A safari through the jungle not just leaves you in awe of the natural diversity on Earth, it also fills you up with a childlike wonder. India’s National Parks and Sanctuaries are ideally built to well up this pleasant emotion. With over a hundred National Parks, there is a good chance you may have overlooked some of India’s gorgeous yet unexplored ones. Be sure to give these 5 Parks a visit the next time you have a tingling for a wildlife rendezvous.
1. Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manipur
The only floating sanctuary in the world, the KeibulLamjao National Park rests on 40 km2 of floating vegetation, locally known as phumdis. It is essentially a swamp, composed of a floating mass of vegetation made of organic biomass and thickened soil particles. In spite of the exotic flora and magnificent fauna, the primary attraction of the Park is the Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country. The Park is the humble abode of the brow-antlered deer or sangai. Other species found here are wild boar, fox, golden cat, kingfisher, black kite and various snake species. A good way to explore this park would be via a boat, riding through the astounding maze of water routes.
2. Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch
The first marine National Park of India, it is located on the southern coastline of the Gulf of Kutch. Comprising of a total of 42 islands, this Park is sure to put every nature lover in awe. From octopuses that change their colour, to sea horses and jellyfishes; all the life unfolding under the sea can be witnessed at this Park. And if that is not all, get a chance to see the largest mammals on Earth – the mammoth blue whales! A perfect place to experience the deep blues, be sure to visit the best-known island here, the Pirotan.
3. Hemis National Park, Jammu & Kashmir
Perched in the high-altitude terrains of Jammu & Kashmir, the Hemis National Park is flanked by the banks of the Indus River on its north. The park incorporates a trekking trail in this premise, serving as a can’t-miss offer for the tourists. The park is world famous for protecting the snow leopards. Seeing them meandering against the white backdrop is a true feast for the eyes. Other points of faunal attraction include the red fox, brown bear, Tibetan wolf and various species of sheep. The park does not receive much precipitation; hence the flora is limited to dry woods of juniper and fir.
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4. Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
It is the largest protected area of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, and rightly so. Harboring the northernmost lowland evergreen forests and being the third largest National Park in India, its true magic lies in protecting all the three top cat predators in the food chain – the snow leopard, the clouded leopard and the Bengal tiger. Namdapha National Parkis so rich in its flora that scientists claim that its entire diversity could only be revealed after half a century of extensive research. Some other animal attractions at the park include wolves, dholes and red pandas. The park is also the only preferred habitat of Hoolock Gibbons.
5. Mollem National Park, Goa
For a thrilling off road adventure, head on straight to the Mollem National Park, forming the core of the BhagwanMahavir Sanctuary. Explore the dense forests of Western Ghats, complete with colorful and vivid butterflies, chirping birds like doves, hornbills, kingfishers and the majestic Black Panther and Bengal tiger. Besides the wildlife attractions, the park also contains other tempting spots for a perfect tour day including the gushing Dudhsagar falls, the eerie Devil’s canyon and the exquisite TambdiSurla temple.
National Parks of India showcase the country’s natural treasures that are simply waiting to be appreciated and explored. Skip the usual wildlife destinations and discover the hidden gems of India’s unscaled environs by visiting these unique National Parks in your next vacation.
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