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National Parks in India

What is the difference between a National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary?


Writer : Pranav Dave Published on : 25-Jul-2022

The National Parks of India are legendary lands that have preserved and conserved our flora and fauna at their best under the supervision of the Indian government. There is a lot to know about Indian National Parks, which is intriguing and worth visiting. 

Since the British rule in India, our efforts towards preserving our flora and fauna have been inspiring. We have come a long way in achieving a significant global position in the process. We have some of the world’s rarest species, like Rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, Red Stag and many more. The same applies to flora species, which are rarest and abundant in India. The new generation is also aware and conscious of the fact that India needs preservation more than ever; hence, we can see plenty of young naturalists, conservationists and forest rangers being recruited around the country. 

Nature and our culture have a unique connection that has hoisted our interest towards primitivism and then it shifted towards Industrialization. This blog voyages around the facts and traditions of the National Parks of India and how magnificent they are in their entirety. 

What is the difference between Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park?

Wildlife Sanctuary 

A Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park are two different entities, but many people have a misconception that they are altogether identical. 

A protected area of land that is set aside specifically for the conservation of plant and animal species is called Wildlife Sanctuary. These areas are either owned privately or publicly, and they are purposefully designated by governments or nonprofit organisations. Wildlife sanctuaries offer a variety of benefits to both the environment and the local community.  The important thing to note here is that a Wildlife sanctuary can also be a National Park and that is the case with maximum Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Some Wildlife Sanctuaries of India are: 

  1. Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Bandhavgarh Wildlife Sanctuary 
  3. Jim Corbett Wildlife Sanctuary 
  4. Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary 
  5. Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary 
  6. Hemis Wildlife Sanctuary                                                                         

National Park 

A national park is a protected area of land that is managed by the government. National parks are typically much larger than wildlife sanctuaries and offer a variety of recreational activities in addition to conservation, such as hiking to the local mountains, boating activities, water sports, lodging in the dense forest etc. 

Some National Parks are: 

  1. Nagarhole National Park
  2. Jim Corbett National Park 
  3. Ranthambore National Park 
  4. Pench National Park 
  5. Satpura National Park 
  6. Bandhavgarh National Park

Why do we need National Parks?

National Parks in India are the embodiment of efforts made to preserve our natural habitat because our population has gone out of control, which has given birth to the large-scale plastic pollution, water depletion and continuous hunting and poaching of wildlife animals. The prime reason that we need more and more National Parks is that, once a designated landscape comes under the authority, then the preservation and conservation become easy. 

There is a myriad of reasons why we need National Parks other than tourism. Preserving our rich natural diversity is essential to mankind’s survival on the planet earth. The idea of preserving certain lands or ecosystems for their unique topographic features along with the plants and animals that live within the confines of these geographic regions is a primary reason for the creation of National Parks. 

Indian Wildlife 

There was a time when India had abundant resources in terms of animals, plants, and rare species. This was not long ago, merely a century ago when Britishers had our nation in control there was an enormous number of natural resources but thanks to the gift of imperialism, which bloomed the rise of industrialization in our country and before you know, we were proliferating faster than reaching the moon. 

Indian wildlife was in a very poor condition back then, but it became clearer with the emergency protocols ganging up internationally that we need to start worrying about our wildlife resources or else it would become impossible to survive. The first strict preservation step taken by the Indian government was in 1972 when India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitats. Further, federal protections were promulgated in the 1980s. 

Indian Wildlife has been a crucial part in developing a favourable environment for the nearly extinct or endangered species which has given the rise in their number in due time. One can say that India is not only home to many languages, cultures, religions or communities but it is a vibrant land in wildlife, and you can witness every bit of different, strange, heart-warming and incredible wildlife creatures in India. 

India is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world and contains three of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots – the Western Ghats, the Eastern Himalayas, and the Indo-Burma hotspot. It is one of the 17 megadiverse countries. The country has 7 World Heritage Sites, 11 Biosphere Reserves in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and 37 Ramsar sites. 

Some Indian wildlife species that are famous:

  1. 5 Big Cat Species of India
  • Bengal Tiger 
  • Gir Lions 
  • Leopard 
  • Snow Leopards 
  • Indo-Chinese Tiger 
  1. Big Mammals of India
  • Indian Elephant 
  • Rhinoceros 
  • Indian Bear 
  • Himalayan Brown Bear 
  • Black Buck 
  • Barasingha 
  • Caracal 
  • Siberian Fox
  • Nilgiri Tahr 
  • Wild Yak 
  • Red Panda 
  1. Small Mammals of India
  • Indian crested porcupine
  • Indian boar
  • pygmy hog 
  • Nilgiris marten 
  • palm civet

Types of Wildlife Safari offered in India 

Indian wildlife has now fluttered all over the nation and has plenty of wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks to visit. In fact, it is a huge part of vacation premises for endless Indian tourists. There is a separate fan base of tourists who love to go and visit various National parks throughout the country. 

National Parks have employed their own vehicles within the premises, so whenever the tourists go for a tour, they have no choice but to hire government vehicles for going into the buffer and core zone of the forest. The reason behind that is to keep safe the citizens while touring the park because there are wildlife animals inside the area that might attack if not treated carefully. 

There are a lot of Indian Safaris that are offered in various National Parks across India:

  • Canter Safari 

The bus Safari is one of the most common safari vehicles opted for by tourists because it offers multiple tourists fit in one chance and is also less expensive. 

  • Gypsy Safari 

This is the second most favoured safari after canter as it offers a personal ride for a family or a couple to visit in dense forest. 

  • Elephant Safari 

There are National Parks in India that offers tourists a chance to see wildlife in a luxurious manner, which is a kingship ride on the elephant. Kanha, Kaziranga and Bandhavgarh National Parks currently offer Elephant safari. 

  • Hot Air-Balloon Safari

The service of witnessing wildlife parks from above in the hot air balloon has been going on outside of India for a very long time but recently Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve took the initiative and launched India’s first and only Hot Air-Balloon Safari. It is something of a breakthrough wildlife safari compared to traditional ways of witnessing the wilderness. 

  • River Safari 

There are several National parks and Sanctuaries in India that offers boat safari to tourists for experiencing some of the best views in the wilderness. 

Places that offer Boat Safari:

  • Periyar Boat Safari 
  • Chambal River Boat Safari 
  • Kabini Boat Safari 
  • River Zuari Boat Safari 
  • Sunderban Boat Safari

(Image credits: Outlook India)

How to Experience a Wildlife Safari in India? 

The experience of a safari is something very close to your heart and your passion for wildlife. The tourists may plan the trips but the exact process of leisurely spending time in the wilderness is something hard to come by. Our field expert at findyoursafari.com, Mr Abhiraj Singh Hada says that “Wildlife Safari is most successful when you have patience and resilience, to absorb what nature has for you in the bag. Maximum tourists come to spot the tiger but many times they end up unsatisfied and complaining about the services.” Tourism in wildlife is driven by passion and curiousness to witness the jungle, solitude, colours of nature, chirping of birds, the breeze of deep forests etc. 

We have exactly the steps to guide you in making your wildlife trip worth the money:

  1. Choose a state, where you are planning to go for a wildlife trip. 
  2. Decide on the number of days, you are going to invest in the journey. 
  3. Now finalize your budget for the trip so you can decide on adjusting expenses. 
  4. The good thing for a tourist while going for a wildlife journey, one should always contact agents for the same because unlike a trip to a hill station, there are a lot of unknown expenses, timings and forbidden rules that people are unaware of. Findyoursafari.com has been serving wildlife enthusiasts for the last 2 years with the best budget and complete pickup and drop. 
  5. Book a luxury hotel or resort to stay nearest to the wildlife park and it will be worth rewarding yourself. 
  6. Always pre-book your safaris because rates are dynamic when you book your rides on the spot. 
  7. Pack the mosquito repellent creams and some medical supplies for the trip because you might have to battle mosquitos. 
  8. Give complete time to Safaris, whether in the morning or in the evening. 
  9. Take complete rest in the lodge and eat properly to be at your full strength in the field. 
  10. Do not expect to litter, drink, or eat in the park while the safari is in progress because it is a serious offence. 
  11. Take a study on the national park you are visiting and about its flora and fauna to get involved in the process.

(Image credits: GVI)

Cheetah Re-introduction in India is an advantage to Indian Wildlife Tourism

After 70 years of going extinct from the Indian subcontinent, African Cheetah is making entry into the Indian Wildlife again in an effort to sustain the fastest cat species. This is indeed a big step in the Indian wildlife and has invited the attention of many wildlife lovers. The advantage of reintroducing African Cheetah is simply to bring back the charm of the Cheetah clan to Indian wildlife but there are various other reasons as well such as: 

  1. One good thing about Cheetahs is, that they are highly adaptable. If introduced, Kuno Palpur will become, the only wildlife sanctuary in the world to host all four major cat species-lion, tiger, cheetah, and leopard. 
  2. The successful relocation of the Cheetah may become a ray of hope for other species, which are on the verge of extinction. 
  3. The re-introduction plan of an apex predator at the top of a food chain may also help improve its habitats or even an ecosystem. 
  4. The Cheetah reintroduction may attract tourists, increasing the revenue for the state. 
  5. This will also be an attempt to make people understand, the need to conserve wildlife and their habitats.