With over 200 wildlife sanctuaries spread across its length & breadth, India shines as a bio-diversity hotspot. The onset of winter further enriches the overall experience as temperature in most national parks across India takes a dip during winter, thereby, allowing a large number of wildlife enthusiasts to make the most of their surroundings. Wild animals too come out of their secret shelters to soak up the wintry sun and migratory birds decorate the sky canvas. Overall, a visual treat awaits anyone who makes the effort of visiting India's national parks during winter.
We give you eight national parks which unleash a wide range of attractions once the mercury drops.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Located in Ramnagar, Nainital Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park of India. The area is covered with several ridges, small streams, and varying degrees of slopes. The park has recorded some 488 species of plants and around 586 species of migratory birds. Besides these, wild animals like leopards, samba deer, and the famous Bengal tiger also walk the region and are easily visible during winter. The best time to visit is between the months of November & January when the temperature is a moderate 5-30 degree Celsius.
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
The Namdapha National Park is situated in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh closer to the border of Myanmar. The third largest national park in India is at its visual best during winter when the weather drops to 8-20 degree Celsius. Although the national park boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna, migratory birds are the main attraction here. The best time to explore the national park is between the months of November and March when birds flock together in the winter chill.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh National Park is located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. The park features a large biodiversity but the Bengal tiger is the main attraction. The park also sports the highest known density of tiger population in the country. In order to escape the scorching summer heat of Madhya Pradesh, one must plan a visit to the park during the winter season when the weather is calm & pleasant. Most wild animals venture out in the caressing sun during winter, thereby, allowing tourists to make the most of their visit.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
One of the largest national parks in India, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. The wildlife sanctuary is mainly famous for its tigers and the majestic predator can be spotted quite easily even during daytime. Other attractions include some 539 species of flora, safari rides, and the Padam Talao lake which is the largest lake in the vicinity. Rajasthan's terrible summer heat may spoil the fun and hence winters are deemed fit for a visit to the park.
Gir National Park, Gujarat
The Gir National Park is home to the rare Asiatic Lions which roam free in the vastness of the dry deciduous forest. The park is located close to Somnath and Junagadh in Gujarat. Some 2,375 species of fauna including Indian Leopards, Sloth bears, Hyenas, Chital, Nilgai, and others also walk the region. Although the park enjoys moderate temperatures throughout the year, the winter season is considered perfect for an outing. The weather cools down thereby allowing you to explore and discover without a sweat.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
The Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site which is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. It is considered as a stronghold of the Great One-horned Rhinoceros as it packs 2/3rd of the world's one-horned rhinoceros population. The park is also home to considerably large populations of elephants, tigers, deer, wild boars, and others. A subject of several productions, Kaziranga is at its visual best during winter when the mildly cold winds do well to blow away the otherwise widely prevalent mosquitoes. The conditions in winter are dry and the temperature sticks to a pleasant 5-25 degree Celsius.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Periyar National Park's location in the Cardamom and Pandalam Hills of the Western Ghats offers a picturesque view to the visitors throughout the year. The mountainous area's scenic beauty multiplies during winter when the cool in the air mixes with the surrounding misty mountains to offer a refreshing experience. The national park is home to various species of plants, mammals, reptiles, fish, and insects. However elephants and tigers continue to be the main attraction.
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
The Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the state of West Bengal. The swampy forest comprises of several water-bodies. Numerous varieties of flora & fauna are found in abundance. The endangered Royal Bengal tiger walks the region and attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. The park is also famous for its diverse marine life, reptiles, and avifauna. Summers can get a little too hot for an outing and hence winters are considered most apt for visiting the park.
The arrival of winter will surely act as a stimulant for those planning a trip into the wild. Plan your trip carefully and don't forget to pack essential gear and equipment. Off you go, the wilderness awaits you...!