India is a land blessed with amazing diversity. Be it in its people or its cultures, in its natural endowments of wildlife or flora, the country has rich reserves of spectacular beauty. In also its many rare species and unique habitats, India has a number of protected areas under its folds. Such areas or wildlife sanctuaries define the myriad and exclusive diversity India is so resplendent in. Here’s taking a through through the most magnificent wildlife sanctuaries in India that will have the adventure freak in you totally enthralled-
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
The largest wildlife sanctuary in India is situated in Gujarat in one of India’s desert regions. The Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary expanses over a variegated landscape that offers an interesting mix of flora and fauna. Water birds and mammalian species dominate the wildlife charcateristics of this region which however has been an area famous for being the nestling ground of flamingoes. Not just in its many exuberant living species, the sanctuary is also as prominent a tourist attraction in its many fossilized discoveries. Fossils of dinosaurs and sea urchins as well as of crocodiles and whales of the past have been recovered here. In its such wonders and attraction, this is among the more majestic of wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
A wildlife sanctuary and natural World Heritage Site in Maharashtra, the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary also designated an Important Bird Area. Nestled in the lap of the picturesque Western Ghats, the sanctuary is a pristine place abundant in natural beauty. In its dense forests, the sanctuary houses some threatened species of plants, including some medicinal and numerous seasonal ones. Different species of birds and animal also abound in the sanctuary that also is the exclusive habitat of an endemic frog species.
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
A forest and wildlife sanctuary in the Indian state of Gujarat, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is famous mainly for it being home to the Asiatic lion. In fact as the only region in Asia where these endangered species occur, the Gir sanctuary is among the most important protected areas in Asia. The diverse flora and fauna that makes up the ecosystem of Gir has led it to be considered as the jewel of Gujarat’s ecological resources. With more than 400 plant species and some 2,375 distinct fauna species, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary definitely assumes prime importance in India’s repository of wildlife treasures.
Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh
A wildlife sanctuary that is striking in its encompassment of varying altitudes along its expanse is the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh. Nestled in the Middle Himalayan range, the sanctuary is in fact part of a forest fed by rains and melting glaciers. One of the most picturesque wildlife sanctuaries in India, Rupi Bhaba is a paradise of a differential degree. On one hand there is the most exotic of greens and the clearest of blues; on the other there rests the majesty of its many wildlife assets that ramble along in its pristinity.
One of the best places in India to spot the elusive snow leopard, the protected region has some 65 species of animals and 200 species of birds making it a grand experience for every nature lover. Be it the magnificence of the wandering wildlife or the allure of the trek across its undulating terrains, the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary is indeed a grandiose existence.
Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
In being one of the rarest eco regions of the world, the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary is already every conservationist’s favorite. Additionally, the protected area also harbours the potential to become world’s first reserve for a few of the IUCN identified endangered species, most notably the fishing cat. In its vast tracts of pristine mangrove forests and a host of flora and fauna resources, this is one among the most magnificent of wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary might be the first of its kind in Kerala but that’s not the only distinction owing it its fame. Noted in being termed by reknowned Indian ornithologist Salim Ali as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India, the sanctuary is indeed every bird lover’s paradise. Winters are particularly delightful an experience in Thattekad as migratory birds make the place their haven during the months of November to February. With almost 250 recorded species of birds and quite a few cuckoo and butterfly varieties, the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is God’s own dwelling place in His own country!
Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary, Ladakh
A high altitude wildlife sanctuary nestling amidst the spectacular landscape of Leh- Ladakh is the Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary. In being among one of the few areas in India with a migratory population of the Chiru or Tibetan Antelope, this is one among the important wildlife sanctuaries of India. The area is also significant in being home to a wide range of medicinal plants specially conducive to its cold desert clime, with fifteen of these species being rare and endangered.
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, Odisha
A marine wildlife sanctuary in Odisha, Gahirmatha is prominent in being the world’s largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley Turtles. Also known as the Gahirmatha Turtles Sanctuary, the area also is inhabited by Irrawaddy dolphins apart from the smallest species of sea turtles. A world heritage site, Gahirmatha bears considerable significance on turtle conservation and is a popular tourist site. Definitely a one of its kind among the many wildlife sanctuaries of India, Gahirmatha is guaranteed to leave every nature love enthused with the magnificent sight of these thousands of tiny crawlies nesting away at the beach.
Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
As the only habitat in the world of the critically endangered bird species the Jerdon’s courser, the Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most significant of protected areas. A elusive nocturnal bird with long legs and large eyes, the courser was regarded as extinct since its last spotting in 1900. However the rare beauty was rediscovered in the year 1986 in the scrub jungles of Andhra Pradesh in the area that now forms this wildlife sanctuary. With also some rare and endangered flora in tow, Sri Lankamalleswara is a true nature haven.
Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary, Bihar
Kanwar Lake is one of the quietest bird sanctuaries in India which make it even more convenient and delightful a bird watching paradise. Also as the largest freshwater oxbow lake in Asia, Kanwar Lake relies on its spectacular beauty and magnificence to emerge as among the distinctive wildlife sanctuaries of India. About 60 migratory birds find their way here all through Central Asia in winter rendering it a really exquisite sight for fanciers of the avian life.
Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jharkhand
Popular in being the paradise for elephants, the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary in Jharkhand is one among the notable sanctuaries in India. Also famous for tapping on its potential for forest tourism, the sanctuary is an ideal site for trekkers and for animal watchers. With its dense green forests and a host of tourist attractions in and around apart from its diverse wildlife treasures, the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary is also a prime tourist attraction.
Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Another wildlife sanctuary of Maharashtra that also is a natural World Heritage Site is Radhanagari. Also popularly known as the Bison Sanctuary in its flagship species being the Indian bison, the region is a notified ecological sensitive area in India. In its 425 species of plants that which includes medicinal plants and sacred groves, Radhanagari is a vibrant ground of floral presence. Also among the few wildlife sanctuaries in India designated as an important bird area, the region boasts of 264 species of avian fauna and is home to the rare and globally threatened Nilgiri wood-pigeon. Besides, some threatened species of reptiles and amphibians along with 47 species of animals make Radhanagiri quite a biodiversity hotspot.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
An integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Kerala’s Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is significant in holding a sizeable population of tigers as well as Asian elephants in India. Besides, it is also one of the safest havens for different species of vultures, including some critically endangered ones. The flora composition of the region is equally varied, as is its fauna and avian fauna population. As a sanctuary that shares its borders with other protected areas, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary sits resplendent in its pretty boisterous ecology that renders it all the more a hotspot among adventure enthusiasts finding thrill in nature.
Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha
One of the largest zoos in India, Nandankanan is also in part a wildlife sanctuary. Particularlu famous for its majestic white tigers, this protected area in Odisha also prominently houses white gharials. Some 67 species of mammals, 81 species of birds, and 18 species of reptiles call the zoological park their home even as 130 species of orchids bloom cheerfully in this park literally translating as the Garden of Pleasure.
Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
Home to such critically endangered species as the white-backed vulture and the long billed vulture is the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary. As the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India, the estuary houses 24 of these mangrove tree species. Also with some 120 species of fauna, the sanctuary is a popular tourist hotspot with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Nestling along the deltaic branches of the Gouthami and Godavari rivers, Coringa is one of the wildlife sanctuaries in India that boasts a unique ecosystem.
Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh is the largest natural flood plain wetland of India that provides a wintering and staging ground for a number of migratory waterfowls and a breeding ground for resident birds. Migratory birds from as many countries as Tibet, China, Europe and Siberia flock to Bakhira during the winter months. Local species like the purple swamp hen and kaima further add beauty with their presence around the Bakhira lake that which is home to some 30 species of fish.
Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
Famous for its many hot water springs from which it derives its name, the Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Assam. Home to such species of fauna as the Hoolock Gibbon and the Golden Langur, the region also remains surrounded by another protected area, the Nambar sanctuary that houses as much as 51 rare orchid species. One of the oldest sanctuaries of Assam, Garampani make for quite a picturesque getaway amidst the amazing beauty of north east India.