World Wildlife Day 2023: 5 must-visit national parks in India
Observed on March 3 every year, World Wildlife Day celebrates wild animals and plants around the world and honors their contribution to making our planet better. The day also marks the birthday of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Here are five national parks in India you must acknowledge and visit to commemorate this occasion.
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
Spread over an area of 1,412 square kilometer, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat is the only wildlife reserve in India that is home to the endangered Asiatic lions. Featuring a rugged topography, the park houses 300 species of birds which makes it an ideal place for bird watchers. Apart from Asiatic lions, you can also spot nilgai, leopards, chinkara, crocodiles, blackbucks, etc. here.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Located in Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936 by British tiger hunter Jim Corbett. Apart from being a well-known tiger reserve, it is also India's first national park. Covering an area of 1318.54 square kilometer, the park has five main safari zones. Elephant rides are quite popular here. When here, you can spot serow, goral, Himalayan tahr, and golden jackal.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Located in Assam, the Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that serves as the only natural habitat for the endangered one-horned rhinos. Spread over 429.69 square kilometer, the park is seated on the banks of the scenic Brahmaputra River. When here, you can take an elephant ride or boat safari to explore the forests. November-April is the best time to visit.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
One of the most popular national parks in India, Ranthambore National Park is spread across an area of 1,334 square kilometer and is known to house majestic tigers. Surrounded by rivers Chambal and Banas, you can also visit the Padam Talao Lake and the ancient Ranthambore Fort inside the park. Open from October-June, the park is also home to leopards, jackals, and sloth bears.
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Nestled amidst a large coastal mangrove forest, the Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal houses the world-famous Royal Bengal Tiger. Spread over 4,624 square kilometer, you can enjoy boat safaris, houseboat stays, and stays in eco-friendly villages here. The park is also home to the endangered Gangetic dolphins and estuarine crocodiles. September-May is the best time to visit the Sunderbans.