If you are still figuring out your vacation plans, and want to travel to a place offering both comfort and adventure, then you should opt for a national park. The trip will take you into dense forests to observe nature and wildlife. Here are five national parks in India where you can relax and familiarise yourself with flora and fauna.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
With its centuries-old sandstone caves and local legends, Bandhavgarh offers a fulfilling experience. Although the core zones are closed during the monsoon season, the buffer zones provide ample opportunities to explore the park’s attractions. After scorching summers, a vibrant landscape painted with green dominates the forest ambience. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including approximately 37 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. While spotting every species may not be possible, you might be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a sambar deer prancing through the surroundings. Other animals you may encounter on your safari include leopards, sloth bears, jackals, and wild dogs. The avian population is equally impressive, featuring birds like the pond heron, sarus crane, Asian green bee-eater, and many more. To get a closer experience of the park, opt for a safari with both morning and afternoon slots available.
Best Time To Visit: According to its official website, the park welcomes visitors annually from October 15 to June 30. The prime season to explore the park, considering the climate of Central India is during the winter months from October to March
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu
The name “Mudumalai” translates to “the ancient hill range”, highlighting its historical significance dating back approximately 65 million years when the Western Ghats were formed, as per its website. The tiger reserve is situated in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, covering an area of 688.59 square kilometres. It holds a significant position as part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, the first Biosphere Reserve established in India in 1986. The reserve shares borders with the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala to the west, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka to the north, and the Nilgiris North Division to the south and east. The Gudalur Forest Division is located southwest, collectively creating a vast conservation landscape supporting flagship species like Tigers and Asian Elephants. The reserve gained more prominence after the Indian documentary “The Elephant Whisperers,” which was shot here, won at the Oscars.
Best Time To Visit: Mudumalai offers the advantage of a pleasant climate throughout the year due to its limited rainfall, making it an ideal destination for year-round visits
Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand
Spanning an area of 87 square kilometres in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It forms one of the core zones alongside the Nanda Devi National Park within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The valley boasts over 600 species of exotic flowers, including orchids, poppies, primulas, marigolds, daisies, and anemones, creating a captivating display. Sub-alpine forests accompanied by birch and rhododendron trees enhance the park’s charm. Perched at an altitude of approximately 3,600 metres above sea level, the valley is also home to a diverse range of rare and fascinating wildlife species. The valley’s wildlife population adds to its beauty, from snow leopards and Himalayan monal to agile grey langurs and flying squirrels.
Best Time To Visit: The best time to witness the blooming of flowers is between May and October
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
Located in the northern part of Goa, the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is relatively new. It’s known for its bluish-green or bright violet glow mushrooms, also called bioluminescent mushrooms. Situated near the town of Valpoi, the sanctuary offers guided tours that are highly recommended for those who wish to explore the region’s endemic orchids and native trees and observe wildlife such as sambar deer and wild boar, among others. While occasional sightings of the black panther, tiger, jungle cat, and Indian venomous snakes, including the spectacled cobra and saw-scaled viper, are possible, it’s important to note that they are not commonly encountered. The sanctuary, however, holds a diverse range of flora and fauna for visitors to appreciate.
Apart from its wildlife, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary provides an ideal monsoon getaway, offering activities such as whitewater rafting in the lively Mhadei River, rock climbing at Chorla Ghats, and monsoon trekking through the sanctuary’s hilly terrain.
Best Time To Visit: While October to March is the peak visiting season, the monsoon period is also an excellent time to explore the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary when the area looks even prettier.