Are you an adventurous wildlife enthusiast seeking unique and offbeat Bengal Tiger safari destinations? Look no further! In this blog, we will take you on a thrilling journey through some of the most captivating and lesser-known national parks and tiger reserves in India. These hidden gems offer remarkable wildlife experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and a chance to witness the majestic Bengal Tigers in their natural habitats.

 

1. Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, Bandipur Tiger Reserve stands as a testament to the country’s rich wildlife and biodiversity. This magnificent reserve holds several unique distinctions that make it a prime destination for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and photographers alike.

Bandipur National Park is renowned as one of India’s premier tiger reserves, second only to Corbett National Park in terms of tiger population. This distinction highlights the park’s success in tiger conservation and its crucial role in protecting the endangered Bengal Tigers. Moreover, Bandipur also serves as a vital Project Elephant Reserve, working diligently to safeguard the region’s elephant population.

 

Asian elephants herd with cub

 

Bandipur is home to a wide variety of flora and animals in addition to tigers and elephants. Its diverse habitats, which are home to a large variety of plant species, include dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests, and evergreen forests. Indian gaurs, sloth bears, leopards, dholes, striped hyenas, Indian giant squirrels, and over 200 kinds of birds, including the critically endangered Indian vulture, are just a few of the astounding variety of animals that can be found in the park.

In order to provide a continuously protected region for wildlife, Bandipur seamlessly connects with nearby national parks including Nagarhole, Mudumalai, and Wayanad. The viability of the animal populations in the area is ensured by this partnership, which also supports general conservation efforts.

Visitors to Bandipur can embark on thrilling nature safaris, offering jeep and canter rides that bring them face-to-face with the park’s incredible inhabitants. The reserve’s picturesque landscapes, successful conservation initiatives, and the presence of indigenous communities, such as the Soliga tribes, further add to its allure.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve is not just a sanctuary for wildlife; it is a haven for those seeking to reconnect with nature’s wonders. With its exceptional biodiversity, captivating wildlife encounters, and stunning landscapes, Bandipur is truly a treasure trove for both nature lovers and photographers, offering an unforgettable experience immersed in the splendors of the wild.

Reaching Bandipur National Park is relatively convenient, with various modes of transportation available. Here’s how you can reach Bandipur by air, rail, and road:

By Air:

The nearest airport to Bandipur National Park is Mysore Airport, located approximately 65 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a prearranged transport service to reach Bandipur. Alternatively, the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore is also an option, located about 230 kilometers from Bandipur. From Bangalore, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bandipur.

By Rail:

The nearest railway station to Bandipur is Mysore Junction, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Mysore Junction, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bandipur. Another option is Nanjangud Railway Station, which is approximately 55 kilometers away from Bandipur. From Nanjangud, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the national park.

By Road:

Bandipur National Park is well-connected by road, and several state highways and national highways pass through the region. Major cities like Bangalore (approximately 220 kilometers), Mysore (around 80 kilometers), and Ooty (approximately 50 kilometers) are well-connected to Bandipur. You can drive to Bandipur in a private vehicle or hire a taxi from these cities. Regular bus services also operate from nearby towns and cities to Bandipur.

 

2. Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park, located in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is a captivating wilderness that mesmerizes visitors with its pristine beauty and abundant wildlife. Spread across the picturesque landscapes of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Nagarhole is renowned for its rich biodiversity and lush greenery.

The name “Nagarhole” translates to “Snake River” in the local language, which is derived from the serpentine path of the Kabini River that flows through the park. The park’s dense forests, serene rivers, and rolling hills create a captivating backdrop for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

 

Elephants on the banks of Kabini river, Nagarhole, Karnataka, India

 

Nagarhole National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The dense forests are adorned with towering teak trees, rosewood, sandalwood, and an array of vibrant flowering plants. The park boasts a remarkable wildlife population, including majestic Bengal Tigers, Indian elephants, Indian bison (gaurs), leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs (dholes), and a wide variety of bird species. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the park’s avian diversity, which includes species like the Malabar pied hornbill, grey-headed fish eagle, and the critically endangered white-backed vulture.

One of the park’s highlights is the Kabini reservoir, where visitors can embark on thrilling boat safaris, offering a unique perspective to observe the park’s wildlife along the riverbanks. Jeep & canter safaris and nature walks are also popular ways to explore the park and witness its incredible biodiversity.

Nagarhole National Park is a testament to India’s commitment to wildlife conservation. The park’s well-preserved habitats, successful conservation initiatives, and the involvement of local communities make it an exemplary model for sustainable ecotourism. Nagarhole National Park is well-connected to major cities through various modes of transportation. Here’s how you can reach Nagarhole from major cities:

By Road:

From Bangalore: Nagarhole is approximately 220 kilometers away from Bangalore. You can take the NH275 route and drive south towards Mysore. From Mysore, take the road towards Hunsur and then continue to Nagarhole.

From Mysore: Nagarhole is around 90 kilometers away from Mysore. You can take the Hunsur Road and then proceed towards Nagarhole.

By Rail:

The nearest railway station to Nagarhole is Mysore Junction, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Mysore, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Nagarhole, which is approximately a 2-3 hour drive.

By Air:

The nearest airport to Nagarhole is the Mysore Airport, which is around 80 kilometers away. However, this airport has limited connectivity. The nearest major airport is Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, which is well-connected to domestic and international destinations. From Bangalore, you can either take a domestic flight to Mysore or hire a taxi for a road trip to Nagarhole.

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3. Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of India’s most renowned biodiversity destinations, located in the northeastern state of Assam. Kaziranga is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and innovative conservation efforts. It is comprised of extensive grasslands, swamps, and dense forests.

In Kaziranga National Park, the magnificent Indian one-horned rhinoceros is one of the most popular attractions. The park contains the world’s greatest population of this endangered species. Kaziranga is also renowned for its populations of Asiatic elephants, untamed water buffaloes, and Royal Bengal tigers, in addition to rhinoceros. In addition, the park is home to over 500 species of wildlife, including the endangered Bengal florican and the great Indian hornbill.

 

One horned rhino safari in Kaziranga national park

 

What makes Kaziranga truly exceptional is its conservation success story. The park’s dedicated efforts in protecting and reviving wildlife populations have led to significant increases in the numbers of several endangered species. Strict anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration initiatives, and community involvement have played crucial roles in the conservation efforts.

Furthermore, Kaziranga National Park is recognized for its pioneering initiatives in wildlife conservation, including the use of drones for surveillance, involvement of local communities in eco-tourism and anti-poaching efforts, and effective management of flood-prone areas.

Kaziranga National Park, located in Assam, India, can be reached from major cities via rail, road, and air. Here’s a guide on how to reach Kaziranga from different transportation modes:

By Rail:

The nearest railway station to Kaziranga is Furkating Junction, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Furkating Junction, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Kaziranga, which is approximately 75 kilometers away.

By Road:

Kaziranga is well-connected by road to major cities and towns in Assam. Here are the distances and approximate travel times from nearby cities:

Guwahati to Kaziranga: Around 215 kilometers, takes about 4-5 hours.

Jorhat to Kaziranga: Approximately 97 kilometers, takes about 2-3 hours.

Tezpur to Kaziranga: About 70 kilometers, takes approximately 1-2 hours.

You can hire a private taxi or take a state transport bus to reach Kaziranga from these cities.

By Air:

The nearest airport to Kaziranga is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. It is well connected to major cities in India and also operates international flights. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-booked car to reach Kaziranga, which is approximately 215 kilometers away. The journey takes about 4-5 hours.

 

4. Sundarbans National Park

Sundarbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a mesmerizing natural wonder located in the Indian state of West Bengal and the neighboring country of Bangladesh. It is renowned for its unique ecosystem, rich biodiversity, and distinctive mangrove forests, making it one of the most exceptional national parks in the world.

 

boat safari in sunderbans national park

 

Sundarbans National Park is distinguished by its enormous mangrove woodlands, which are the largest in the world. These mangroves flourish in the saline waters of the Ganges Delta and provide essential habitat for a variety of species. The park is famous for its Royal Bengal Tigers, which have adapted to the mangrove environment and are proficient swimmers. In addition to tigers, the Sundarbans are home to numerous other important species, including saltwater crocodiles, spotted deer, Indian rock pythons, water monitors, and numerous avian species, including the critically endangered Masked Finfoot.

The intricate network of estuaries, intermittent rivers, and tiny islands formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers is the park’s distinctive feature. The Sundarbans’ dynamic ecosystem is created by twice-daily tidal flooding, resulting in a habitat that sustains a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Due to the threats posed by climate change, habitat loss, and human-animal conflict, conservation efforts in the Sundarbans are crucial. There have been efforts to protect and conserve Royal Bengal Tigers and their habitat, such as the implementation of tiger conservation programmes, stricter monitoring, and community engagement. In addition, the Sundarbans serve as a vital barrier against cyclones and storm surges, protecting the surrounding coastal communities with their natural barrier.

Sundarbans National Park is a remarkable example of nature’s grandeur and resilience. Its unique mangrove forests, renowned Bengal Tigers, and ongoing conservation efforts make it a genuinely remarkable destination that emphasises the importance of preserving and safeguarding our natural heritage.

Reaching Sundarbans National Park from major cities in India involves a combination of rail, road, and air transportation options. Here’s how you can reach the park from some prominent cities:

Reaching Sundarbans from Kolkata:

By Rail: Board a train from Kolkata to Canning, which is the nearest railhead to Sundarbans National Park. From Canning, you can hire a local taxi or take a bus to reach the park’s entry points like Godkhali or Sonakhali.

By Road: Take a road trip from Kolkata to Gadkhali or Sonakhali, which are the main entry points to Sundarbans National Park. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

By Air: Fly from Kolkata to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-booked private vehicle to reach the park.

Reaching Sundarbans from Delhi:

By Rail: Take a train from Delhi to Kolkata, and then follow the rail route mentioned above from Kolkata to Canning.

By Road: It is recommended to take a flight from Delhi to Kolkata, and then proceed to Sundarbans National Park via road or rail as mentioned earlier.

By Air: Fly from Delhi to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, and then continue the journey using the aforementioned transportation options.

Reaching Sundarbans from Mumbai:

By Rail: Take a train from Mumbai to Kolkata, and then follow the rail route mentioned above from Kolkata to Canning.

By Road: It is advisable to take a flight from Mumbai to Kolkata and then proceed to Sundarbans National Park via road or rail as described earlier.

By Air: Fly from Mumbai to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, and then continue the journey using the aforementioned transportation options.

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5. Manas National Park

Manas National Park, located in the northeastern state of Assam, India, is a pristine wilderness that showcases the region’s natural splendor and biodiversity. This UNESCO World Heritage Site holds significant importance as a tiger reserve, an elephant reserve, and a biosphere reserve.

One of the key attractions of Manas National Park is its remarkable diversity of species. The park is home to the majestic Bengal Tigers, Indian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, pygmy hogs, clouded leopards, golden langurs, and a plethora of avian species. It serves as a crucial habitat for the endangered Assam roofed turtle and the Bengal florican, making it a hotspot for conservation efforts.

 

Elephants in river in manas national park

 

What sets Manas National Park apart is its unique combination of grasslands, alluvial grasslands, and subtropical broadleaf forests. It boasts breathtaking landscapes, including the Manas River, which flows through the park and adds to its scenic charm.

The conservation efforts in Manas National Park have been commendable. The park has witnessed a successful rebound in tiger and rhinoceros populations after facing significant challenges in the past. Conservation initiatives have focused on anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, and community involvement in sustainable livelihoods.

Manas National Park is not only a sanctuary for wildlife but also a cultural hub. The park is home to the indigenous Bodo tribe, and their harmonious coexistence with nature and dedication to conservation adds a unique cultural dimension to the park’s significance.

With its incredible biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and successful conservation efforts, Manas National Park stands as a shining example of the region’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. A visit to this extraordinary park promises unforgettable wildlife encounters and an opportunity to appreciate the delicate balance between human communities and the diverse ecosystems they call home.

Manas National Park is located in the state of Assam, India. Here’s how you can reach the park by air, rail, and road:

By Air:

The nearest airport to Manas National Park is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, located in Guwahati, Assam. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-booked private vehicle to reach the park. The distance between Guwahati and Manas National Park is approximately 180 kilometers, and the journey takes around 4-5 hours by road.

By Rail:

The nearest railway station to Manas National Park is Barpeta Road Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities like Guwahati, Kolkata, and New Delhi. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the park. The distance between Barpeta Road Railway Station and Manas National Park is around 22 kilometers.

By Road:

Manas National Park is well-connected by road to various cities in Assam and neighboring states. Regular bus services operate from Guwahati and other nearby towns to the park. You can also hire a private taxi or drive in your own vehicle. The park can be accessed via the NH31, which connects it to major cities like Guwahati, Kolkata, and Siliguri.

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