Wildlife Tourism in India: A Golden Chance to Encounter the Wild


Wildlife tourism is a very important part of the Indian tourism. And, this World Tourism Day 2020, the incredible range of travel experiences needs to be explored with wildlife tour packages in India. And I would guess rightly so, given the fact that, after Africa, India perhaps has the most species of endangered wildlife that one could see in the wild. The star attraction of India's National parks is, of course, the Royal Bengal tiger, and this majestic animal is certainly the main draw for the wildlife tourism in India.

Tigers in India

India now has almost 40 notified tiger reserves spread across the country, from Kaziranga and Manas in the east to Tadoba in the west, from Corbett in the north to Periyar and Bandipur in the south. Even the offbeat Sundarbans to the popular wildlife sanctuaries of Bandhavgarh National Park, Ranthambore, Pench  The big plus point of having so many Tiger reserves is that one can combine and include the nearest one into an India itinerary easily and even those not coming for a wildlife only focused trip, can easily fit in a few days at one India's many National parks.

Having been in the industry for almost 30 years now, I've been lucky to have had a chance to visit quite a few of the Tiger reserves, as well as interact with several wildlife enthusiasts from across the world. The general consensus is that the Tiger is definitely the most regal and majestic of all mammals, and irrespective of how many times one has seen a Tiger, the thrill of spotting a Tiger in the wild, remains and does not diminish with repeated sightings. After a recent trip to Africa, where we saw lions in the wild, I was actually wondering as to whether the Lion actually deserves its title of "King of the Jungle", in my view, and plenty of people actually agreed with me on this, that, the Tiger actually has a larger presence, and greater karishma.

Tiger tourism in India

The Indian wildlife experience is actually very different from the African safari experience, and it is extremely important for travelers to understand this fact. Africa has an abundance of wildlife, so a tourist traveling to lets say, Kruger, is sort of guaranteed sightings of all the big 5, perhaps within the first few hours of entering the reserve, whereas, even in Bandhavgarh, the National Park with a good Tiger population, it is possible to have done half a dozen safaris and still not having sighted the Tiger !! 

Not just the tigers, Indian wildlife tourism also covers sighting of Asiatic Lions, One-horned Rhincoeros, colorful birds including migratpry species, gharials and many other rare species.

In the last couple of months, there had been a lot of uncertainty regarding the opening of the National Parks in the Covid-19 Global Pandemic, which was subject to the decision f the Indian Supreme Court. Fortunately, the Courts did allow the Parks to open, and it is now backing to business as usual. As a consequence of this, there have been some changes in the rules and regulations. The number of vehicles allowed into the Parks has been further curtailed, thereby making advance reservations all the more important, and also, the Central Indian reserves of Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench are now completely closed every Wednesday.

One of the other positives in recent times has been the opening of several wildlife resorts  and boutique lodges in the vicinity of the National Parks. Unlike Africa, even the Luxury lodges are not situated within the forests, but are outside, but, there are now a few Jungle lodges and camps in India, that are at par with the finest in the world. In addition to the Taj Safari lodges in Pench, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh, others that stand out are, the Samode Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh, Singinawa, Flame of the Forest and Shergarh in Kanha, Forsyth’s Lodge in Satpura, and there is, of course, the Sherbagh tented camp in Ranthambhore. 


Top Five Taj Safari Lodges in India


Wildlife safaris in India are not just about spotting the elusive Royal Bengal Tigers or spotting the majestic Lion or coming across elephants and other beats of the jungle, it is about basking in the mesmerizing wild. To make the most of a jungle safari, there is an extensive range of wildlife resorts in India that make the adventure worth cherishing. Taj Safaris offers the golden opportunity to experience the unparalleled beauty of the jungles. With the charming hospitality of the Taj, each of the resorts creates a magical experience unlike any other for guests in the enchanting forest and national parks in India.

Taj Safaris

Check out the top five Taj safari lodges in India:

Mahua Kothi, A Taj Safari Lodge - Bandhavgarh National Park

Taj Mahua Kothi

Owned by the Taj Group, the Mahua Kothi, A Taj Safari Lodge - Bandhavgarh National Park offers the ultimate in luxury. In fact, it offers the best of lodge accommodation in Bandhavgarh. The twelve charming suites or Kutiyas (jungle village huts) are newly built in the 40-acre grounds of the renowned tented camp formerly known as Churhat Kothi. The original Kothi (homestead) comprising the guest areas remains and has been extensively renovated, but the guest accommodation is all brand new.

Taj Mahua Kothi Suites

The Taj Group has offers the best accommodation, top-class services, gourmet cuisine and the best naturalists for wildlife holidays in India and especially at Bandhavgarh.

Banjaar Tola, A Taj Safari-Kanha National Park

One of the most premier wildlife resorts in India, Banjaar Tola is situated along the banks of the Banjaar River close to the Kanha National Park. The Taj safari resort is settled on 90 acres of private Sal forest intermixed with grasslands and a seasonal lake. Accommodation comprise of the two intimate camps of nine tents each. While retaining the charm of its natural environs, the jungle lodge does not lack any of the modern amenities.

In the property is swimming pool with outdoor as well as indoor lounge options and interactive dining areas. The rich cultural heritage of the region is also proudly displayed. The cuisine at the camp also celebrates tribal flavours in the mouth-watering food. Stay at the Kanha luxury resort assures memorable experiences of wildlife viewing.

Baghvan, A Taj Safari - Pench National Park

Owned by the Taj Group, the Baghvan offers the ultimate in luxury, as far as lodge accommodation in Pench is concerned. The name Baghvan draws its inspiration from one of India's iconic symbols, the Bengal tiger. Even the name (bagh - tiger and van - forest) is inspired by the same. Pronounced baagh-vun, this charming lodge is located on the edge of Pench National Park. The Baghvan has 12 stand-alone suites, each charming individual suite has a contemporary bungalow feel with a cheeky 50's ambience.

All suites have a spacious air-conditioned bedroom with private shaded sit-outs. Bedrooms all have a Jharokha (wooden latticed bay window) that filters the soft early morning light and covered inter-leading link takes guests to generously proportioned bathrooms with double vanity, separate w.c, indoor and outdoor showers. Leisure facilities at the Baghvan include a large swimming pool, and large common guest areas, where talks and film shows on wildlife are held almost daily.

Pashan Garh, A Taj Safari - Panna National Park

Pashan Garh or ‘stone fortress’ is one of the luxury jungle lodges in India. Owned by the Taj Group, the lodge in the Panna National Park offers a comfortable stay and the thrill of the wild. Set in 200 acres of private wilderness, Pashan Garh has 12 stone cottages huddled atop a small hill, with a widespread view of dense foliage. The luxury jungle lodge draws inspiration from the stone houses of the Panna region and Khajuraho.

The jungle lodge has large and airy guest areas. Soak in the natural beauty all around while strolling through the open courtyards and a stone deck overlooking the expanse of the forest. A lookout tower in the premises offers the setup for bird watching by day and stargazing after sundown. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the rectangular pool under shady trees. Delicious Indian fare treating your taste buds are served. The venue is all the more amazing arranged at the most beautiful nooks and corners of the lodge beside the in-house dining. Discover the lavish comforts of the stone cottages at the Taj luxury jungle lodge.

Taj Kumarakom Resort & Spa

A part of history and a unique experience, the Taj Kumarakom Resort & Spa is among the best places to stay in the backwater town of Kumarakom. With only 28 exclusive villas or cottages, the Taj resort is set amidst almost 15 acres of natural greenery.

Dating back to 1881 when the Baker’s family, the founders of modern Kumarakom set up their residence here, the original bungalow still stands gracefully on the shore of the beautiful lagoon. The sprawling grounds are dotted with century-old trees, water bodies and the Kumarakom bird sanctuary-home to millions of birds and multitude of species.

The colonial charms are retained in the resort, in its layout, artefacts, and décor. The cuisine is a generous mix of Taj signature dishes, comfort food and location inspired farm and backwaters cuisine. Adhering to the traditions of Kerala- the origin of Ayurveda and the class of the Taj, the Jiva Spa pampers with secrets of wellness. Houseboat cruises, bird-watching excursions and more add to the memorable experience of stay the luxury Kumarakom Resort.

Bask In the Wilderness of Jungles with These Top 10 Safaris in India


Watching a big cat in real life could be a distant dream for many! However, this dream, in India, is not that tough to be realized as the country is blessed with over 3000 tigers, 99 national parks, 40 tiger reserves, and 450 wildlife sanctuaries. India has made a global mark as it has transformed as home to 75% of the tiger population of the world.

No matter if you are surrounded by the big mountains of Himalayas in Uttarakhand or are in the desert landscape of Rajasthan or in the centre of Gujarat, the rich fauna will be there to enthrall and entice you always. So let's take a quick view of the top 10 national parks in India that are home to diverse wildlife. 

1. The Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan: The royal land of Rajasthan also houses the royal predators. Stretching across the area of 1,334 square kilometres, this Park offers fascinating jungle safaris. You will be delighted to see the cats prancing and pouncing on trees and grounds freely here. The other animals that are spotted here include Sloth Bears, Wild Boars, Sambar, etc. 

Ranthambore National Park

Best Time to Visit: The Park is open from October to June. However, the ideal time to spot tigers is March-May. 

2. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand: Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest established national park housing the most furious member of the cat family, the tigers. Many species such as Fishing Cats, Serow, Goral, Himalayan Tahr, and other fascinating wild species have made their habitat in this park. It was in 1936 when the journey of Jim Corbett started. The Park was declared as Asia's very first National Park in the same year. Later in 1974, it was declared as the first Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger. People from across the globe keep thronging here to catch a quick view of these brilliantly dangerous cats. 

Corbett National Park

Best Time to Visit: The Park is open from October to June. However, the ideal time to spot tigers is March-May. 

3. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh: The Royal Bengal Tigers! Sounds too royal… isn't it? And if you wish to have the spectacular vista of these tigers, then Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh is the best place for you. Blessed with the presence of striped cats and many other exotic fauna species, Bandhavgarh is one of the best places for wildlife safari in India.

Once upon a time, this place used to be the hunting ground for royal dynasties. However, the scenario changed slowly and Bandhavgarh is a protected area now. 

Bandhavgarh National Park

Best Time to Visit: The national park could be visited between mid-October and June, but March to May is the ideal month to see big cats. 

4. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh: Do you aware of the Mogli Land exist in India? If not, then you should plan a trip to the Kanha National Park soon. Owing to the existence of the vivid wild creatures, this dense jungle became an inspiration to Rudyard Kipling's forever classic-the Jungle book. The roaring of tigers in the real woods of Kanha jungles is what that attracts thousands of tourists from across the world to this park.

Kanha National Park

Best Time to Visit: The gate remains open from mid-October to June, however, the peak time is March to May if you want to see royal tigers.

5. Kaziranga National Park, Assam: Welcome to Kaziranga National Park, home to world's largest population of one Horned Rhinoceros. Stretching across 429.69 square kilometres, this place is far off from human inhabitance and hence helps in maintaining the rich flora and fauna. This Park also houses Elephants, Bears, Panthers and many pretty birds. As the wildlife flourishes without any limits here, Kaziranga is being titled as one of the renowned World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. 

Kaziranga National Park

Best time to visit: You can explore this park from November to the end of April. 

6. Sunderban National Park, West Bengal: This park could help you in spotting surprising sights. You can see tigers swimming in the water around the Mangroves of the Sunderban National Park. Sunderbans jungles have many credits to its portfolio. It's the largest tiger reserve. Also, it boasts of the tiger populace that has adopted an amphibious lifestyle. It also houses one of the world's largest forest cover of the Mangroves.

Hence, it forms one of the ultimate destinations to enjoy wildlife holidays in India. Owing to its distinguished distinctions, it has been honored as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Best Time to Visit: The Park is open throughout the year; however, to see the amphibian tigers, the best time to visit here is from October to April.

7. Gir National Park, Gujarat: Housing the royal Asiatic Lions, the Gir National Park is the treasure trove for those who love to see the rich diversity of wildlife. What makes the USP for the Gir National Park is that it is the only home to the populace of Asiatic Lions, and therefore it contributes significantly to India wildlife tourism. Besides Lions, there are around 32 species of mammals, over 300 species of birds and 26 of reptiles. 

Gir National Park

Best Time to Visit: The best season to visit the park is from October to May end.

8. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh: If you want to spot tigers frisking around carefree, then Pench is the place to be. One can listen to the loud rumbles of the big and furious predators in these jungles. This royal kingdom also boasts of other wild beings like Leopard, Wild Boar, Nilgai, and Crimson-breasted Barbet and so on.

Best Time to Visit: Pench remains open from mid-October to June. The best time to sight tigers are months from March to May.

9. Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh: The live wild world of the Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh is a treat to the eye. Spotted Deer, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Black Buck, Sambar, Four Horned Antelopes, Porcupine, Smooth Otter or Pangolin, all varieties have made their home in Satpura. The terrain is rugged here with the presence of peaks of sandstone, slender gorges, several ravines, and dense jungles, thereby making it a complete adventure zone. 

Best Time to Visit: October to April is the ideal season for visiting this park.

10. Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra: If you want to enjoy deciduous forests and undulating hills while enjoying your wildlife safari holidays, then Tadoba National Park in Maharashtra is the best place. There is a beautiful lake encircled by lush mixed forests in this park. Tigers, Barking Deer, Hyenas, Gaur, Leopards, and many others form the inhabitants of this jungle.

Best Time to Visit: Park is open from October to June. However, the best time to spot tigers is in months of March, April, and May. 


Author Bio: Archana Sharma is a freelance writer who is passionate about her profession. Travelling is something that excites her. She has been in the creative field for over 15 years and has been writing for print media and digital media.