I used to be more of a city person than nature person. I enjoyed hopping from one attraction to another, exploring nightlife of the city, hanging around various markets and relishing my taste buds on the cuisine it has to offer.
In recent times, I have started visiting the National Parks, the biodiversity treasure of our country. And it provides such a different perspective, you realise that you have been living in these concrete Jungles, away from the rich Flora and Fauna that we are blessed with.
For me the morning safari drives are not about spotting the tigers or lions, rather cherishing the morning breeze, the beautiful sunrise and soaking calmness of the jungle.
1. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Rhinos are my favourite animal, and they are found in abundance here. Kaziranga National Park is home to 2/3rd of world rhinos population and has around 2500 rhinos. So your are definitely going to spot one. Other than that, Kaziranga is also home to white tigers, swamp deer and variety of birds.Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water.
2. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha is the most popular of all the national parks in Madhya Pradesh. The park has a significant population of the Royal Bengal tiger, Indian leopards, the sloth bear, barasingha and Indian wild dog. The forest depicted in the famous novel and movie, The Jungle Book is based on jungles including this reserve.
3. Gir National Park, Gujrat
It earlier used to be the hunting ground of royal families of India, now is only area where Asiatic Lions are found, thanks to the efforts of Forest Department of India. Apart from Asiatic Lions, Gir is home to Leopards, Chital, Nilgai, Sambar and Jackals.Due to declining population of Lions, the govt has taken various steps to study the behaviour of Asiatic Lions and even carry out artificial Insemination to make sure that they dont become extinct.
4. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The park has the highest density of Tigers in India, so it becomes relatively easier to fulfil your childhood fantasy of spotting Tigers in their Natural Habitat. The three main zones of the national park are Tala, Magdhi and Khitauli. Bandhavgarh too has a history of being the playground of princes of royal families, and is now been taken revamped by the efforts of Forest Department of India.
5. Periyar National Park, Kerala
Periyar National Park lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The park is made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, stands of eucalyptus, and lake and river ecosystems. I really enjoyed the boat ride we had in the park, as it is spread out on two sides of River where you can spot Animals, when they come to drink water at the river.
Let me know your favourite national park and your experience there. I would once again like to point out, you must visit these national parks for their feeling of jungle and not for just spotting tigers and lions.
If you really want to just look at Tigers or Lions, the you must visit zoos, not the national parks.