Into the wild: Here’s a checklist of unexplored wildlife destinations in India
India is home to exotic wildlife and plants. Here are some of the offbeat wildlife sanctuaries to check out.travel Updated: Aug 04, 2017 15:01 IST
Wildlife is perhaps one of nature’s most precious gifts to humankind. Although, there are lots of places globally that are known for their exotic range of wildlife, India is home to some of the most magnificent creatures and plant life in the world. While there are several popular wildlife sanctuaries like Corbett National Park, Gir Forest National Park and Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, among others, there are some natural reserves yet to be explored. Explore those lesser known wildlife destinations as listed by Jayanth Sharma, co-founder and CEO at Toehold:
* Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary:Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful gem bordered by the Aravalli range in the Pali, Udaipur, and Rajsamand district in the state of Rajasthan. The reserve is home to some of the most endangered species in India, such as leopards, wolves, nilgai, chinkara and sloth bear. It also houses various species of birds like peacocks and doves. The sanctuary takes its name from the nearby Kumbhalgarh fort, which offers a spectacular view of the wildlife reserve. The reserve has been selected for the Asiatic lion reintroduction project by the Indian government.
How to go: Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at a distance of 85 km from Udaipur airport. The nearest railway station is Falna.
* Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated in the northernmost part of Kerala in Thalassery, Kannur, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is an important natural reserve in India. Established back in 1984, the sanctuary is spread across 55 sq km of forested highland along the famous slopes of the Western Ghats. The reserve is covered in tropical and semi-evergreen forests and protects a host of different species of flora and fauna. Some of the native wildlife species that Aralam features are spotted deer, elephants, gaur, langurs, and the Malabar giant squirrel.
How to go: Thalassery railway station is 55 km from the reserve. You can also reach there via flight to Calicut International Airport, which is situated around 96 km from the town of Thalassery.
* Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary:Another gem of the Western Ghats, the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known attraction in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. The sanctuary is mostly visited for its Barapede caves, which is the only recorded breeding area of the Wroughton’s free-tailed bat — a species of the nocturnal mammal that is on the verge of becoming extinct. Officially listed as a wildlife sanctuary in 2011, Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary abounds in tropical and subtropical, moist broadleaf forests as well as several species of medicinal plants. Park officials organise adventure camps for people of all ages, making it an ideal destination for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts.
How to go: The park is about 35 km from the city of Belgaum, and is accessible by road.
* Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary: The Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is a protected area situated at a distance of 60 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The reserve spans across 64,399 acres, and is made up of grasslands and southern tropical dry deciduous forest cover. The wildlife reserve is home to several animals like the wanderoo (langur), leopards, wild boar, and barking deer, and over 240 species of birds, such as storks, cranes, quail, and partridges. It is also a great place to spot reptiles like cobra, python, and monitor lizard.
How to go: Aurangabad airport and railway station are the nearest points to reach Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary.
Apart from the parks and reserves mentioned above, other wildlife destinations include Mollem National Park, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Khangchendzonga National Park, and Namdapha National Park.
* Indravati National Park: Indravati National Park in Chattisgarh is a must-visit as it is home to the rare wild buffalo. It is a project tiger site too. Located in Bijapur district, the reserve is named after the Indravati River, which flows nearby. The National Park is spread across 2,799 sq km of undulated hilly terrain, and is made up of mixed deciduous and southern-moist mixed deciduous forests.
How to go: Indravati National Park is well-connected by road from major cities. The nearest railway station is Jagdalpur railway station, which is 170 km from the site.
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