India has a rich and diverse wildlife. Along with historical and cultural heritage sites, wildlife destinations in India are some of the best in the world. When you are amidst the thick forests of Corbett or the rugged terrain of Ranthambhore, you will find yourself in landscapes that match the world’s best forests like Amazon or Congo.
Though it hosts some of the best sites for wildlife, India’s tryst with conserving this wildlife has had its own plot twists and drama. From depleting number due to poaching and deforestation, to reviving figures due to conservation programmes and spreading awareness, we now value our wildlife more than ever before.
Here are some destinations that guarantee a close sighting of leopards and other big cats in their natural environs and innate glory.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai
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This park, located in the idle of the urban sprawl in Mumbai, is one of the large protected area. It is home to a number of endangered species of wild animals and famous place to spot wild Indian Leopard in India. You could take permission to enter its guarded precincts and spot these beauties that frequently come very close to human habitation.
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Spanning over 1,334 sq. km., the Ranthambore National Park is a royal home to predators not short of royalty themselves – tigers. Being the main attraction, tigers capture the interest of wildlife photographers. While you enjoy a safari in Ranthambore, the wild cats come out to enjoy the warmth of the desert. The best time to visit is from October to June while tiger sightings happen between March and May.
Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand
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Asia’s very first National Park, it houses some of the most furious members of the cat family. People from different nations visit Corbett just to get a glimpse of these wild cats. Besides tigers, there are Serow, Goral, Himalayan Tahr among other fascinating wild species. This destination is a treat for those who have grown up reading the works of Jim Corbett.
Jawai Dam, Rajasthan
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India’s Leopard Hills of Jawai Dam Wildlife Sanctuary is situated near Ajmer-Ahmedabad route in Pali district in Rajasthan. Jawai Dam is winter paradise for migratory birds including Flamingo, Crocodile, Panther, Bear, Hyena, Wolf and home to highest density of Leopards in India.
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This is one of the best places to site black panthers. These majestic beauties stand in strict contrast to the lush green of the forest. It’s easier to sight them if you follow complete caution and silence on your safari. Keep your cameras ready, as these slick cats are more agile and fasters than other big cats. The Sanctuary is part of Nagarhole National Park and Indian leopards are present at an equivalent density of tigers.
Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
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If you want to see the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers then look no further than the Bandhavgarh National Park. Bandhavgarh is counted among the best places for a wildlife safari in India. The tiger population is one of the most densely populated in India. In the past, it also served as hunting ground for the royals.
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This is the only place in the world where you can see Asiatic lions. Past from the lions and leopards, the Jackals, striped Hyenas, and India Foxare some of the smaller carnivores found here. Several birds and reptiles also find a home in the forests. Its rugged terrain transports you to an earlier time, and makes for a truly immersive travel experience.
Plan a winter trip to any of these destinations to experience once-in-a-lifetime chance to sight the big cats in their natural glory.
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