Wildlife in India | Wildlife Sanctuaries | National Parks in India

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India has a variety of wildlife habitat and offers some of the most unforgettable wildlife settings in the world.

India's geographic, climate and vegetation diversity make it the home of over 1200 bird and 350 animal species, many of which are unique to the subcontinent. India's protected wilderness consists of 53 national parks and 247 sanctuaries spread over 90000 sq. km of land. The Gir Forests in Gujarat is the only surviving home of the Asiatic Lion. Manas and Kaziranga in Assam have a significant population of one horned rhinos and Periyar in Kerala is best known for wild elephant viewing. Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Sariska, Ranthambore, Dudhwa and Corbett Park are some of the country's best known tiger reserves. Sundarban, Asia's largest mangrove is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Bharatpur has the largest Bird Sanctuary in Asia. Water birds include herons, ibis, pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, egrets, open billed storks, various species of ducks and geese as well as the endangered Siberian Crane.

October to March is the most pleasant time to visit any sanctuary in the country. All sanctuaries are accessible by car and all have accommodation within or near them.

It’s only the Indian subcontinental that both the tiger and the lion can be found. This interesting fact is also a tiny indicator of the vast variety of habitants available to wildlife (and Tourist) in India. While a tiger hunts alone, crouching behind cover, lions rush at their prey needing good visibility and no obstructions. The tiger therefore needs forests just as lion needs savannah grasslands,two very different habitats .And India has a bewilderingly rich variety of habitats and forest on offer , many of which have atleast one animal unique to them:Himalayan high altitude (snow leopard,ibex,musk,deer); eastern rainforests and swaqmps (rhinos) ;semi –arid scrubs and savannah in the west (lion,black buck);rainforests of the western ghats (Nilgiri tahr);mangroves (where the tiger has adapted to eating fish!) to name a few these are protected in 89 National Park and 482 Wildlife Sanctuaries.

You may think that the story of wild life in India would be all about animals and forests, and you could be excused for thinking so. But life is rarely so simple, certainly wild life is not. For a start, your ‘animal’ may encompass a sharp-toothed roaring mammal but would you consider a tiny bigeyed loris as wildlife.And the forest-do you have mixed deciduous, Sub-Himalayan, alluvial, semi-evergreen, or mangrove in mind. And then there are the Maharajas. No self respending Indian wildlife story so much as gets off to a start without Maharajas. And hunters, and conservationists, and the delicious paradox of hunters-turned conservationists, and the delicious paradox of hunters –turned –conservationists.

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Defined in the 1972 Wildlife protection act and as an IUCN category, National Park are given the highest degree of protection. They are ‘core’ wildlife preserves, for the “conservation of species or habitats”; in which almost no human activity allowed. They are funded by the central and state governments in Partnership, but are managed by the state government concerned. At times; a National Park may be a smaller, core zone of a larger wildlife sanctuary.

•        Bandhavgarh National Park, M.P.
•        Kanha National Park, M.P.
•        Great Himalayan National park, H.P.
•        Corbett National Park, Uttaranchal
•        Kaziranga National Park, Assam
•        Eravikulam National Park, Kerala
•        Mudumalai National Park, Ooty
•        Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Rajasthan
•        Gir National Park, Gujarat
•        Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
•        Sunder bans National Park, West Bengal
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As far as protection of wildlife in India goes, large parts of it all indeed began with the tiger. In the early 20th century, there were possibly some 40,000 tigers in India. By 1970 the number was estimated to be having fallen to 2,000; it was still legal to hunt tigers and export their skin till then. The centrally sponsored project Tiger was launched in 1973, with 9 tiger reserve. Tigers at that time were facing the standard problems of destruction of habitat (forests being cleard or disturbed due to timber operations, mining, drilling……….) poaching ,which is still rampant, and loss of food since the tiger prey-smaller animals – suffer from forest destruction as well. All of these problems persists to date in various degrees.

The project tiger measure included setting up ‘core areas’out of bounds to the public as well as activities like grazing or forestry so that the tigers could breed in peace. ‘Buffer zones’ were made around core areas .Protected coridores were made between the forests so that the increasing population could spread out.while some incredibely heartening numbers of increase in tiger population were bandied about in the earlier decades, these were in all probability inflated to show success and based on uncertain methology such as basing calculation on pug marks.But there definitely was an upshowing in numbers. The no. of tiger reserves is now 27 and according to the recent estimates there are around 2,600 tiger in country.

Apart from ensuring the survival of the tiger, project tiger inherentely meant the protection of the forests of several others species (such as the endangered hard – ground barasingha in Kanha), pure river water (since some 300 rivers floth through the tiger reserves) checking erosion, preserving our ecosystems...Billy Arjan Singh, famous for hand – rearing the tiger Tara in the Dudhwa National Park, Puts it most eloquently: “The air we breathe and the water we drink stem from the biodiversity of the universal environment and its economics. The tiger is at the centre of this truth. If it goes, we go.”
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Kaziranga National Park, Assam

In a UN Heritage listing, Kaziranga has been described as “one of the last areas in eastern India almost undisturbed by man”. It is most celebrated for the presence of the one –horned Rhinoceros, which had been pouches almost two extinction, mainly because in Southeast Asia its “horn” (actually a mass of matted hair) is believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Today the park has the world largest population of this rhino. The number came up to 1,500 with protection. The rhino apart Kaziranga contains some 14 other threatened species such as the hoolock gibbon and the bristly hare of which, it was estimated, only 101 specimens are left in wild.

Manas National Park, Assam
“Richest in species of all Indian wildlife areas”Manas encompasses diverse habitats such as wooden semi-evergreen hills,grassland,and deciduous forest.Manas suffered great damage during 1988-1996, thanks to Bodo insurgency, when the park had to be closed and entered the UN;s Heritage in Danger list. It has the largest number of endangered species among Indian National Parks. Some of it’s33 threatened species are golden langur, which is endemic to Manas ,tiger, of which it has second largest population, pygmy hog, Ganges dolphin, sloth bear, clouded leopard etc. The Bengal Florican threatened species of bustard, is also endemic to Manas.

Nanda Devi, Uttaranchal

Associate with one of the highest park in the world, Nanda Devi this National Park is closed to tourist to protect its fragile ecosystem; the first successful mountaineering expedition to Nanda Devi in 1936 drew attention to the wild life aspects of the untouched area. It was made a game sanctuary in 1939 and later a national park, which is the core zone of much larger area. In term of Habitat, the national Park lies in the huge glacial basin of the Rishi Ganga River, surrounded by some spectacular peaks and snow bound for some six months every year. This makes it home to the Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan Black bear, snow leopard, and goral to name some of the exotic fauna.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Rajasthan
A private duck shooting reserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1950 century, Bharatpur become a Bird Sanctuary in 1956.The wetland that form the base of the santuary.were artificially created by diverting the waters of an irrigation canal for the Maharaja’s hunting purposes. This is birds country large carnivores are absent from here. Some 364 species of birds have been recorded in the park. It’s a major wintering area for a large number of aquatic birds from places like Afghanistan, Turmenistan, and china and is especially famous as the last known wintering ground of the Siberian crane in India. This crane flies a route of 6,400 km from Siberia. Its number has been declining alarmingly through; only one pair was observed in 2001.Keoladeo is a really successful breeding site for herons, storks, and cormorants. You can also spot gadwalls; Shovellers, teals, duck, cormorant, storks, sandpipers. Bicycles, rickshaws, and boats for navigating the wetlands are available.

Sunderbans, West Bengal
Sunderbans is part of the 10,000 sq km of Mangrove forests and water that spread across India and Bangladesh (of which some 40 % lies in India) it’s also the part of one of the world’s largest deltas formed by the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghan rivers. It’s an ever –changing fluid geometry of land and water, with tides and alluvial deposit shaping the two. You can explore this national park on a network of waterways, some of which can be a mile across, spotting Ganges dolphin, Irrawaddy dolphin, finless porpoise and water birds such as storks, ibises, kingfishers, as also egrets and herons. The tiger population around 270 is the largest in India. Other mammals include the wild boar - the main prey for the tiger here fishing cat, spotted deer. River terrapin and estuarine crocodiles abound and the famous olive ridley turtle nests here too. The mangroves have adapted to flooding and salinity by using roots that breathe called pneumatophores.

When visiting a protected area:

•        Do follow the rules; for example, do not walk around if you are not allowed to.
•        Wear Clothes in shades of brown and green that don’t make you stand out in the forest.
•        Avoid perfumes and smoking (the latter is illegal anyway) or the animals will smell you sooner and disappear faster.
•        Carry binoculars.
•        Animals are extremely wary of the human voice.
•        Don’t make a noise: that means talk softly, don’t play music avoid noisy vehicles and don’t use the car horn.
•        Don’t leave behind any litter; you can kill an animal with a carelessly left plastic bag.
•        There is no one ‘best season’ applicable to all protected areas. Some mammals may be better seen as summer approaches          and they tend to congregate around water bodies, while birds in Keoladeo Ghana are a glorious experience in post-monsoon          September-October.
•        Find out about the habits of the animal you most want to see to avoid disappointment.
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NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK


Namdapha National Park is situated in Arunachal Pradesh and famous for the extremely elusive snow and the clouded leopard. This Namdapha Park is also the tiger reserve under Project Tiger. It is the only park in the country where four of the felines are found (tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and clouded leopard). The park largely is inaccessible, has diverse habitats and flora and fauna that are typical of this area. The majestic gaur or mithun, elephant, Himalayan black bear, takin, the wild goat peculiar to the Patkoi range, musk deer, slow loris, binturong and the red panda are all found here.
A number of primate species are seen in the park, such as the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque and the distinctive hoolock gibbon. Hornbills, jungle fowl, pheasants etc. are also found amongst other coloured bird species

Flora And Fauna: The inhabitants of the park which could be listed over there are the gaur or mithun, elephant, Himalayan black bear, takin, the wild goat peculiar to the Patkoi range, musk deer, slow loris, binturong and the red panda. Several primate species like the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque and the hoolock gibbon can be found in the area. Three major rivers drain this area.
The Namdapha National Park is a combination of various species of trees and shrubs. The park is covered with wet tropical rain forest, which has thick lush green undergrowth. With more than 150 species of timber it is a botanist’s dream destination Rare and endangered orchids and famous medicinal herbs grow in the park.
The forest cover of the National Park provides a home to a range of rare endangered birds. The White winged Wood Ducks, the great Indian Hornbills, Jungle Fowls and Pheasants and more can be sighted in this forest.

Fauna: Leopard, Gaur or Mithun, Elephant, Himalayan black bear, takin, the wild goat, Patkoi range, musk deer, slow loris, binturong and the red panda. Species like the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque and the hoolock gibbon. 
Season: October to March

Accessibility

By Air
The nearest airport is situated at Dibru Garh, which is 163-km away from the park.
By Rail
The nearest railhead is Lido, situated 56 - km away from Namdhapa Tiger Park.
By Road
163 Kms Away from Dibru Garh
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RAJGIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY


Area: 36 sq. km.

Location: The sanctuary is located at Rajgir, in the district of Nalanda, Bihar.

Description: Rajgir wildlife Sanctuary is situated at Rajgir, around 102kms from the capital city of Patna in Bihar. The sanctuary covers an area of around 36sq.kms and is surrounded by various hills. These hills are related to Buddhist & Jain religion and have a very rich historical past. The place has a very beautiful classical monsoon climate. The place abounds in natural vegetation cover and mainly comprises of tropical deciduous forests. There are various rare species of plants & trees that are hard to find somewhere else. The sanctuary shelters various species of animals like hyenas, leopards, nilgai, barkind deer etc. The time period between the months of October-June is the ideal period for visiting the sanctuary.
Rajgir Wildlife holds in its belly spectacles of numerous kinds. The splendid sanctuary covers an area of around 34 sq km. It is definitely less than most of the sanctuaries in India, but this also makes it the most interesting as well because the number of animals is equal to any other sanctuary. Leopards, Nilgai, Barking deer, and Hyena are the most commonly seen. There are many more sanctuaries in close proximity like the Gautam Buddha Sanctuary in Gaya and Koderma Wildlife Sanctuary.

Flora: The place is very rich in vegetation cover and comprises of various species of plants & trees, which are hard to find somewhere else.

Fauna: The sanctuary is a home to various species of animals that mainly comprises of elephants, gaurs, black buck, chital, wild dogs, sambar, gharials, muggers and many more. During summer times various herds of elephants come to this place in search of water. Gaurs remain close to elephants as they can feed on the clumps that are pulled down by elephants. With the presence of various rivers, one can find a large number of muggers and gharials along the banks.

Best Time to Visit: October to June
Climate: Tropical-Summers are very Hot & Dry.

How to Reach

By Air
The nearest airport is situated at Patna (102 kms).

By Rail
The closest railway station is situated at Rajgir.

By Road
The sanctuary is well connected by road to major places.

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DACHIGAM NATIONAL PARK


Location: 22 kms from Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K

Area: 141 sq. kms.

Established: It was declared a national park in 1951.

Attractions: Kashmir Stag, Himalayan Black Bear, Markhor, Ibex, Exotic Birds

Description
Located very close to Srinagar (22-km), Dachigam National Park with its splendid forests and magnificent scenery is easily accessible. Of all the many sanctuaries in the state, the one at Dachigam is the best known. At one time the exclusive hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Kashmir, it was declared a national park in 1951, and owing to a strictly enforced conservation programme, the Hangul population, once 150, now stands at over 400 animals.

The Sectors
The two sectors of the Park - Upper and Lower Dachigam are spread over an area of 141-sq-km. and altitudes vary between 1,700 and 4,300 metres. Two steep ridges enclose the Park with its great topographical variety - deep ravines, rocky outcrops, steep wooded slopes and rolling alpine pastures. Tumbling down from the Masrar Lake (4,300m), up in the high ranges, the Dachigam River winds through Lower Dachigam

Fauna 
The Park is the habitat of the endangered Hangul or the Kashmir stag - the only species of red Deer to be found in India. Winter is the best time to view the Hangul, when they congregate in the shelter of the lower valleys. Other inhabitants include the Himalayan Black Bear, species of wild Goat like the Markhor and Ibex and varieties of exotic Himalayan birds.
The leopard, which is the only predator in this paradise, is rarely seen as also the elusive snow leopard, which is found in the higher altitudes. Other animals include the rare musk deer and the Himalayan marmot. A metalled road takes visitors from Srinagar into Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can only be explored on foot.

Avifauna
There over 150 species of birds inhabiting park's vicinity. Colourful pheasants include the Crimson Tragopan, the iridescent Monal Pheasant with its glittering plumage, the Blood Pheasant and the Koklass Pheasant. The golden Eagle and the bearded Vulture or Lammergeier are seen circling the brilliant blue skies.

Prime Attraction
Amidst forests of silver birch and conifer roams the Hangul. Rare and on the verge of extinction till a few years ago, the national park at Dachigam contains the last viable Hangul population in the world. Related to the red Deer of Europe, this breed is characterised by its white rump patch and impressive spread of antlers.

Best Time to Visit

Upper Dachigam: May – August
Lower Dachigam: September – December
Bird Viewing: March – May

How to Reach

Air: The nearest town and airport is Srinagar 22-km away.

Rail: It is 310-km from Jammu, the nearest railway station.

Road: A metalled road links Srinagar with Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can be reached on foot.


HAZARIBAGH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY


Area:
183.89 sq. km.

Established:
 In Year 1955

Description: The Hazaribagh National Park lies in the newly formed state of Jharkhand. Nestling in low hilly terrain, at an average altitude of 1800 ft. (615 metres) this 183.89 sq. kms National Park has an abundance of wild animals, i.e. wild Boar, Sambar, Nilgai, Chital, Sloth Bear, tiger and Panthar. The 1970 census has established the presence of 14 tigers, 25 Panthers and 400 Sambars.
The Hazaribagh National Park has abundant wild animals like the Chital, Nilgai, Panther, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Tiger and Wild Boar. The Cheetal, Kakar, Nilgai, Sambar and Wild Boar are among the most easily and often spotted animals particularly near the waterholes at the time of the dusk. The population of the tigers is very less. According to 1991 Census, there were 14 tigers in the park. The tigers are really difficult to sight.
A 111-km long stretch of the road in the sanctuary takes the tourists to the remotest corners and masonry towers of the park. The road, strategically laid down, offers excellent opportunities for the view of the wild animals. The tribal population also lives around the sanctuary. The ark has many watchtowers that act as the perfect hideouts to see the wildlife in its natural surroundings.

Temperature (Deg C)

Summer:
 Max. 41.1 & Min. 19.4
Winter: Max. 25.5, Min. 07

Best Season: October to March

How to Reach

By Air
The nearest airport Ranchi (91 km). 

By Rail
The nearest railway station is Koderma, which is 59 km away.

By Road
Hazaribagh town is connected by road to Ranchi 91 km, Dhanbad 128 km, Gaya 130 km, Patna 235 km, Daltongunj 198 km.

Excursions

Canari Hill (5 kms): Cycle Rickshaws available from the Hazaribagh town.

Rajrappa Falls (89 kms):
State Transport Bus operates daily an early morning service to this place from the town.

Suraj Kund (72 kms):
Hot spring. Buses are available from the town.


PENCH NATIONAL PARK


Location: 80 kms from Nagpur

Area Covered: 758 sq. kms

Established: In year 1977

Description
Pench National Park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills is named after Pench River which flows from north to south through the Pench National Park. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh.
Recently in 1992, Pench has been included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.
A total of 758 Sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools locally known as 'dohs' are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. The Pench Reservoir at the center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period.
Langoors are very common in Pench, whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes. Pench boasts of, more than 210 species of birds that include several migratory ones also. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin and lesser whistling teal.

Flora
It is blessed with forests spread in all the direction. As per the physiognomy, the forest type is southern tropical dry deciduous teak and southern tropical mixed deciduous forest with other species of shrubs, trees and climbers. Teak and its associate’s moyan, mahua, mokha, skiras, tendu, bija, achar, garari, aonla, ghont, baranga, amaltas, kihamali, khair, palas. Bamboo occurs sparsely, restricted to some valley.

Fauna
The Pench National Park is very rich in fauna and a number of endangered species have made it their habitat. There are aroung 55 tigers under this umbrella of the Park. 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and over 210 varieties of birds have already been listed.

Best Season: October – June

Park Timings
The Pench National Park is open to the visitors from October 01st to June 30th each year and closed during the rainy seasons July- Sept.

How to Reach

By Air: Nearest airport Nagpur 80 kms

By Rail: Nearest railhead Nagpur 80 kms

By Road: Well connected by an all weather metalloid road network to other important places in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

Where to Stay

•        Jungle Camp
•        Mahua Vann
•        Mowgli Den Resorts
•        Tiger ‘N’ Woods
•        Tiger Corridor Resort
•        Tiger Valleg Resort


DUDHWA NATIONAL PARK


Area: 498.29 sq. km
Established: In 1977

Description
Further east along the Terai, the Dudhwa National Park, which is also a Tiger Reserve, is localted in the district of Lakhimpur - Kheri, very close to the Nepal border. The 498.29 sq. km. Park has fine sal forests and extensive grasslands.
Tall coarse grass, sometimes-forming impenetrable thickets, swampy depressions and lakes characterise the wetlands of the Park. These are the habitat of large numbers of barasingha, the magnificent swamp deer, noted for their multi-tined antlers (bara-12 singha-horn). These in turn support the predators-the tiger and leopard. Though the PARK has a fair population of tigers, they are rarely seen owing to the nature of the forest cover.
The grasslands are also ideal terrain for the Indian one horned rhinoceros. In an exciting project undertaken in 1984, a number of rhinos were Trans located here from Assam and Nepal, in an attempt to extend their habitats and to exclude the possibility of wiping out entire populations through diseas and epidemics. Presently, 13 rhinos can be seen in Dhudwa.
Other inhabitants include the sloth bear, jackal, wild pig and the lesser cats- fishing cat, leopard cat, jungle cat and civet. Dudhwa has also an abundance of birds. There are spectacular painted storks, black and white necked storks, sarus cranes and varied night birds of prey, ranging from the great Indian horned owl to the jungle owlet, Colorful woodpeckers, barbets, kingfishers, minivets, bee eaters and bulbuls flit through the forest canopy.
From mosaic grasslands and dense sal forests to swampy marshes, the terrain of Dudhwa National Park is as diverse as the wildlife population it harbors. While the northern edge of the Park lies along the Indo-Nepal border, the River Suheli marks the southern boundary.
A Tiger Reserve since 1879, Dudhwa became a National Park in 1977 and adopted the Project Tiger in 1988. Although the Tigers at the Park are numerous, sightings are rare due to the thick forest cover of the area. Besides Tigers, Leopards, Hispid Hares, Swamp Deer (Barasingha) and Rhinos thrive amidst the vegetation.

Wildlife Attractions in Dudhwa National Park

Flora
Apart from the swamp deer, there are at least 37 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles. Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary is said to have 101 tigers and four leopards. Recently, the hispid hare has also been spotted in the area.
It was here in 1984 that a major rhinoceros rehabilitation project was started since these forests had been the habitat of the rhinoceros 150 years ago. Five rhinos were relocated from Assam but two of the females died due to the strain of transportation. These were replaced in 1985 by four more females from Nepal.
Dudhwa's birds, in particular, are a delight for any avid bird watcher. The marshlands are especially inviting for about 400 species of resident and migratory birds including the Swamp Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minivets and many more. Much of the park’s avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around Dudhwa’s lakes- especially Banke Tal.

Fauna
The major vegetation types in this region are tropical semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest, riparian and swamp forest and dry deciduous forest. The dominant tree species are Shorea robusta, Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Terminalia belerica, Eugenia jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax malabaricum. The various types of forests throughout the park are interrupted by wide stretches of mesophyllous grasslands locally called the phantas.

Safaris
The forest provides no jeep safaris or guides. Jeeps and mini buses can be hired to move around inside the park. Elephant rides through the Park are also available and moreover the mahouts or Elephant drivers also double up as guides.

Other Attractions
The park is conveniently located at an easily approachable distance from all the major tourist attractions of the state. Travel to the historic city of Lucknow or pay a visit to the shimmering water of the Ganga at Varanasi. You can also visit Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

How to Reach

By Air: Lucknow is the most convenient airport. Outside India, Nepal at 35 kms is the nearest airport.

By Rail:
The nearest railheads are Dudhwa (4 kms), Palia (10 kms) and Mailani (37 kms), however the most convenient way would be to travel to Lucknow (conveniently connected to most of the Indian cities) and hit the road or take a train to any of the nearer stations from there.

By Road:
The State Roadways buses and private bus services link Palia to Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly and Delhi. Buses are frequent between Palia and Dudhwa.

Distances from Major Cities

Lucknow:
182 km NW / 4 Hrs
Ramnagar: 50 km
Delhi: 410 km

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DR. SALIM ALI BIRD SANCTUARY


Location: Chorao, North Goa
Closest City: Panjim, 3 kms
Closest Airport: 35 kms
Closest Station: Karmali, 12 kms

Description

Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located just 3 kms from Panjim city on the western end of ChoraoIsland along the Mandovi River. It is accessible from Ribandar by a ferry. The Sanctuary is home to a variety of colourful resident & migratory birds and over 14 species of mangroves. It is a criss-cross of water channels that change with the tides.

During the winter months of November to January, migratory birds flock to feed on the banks of the River Mandovi, adjoining the sanctuary. Also, there are a number of resident birds and a few animals that can be seen throughout the year. The watch tower in the sanctuary provides an excellent view of the sanctuary and bird life. Also if you wish you can hire canoes to navigate through the water channels to get an actual feel of the mangroves and surrounding vegetation.

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SULTANPUR BIRD SANCTUARY


Location: Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Area: 44.5 sq. km.
Season: October to March
Climate: Tropical

Description
A black tailed godwit gracefully descends upon the tranquil water, flutters its wings and sails on. A small, brown and white wader with a slightly up curved bill, the bird has traveled 3500 kms from its nesting ground in Central Europe to spend the winter at Nalsarovar in Gujarat! Clouds upon clouds of more than 200 types of birds land in this lake having made an equally long journey to escape the harsh winter of their nesting areas. Here they find food and warmth. These migrant birds visit Nalsarovar every year from November to February. During these four months water is plentiful and fish, insects and aquatic plants abound in the lake - an ideal environment for the birds. Nalsarovar at this time is a birdwatcher's delight. When food and water are scarce in Nalsarovar, some birds go away for short periods to nearby areas and return to the lake after monsoon to a feast of fish and insects. These are the resident birds. The lake - Nalsarovar - and the wetlands around it were declared a bird sanctuary in 1969. Spread over 120 sq.kms, the lake and the extensive reed beds and marshes are an ideal habitat for aquatic plants and animals. The lake attracts a large variety of birds like plovers, sandpipers and stints.

Flora
The vegetation of this park is tropical and dry deciduous and the flora include grasses, dhok, khair, tendu, ber, jamun, acacia and banyan tree.

Fauna
The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is home to a large range of birds, both resident and migratory. Migratory geese and Siberian cranes spend the winter in Sultanpur and the are also the demoiselle cranes, ruddy shelducks, pelicans, flamingoes, bar-headed geese, grey lags, gadwalls, mallards, pochards, shovellers and teals. Local species include plovers, red-wattled lapwings, herons, cormorants, white ibises, spoonbills and painted storks. Other wildlife in the park include blackbuck, Nilgai, hog deer, Sambar, wild dog or dhole, caracal, wild cat, hedgehog, mangoose, striped hyena, Indian porcupine, rattle/honey badger, leopard, wild pig and four horned antelope.

Other Attractions
Sultanpur Lake is the point around which the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary has been developed. The Lake is a picnic spot for the residence of Delhi and boating facilities are also available here. The lake has a good number of reptiles and it attracts a lot of migratory birds during winters.

Accessibility

By Air
The nearest airport Indra Gandhi International and Domestic Airport 35 km. Indra Gandhi airport is connected with most of the important international destinations by regular flights of the major airlines.

By Rail
Gurgaon is the nearest Railway Station (15 km) connected to Delhi and many places in Haryana and Rajasthan by regular trains. New Delhi, Nizamuddin and Old Delhi Railway Station are important railway links from where one can get trains to almost all parts of the country.

By Road
This place is well connected by road with Delhi and Gurgaon, the district headquarters.


RANGANTHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY


Area: 67 sq km
Location: Mysore, Karnataka
Established: In 1940
Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Best time to Visit: June to November
Nearest Town: Srirangapatna (3 km)
Nearest City: Mysore (19 km)
Nearest Railhead: Srirangapatna
Nearest Airport: Mysore Airport
Nearest Highway: Bangalore - Mysore

Description
Ranganthittu was formed as a result of a small dam across the river Cauvery in the 1600s. The Bird Sanctuary at Ranganathittu owes its existence to the world famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali who convinced the Maharaja of Mysore in 1940 to declare Ranganthittu as a protected area. The sanctuary is not very large it covers an area of 0.67sq.km. But is home to a great variety of birds and a few reptiles. It is said that the sanctuary is a sight to behold during the nesting season of the birds from June to November. The sanctuary is home to a wide species of birds including cormorants, darters, white ibis, spoon billed storks, open billed storks, painted storks, white necked storks, egrets, herons, terns, swallows, kingfishers, sandpiper etc. There are a few mammals in the sanctuary like fruit bats, bonnet macaques, palm civets, common mongoose and common otters. Marsh crocodiles make up the reptile population of the sanctuary.

Flora
Riverine reed beds cover the banks of the islands, while the islands themselves are covered in broadleaf forests, with dominant species being Terminalia arjun, bamboo groves, and Pendanus trees. Eucalyptus and Acacia trees have also been planted, which might lead to long-term eradication of alternative species. The endemic and threatened lily Iphigenia mysorensis of the family Colchicaceae grows in the sanctuary.

Fauna
The islands are host to numerous small mammals, including Bonnet Macaque, colonies of Flying Fox and common small mammals like Common Palm Civetand Indian Gray Mongoose and the monitor lizard. The Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds. Breeding water birds include Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons.

How to Reach

By Air
Hyderabad is located at a distance of 316 km from Srisailam.

By Road
You can take bus from Kurnool at a distance of 190 km from Srisailam, Guntur at a distance of 220 km from Srisailam, Chennai at a distance of 470.

By Rail
Nearest railhead Mysore (19 km). Srisailam is connected through Hyderabad as well as via Markpur (85 km away) on the south central railway.


CHILIKA LAKE


Location: South West of Puri, Orissa
Area: 1100 sq. km
Established: In 1981

Description

Chilika Lake situated southwest of Puri a distance of 100 km from Bhubaneshwar. It covers an area of 1100 sq. km. is the largest salt & fresh water lake in Asia. Chilika is also known as 'Honeymoon Island' and 'Breakfast Island'. It is a good picnic spot.

Kalijai island, Honeymoon island, Breakfast island, Birds island, Nalabana (island of reeds), Parikud island,Satapada etc. are some of the important and interesting spots inside the lake.The island of Kalijai is famous as a centre of religious worship,of Goddess Kalijai where a big fair is held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti that falls in January every year. The island of Nalabana, 15 Sq. Kms, occupies a unique place in the vast expanse of Chilika Lake as it happens to be the central point for the migratory birds.

Flora and Fauna

It attracts a large number of migratory birds, like the flamingo, teal, bar headed goose, shoveller and white - bellied sea eagle. One can enjoy boating, fishing with 150 variety of fishes. Bird lovers can enjoy by visiting here in winter because migratory populations wing in from places as far as Siberia. Chilika is easily accessible from both Bhubaneshwar and Puri. Prominent fauna is Flamingo, teal, bar headed goose, shoveller, white - bellied sea eagle and gangetic dolphins.
Flora: Phytoplankton flora – 43 sp, algal communities – 22 sp, Vascular plants 711 sp.
Fauna: Fishes – 225 sp, Protozoa – 61 sp, Platyhelminthes- 29 sp, Nematodes – 37 sp, Polychaetes – 31 sp, Mollusca – 136 sp, Crustacean - 28sp, Decapoda – 30 sp, Amphibian & Reptile – 37 sp, Birds – 205 sp, and Mammals – 118 sp.

Temperature

Winter: 17°C
Summer: 31 °C

Rainfall: 135.23 cms
Language Spoken: Oriya, Hindi and English
Clothing: Light cotton in summer and light woolen in winter
Best Season: October to June

How to Reach

By Air

Nearest Airport is at Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

By Rail
Nearest Railway Station is at Balugaon and Rambha on S. E.

By Road
National High Way No. 5 touches Chilika at Balugaon, Barkul and Rambha.
From Bhubaneswar - Balugaon 96 Kms. Barkul 105 Kms. Rambha 130 Kms
From Berhampur - Balugaon 84 Kms. Barkul 75 Kms. Rambha 50 Kms.

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