Uttarakhand is a place that is blessed with abundant natural beauty. The state, with its hills, dense forests, excellent climate and rich soil, is perfect for having a variety of animals, birds, reptiles and all other kinds of wildlife. There are so many parks and sanctuaries here that attract tourists to a great extent. If you love to watch wildlife forms in full glory, this is the place to be. Make sure you load your camera adequately, as you will have hundreds of moments to capture in your lens while you are here. What are some of the best wildlife sanctuaries to visit on your trip to Uttarakhand? Read on to know more:

Jim Corbett National Park

If you don’t visit the Jim Corbett National Park, your trip to Uttarakhand is incomplete. This is the oldest park in India and is located in the hill station district of Nainital. Spread across a sprawling area of 521 sq.km, this place houses a whopping 488 species of plants and animals. Prior to Independence, this park was known as Hailey National Park. Post- Independence, the name got changed to Ramganga National Park; however by 1956, this park got its name as Jim Corbett National Park in memory of the great person, Jim Corbett, a hunter, author and the pillar of this park’s development.

The Royal Bengal Tiger is the prized possession of this park. Apart from tigers, you can find some rare species of animals like flying fox, King Cobra, hedgehog, Indian Pangolin, common musk shrew, elephants, deer, Nilgai, Gharial etc. You should visit this park just to see how well it is maintained. This park offers something for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, ornithologists, photographers etc. Plan your safaris well in advance during peak seasons so that you don’t get disappointed when you come here.

Rajaji National Park

Named after C. Gopalachari, Rajaji National Park is the next most important place to visit in Uttarakhand if you are a wildlife lover. This is the second tiger reserve in state (first being Corbett, obviously). Covering over 820km of area, Rajaji National Park was formed during 1983 after combining 3 sanctuaries – Rajaji Sanctuary, Motichur Sanctuary and Chilla Sanctuary. This sanctuary is found on the Shivalik Mountain Range. Just about 3 months back this place was renamed as Rajaji Tiger Reseve.

Some of the common species of wildlife found here are Striped Hyena, Himalayan Black Bear, Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Barking Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Python, Monitor Lizard, Jungle Cat, Indian Langur, Wild Boar, Indian Hare etc. You will have to pay entry fee of 150INR per person (Indians) and 600INR per person (foreigners) for entering into this park. Spring and summer seasons are good to come over here, as winter gets too chilly and monsoon season makes commuting around difficult for you.

Nanda Devi National Park

How does the idea of seeing a national park at a place which is not only the 2nd tallest peak in India but also a world heritage site sound to you? Incredible, isn’t it? This is exactly where you will go next, when you tour Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi National Park, as the name indicates, is located in Joshmath and is located in the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi. This is the place of bio geographical transition where the mountain peaks, glaciers and excellent pollution-free air cum ambience, make this park a place an apt location for rare species of flora and fauna.

This national park was declared a world heritage site during 1988. Many glaciers flow into this sanctuary, making it an absolute paradise on earth. This park is surrounded by many huge peaks due to which, it is a sure delight for adventure enthusiasts. Most of the trekking trails here are considered to be the best in the world. If you want to trek through this sanctuary, you should produce a valid medical certificate to the authorities. You will be provided tourist guides when you are here. Due to the altitude and harsh weather, the park is open only for 6 months from May to October.

The above mentioned parks are some of the bigger and more famous parks in the state of Uttarakhand. If you have some more time on your hands, you can also try out some other beautiful sanctuaries here like:

  • Valley of Flowers
  • Gangotri National Park
  • Govind  Pashu Vihar
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

And many more! So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets to Uttarakhand to get thrilled by the amazing wildlife species that this place has to offer you.

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