With such a large number of exotic wildlife and plant species, there's no wonder why India is tourists' dream destination. (Representational image)
India offers a fantastic variety of unique flora and fauna species. The animals, especially, are found roaming freely in protected wildlife sanctuaries. With such a large number of exotic wildlife and plant species, there’s no wonder why India is tourists’ dream destination.
Of around 560 wildlife sanctuaries, here we are presenting the top 21 frequently visited by millions of tourists annually. So the next time you plan a vacation, add a wildlife sanctuary in India to your travel bucket list. Let’s take a look at the list of wildlife sanctuaries in India.
1. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is the best wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, featuring green vegetation and beautiful sceneries. Located within the reserve is a Bhadra river where many wildlife species can be spotted in the daylight. The sanctuary is stretched over 490 sq km and is home to endangered species, like Orangutan and Malabar Giant Squirrel. In addition to wildlife, Bhadra wildlife sanctuary offers you a plethora of adventurous activities, including trekking and boat safari.
Best Time to Visit: March to May
Timings: 6–8:30 AM, 3:30–6 PM
Entry Fees: Safari trip costs INR 400 per person
2. Hemis National Park
Located about 6000 m above sea level, Hemis National Park in Jammu & Kashmir has the highest elevation of all wildlife sanctuaries in India. Visitors can find exotic animals, including Shapu, leopards, and Bharal, among others. Besides that, abundant flota add to the beauty of this national park. It also has obver 73 species of birds, including the Himalayan Whistling Thrush. If you want some adrenaline rush, visit Hemis National Park. Best Time to Visit: May to October
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Entry Fee: Indian - INR 20 per head. Foreigner - INR100 per head.
3. Grizzled Square Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering a vast area of the Madurai district in Tamil Nadu, the Grizzled Square Wildlife Sanctuary is named after this rare and endangered bird species. The lush greenery and gorgeous landscape in this park attract tourists from all over India and foreign countries. You must book a safari trip to explore its beauty.
Best Time to Visit:Throughout the year except March, April and May
Timings: Open from 5 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: INR 15 per person
4. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Located in the Chandrapur district, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Maharashtra’s largest and most popular wildlife sanctuary. This thick jungle is home to 88 tigers with Hyenas, jungle cats, Nilgai, barking deer, and sambar. The sanctuary was established in 1995 when the authorities merged a national park and a wildlife sanctuary to build this reserve, covering an area of 625.3 sq kilometers. There’s also a lake where you can spot rare bird species, like the grey-headed fish eagle.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Timings: Open from 6 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: 20 per person and 100 for a guide.
5. Askot Musk Deer Wildlife Sanctuary
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary was developed for musk deer and to protect other deer species in 1986. Stretched over 600 sq kms, this wildlife sanctuary is home to a fascinating variety of flora and fauna. It’s approx 50 kilometers ride from the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is for tourists who love to explore nature in tranquillity. It’s one of the hidden gems in Uttarakhand.
Best Time to Visit: April-September
Timings: Open from 8 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: No Fee
6. Ranthambore National Park
The largest wildlife sanctuary in India is home to many tigers and over 270 bird species. You can book a tiger safari to spot some majestic tigers. If you are lucky, you might spot a leopard, Sambar, and Nilgai. Besides tigers and other endangered wildlife species, Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is famous for having India’s largest banyan tree.
Best Time to Visit: October-March
Timings: 7-11 AM, 2-5:30 PM
Entry Fee: 974 per person for booking a jeep
7. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
A trip to this Kerala wildlife sanctuary will show you one of the most endangered species of India — the Great Grizzled Squirrel. The park has over 34 animal species, of which Elephant, Panthers, and Nilgiri are the most commonly spotted ones. The jungle has 240 bird species and the mesmerizing Thoovanam Waterfalls, which makes it an ideal trekking location for adventure junkies and nature lovers. If you are lucky, you might spot the Mugger Crocodile.
Best Time to Visit: December to April
Timings: 8am to 5pm
Entry Fees: INR 10 per person for adults and 5 per person for children below 12 years age. INR 100 per person for foreigner.
8. Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary
This one is famous for a vast land filled with stunning views and pink flamingos. This Gujarat’s most beautiful wildlife sanctuary covers a massive 7505 sq kms and is considered the most beautiful and famous wildlife sanctuary in India. Some of the popular species spotted in this Gujarat’s popular wildlife sanctuary are the Great Flamingos, Wild Ass, and Indian Cormorant. The water has the perfect depth, creating an ideal environment for flamingoes to breed. In fact, it is the only wildlife and bird sanctuary in India where pink flamingoes are found in large numbers.
Best time to visit: November-March
Timings: Open from 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fees: INR 250 per person
9. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and some adventure, try Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s a famous wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra in the Satara district and is famous for the world’s most venomous King Cobra. The area receives a cool climate, which makes the weather here pleasant all year round. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is declared a world heritage site. Thanks to its stunning landscapes, an amazing variety of fauna species, and abundant flora.
Best Time to Visit: In winter (October-February)
Timings: Open from 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20 per person.
10. Panna National Park
Panna National Park is in the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the most mesmerizing wildlife sanctuaries in India. Stretched over 542 sq kms, Panna National Park is the Tiger Reserve Forest. The area receives heavy rainfall, which has led to the lush greenery and many species of fauna residing here. This wildlife sanctuary is home to five famous wild cats, including the Bengal Tiger. Wildlife lovers can spot endangered wildlife species, including hyenas, wild dogs, and tigers, here.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Timings: 6:30 AM to 10:30AM, 2:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 40 per head for Indians and 500 per head for foreigners.
Full vehicle permit, in a vehicle registered by park management for tourism purpose maximum
six persons. : Rs. 1200
Full vehicle permit in a mini bus, maximum twenty persons: Rs. 4800
11. Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh is the smallest wildlife sanctuary in India — Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s a dream destination for photographers and bird-watchers. It houses 700 species of birds, giving you a fascinating and colorful view in all seasons. The sanctuary rose to popularity for finding Bugun Liocichla — a bird species we didn’t know existed. In addition to birds, the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for golden cats, leopards, gaur, and wild dogs.
Best Time to Visit: November-April
Timings: 5 AM to 4 PM
Entry Fee: INR 100 per person
12. Jhajjar Bachauli Wildlife Sanctuary
This 15-kilometers drive from Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, will lead you to the state’s most beautiful wildlife sanctuary. Jhajjar Bachauli Wildlife Sanctuary covers a massive area of 289 acres and is blessed with popular wildlife species, including barking deer, jackal, hare, rat snake, monitor lizards, blue bulls, etc. The sanctuary is located near the Sutlej river and has plenty of natural sceneries that will keep you here for hours.
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Timings: 6AM to 10 PM
Entry Fee: Safari charges INR 400 per person
13. Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary
A tour of the Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary in Jammu & Kashmir will be a visual treat for adventure lovers. Considering its elevation, it’s obvious that only the bravest fauna species that have the ability to tolerate freezing weather live here. Professor Chandrakala Prakash did extensive research on medicinal plants in this region, despite the limited vegetation. The sanctuary is home to migratory wildlife species, like Arnebia Euchroma, Bergenia Strachey, and Wooly Hare.
Best Time to Visit: May and October
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: INR 20 per head for Indians and INR 100 per head for foreigners.
14. Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary
It’s another beautiful wildlife sanctuary in Punjab, developed for the conservation of Black Buck. The entire Bishnoi Community in the region worked together to protect the wildlife. Black Buck, especially, is considered a sacred animal. There are around 4000 of them found roaming freely in the villages and sanctuary. It is also home to Blue Bull and an extensive variety of flora and fauna species. Located in the Fazilka district of Punjab, Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over a massive 18,650 hectares.
Best Time to Visit: October to March.
Timings: 5 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: DATA NOT AVAILABLE
15. Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary
Despite being one of the smallest Northern states, Sikkim always attracts local and international tourists with its beautiful sightseeing locations. This hilly state is also renowned for its wildlife sanctuaries. Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit for all Sikkim tourists. Spread over 124 sq kms, this Sikkimattraction is home to over 300 red pandas. Featuring over 100 plant species, including some rare plants, and a wonderful variety of birds, Pangolakha is the most gorgeous Sikkim wildlife sanctuary, in terms of landscape and exotic animals.
Best Time to Visit: November-May
Timings: 5 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: INR 200 per person
16. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
This second-largest, one of the most frequently visited, and a famous wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka feature a wonderful variety of animals and birds. You can spot black panthers, flying squirrel, and leopards (to name a few).
Best Time to Visit: October to May
Timings: 6 AM to 10 PM
Entry Fee: INR 40 per head for Indians and 80 per head for foreigners
17. Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary
In the Rollapdu village in Andhra Pradesh, this exquisite wildlife sanctuary gives you a golden chance to encounter exotic wildlife from close, of course, with a guide. It’s stretched over 614 sq kms and is frequently visited by researchers and wildlife fans who come here to spot some rare animal species roaming freely in the thick jungle. Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary has Lesser Florican and the Great Indian Bustard, among other wildlife species. It might not be as famous as other national parks in India. But considering the variety of flora and fauna species that this park is abode to, this one is worth your visit.
Best Time to Visit: November-February
Timings: Open from 7 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: INR 30 per head for adults and INR 20 per head for children
18. Rajaji National Park
A gorgeous and frequently visited wildlife sanctuary in India, Rajaji National Park boasts 49 mammal species and various forests. The cool climate and fascinating landscape make this wildlife sanctuary the best attraction in Uttarakhand. You will find over 300 bird species and 60 types of butterflies here.
Best Time to Visit: November to June
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: INR 150 per person for Indians and INR 600 per person for foreigners. (Vehicle
charges-INR 250 per vehicle for Indians and INR 500 per vehicle for foreigners.)
19. Silent Valley National Park
Located amidst green vegetation and incredibly gorgeous views, Silent Valley National Park is another tourist attraction in Kerala. It features 150 species of birds, over 1000 species of flora, and 200 types of butterflies. Grey-headed Bulbul and the Great Indian Hornbill are the major attractions of this wildlife sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit: between December and February
Timings: 8 AM to 1 PM
Entry Fee: INR 50 per person for Indians and INR 250 per person for foreigners.
20. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Molem, Goa, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by thick jungle and lush greenery, making it an exotic place for all wildlife and nature lovers. In addition to wildlife, this sanctuary is famous for its wide variety of avifauna. Check out the Devil’s Canyon Viewpoint to get a clean and scenic view of this wildlife sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit: November-March
Timings: Open from 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: INR 10 per person
21. Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
Do you want to escape the city’s noise? Sikkim has this mesmerizing wildlife sanctuary located away from the city’s crowd and in a tranquil location where you can explore India’s northern wildlife peacefully. The area is famous for being home to many avocado trees and the three small yet gorgeous villages in the middle of this jungle. Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is for trekkers, bird-watchers, and nature lovers.
Best Time to Visit: April-July
Timings: Open from 8 AM to 3 PM
Entry Fee: INR 55 per person for Indian adults
These animals live safely in dense forests. Whether you are a local or an international tourist, India will surely amaze you with the rare wildlife species that you might not find anywhere else. These were some of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in India. The next time you plan a trip to the Indian states, check out the popular wildlife sanctuaries and schedule a visit.