India is rich in its flora and fauna, and exploring these should be on every wildlife enthusiast’s list. Be it a thrilling safari, an action-packed adventure ride or just a calm and peaceful stay inside a jungle, holidays exploring India’s exotic biodiversity reserves are perfect for the summer break! Apart from the well-known and popular destinations like Jim Corbett National Park, Kanha Tiger Reserve, and Ranthambore National Park, there are a whole lot of places that are lesser known and often remain unexplored.
Take a look at these 13 lesser known, but equally adventurous wildlife destinations in India.
- Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated in the terais of Uttar Pradesh, and covering parts of Pilibhit, Bahraich and Lakhimpur Kheri districts, Pilibhit wildlife sanctuary is one of the 41 tiger reserves in India. It lies in the foothills of the Himalayas, on the India-Nepal border, and is home to more than 127 animals, over 500 bird species and about 2000 flowering plants.
- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
A great place to enjoy a wildlife safari, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is just 100 km away from Udaipur. One can spot the leopard, wolf, sloth bear, sambar, nilgai, chinkara, jackal and jungle cat here. Surrounding the Kumbhalgarh fortress, this sanctuary covers the most rugged parts of Aravalli hills in Udaipur, Rajsamand and Pali districts. It is also rich in its bird life. Birds like the red spur owls, parakeets, golden oriole, grey pigeons, bulbul, dove and white breasted kingfisher, and peacocks can be seen here.
- Mollem National Park
Heaven for wildlife enthusiasts, you will find yourself wading through the forest canopy here in search of either the Black Panther or the Bengal tiger. Originally, the park is the core area of Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and covers around 107 sq. Km. An out-of-the-box way to spend time in Goa, this sanctuary is situated near the Molem town, which is about 57 km east of Panaji.
- Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
Another paradise for wildlife lovers, the exotic flora and fauna and the picturesque landscape here are striking! Common sightings here will be bison, sambar, wild boar, panther, sloth bear and the big wild cat along with over 160 avian species and around 36 different types of reptiles. It is an open-air national museum located between Gondia and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra.
- Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary
Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is one destination that is truly unexplored. Situated about 60 km from Aurangabad city in Maharashtra, it is a protected forest area covering an area of 64,399 acres. It is home to the southern tropical dry deciduous forest and grasslands, as well as to wildlife like the jungle cat, wanderoo, leopard cat, barking deer, jackal, fox, leopard, wild boar and chinkara.
- Desert National Park
This is one of the distinct national parks situated in Rajasthan. As the name suggest, the park has a fragile ecosystem consisting of rugged rocks, sand dunes and salt lake bottoms. The endangered Great Indian Bustard, which is found in relatively good numbers, along with Blackbuck and Chinkara are the main attractions of this place. Its rich fossil collections are 180 million years old!
- Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1975, one of the best places to spot tigers in India, this wildlife sanctuary is home to several endangered animal species including the Royal Bengal tiger, wild bison and leopard. Linked with the iconic Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh via Kanha-Achanakmar Corridor, it is a part of Bilaspur Forest Division of Chhattisgarh state.
- Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary
Famous for Barapede Caves, and for being the only breeding area of Wroughton’s free-tailed bat, Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is another good example of unexplored wildlife destinations in India. The sanctuary is in Belgaum, Karnataka and is home to subtropical moist broadleaf and tropical forests. Its woodlands and grasslands offer an ideal habitat for gaur, sloth bear, spotted deer, wild dogs, leopard, and fox.
- Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
A canopy of tall trees hardly lets light reach the ground here. It is situated around 2 km away from Poinguinim, a town in Canacona Taluka of south Goa. A lovely but hidden place, relaxing yet adventurous, and dominated by mixed deciduous woodland vegetation, it is a treat for all nature-lovers.
- Indravati National Park
Apart from all popular wildlife destinations, Indravati National Park is an amazing choice to spend a holiday, especially if one wants to explore the central region of India. Mainly famous for having the last remaining population of rare Indian wild buffalo, this park is also considered as one of the finest protected forest area and a tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh.
- Namdapha National Park
Not only the third largest national park in the country, but also the leading protected area in the biodiversity hotspot in the Eastern Himalayas, this park in Arunachal Pradesh is home to all the four big cats - Leopard, Tiger, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard. It is extraordinarily rich in its biodiversity ranging from tropical moist forests to Alpine meadows which provide a home to its numerous fauna and avifauna species.
- Khangchendzonga National Park
Located in North Sikkim district, named after Mt. Kanchenjunga, and previously known as Kanchenjunga National Park, it is one of the very few high-altitude national parks in India. Along with the abundance of flora and fauna, the presence of various glaciers and Lepcha tribal settlements within the biosphere reserve add to its unparalleled beauty.