Rajasthan is an asylum for a wide range of wildlife. The Wildlife National Parks in India stretches across the country offer an attractive diversity of topography, flora and fauna. Representative areas exhibiting all of the ecosystems have been designated as particular areas wildlife. There are about 80 National Parks and 441 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India.
India is the ground for the tiger, the elephant, the peacock and the rhinoceros, proposes natural habitat to the wild animals, an enchantment for the nature lover. The wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan offer some of the best wildlife in India and can be explored either by jeep or on elephant back.
Jim Corbett National Park, Dehradun
It has the unique honour of being India’s first national park. It is a great example of sal and mix woodland forest that swirls the outer Himalayas. It is a natural shelter for the biodiversity of the plains, the sub mountainous regions and high altitude areas. The few reported species includes 582 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals. Best time to visit is from November to February, in summer from March to June and the rainy season the rest of the year. Corbett is closed for public from June 15 to November 15.
Rajaji National Park, Dehradun
Three sanctuaries in the Dehradun Shivaliks- Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla were merged into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983, covering an area of 20.42 sq kms. The wildlife found here are elephants, tigers, leopards, deer and ghorals. The Park is a home for as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 avifauna species.
Kanha National Park, Mandla
The valley was declared a sanctuary in 1933 but as a National Park in 1955, covering 1,945 sq kms area, out of which 940 sq kms form the main park. It is located among the Banjar and Halon valleys of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Wildlife consists of Leopards, Gaur, Sambar, Chausinghas, Nilgais, Sloth Bears, Blackbuck, Langurs, Wild Boars, Porcupines, Mouse Deer, Hyenas, Jackals and Wild Dogs (Dholes). Avifauna includes Painted Spur Fowls, Lesser Whistling Teals, Common Teals, Pintails, Cotton Teals, Indian Rollers, Racket Tailed Drongos, Red Wattled Lapwings etc. Panna Tiger Reserve, Khajuraho
It is 32 kms from Khajuraho, situated along the river Ken and declared as Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in the year 1995. It has numerous waterfalls and an exquisite lake of Pandava falls. It is recognized for its large cats but very luckily one can view. It is mainly habitat for Nilgai, Indian Crocodile, Long Snouted Gharial, Sloth Bear, Wolf, Chital and Sambhar. Best time to visit January to May.
Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur
It is Rajasthan’s most well known tiger reserve under Project Tiger, covering 392 sq. km. area. Its name appeared from the enormous fort that is placed in the heart of the forest. One can spot sambhar, cheetal, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, jackal and hyena. Best time to visit is October to April.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur
An ornithologists’ delight, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, popularly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was declared a National Park in 1983 covering 29 sq. km. area. Its marsh attracts thousands of migratory birds, darters, cormorants, grey herons and storks hatch nearly 20,000 to 30,000 chicks every year. Mammals like the sambhar, black buck, chital, nilgai, fishing cat, otter and mongoose also roam freely here. Best time to visit is August to February.
Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar
The tiger reserve in Rajasthan, covering an area of 800 sq. km. with a core area of approximately 500 sq km., which was brought under Project Tiger in 1979. A prosperous and diverse fauna include leopard, nilgai, tiger, hyena, wild dog, chinkara, chausingha, langurs and rhesus monkeys. The avifauna diverges from shrike, parakeet, partridge, crest serpented eagle, dove, vulture, owl and golden backed woodpecker. Best time to visit is November to June.
Desert National Park, Jaisalmer
Established in 1980, spreading on 3162 sq. km. area. Varieties of Sparrows, Imperial Sand Grouse, Bustards, Falcons and Eagles travel here during the winter. The wildlife consists of Fox, Desert Cat, Hare, Spinney Tail Uromastix and Sand Fish. Sand dunes sketch out less than 20 percent of it. The park is also habitat to the great Indian Bustard which is at the risk of extinction. Best time to visit is September to March.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, Bikaner
Located on the Jaisalmer road, at 32 km from Bikaner. The lake and wooded hills of this reserve are inhabited by Wild Fowl, Hares, wild boar, desert foxes and a number of deer and antelopes including black bucks and blue bulls. The lake at Gajner attracts water birds in thousands as Imperial Sand House. It was the former hunting place for Bikaner.
Jaisamand Sanctuary, Udaipur
Established in 1957, covering a total area of 160 sq. km. This sanctuary is situated nearby the man-made lake of the same name harbouring Sloth Bear, Leopard, Chital, Chinkara, Wild Boar and a number of birds. Some crocodiles and fish can also be dotted here. Best time to visit is between November and January.
Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Udaipur
It is located in the craggiest of the Aravalli in Pali, Rajsamand and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan, covering 578 sq. km. area. It derives its name after the remarkable extraordinary fort of Kumbhalgarh in Udaipur. It turns green in monsoon and offers shelter to wolf, sloth bear, jackal, nilgai, sambhar, leopard, flying squirrel. It is also the only sanctuary where the Indian wolf is breeding successfully. Best time to visit is March to May and September to November.
Mount Abu Sanctuary, Mount Abu
It was affirmed as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1960. Large fissures are common in the rocks. The rocks are igneous and due the weathering effect of wind and water. This characteristic is distinctive of Aravalli and predominantly of Mt. Abu. This offers shelter to the common langaur, wild boar, the grey jungle fowl, sambhar and leopard. Besides, a number of flowering trees enhances the beauty of this place
Bandhavgarh National Park, Sahdol
The Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh covers an area of 448 sq. kms. and declared a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1993. Wild animals found include Chital (spotted deer), Sambar, deer, Dholes, nilgais, wild boars, chinkaras, hyenas, porcupines, where birds include white browed fantails, steppe eagles, green pigeons and white malabar hornbills (quite a rare sighting). The best time to visit the park is between December and February but April, May and June that are the finest time for tiger and leopard sightings.
Darrah Sanctuary, Kota
It was renowned as a sanctuary in 1955 and covers an area of 266 sq. km., located beside the southeastern border of Kota. Before this, it was a royal hunting preserve of the Maharaja. The animals here include Wolf, Sloth Bear, Chinkara and Leopard. The most admirable time to visit is between February and May. Other wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan include Sitamata, Darrah, Chambal, Tal Chapper, Jamwa Ramgarh, Kaila Devi, Van Vihar, Ramgarh, Shergarh, Todgarh-Rad and Jawahar Sagar.