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Top 5 Best Tiger Reserves in India

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There are a total of 50 tiger reserves in India. Some of them are managed and protected excellently and some still suffer threats from poachers and people living in the vicinity of these areas.

Spotting a tiger in the wild is extremely hard and one should have patience, keeping in mind the practicality of seeing this beautiful animal in its natural habitat.

Of all the reserves, only a few of them offer a real chance to spot tigers. Some reserves keep good track of each and every tiger and also keep a tab on poaching. They have managed to reduce man-animal conflicts by relocating villages from the core area, and by organizing awareness campaigns and raking in nearby villagers to support them.

Some of them are suffering because of encroachment, ecological reasons, and some due to Naxalite activities.

This article lists the best tiger reserves in India where as a tourist you have the best chances of spotting this wonderful animal. Also in this article, you will find all the necessary information that will help you to plan and visit these places. I have also embedded videos and photographs of these reserves to get you excited.

My research of listing these reserves is based on the following points:

  • Tiger Density
  • Management Efficiency
  • Tourist Friendliness
  • Flora and Fauna of the park
  • Tourist activities
  • Hotels and Accommodation
  • Other close tourist attractions

1) Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

  • Location

Bandhavgarh National Park is located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The total area is 448.84 square KM of the park, which can be accessed by tourist (Tala range), other remaining areas are restricted.

  • Reaching There

By Air: Jabalpur Airport - 83.9 KM

The closest airport to the park is the Jabalpur Doomna airport. Flights are operated to and from Delhi. Most of the tourists arrive in Delhi and then board flights to Jabalpur. This is because the flight frequency is good.

By Train: Umaria Railway Station - 64.5 KM

Trains to Umaria majorly start from the northern part of India.

  • Flora & Fauna

The wildlife in the park is not only limited to tigers. Don't get disappointed if for some reason you are not able to sight a tiger because the park is full of beautiful animals, and the vegetation cover is fascinating. The park is in abundance with animals such as Chital, Sambhar, Chinkara, leopard etc. It also a paradise for bird watchers with more than 242 different species.

  • Hotels & Accommodation

There are many hotels and resorts in and around the national park. Some of the famous ones being:-

White Tiger Forest Lodge: This resort is maintained and operated by the Madhya Pradesh state government. Rooms are available for both AC and Non AC. The price range is between Rs. 2890-4490 depending on single or double room category. Extra beds are available at Rs. 1090.

Wild Haven Resort: One of the many other resorts available in Bandhavgarh National Park. Rooms rate are from 1500-2200

For a list of all hotels with user reviews and complete information: Bandhavgarh Hotels and Accommodation

  • Must Do
  1. Visit Bandhavgarh fort.
  2. Visit Baghel museum, which contains cherished belongings of the erstwhile Maharaja of Rewa, who maintained this park for his hobby of hunting, unfortunately.
  3. See the scenic beauty from the climbers' point.
  4. Visit Shesh Saya temple which dates back to 10th century.
  5. Badi Gufa is an ancient cave which is the biggest man-made cave in the park.
  6. The most famous tigress of the world, Sita (resident of BNP who was killed by poachers), which appeared on the cover of the National Geographic magazine got its name from a spot here known as Sita Mandap.
  7. Sita's partner Charger rest at a place by his name: Chargers point.
  • Other Nearby Tourist Attractions

Khajuraho Temples - Famous ancient temples. Takes approximately two hours to reach.

Bamera Dam & Majhauli Dam: Famous among bird enthusiasts. About 12 and 16 KM from the park.

  • Official Website

https://www.mponline.gov.in/portal/Services/Forest/Sites/bandhavgarh.html

Information Summary

TopicInformation

Location

Umaria District, Madhya Pradesh

Nearest Airport

Jabalpur Doomna Airport - 83.9 KM

Nearest Railway Station

Umaria Railway Station - 64.5 KM

Flora

Sal, Saja, Dhauda, Tendu, Arjun, Aonla, Pals, Salai, Bhirra, Khamer, Dhaman, Mango, Jamun, Bamboo, etc.

Fauna

Chital, Sambhar, Chinkara, leapord

Avifauna

More Than 242 Species

Reptile

Cobras, Kraits, Vipers and Python

Hotels & Accommodation

White Tiger Forest Lodge, Wild Haven Resort, Tree House Hideaway

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Khajuraho Temples, Bamera Dam, Majhauli Dam

Royal Bengal Tiger at Bandhavgarh National Park

Driving Directions

2) Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand

  • Location

Corbett National park is the first and oldest national park in India and is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. This is one of the most visited national parks in India, so you better prepare and plan for your visit. The total area is about 1316 square KM, not all of the area is open for tourist.

Only if you are very lucky you'll be fortunate to see a tiger in Corbett.

  • Reaching There

By Air - Pantnagar domestic airport is the nearest airport for reaching the park. The actual distance from the park is about 130 Km and it takes about 2 1/2 hours to reach the park. Flights are operated to/from New Delhi or otherwise, you will have to stop and board another flight if you are coming from other cities.

By Train - The closest railway station to the park is Ramnagar railway station and it is approximately 120 Km from the park.

  • Flora & Fauna

Tigers, Panther, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Bull Elephant, Ghariyal, Langur. A total of 488 species of plants, 585 species of birds, and 37 species of reptiles have been identified here. Apart from this different fishes that are unique to this place peacefully live here.

  • Hotels & Accommodation

Being the topmost preferred destination of tourist from around the world, there are many hotels in and around the park. List of popular hotels in Corbett national park.

  • Must Do
  1. Elephant Safari
  2. Trekking is allowed in the park with a guide, so if you want to have a closer look then go for treks.
  3. Visit Corbett museum
  4. Dhikala offers a transfixing view of the valley.
  • Other Nearby Tourist Attractions

Ranikhet - Beautiful hill station.

Kalagarh Dam for bird watching.

  • Official Website

http://www.corbettnationalpark.in/

Information Summary

TopicInformation

Location

Nainital, Uttarakhand

Nearest Airport

Pantnagar Airport

Nearest Railway Station

Ramnagar Railway Station

Flora

Sal, Khair, Sissoo, Ber, Kuthber, Bel, Chbilla, Dhak, Semal, Khingan, Kharpat, Rohini, Bakli, Pula and Bamboo

Fauna

Leopard, Elephant, Cheetal , Sambar , Hog Deer, Barking Deer , Wildboar Langoor And Rhesus Monkey

Avifauna

Peacock, Jungle Fowl, Partridges, Kaleej, Crow, Vulture, Parakeets, Laughing Thrush, Orioles, King Fishers

Reptile

Indian Marsh Crocodile, Gharials , King Cobra, Common Krait , Cobra, Russel's Viper

Hotels & Accommodation

Corbett Hideaway, La Perle Resort, Manu Maharani Resorts & Spa

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Ranikhet, Kalagarh Dam

Spotting a Tiger at Corbett National Park

Driving Directions

3) Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala

  • Location

Periyar National Park is located in the Idukki district of Kerala. This place is well-connected by road, air, and railways. Though the park is situated in Kerala, most of the tourist visit the park via Madurai.

  • Reaching There

By Air - There are two options for tourist: Madurai Airport (104 Km) & Kochi International Airport (111 Km). If you happen to travel via Madurai, then you can't afford to miss the Meenakshi Temple. One of the seven wonders of India, legend has it that it took over 600 years to build this masterpiece.

By Rail - The nearest station is Kottayam.

  • Flora & Fauna

One of the differences between other national parks and Periyar is the thick green cover. Almost every part of the park is covered with trees and plants. The picturesque sights become more pleasing when you admire the rich biodiversity and the fresh-water lake inside the park.

  • Hotels & Accommodation

The best hotel here is the Lake Palace Hotel located inside the reserve. Staying here is a luxurious experience. It feels like Maharaja here, and sighting the wildlife from the suites of the hotel is truly amazing. Rates are around 1350 and upwards. Consider yourself lucky if you get a booking at the Lake Palace Hotel.

List of other hotels in Periyar

  • Must Do
  1. There is a host of eco-tourism programmes that you can enroll. For example, they have boat rides, border hiking, bamboo rafting, among others.
  2. If you have visited any other parks on this list, then this will certainly offer something new.
  • Other Nearby Tourist Attractions

Any and every part of Kerala attracts tourist. The economy of Kerala thrives on tourism.

  • Official Website

http://www.forest.kerala.gov.in/index.php/wildlife/2015-03-16-09-50-24/2015-06-26-09-04-29/periyar-tiger-reserve

Information Summary

TopicInformation

Location

Iddukki, Kerala

Nearest Airport

Madurai Airport

Nearest Railway Station

Kottayam Railway Station

Flora

More Than 823 Species

Fauna

Bonnet Macaque, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar, Wild Dogs, Indian Porcupine

Avifauna

265 Species

Reptile

36 Species

Hotels & Accomodation

Thekkady Wild Corridor, Spice Village, Hotel Ambadi

Nearby Tourist Attractions

All Of Kerala

A Trip To Periyar National Park

Driving Directions

4) Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

  • Location

Kanha National Park is located in the Mandla district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the largest park in central India. If you are stuck in between to choose which park to visit in Madhya Pradesh, then Kanha must be the first choice, it's tourist-friendly and facilities are in abundance. You won't be disappointed after your trip.

  • Reaching There

By Air - The nearest airport to reach Kanha is Jabalpur Airport. Jabalpur in itself is well-connected and facilities for a city traveler can be easily found.

By Rail - Jabalpur is one of the main cities of Madhya Pradesh, and the nearest railhead is the Jabalpur Railway Station.

  • Flora & Fauna

Not just the yellow striped animal, Kanha has got a knack of saving endangered species. Hard Ground Barasingha, a subspecies of Swamp Deer are only found here. The MP government has relocated many villages of the surrounding to provide a conducive environment to facilitate the growth of animals. Deer, Sambhar, Barasingha, and Indian Bison can be easily spotted here.

Many species of turtles are found in the lake here. Nocturnal animals such as Python, Vipers, and Rat Snake can also be seen here.

More than 200 species of flowering plants have also been identified here.

  • Hotels & Accommodation

Kanha is highly marketed and hence accommodations for everyone's pocket are available. Be it budget rooms, luxurious or a combination of both; they are all here.

For a list of all hotels around Kanha: Click here

  • Must Do
  1. The wildlife panorama of this park is not limited to chital, migratory birds or others that this page list, there is so much more in here, so Elephant Safaris is a must.
  2. Visit the Kanha museum.
  • Other Nearby Tourist Attractions

Khajuraho Temples is a bit far from here but it would be worthwhile if you visit there. Another close by tourist attraction is Kawardha Palace, and if you have still fuel left in you or your car then visit Pench National Park.

  • Official Website:

http://www.mponline.gov.in/Portal/Services/Forest/Sites/kanha.html

Information Summary

TopicInformation

Location

Mandla, Madhya Pradesh

Nearest Airport

Jabalpur Airport

Nearest Railway Station

Jabalpur Railway Station

Flora

Sal, Saja, Lendia, Dhawa, Tendu, Palas, Bija, Mahua, Aonla

Fauna

Chital , Sambar , Barasingha , Barking deer , Chousingha , Gaur , Langur , Wild pig , Jackal, Sloth bear

Avifauna

Over 300 Species, Some Migratory

Reptiles

Indian Krait, Common Rat Snake, Common Skink, Indian Monitor, Fan Throated Lizard and Indian Garden Lizard

Hotels and Accommodation

Mogli Youth Hostel, Pug Mark Resort

Nearby Tourist Places

Khajuraho Temples, Kawardha Palace, Pench National Park

Searching Sherkhan At Kanha National Park

5) Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

  • Location

Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, it is considered as the first among which pressed and brought a positive change in the conservation of the big cats. The story of Ranthambore is fascinating, in 2008, as much as 14 cubs were born here which formed the basis of the tiger population which is now evident in the park.

  • Reaching There

By Air: The nearest airport for reaching there is Jaipur Airport (180 Km).

By Rail: The nearest railway station is the Sawai Madhopur Railway Station (11 Km).

  • Flora & Fauna

The park offers a distinct view of wildlife lovers and the main attraction are the tiger cubs, the birds, and crocodiles. The park is said to have 272 species of birds, 300 trees, and 50 types of aquatic plants.

At Ranthambore, the Tigers are the main attraction and it is highly commercialized to tourists that they will indeed sight a tiger, which is more often fulfilled.

  • Hotels & Accommodation

List of Hotels near the park: Hotels List

  • Must Do
  1. Visit Ranthambore Fort.
  • Other Nearby Tourist Attractions

Not one but many nearby areas of the park such as monuments at Tonk, Jaipur are famous among international and domestic tourist.

  • Official Website

http://www.rajasthantourism.gov.in/

Information Summary

TopicInformation

Location

Sawai Madhovpur, Rajasthan

Nearest Airport

Jaipur Airport

Nearest Railway Station

Sawai Madhovpur Railway Station

Flora

Dhok, Raunj, Goya, Chhela, Pipal, Vad, Amaltas, Gurjan, Siris Saintha,

Fauna

Leopard, Caracal, Ratel, Jungle Cat, Chital, Sambar, Blue Bull, Chinkara

Avifauna

More Than 272 Species

Reptiles

Main Attraction Marsh Crocodile

Hotels & Accommodation

The Pugmark, Abrar Palace Wildlife Resort, Vatika Resort

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Monuments at Tonk, all of Jaipur

Dancing Peacock, Ranthambore National Park

Driving Directions

Readers Choice

References Used

© 2011 Aarav

Comments

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wasif on November 07, 2013:

tadoba is also best

Aarav (author) from Mumbai on September 15, 2013:

@souvikm16 Feels great that you liked it. Thanks for the suggestion would surely explore more on the same.

Souvik Mukherjee from Bangalore, India on September 12, 2013:

Your article is fantastic. Voted up! Check out my hubs too for some related topics covered. Also, Nagarhole (Rajiv Gandhi) national park in Kabini backwaters of Karnataka also rates way up there in terms of tiger population according to the latest census. I guess you can combine your entry of Periyar Tiger Reserve into a more consolidated form of Niligiri Bio-reserve comprising of the Bandipur, Mudumalai, Nagarhole and Periyar sanctuaries!

truth seeker on August 18, 2013:

this is a false report that most of the best tiger reserves are situated only in South India

Nikhil Chandra from New Delhi on January 11, 2013:

A very detailed and informative post. Will really help those who are planning to undertake tiger spotting wildlife tour in India. Whereas Corbett almost always dissappoint when it comes to tiger spotting. Ranthambore followed by Bandhavgarh are best bet. I am heading to Ranthambore myself this month.

jkbtcr from India on April 09, 2012:

Nice work

Fullstopindia from USA on June 19, 2011:

Terrific Post! I've been to 3 of the 5 listed, looking forward to visiting the other 2.