 380 of them. The aquatic diversity too, is excellent. This is an important aspect of the sanctuary as the fish population is crucial to maintaining a steady food source for the birds. Reptiles and amphibians are aplenty. Certain poisonous snakes such as krait, cobra and Russell’s viper are also found in the park.

One can spot herons, bee-eaters, quails, chats, partridges, bulbuls, grey hornbill, babblers. An impressive array of eagles are here too – short-toed eagle, Pallas’ sea eagle, tawny eagle, spotted eagle, Imperial eagle, and crested serpent eagle. Greater spotted eagle has recently started breeding in the wetlands. Shoveler, gadwall, common teal, tufted duck, cotton teal, comb duck, great cormorant, little cormorant, Indian shag, white spoonbill, ruff, painted stork, Asian open-billed stork, darter, oriental ibis, common sandpiper, wood sandpiper, green sandpiper, Siberian crane and Sarus crane are some of the popular birds in the sanctuary.

Keoladeo Weather

Summers (April–June)
Summers are hot with temperature ranging from 38°C to 48°C.

Monsoons (July–August)
Rainfall is less but sufficient and the temperature lowers to about 27°C.

Winters (October–March)
Winters are cold with average temperature around 10°C to 20°C with minimum going up to 3 degrees centigrade in late December and January with thick fog around.

Visitors are advised to carry heavy woollens during winters and light cotton clothes during summer.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open throughout the year and timings are from dawn to dusk. Monsoon is the time when maximum avian activity occurs in the park. July marks the beginnings. About 120 species of birds nest in this park. Some of them are painted stork, open bill stork, grey heron, sarus crane, darters, cormorants, egets, black headed, ibis etc.

More than 400 species of birds have been recorded which includes migratory birds also. August to October are peak months for breeding. In late October, migratory birds start arriving and all arrive by mid December. Therefore best time to see large varieties of birds is from Mid-December to February. By March migratory birds including shovelers, bar-headed gees start their journey to their breeding grounds in Himalayas or Central Asia. From March onwards, breeding season of local birds starts and start becoming hot.

Keoladeo USP

One of the smallest parks (just 29 sq. km) having more than 400 species of birds. It is a gem in India’s ecological crown and one of the richest wetland habitats in world. About 120 species nest in the park. Apart from birds, one can see sambar, cheetal, jackal, neelgai, wild boar, porcupine, fishing cat, here etc.

One of the best places to see rock pythons, barking deer in the sun during winter.

About  Little Rann of Kutch

Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, covering an area of 4954 sq.km is one of the most fascinating and unique landscapes in the entire world. Wild Ass sanctuary located in this Rann is the home of Asiatic Wild Ass or khur, one of the most endangered species in the world. It was established as a sanctuary on 12th January 1973. Little Rann of Kutch is the 15th Biosphere Reserve. Due to its strategic location on bird migration route and its connection with the dynamic Gulf of Kutch, this sanctuary also provides an important feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for a large number of birds. Many parts of the Little Rann of Kutch provide ideal breeding grounds for some of the largest flocks of greater and lesser flamingos. The habitat of Little Rann of Kutch varies from saline desert plains, rocky and thorn scrub, arid grasslands, plateaus to lakes and marshes. There are around 74 elevated plateaus or islands locally called as bets in this sanctuary. It can also be called a large ecotone, transitional land where two different ecosystems gradually meet, in this case marine and terrestrial. The whole area gets flooded during monsoons. The mixing of tidal water from the Gulf of Kutch with the freshwater discharged from the rivers in this area, makes it an important spawning ground for prawns. On the peripherals of the Rann, there are ample salt panes, where salt manufacturers, locally known as ‘Agarias’ prepare salt.

Flora & Fauna

Apart from Asiatic wild ass animals such as black bucks, gazelle, blue bull, desert fox, jackal, jungle cat, hare, wolf, wild boar are also found here. Various lakes provides home to birds such as spotted & Indian sand grouse, Houbara bustard, Francolin partridge, desert wheatear, ducks, steppe eagle, short-toed eagle, vulture, bustard quails, imperial eagle, laggard falcon, flamingos, cranes, pelicans and storks. One of the most threatened birds, the great Indian bustard is also found here in certain protected areas. Vegetation is mostly xerophtic in nature and found only in fringes and bets as saline mudflats don’t support any flora.253 flowering plant species have been listed, out of which the number of species of trees was 18, shrubs-23, climbers/twiners-18, herbs-157 and grasses-37

Little Rann of Kutch Weather

Summers (April – June)
Summers are very hot with average temperatures around 44°C with maximum temperatures going up to 50 °C during day.

Monsoons (July – September)
The amount of rainfall is very less and during the rainy season the area experiences very scanty rainfall.

Winters (October- March)
Winters are very cold especially during late December and January with minimum temperatures approaching  or even dropping below freezing.Woolens in sufficient numbers are required during the winter months.

Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park, famously also called as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is located 93 km away from the Mysore city. Formerly known as a hunting land by the Mysore rulers, it is spread widely between Kodagu and Mysore district of the state Karnataka. Nagarhole derived its name from the word Naga which means snake and Hole which means Stream. This famous National Park has aplenty of forest cover, little streams, valleys and waterfalls.
Located near Bandipur National Park, this park was set up in the year 1955 and also known to be the best preserved National Park in the India. Bestowed with blessed wildlife and beauty, impeccable scenic view of the lake and forest, this park is abundant with living life.

 

Flora & Fauna

Flora

Incredibly rich with plantation and vegetation, the Park comprises of tropical and deciduous forest land.
Rosewood, Teak, Sandalwood and Silver Oaks trees are found in the majority of the park. The presence of the Deccan Plateau and forests like Pala Indigo make the topography quite lush. Other species of flora such as Crocodile Bark and Axle wood can also be found here among other rich plantations. Extended leg of the River Kabini which lies majorly in the forest provides lifeline to the residents of the Park.

Fauna

Nagarhole National Park has a dense population of animals which consists of mammals, reptiles, and avifauna. Within every sq. km, one can find varied residents of the forest. Especially during the summers, Asian Elephants can be seen wandering with their herds. Some of the main attractions of the park are Tigers, Niligiri Thar, Nilgiri Langur, Bisons, Leopards, Wild boar, Deer, Dhole (Wild Dog), Sloth Bear, Slender Loris, Male Gaur, Sambar, Chital, Giant Flying Squirrel, and Porcupines. A complete paradise of birding, the Park is home to approx. 300 species of birds. The National Park has canopy trees with height as long as 30 meters, it attracts lots of rarest species of birds in the forest. One can get enchanted with a view of Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Malabar Pied Hornbill,Crested Hawk Eagle, Scarlet Minivet and Malabar Trogan to name a few. The park is also home to many reptiles such as Common Vine Snake, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, Russell’s viper, Common Krait and Indian Rock Python besides Marsh Crocodile, Monitor Lizard. Many aquatic and terrestrial animals can also be seen who have found solace here in the park, like tortoises, frogs, toads and tree frogs and a myriad insects, and also including some very beautiful butterflies which adds an extra charm to the living beauty of the jungle here.

 

Nagarhole Weather

Nagarhole has a pleasant weather all-round the year.

Summers (Mar-Apr), the temperature is slightly warm and never exceeds more than 40 degrees.

Monsoons (Jun-Sep) are quite moderate and due to the hot and humid atmosphere, the park remains closed this time.

Winters(Nov-Feb) – The ideal time to visit Nagarhole. This time of the year is very pleasant yet chilly with temperature dropping to a maximum 14 degrees.

Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the finest and preserved Parks in India, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary is known as the ‘Green Oasis’ of Maharashtra. The area of the park covers approx. 152.81 Sq. Km and is located in Bhandra and Gondia district of Maharashtra. With rich as well as diverse nature and impeccable view of landscapes, this wildlife park was declared as the sanctuary in the year 1970. Government of Maharashtra has announced this Park under Project Tiger in 2012.  A true sense of serenity, tranquility and wilderness found here attracts lots of tourists to this beautiful and enigmatic Wildlife Sanctuary every year.

Flora & Fauna

Flora-
The Sanctuary is a diversity of many rich plantations and vegetation. It is one of the southern tropical dry deciduous forests that are found in India. The mixed forest which is an abundance of nature and its marvels consist of thorny plants, bamboo trees, teak plantations, grasslands, moist soil and valleys. There are many fresh water bodies present inside the forest along-with Nagzira Lake which boosts the greenery and serves life to many species of fauna that reside here, privileged.

Fauna
Nagzira is home to many varieties of wild animals and avifauna. One can find 34 mammal species, 166 species of birds, 36 reptile species and also 49 butterfly species in the park. The park is a divine paradise situated in the middle of the country and some major mammals that are found in the park are Tiger, Sambar Deer, Chital, Wild Boar, Indian Gaur, Nilgai, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet, Wolf, Mouse Deer, Jackal, Ratel, Common Giant Flying Squirrel, Four-horned Antelope and Pangolin. The Park is also famous for harboring a number of reptiles such as Dhaman, Russel’s Viper, Indian-rock Python, Checkered Keelback, Indian Cobra and Common Monitor to name a few.
A remarkable destination for birding, a true bird-watcher will surely claim his/her love here to many resident and migratory birds. Among 166 species of birds that are vividly found here, one such bird is the Bar-headed goose, which migrates here from Ladakh and Tibet in winters. Another bird that can also be seen is a Peafowl (commonly known as Peacock). Out of all the species of fauna that is found here, one may also appreciate the true beauty that the Butterfly defines. About 9 families of the butterfly species are found here and the most important among them are Common Rose, Common Indian Crow, Common Mormon, Lime Butterfly, Black Rajah, Common Sailor etc.

Nagzira Weather

Nagzira has a moderate weather throughout the year.

Summers (Mar-Jun) – the temperature may rise to 45 degrees. We advise you to carry light cotton clothing.

During the monsoons (Jul-Sep), the park remains closed due to heavy rainfall.

With winters (Nov-Feb), the temperature may drop as low as 6.5 degrees. We recommend you to take enough warm clothes, during the trip in winters.

About Chambal

With a rich history dating back to many eras, Chambal has a lot to offer for everyone, be it the intimidating wildlife and exquisite landscapes, ancient forts and ruins, sacred temples and enthralling mythology or the renowned exploits.

National Chambal Sanctuary, is a 5,400 sq. km located on the Chambal River is a tri-state protected area of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. Also called the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, it is home to critically endangered gharial, the red-crowned roof turtle and the Ganges river dolphin. It was first declared in Madhya Pradesh in 1978 and is now co-administered by the three states. The landscape comprises of the Chambal River crisscrossing through ravines and hills with many sandy beaches.

The ravines of Chambal enveloping around 1 – 6 kms on both the sides of the river are formed by continuous soil erosion due to floods and rains. They form an implausible maze of entwining cliffs of mud with dry scrub forest, which is home to various species of mammals, reptiles and birds.

Boat Rides available at several points along the river, offers good opportunities for the sighting of gharial, dolphins and various species of water and shore birds with a spectacular backdrop, adding to the photography experience. Walking trails along the river and ravines offer great opportunity to explore the fauna and flora of the sanctuary.

The upper limit of the sanctuary starts at the Kota Barrage in Rajasthan, and extends till Panchnada, approx. 5 kms after the Chambal and the Yamuna meets at Bhareh, in Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from boating, this place can be explored on foot, camels and jeeps. Extensive sand mining in the area is a big threat to the fragile ecosystem of this sanctuary.

Flora & Fauna

Common plants in the sanctuary include khair (Mimosa catechu/ Acacia catechu), palash(flame of the forest /Buteamonosperma), churel (Indian elm tree), ber (Indian plum/Ziziphusmauritiana) and grassy patches on both sides of the river.

National Chambal Sanctuary is the main area for the species reintroduction programme of the gharial. Apart from critically endangered gharial, the red-crowned roof turtle and the Ganges river dolphin, other large threatened inhabitants of the sanctuary include smooth-coated otter, mugger crocodile, Indian wolf and striped hyena . Chambal supports 8 of the 26 rare turtle species found in India, including three-striped roof turtle, Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle, and crowned river turtle. Other reptiles that live here are: Indian tent turtle, soft shell turtle, Indian roofed turtle, Indian flapshell turtle and monitor lizard.

Other Mammals include: Hanuman langur, rhesus macaque, golden jackal, common palm civet, Bengal fox, Indian small mongoose, Indian grey mongoose, wild boar, sambar, nilgai, jungle cat, blackbuck, Indian gazelle (chinkara), porcupine, northern palm squirrel, Indian flying fox, Indian hare and hedgehog.

It is also an important bird area with over 320 species of resident and migratory birds reported here. The most popular is the Indian skimmer. Others include Sarus crane, Pallas’s fish eagle, Indian courser, lesser flamingos, pallid harrier, black-bellied terns, ferruginous pochard, red-crested pochard, bar-headed goose, great thick-knee, darters, greater flamingos, and brown hawk owl.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

Chambal Sanctuary is open from Mid-October to mid-June,as during June to October during monsoons, the river banks gets washed/inundated and water level also rises; hence it is not advisable for navigation. From October weather starts becoming pleasant and one can visit during November to March. By this time one can see migratory as well as local birds. The birds usually sighted are ruddy shelduck, bar-headed geese, Indian skinner, flamingoes, darters, open bill storks, sarus cranes, etc.

Chambal is North India’s cleanest river habited by remarkable variety of fauna.

Chambal USP

Chambal is the only river in India, which has got status of a wildlife sanctuary. About 400 km of Chambal river flowing in three states namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh passing through mud ravines extending up to 10 km on either such almost free of homo – sapiens, is full of wide varieties of birds and exotic and endangered animals such as gharials, crocodiles and fresh water dolphins. The river is also home to smooth-coated otters. In all 146 species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded.

Best place to see gharials, dolphins and Indian skimmer.

About  Panna

The picturesque Panna Tiger Reserve is among India’s most beautiful tiger reserves, replete with breathtaking waterfalls, deep ravines and mixed dry deciduous forests.

It is located in Vindhya ranges, covering revenue districts of Chhatarpur, Damoh and Panna. Ken River, a tributary of river Yamuna, is the lifeline of this tiger reserve. It cuts its way through the reserve for over 55 kms. The Ken river also harbours the mugger and long-snouted gharial species of crocodiles which can be seen closely during boat rides.

Its landscape is characterized with “Table Top” topography.Panna district part of the Reserve has three distinct tablelands – the upper Talgaon Plateau, the middle Hinouta Plateau and the Ken valley which can be observed during the jungle safari.

Plateau topography with underlying slopes, cliffs with talus (slopes) and sehas (The nalas or the small rivers originating from the plateau generally make falls locally called “Seha” and thereafter valleys are formed) offers outstanding habitats for the various species of flora and fauna.

The Ken River and savannah forests, along with mixed forests on the slopes offer a variety of habitats which enhance the habitat value of the park, besides offering one of the best landscapes of dry deciduous tiger habitats in the country. A spot known as Dhundwa Seha (the water falls from a height in the gorge in monsoons and for a short time during post monsoons, gives a misty look thus the name Dhundwa or misty) offers one such glimpse.This place is also known as: “Tiger and Vulture Heaven” by wildlife lovers as it provides excellent habitat for these species.

Due to the park’s scenic quality and its proximity to the famous town of Khajuraho (one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites), it is an extremely popular tourist destination.


Flora & Fauna

Predominantly, Panna has the dry deciduous forest often interspersed with grasslands. Its lower altitudes are characterized by taller grasses and closed woodlands.

Trees such as kardhai (Anogeissuspendula) and katha (Acacia catechu) are the dominant species occurring on the steep, dry slopes of the plateau. Teak trees are also found in plenty.

Fruit trees like tendu, amla, ben, achar and ghont are also found.

Other tree species include tendu (Diospyrosmelanoxylon), mahua (Madhucaindica), chironji (Buchannialatifolia), and Bosweliaserrata.

The common bamboo also occurs in abundance on hilly slopes and gorges. On the rocky terrain shrubs like Lantana camara, Zizyphusmauritiana, Grevia spp. etc. grow.

Apart from tiger, the park supports a sizable population of sloth bear, leopard, and striped hyena. Other prominent carnivores are jackal, wolf, wild got, jungle cat. The major ungulates that form prey for these carnivores are sambar, chital, nilgai, four horned antelope, wild boar, chinkara etc. India’s ‘Big Four’ snakes, the spectacled Cobra, Saw Scaled Viper, Common Krait and Russel’s Viper are also found here.

Panna is a magnificent birding destination, with more than 200 species, including winter migrants from the Himalayas and Central Asia. From the majestic peacock to a wide varieties of eagles, hawks, buzzards and vultures, as well as a multitude of smaller species, from woodpeckers to rollers, bee eaters, kingfishers and starlings, the variety of birds is staggering. Plenty of Asian paradise flycatchers – the state bird of Madhya Pradesh – can be seen too.

Panna Weather

Summer (April-June)
Summers are extremely hot and dry with maximum temperature reaching 45º C. Visitors are advised to carry light cotton clothing during these months.

Monsoons(July- September)
Forest receives good rainfall with average rainfall amounting to 1100 mm. Park remains closed during this time.

Winters (November- February)
The months of December and January experience extreme cold with temperature dropping up to 3º C whereas February and March remain cool with temperature ranging between 16º C to 26º. People visiting in winters are advised to carry sufficient woolen clothing as the safari vehicles are open and one experience more cold in the moving vehicles especially in mornings and evenings.

Tigers in Panna

Panna Tiger Reserve is known for tigers and scenic beauty. The same got wiped out by poachers over a period of a few years. But effective strategy adopted by field officers has successfully revived the tiger population within a span of 5 years. This model is now worth following. Initially, in the year 2009, one male tiger was translocated from Pench and two tigresses one each from Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve were translocated. By ensuring proper monitoring and protection, the tiger population increased. Later on two hand-bred tigresses were translocated from Kanha. From zero population in early 2009, the number of tigers has reached 30 in Panna Tiger Reserve (April 2014).

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open from 16th October to 30th June. Birds and animals sightings are good throughout the season.

In October, just as the park reopens, the jungle mesmerizes one with its lush green color post monsoons and offers spectacular landscape photography opportunities. Dhudhwa Seha is one spot not to be missed. If time is not a constraint do visit Pandav falls to enjoy its beauty in full glory.

Winter (November to February) is more comfortable and jungle offers spectacular backdrops with good lighting conditions for photography. This is the best time to see marsh crocodiles on the banks of river Ken as they bask in the sun to get energy. The probability of seeing tigers and other wildlife in different areas of the park is also good. A large number of birds including migratory birds are also seen and can be photographed.

During Summers(March to June), there is higher probability to see animals especially tiger, near water bodies in which they spend more time to cool themselves from the scorching heat. For photography, lighting conditions are favorable during early morning and late evening. Resident birds including few summer migrants can be seen during these months.

Panna  USP

Apart from tiger, topography of Panna is unique where one can see deep valleys, waterfalls, plateau and grasslands.

The area is also known for its good vulture population. The rock cliffs with ledges provide good habitat for the rock nesting vultures. The park represents 7 out of 7 vultures of the region. Egyptian vulture, long-billed vulture, white backed vulture and red-headed vultures are resident vultures of the park and all four breeds here. Eurasian, Himalayan Griffon and Cinereous vultures are migratory vultures.

Pench National Park

Also called as Mowgli land, Pench Tiger Reserve has a splendid history and is part of the original setting of the much-celebrated “ The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. In spite of Pench’s late entry on the tourist horizon in 2002, it made its mark. Situated in the southern part of the Satpura range in Madhya Pradesh, it is named after the Pench River which criss crosses through the forest from north to south, almost dividing it into equal halves.

Many poets and writers have been charmed the beauty of this area. Ain-i-Akbari describes the richness of this park. In the epics of Meghdootam and Sakuntalam, the poet Kalidas has mentioned about the charm of the place. R.A. Strendale’s also wrote about the beauty of Pench in the “Camp in the Satpura Hills” as does Forsyth’s “Highlands of Central India” and Dunbar Brander’s ‘Wild Animals of Central India’.

Pench National Park was also chosen by the BBC for the novel wildlife series Tiger: Spy in the Jungle, a 3-part documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Thereafter a tigress namely “Collarwali” gave birth to 5 cubs in 2011 and all grew up well in spite of the various obstacles that came in their way before they reached adulthood.

Pench, very rich in biodiversity, supports a variety of flora and fauna, including a diverse variety of aquatic life. Hills, valleys, occasional slopes, dense mixed forests with thick undergrowth, and open grassy patches define its topography. The jungle is home to 33 species of mammals, more than 200 species of birds, around 50 species of fishes, 30 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians, and a variety of insects.

Park has two tourists’ entry gates namely, Turiya and Karmajhiri.

Come and explore this magnificent place, observe the amazing wildlife, hear the alarm calls, track the big cats, spot the birds and indulge in a new adventure which lasts with you for a lifetime.

Flora & Fauna

Due to the presence of mixed forest and high rainfall precipitation, the park is filled with stretches of Sal trees. In Pench, over 1200 species of plants have been recorded, including several rare and endangered plants. Few common plants that are found here are Moyan, Mahua, Mokha, Skiras, Tendu, Bija, Achar, Garari, Aonla, Ghont, Baranga, Aonla, Khair, BhirraPalas, Skiras and Kihamali and etc. The forestland also includes shrubs, tall trees and climbers besides being dominated by Teak, Bamboo, Timber and varieties of medicinal herbs and plants are also present here.

Pench is extremely rich in fauna and abodes a number of endangered species.Here, Tiger owns the jungle. Besides tigers, the forest is home to many animals such as Chital, Sambar Deer, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Jackal, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Porcupine, Jungle Cat, Fox, Black-naped Hares, Striped Hyena, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Chowsingha, Langurs, Rhesus Monkeys, Flying Squirrels, Barking Deer and etc. Pench is also known as the birding destination, over 210 species of birds (both resident and migratory) are found here. For a bird watcher this park is a heaven for bird photography. One may find Barbets, Bulbul, Minivets, Orioles, Wagtails, Munias, Mynas, Waterfowls, Green Pigeon, Blue Kingfishers, Peafowl, Jungle Fowl, Racket-tailed Drongo, Crow Pheasant, Indian-pittas, Crimson-breasted Barbet, Ospreys, Red-vented Bulbul, Lesser Whistling Teal, Pintail, Magpie Robin, White-eyed Buzzards, Shoveler, Egret and Herons. Other than this, over 13 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians are also found here.

Pench Weather

Pench has a very tropical climate with extreme variations.

Summers (Mar-Jun) are really hot and dry with temperature between 21 degrees to 40 degrees.

During monsoons (Jul-Sep), it receives heavy rainfall and the park is also closed at this time of the year.

Winters (No-Feb) are rough because of the chilly wintry winds that lowers the climate here as low to 4 degrees.

We would advise you to carry light and cotton clothes during your visit in the summers and heavy woolen clothes during winters.

Ideal time to visit

The park is open from October to June. However early November to mid Marchis the best time for a visit, as the weather is cool and pleasant and ideal for photography. During winters one can also observe many migratory birds such as ruddy shelduck, bar-headed geese and other birds which are commonly seen are racket tailed drongo, golden oriole, crow pheasant, collared scops owl, Malabar pied horn bill.

However, if one is interested only in tiger sightings, April and May are good months to visit as chances of finding them near water bodies increases.

Best time to visit: February to April

Pench USP

This reserve is famous for tigers. The sighting of a tiger on a boulder or in the backdrop of Pench River or Pench reservoir is a unique experience.

This park is also good for observing Wild Dog, Indian Gaur, Leopard, Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai and Jackal.

About  Sariska

Sariska Tiger Reserve is more than just a reserve that tigers and leopards inhabit. It is also known as the peacock sanctuary, as it has the highest density of peacocks among all reserves. This park also boasts of a high density of sambar deer, nilgai and chital and therefore an ideal place to capture them in various moods with the camera. Sightings of hyenas, a rare nocturnal animal, are also good here. It is an excellent place to spot vultures.

It is also a place of great religious and historical importance. A Hanuman temple at Pandupol which is situated in the middle of the forest. This temple has great belief among the locals hence it attracts a lot of pilgrims.

Narrow valleys and sharp cliffs of the Aravalis form the landscape of Sariska. The forest is deciduous and dry and the most common type of tree is the dhok (Anogeissuspendula).

Siliserh Lake present on the fringes of Sariska Tiger Reserve, add to its beauty and diversity.

Flora & Fauna

Animals include Royal Bengal Tiger, golden jackal, striped hyena, caracal, jungle cat, leopard, nilgaichital, sambar, chinkara, four-horned antelope (chousingha), hare, wild boar, Hanuman langur, rhesus macaque, etc. and some reptiles.

While the birds that can be spotted include the Great Indian Horned Owl, golden-backed woodpeckers, crested serpent eagle, bush quails, sand grouse, grey partridge, tree pie, peafowl etc.

Primarily, dhok tree is found in Sariska. Other trees that can be seen are salar, dhak, kadaya, gol, khair, ber, banyan. One can also see Arjun tree and bamboo at some places. Lots of shrubs are present such as Adusta, kair and jharber.

Sariska Weather

The Climate of Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary can be described as extreme.
Summers (mid-March to June)
The summers at  Sariska are very hot with an average temperature of 38.4 degree centigrade. Max temperature goes up to 49 degrees. However for those who are willing to tolerate the scorching heat of the sun this is the best time to view animals.

Monsoons (July to September)
Sariska receives varying quantity of rainfall converting the arid landscape of the jungle to more luxuriant foliage. During monsoons, humidity increases making it difficult for outdoor tours. The temperatures do not see a drastic decline from summers, as there is not sufficient rainfall to reduce the temperatures.

Winters(October to mid-March)
The Winter Season is chilly with an average temperature around 15 degree. Minimum temperature can go up to minus 2 degrees. Post monsoons October and November are pleasant with December and January being very cold.

Therefore the travelers are recommended to carry light cotton clothes during the summer months and warm woollen clothes for the winters.

Tigers in Sariska

Sariska Tiger Reserve is famous for being the first tiger reserve, which successfully relocated the tigers. When in 2005, all tigers were claimed to have disappeared, Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with the Government of India and State of Rajasthan, effectively re-located five tigers from Ranthambore. The tiger population of the reserve is eleven now (as of July, 2014) – nine adults and two cubs.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

In October, just as the park reopens, the jungle mesmerizes one with its lush green color post monsoons and offers spectacular photography opportunities.

During Winters(October to February) when the weather is quite comfortable one can expect to see a large number of birds (including migratory) such as demoiselle crane, ruddy shelduck etc. Behaviour of sambar deer (males) during courtship such as decoration of its body with grass & twigs, rolling into mud, rutting call for calling female deers, fighting between stags for mating rights is worth watching. Probability of  a tiger sighting is also good during winters.

The best time for tiger sightings in Sariska are during Summers (March to June) as there is higher probability of finding them near water bodies in which they spend more time to cool themselves from the scorching heat. For photography, lighting conditions are favorable during early morning and late evening.

Sariska USP

Sariska is known to have the highest population of peacocks (national bird of India) among all the wildlife sanctuaries or national parks in the country. It has one of the highest density of sambar deer and chital (spotted deer) too.

Satpura National Park

Satpura National Park is located in the Satpura ranges in Madhya Pradesh, and is known as one of the pristine jungles of the country. Satpura derives its names from the Sanskrit name of the Satpura hill ranges which means seven mountains. Spread over different altitudes from 300 meters to 1400 meters (the highest point being the Dhoopgarh peak), it comprises of Panchmari, Bori and Madai sanctuaries which makes it to be the Satpura National Park.
The national park offers you a panoramic view of the great mountain peaks, impeccable waterfalls, calm streams and dense valley (home to early human civilization) and rivulets, making it one of the best parks to visit. Denwa River is known as the key lifeline of the park and boat ride often adds an extra star to the enigmatic charm of the park. Sone River also plays a pivotal role, fulfilling the needs of the jungle. Tawa Dam, which is built on the Tawa River, provides extended channels of DenwaSonbhadraNaini and Wagdwari Rivers, making sure there is ample of water availability to all the residents of the forest.
One has the range of safaris to choose from such as jeep safari, elephant safari, boat safari, to explore the alluring jungle. One could also walk to the core of the jungle during the nature park, taking a closer look of the charming flora and fauna that resides here. Boat ride offers a great opportunity to see crocodiles and animals grazing on the water banks.

 

Flora & Fauna

Flora
One of the most beautiful and famous National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Satpura is completely bestowed with incredible biological diversity. Forest types range from dry thorn to tropical dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi evergreen forests as well. One can find over 1300 species of plantation here comprising of Sal, Teak, Tendu, Phyllanthus emblica (Amla), Mahua, Bel, Bamboo, Grasses and some other medicinal plants. Authorities of the region have taken steps to support the harmony of the rich essence of diverse flora that resides here.

Fauna
Satpura is home to a number of species besides the majestic Tiger. The largest number of animals are widely found here such as Leopards, Wild dogs (dhole), Sloth bear, Sambar, Wild boar, Chital and Langur. One of the salient features of the park is the Malabar Giant Squirrel, which is only found here and nowhere else in Madhya Pradesh. Nilgai, Four-horned Antelope, Chinkara, Bison (Indian gaur), Smooth Otter, Black buck, Chowsinga, Indian fox, Porcupine, Flying Squirrel, Pangolin, Mouse Deer etc. can also be seen here.

An ideal birding destination for the bird-watcher, lot of beautiful and migratory birds such as Malabar pied Hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush, Indian skimmer and more, are largely found here. Some common species include Jungle fowls, Quails, Partridges, Pigeons, Doves, Parakeets, Bee eaters, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Owls, Myna, Munia, Bulbull, Paradise flycatcher, Sparrows, Egrets, Vultures, Falcon, Eagle and several others. Satpura also takes pride in being home to a variety of species of butterflies.

Satpura Weather

Satpura has a pleasant weather all-round the year.

Situated in a hilly region, summers (Mar-Jun) are not more than 40 degrees with an average temperature of around 32 degrees.

During monsoons (Jul-Sep) the park remains closed during this time as Satpura witnesses moderate rain

With winters (Oct-Feb), temperature in the region goes down as low to 6 degrees, with an average temperature around 20 degrees.

About Sultanpur

If you stay in New Delhi or nearby areas, a visit to Sultanpur in the months of winter is a must. Located in Gurgaon district of Harayana, it’s not just popular but also the only national park of the state. Every winter a large number of migratory birds visit Sultanpur. This place host  more than 250 species of birds, both migratory and residential. During the months of November to March, migratory species such as greater flamingo, ruff, black winged stilt, common teal, common greenshank, northern pintail, yellow wagtail, white wagtail, northern shoveler, rosy pelican from East European countries and all across the globe. These birds put up a wonderful show that you can’t afford to miss. While some species flock together on branches, some others can be seen on the water bodies, they offer a picturesque panorama. Sultanpur indeed is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

Migratory birds start coming in from end of July to beginning of August but the big squadrons arrive in October or November. The winter months November to March are the best time to visit.

About Sundarbans

Sundarbans or India’s Amazon Valley is the land of magnificence and beauty. The place got its name from the ubiquitous Sundari trees found in abundance here. The Sundarbans has been formed by the confluence of three rivers, namely, the Ganges, the Meghna and the Brahmaputra and it is a part of the world’s largest delta on the Ganges. The Sunderbans has the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of it being the single largest block of mangrove forest in the world. Covering an area of nearly 26,000 Sq Km (including India and Bangladesh), the Sundarbans is definitely a must-visit place. The Sundarbans was declared as a Protected Forest in the year 1878. In 1928, it was declared a Reserved Forest and it was amongst the first nine Tiger Reserves declared in 1973. It became a wildlife sanctuary in 1977 & On May 4, 1984 it was declared a National Park. While having the largest and the most unique mangrove eco-system of the world, Sundarbans is home to one of the most iconic wildlife species in India, the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters. Hundreds of creeks and tributaries criss-cross the Sundarbans making it one of the largest estuarine forests in the world and is accessible only on boats. For tourists, big motorboats (Motor vehicles as they say there) operate here and have all the facilities on-board like rooms and toilet and can easily accommodate around 20-60 people at a time. Contrary to the common myth of danger due to the presence of man-eating tigers, these boats are 100% safe. Tourists are not allowed to get down from these boats except at the few designated islands that have watchtowers in the fenced areas. The Sundarbans jungle is a freshwater swamp forest. Every 12 hours, high tide inundates the mangroves spread along either side of the network of water channels here. At low tide, one can see expanses of exposed mud ‘flats’. Lying behind the Sundarbans Mangroves, the freshwater eco-region is the area, which becomes fresh during the rainy season. It might not be the best place to see tigers because of hostile environment but it provides the perfect setting for the nature lovers, as it is a complete biosphere where they can pursue animal and bird watching.

Flora & Fauna

Sundarbans derived its name from the Sundari Trees. It is a special kind of Mangrove tree, one of the most exquisite varieties found in this area. The unique feature of this tree is that they produce spikes, which grow above the ground. During the monsoons when the forest is water-logged, these spikes having their peaks in the air, helps in the respiration. The jungle although mainly comprises of the mangrove trees, has some other species of plants as well. There are 64 mangrove species in the Sundarbans suited to survive in estuarine conditions and saline inundation that occurs as a result of tidal effects.

It is home not only to the Royal Bengal Tiger but some 150 species of fishes, 42 species of mammals, 270 species of birds, 8 amphibian species and 35 species of reptiles are also found here. The rich wildlife is able to thrive in the forest due to the unique ecosystem. The endangered species that lives within the Sundarbans are Royal Bengal Tiger, saltwater crocodile also known as estuarine crocodile, river terrapin, Olive Ridley turtle, Gangetic dolphin, ground turtle, Hawks Bill turtle and Mangrove horseshoe crab.Other animals such as wild boar, leopard cat, fishing cat, macaques, Indian grey mongoose, fox, flying fox, jungle cat, pangolin and chital (spotted deer), reptiles such as monitor lizard, chameleon, king cobra, python, Russell’s viper, rat snake, dog faced water snake and common kraits are found here. Some of the fishes and amphibians found in the park are butter fish, sawfish, electric ray, star fish, silver carp, common carp, prawn, king crab, shrimp, common toad, skipping frog and tree frog. Commonly found birds in this region are open-bill stork, black-capped kingfisher, black-headed ibis, water hen, coot, pheasant-tailed jacana, Pariah kite, Brahminy kite, marsh harrier, swamp partridge, red junglefowl, spotted dove, common mynah, jungle crow, jungle babbler, cotton teal, herring gull, Caspian tern, grey heron, common snipe, wood sandpipers, green pigeon, rose ringed parakeet, paradise-flycatcher, cormorant, grey-headed fish eagle, white-bellied sea eagle, seagull, common kingfisher, Peregrine falcon, woodpecker, whimbrel, black-tailed godwit, little stint, eastern knot, curlew, golden plover, northern pintail, white-eyed pochard and whistling teal.

Sundarbans Weather

The climate in Sunderbans is generally pleasant with neither too hot nor too cold. Average temperature in Sunderbans ranges from 34 °C to 20 °C. The weather is almost always moist with humid air blowing constantly from Bay of Bengal. Due its close proximity to sea, a cool sea breeze blows during night and thus the temperature is favorable all along the day.
Summers(March to May)
Summers are hot with maximum temperature going up to 42 and min temperature around 20°C.

Monsoons (June to September)
These months offer heavy rainfalls. It is not a good time for visiting this wildlife sanctuary.

Winters(November to February)
Winters are pleasant with temperature going down up to 9°C and going maximum up to 32°C.

Tigers in Sundarbans

As a species, Royal Bengal Tigers of Sundarbans are not different from tigers present in other parks of India. However owing to hostile ecological and riverine conditions, tigers have evolved different habits from the tigers of other forests of India. They are good swimmers, drink saline water, agile and eat anything from fish, crabs, wild boars, chital, monitor lizard etc. Their size is smaller compared to tigers of other regions, as they have to work hard to satisfy their needs and for that they have to travel from one island to another. Sometimes they even swim for 3-4 kms at a stretch. And don’t forget that Sundarbans is a swampy land, even walking is difficult for any animal. Tigers of Sundarbans are very shy in comparison to other parks. It’s a dream of many wildlife photographers to capture tiger on the banks of mud flats in the backdrop of mangrove forest or while crossing the water channels.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open throughout the year, but ideal time to visit is from October to March as weather is favorable. October – A good month to be in Sundarbans. The migration starts and mud banks are full of curlews, golden plovers, whimbrels and sand pipers. Nov-Feb – the weather is pleasantly cool and this is the best time to see estuarine crocodile on the mud banks as they bask in the sun to get energy. As the water temperature rises, sightings of estuarine crocodile get reduced. A large number of birds including migratory birds are seen and can be photographed during this period. Month of March is good for visiting Sundarbans. During April and May weather is sultry and humid. Honey collection starts in 1st week of April. This event can be captured, as large no. of small  boats with honey collectors gather at Sajnekhali and from there move to different areas of the park. After collecting honey from jungle, they hand it over to the forest authorities and get remuneration for their goods. June-Sep – Rains arrive in June and lasts till  September. During cloudy weather, photography of landscape during dawn and dusk can be classic but risky on account of storms.

Sundarbans USP

Sundarbans is the World’s largest mangrove forest (Mangroves are trees of various species and several families which can survive, grow and propagate in sea water or swampy brackish water and alluvial soil in a tidal zone) What makes this tiger reserve different from others is that for viewing flora and one has to travel by mechanized boats known as launches, whereas in other tiger reserves gypsy is the main mode of jungle safaris.

About Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

Tadoba National Park is the oldest national park in Maharashtra and is also known as ‘The Jewel of Vidharba’ (where Vidharba refers to north-eastern part of Maharashtra).  The area around Tadoba was once highly populated by the Gond tribes. In fact, the Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary together form the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The park derives its name from ‘Taru’ the local deity, whereas the Andhari River meanders through the forest.

Tadoba is the brightest & latest star on the horizon of Indian Wildlife. The lake inside the park forms another gleaming attraction and is natural habitat for many water birds. Watching innumerable birds found in this park,which glides beautifully with the wind, listening to their deep and mesmerizing calls is one of the best birding experiences.

Flora & Fauna

Tadoba is not only famous for tiger sighting, but is also an infinite reserve of innumerable species of mammals including sloth bear, wild dog, chital, sambar, barking deer, leopard, chousinghagaurnilgai, civet cat, ruddy mongoose, jungle cat, porcupine etc. Apart from mammals, a large number of birds such as Indian pitta, Asian paradise flycatcher, racket-tailed drongo, Oriental white-eye, yellow footed green pigeon, Eurasian thick-knee, adjutant stork etc. are sighted based on seasonal variations.

The park is also rich in forest having an extensive collection of deciduous trees like the teak, gardenia, satinwood, jamun, mahua, ain, tendu, Bamboo etc.

Tadoba Weather

Summers (March – Mid June): Summers are extremely hot in Tadoba, with max temperatures going up to 47°C in May and June.

Monsoons (Mid June- September): The monsoon starts in June with humidity at about 66 per cent. The forest becomes lush green and is good for vegetation and insect sighting.

Winters (November to February): Temperatures range between 25°-30°C during day and goes down to 9°C in the night. Weather is pleasant during the day but mornings and evenings are cold.

Visitors are advised to carry enough warm clothes during winters as safari vehicles are open and one experience more cold during moving vehicles. During summers, one should carry light clothes to protect them from heat.

Tigers in Tadoba

Shivaji, a male tiger is one of the most handsome tiger famous for his remarkable mane and aggression. Waghdoh male is the dominant male of Mohurli range.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open round the year. However, only few roads remain open from 1st July to 15th October. And from 16th October to 30th June all areas of the park opens.

From mid-October to February (Winters),weather is more comfortable and is good for bird watching, and sightings of marsh crocodiles and members of the cat family such as tigers and leopards. Good for photography, considering the lighting conditions and the landscape of the jungle.

From March to June (Summers), sightings of tiger and other animals are maximum as they come to the waterholes to quench their thirst. For photography, lighting conditions are favorable during early morning and late evening.

From July to mid-October(Monsoons), only few roads remain open, therefore animal sightings are limited. During monsoons, the jungle mesmerizes one with its lush green and offers spectacular photography opportunities.

About Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, famed for its blackbuck population, dates back to 1920 when the Maharaja of Bikaner used it as a hunting reserve. This resulted in a decrease in the numbers of the blackbuck. Nonetheless, due to the conservation measures, the population has increased to nearly 2000 over the last fifteen years.

However, those who visit Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, find themselves most intrigued by the range of avifauna present. Nearly 122 species of birds – migratory and resident – can be glimpsed over the course of a year. This assortment of birds is surprising, given that the park lies on the fringes of Thar Desert and doesn’t have a lot of vegetation other than grasslands. Many believe this has been made possible by the administration at Tal Chhapar. They uprooted the Acacia trees that sucked the water of the ground and introduced local flora to the park, made little waterholes and ensured the park remains clean at all times. These efforts encouraged diversity.

Now, most visitors claim that their best experience has been seeing birds interact with each other and their preys, in a natural environment. What would be your fondest memory? Visit Tal Chhapar and find out!

Flora & Fauna

In Flora, majorly it is Motiya grass – sweet and edible; black bucks feed on it.

Majorly animals include black buck, blue bull, desert fox, desert rat, desert cat and the hedgehog. The birds that can be spotted all year round include partridges, skylarks, crested lark, brown dove, ring dove, brown dove, blue jay vulture and sand grouse. These birds are residents of the park. Migratory visitors include the European roller, rosy starlings, pale harrier, marsh harrier, imperial eagle, short toed eagle, tawny eagle, green bee eaters, sparrow hawk, demoiselle cranes, wagtails and black ibis.

Tal Chhapar Weather

Summers (March to June)
Summers are hot and dry with maximum temperature reaching upto 48°C in June. Hot dry winds (loo) prevail in May and June.

Winters (October to February)
Winters are cold with minimum temperature falling up to 8°C in December and January.

Monsoons (July to September)
Rainfall is highly erratic with average rainfall around 300 mm.

Velavadar National Park

Velavadar National Park or commonly referred as Blackbuck National Park, as the name clearly expresses, is a renowned national park for the eminent number of blackbucks present there. The grassland ecosystem there, particular of its kind, makes it the most suitable to be deemed a National Park. It stretches over an area of 34.08 square km, chiefly located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. The park was established in 1976 in Bhal region of Saurashastra. The park embraces about over 140 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 95 species of flowering plants, and many reptiles.

According to history provided, the park had been a grazing ground for the kingdom’s cattle under the reign of Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji. The park was meant to satisfy the passion for hunting of the great king. Blackbuck, considered sacred in Hindu mythology has been assigned various names such as – kaliyarKrishna mrugaKrishna sara and saranga. Eventually hunting became more of an everyday practice discarding all the rules associated with it. Hence it was declared as a sanctuary in 1969 with the final avowal of the grassland as a national park in 1976.

Flora & Fauna

Though the park is a vast stretch of plain grassland mainly, the habitat provided to animals here is equally adorable. The park extends between two rivers, little away from the Gulf of Cambay, thus producing the fertile soil. The grassland here can be precisely compared to the Savannah grasslands carpeted with dry thorny scrub with grasses growing up to the heights of 30-40 cm.

Velavadar is home to blackbucks, blue bulls (nilgai), wolves, hyenas, foxes, jungle cats, jackals, wild pigs, hares, rodents.

A perfect treat to the birdwatchers, Velavadar National Park caters to the pleasures of bird watching enthusiasts with the enchanting views of several grassland birds’ like- harriers, larks, wheatears, bushchats, sandgrouse, francolins and quails. Sarus and demoiselle cranes, the spot billed duck, painted and white storks, and the white ibis are among the most spotted species. Species like Red Wattled Lapwing do make occasional appearances. The red-necked falcon, painted francolin, rain and quail and flocks have a good probability to be encountered. The oriental prantincole can be sighted frequently while the little bustard quail makes sporadic appearances. The dainty Lesser Florican, punctual in its approach, is spotted only at the time of winters.

Therefore Velavadar National Park seems to be a fair deal to enjoy some of the rare and exclusive moments such as wolves drinking from water holes between dawn and dusk, the lesser florican males marking their territory and their efforts to begin courtship with their females and much more.

Velavadar Weather

Velavedar National Park has semi-arid climate.
Summers (March- mid June)
Summers are hot and dry with temperature ranging from 23°C to 44°C.

Monsoons (July- October)
Average rainfall in this area is around 25 inches with temperature ranging from 18°C- 32°C.

Winters (November- February)
Winters are cold with temperature ranging from 5°C to 28°C. Mornings and evenings are extremely cold especially in December and January and visitors are advised to carry heavy woolen clothing.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The period between monsoon and winter (mid-June to March) is the ideal time to visit the place. Bird watching enthusiasts should visit the park between December and March, when you can find various species of migratory birds here.

Velavadar USP

Velavadar National park is most famous for the blackbucks- the elegant Indian antelope and one of the fastest mammals. There exists about 1,000 species of these blackbucks here, which certainly raises the chances of seeing any one of the species.

It is also the most popular for the harrier roost, which is both appreciated and certified as one of the largest harrier roost by the international harrier expert- Roger Clarke of UK. Harriers usually arrive at the park during winters. Some of the famous species available here are – Pale Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Montague Harrier, and the Hen Harrier.

The largest antelope of India, nilgai or blue bull, can also be easily spotted leaping over the plains of Velavadar.

About Ranthambore National Park

An erstwhile royal hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park today is one of the finest and distinguished national park in Northern India. The park is dotted with steep rocky hills and the dominating architecture of Ranthambore Fort (built in the 10th century), adds to its landscape. The national park is named after this ancient fort.

Ranthambore was declared one of the Project reserves in 1973. It became a national park in 1980. Ranthambore National Park is spread over an area of 1,334 sq km along with its nearby sanctuaries like – Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary. Ranthambore is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in the world to see these majestic predators in the jungle.

Interspersed with grasslands at the plateaus, meadows in valleys and luxuriant foliage around the canals, the park is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. Three big lakes – PadamTalab, Malik Talab and Raj Bagh – are similar turquoises studded in the vast forest that abounds with aquatic vegetation including duckweeds, lilies and lotus. PadamTalab is the largest of all the lakes located inside the park, and the beautiful red sandstone JogiMahal is located at the very edge of this lake.

Ranthambore brings you face-to-face to one of nature’s most gifted wildlife. It’s one of those national parks from where you will never return empty handed. Its heritage, culture, safaris, lush green forests and wildlife-makes it destination nonpareil.

Flora & Fauna

The fauna and flora at Ranthambore is gratifying. It is home to majority of wild animals including tiger, leopard, marsh crocodile, sloth bear, wild boar, nilgai, sambar, caracal, hyena, jungle cat, chinkara, black buck. It also offers the best of opportunities to ornithologists. The park has a significant bird population, both resident and migratory including greylag goose, woodpeckers, Indian grey hornbills, common kingfishers, cuckoos, Asian palm swift, owls, nightjars, eagles, drongos, flamingos, falcons, etc.

The vegetation in the park is mostly of the dry deciduous type. The most prominent trees spotted here are dhok, mango, jamun, gum, kadam, khajurkhair, karel, mahua, salar, etc.  Ranthambore is also the site of one of the largest banyan tree in India.

Ranthambore Weather

Summers (April to June): During summers, the day temperature can soar in between 35 to 47 °C with night temperature around 30°C. Visitors are advised to carry comfortable light cotton clothing.

Monsoon  (July to September): The Park is closed during this period. Only few zones remain open (kindly contact us to know more).

Winters (November to Mid March): During winters, the mornings and nights are freezing but afternoons are pleasant. Temperature goes down to a min 2°C or so during winters. One is advised to carry  heavy woollen clothes as the safari vehicles are open and one feels more cold in the moving vehicle.

About Ranthambore Tigers

One of the star attraction of park is a tigress namely Machhali-T 16 (born in 1997), also known as lady of the lakes, who taught its cubs, how to kill a crocodile. Her encounter with a 14 feet long crocodile was the first of its kind to be recorded and filmed by anyone in the history. She is the most photographed tigress of Ranthambore and has even received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to conservation and in widening Rajasthan economy. A postal stamp was also released on 18thSeptember, 2013 in her honour by the Post and Telegraph Dept.

Ranthambore National Park is also witness to rearing of two female cubs by a father (male tiger) after the death of their mother, when the cubs were hardly 3 months old. This is a rare phenomenon. Both these females are grown up and has been translocated to Sariska Tiger Reserve, where they would create their own world.

Ideal time to observe Wildlife and Photography

The park is open from 1st October to 30th June. The best time to see tigers is during summers (March to June) as there is higher probability of finding them near water bodies in which they spend more time to cool themselves from the scorching heat. Winter (October to February) is more comfortable and is good for bird watching and photography, considering the lighting conditions. In October, just as the park reopens, the jungle mesmerizes one with its lush green color post monsoons and offers spectacular photography opportunities.

About Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park is a perfect destination to those who wish to encounter nature in its pristine form. A utopia for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, it is known for the wide range of species it has encompassed in the cover of its dense forest. It is located in the Shivalik range of Himalyas and spreads about over 820 km² in Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. Since the national park marks the beginning of the Indo-Gangetic plains, it circumscribes a large variety of vegetation and embraces multiple types of ecosystems. It provides habitat to around 23 species of mammals and 315 species of birds.

This national park was created in 1983 by the consolidation of three sanctuaries – Rajaji Sanctuary (1948), Motichur Sanctuary (1964) and Chilla Sanctuary (1977). It was named after C. Rajagopalachari who was an eminent leader of our freedom struggle who was popularly known as “Rajaji”.

Rajaji Weather

Summers (March to mid June): During summer, temperature varies from 35 degree Celsius to 45 degree Celsius. Visitors are advised to carry light cotton clothing, as it gets very hot especially during May and June.

Monsoon  (July to September): During monsoon, the park receives heavy rainfalls with average mean rainfall accounting to 2136.7 mm. the park is closed during this period.

Winters (October to February): Winters are pleasant with December and January becoming extremely cold. One is advised to carry heavy woolens during this period as safari is done in open jeeps and one experience more cold during moving jeeps.

Flora & Fauna

Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, goral, Indian hare, sloth bear, cobra, jackal, barking deer, sambar, chital, wild boar, rhesus macaque, Indian langur. Several species of frogs and toads also reside here, with their breeding times expanding from July-August to November. Twenty- eight species of snakes along with twelve species of turtles and tortoises and nine species of lizards including the Indian monitor lizard thrive here. Porcupines, pythons and cobras are among the most pointed species. Scolid wasps are one of the main insects that quaver around this region. 60 different species of butterflies flutter around this park. Other species of creatures like kingfishers such as Himalayan pied, small blue, lesser pied, stork-billed, and white throated are also found here. Hornbills and red-jungle fowls are often available. Over 40 species of water birds visit Ganges every winter. Cormorants, crows, drongo, egret, partridges, lapwing, nightjars, partridges, pheasants, pond herons, owlets, and treepies are some of the birds one may get a chance to see.

Apart from the exquisite wildlife, the park has a tremendous range of flora. It has all the varied types- sal forests, reverine forests, board-leaved mixed forest, scrubland and grassy. The park has both tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests with moist deciduous forests in the upper Gangetic plains. Plants such as shorea, adina, terminalia, bridelia, mallotus, dalbergia, syzygium, acacia and phoebe are found here.

Thus Rajaji National Park seems more of a complete package where flora and fauna both are fused together to complement each other.