India boasts of housing lush thick jungles where a decent number of big cats reside, alluring wildlife enthusiasts and avid photographers from all across. Some of the best places to see tigers in India in their natural habitat are sprinkled all across its landscapes in the form of national parks. According to latest census, there were around 2500 tigers in 2016 here. Watching them walking freely in their own territory is definitely going to raise goose bumps on your body. Listening to their roar surely is going to be thrilling.
Here are top 10 best places to see tigers in India in their natural habitat.
1. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
One of the largest Indian national parks, Ranthambore National Park is an amalgam of history and wildlife. The former hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, this tiger reserve has around 70 tigers. Big cats here have been given names like Mala, Slant Ear, Machli, and Sultan or T-72. Some of the other wildlife species here are nilgai, langur, sloth bear, chital and rhesus macaque. Do not miss exploring the ruins of the 10th century Ranthambore Fort.
Safari timings– 07:00 AM to 10:30 AM and 02:00 PM to 05:30 PM
2. Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand
Home to over 200 tigers, Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. There also are 630 species of birds here. The leafy treasure of this tiger reserve is of 488 plant species. The national park is distributed into 5 major zones – Dhikala, Jhirna, Bijrani, Durgadevi and Dhela. Other wildlife species here are peacocks, elephants, sambar, sloth bear, barasingha, langurs and so on.
Safari timings– 06:00 AM to 09:30 AM and 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM
3. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Popular for its high density of Bengal tigers of around 64, Bandhavgarh National Park also has 250 avifauna species and 40 mammal species. The former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Rewa, this wildlife reserve also houses langur, various types of deer, Indian bison, wild boar and so on. Some of the popular tigers here are Rajbehra, Banbehi, Mahaman, Damdama, Mukunda, Sukhi Pattiya and Blue Eyes. This national park also has a connection with the great Hindu epic, Ramayana. Do not miss out on Bandhavgarh fort. One can also find some of the best wildlife safari camps near Bandhavgarh, India.
Safari timings– 06:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 03:00 PM to 06: 00 PM
4. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
One of the best tiger reserves in India, Kanha National Park is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh. A part of Project Tiger, it also has over 1000 types of flowering plants. Listen to the roars of Munna tiger and see his pugmarks. Swamp deer is known to be the Jewel of Kanha. Spot other animals like black buck, hyena, jackal, sloth beer etc. This national park is also one of the best administered parks in Asia.
Safari timings- Sunrise to 11:00 AM and 02:00 PM to Sunset
5. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
With home to around 400 Royal Bengal man-eating tigers, Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s biggest mangrove forest. Enjoy boat safari in Sundarbans and explore its floral, reptile, avifaunal and marine life wealth. Visit the place in winters as the summer heat is unbearable. The national park spreads in India and Bangladesh. Saltwater crocodile, Olive Ridley turtle, and Ganges river dolphins are the other attractions here.
Safari timings: Time of the boat safari differs as per the tour operators.
6. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
With more than 115 tigers, Bandipur National Park is one of the best national parks for tiger spotting. Once the private hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mysore, it also houses spotted deer, mouse deer, Malabar squirrel, jackal, elephants, langurs, gaur, sambar, black-knapped hare, wild dogs, jackal and 350 avifauna species. With Western Ghats in its background, it is one of the most beautiful national parks in India.
Safari timings- 06.00 AM to 08.00 AM and 03.00 PM to 05.00 PM
7. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Inspiration behind the Jungle Book, the famous book of Rudyard Kipling, Pench National Park has a good population of the elusive big cats. It also houses 4 endangered species of vultures among 285 kinds of birds and 37 mammal species including jungle cat and Indian Bison. This national park is named after Pench River that segregates it into two parts. Collarwali Tigress is quite popular here.
Safari timings- 07:30 AM to 10:30 AM and 03:00 PM to 05:30 PM
8. Sariska National Park, Alwar, Rajasthan
Sariska Tiger Reserve was originally the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Alwar. It is located close to Jaipur and Delhi and is home to tigers in good numbers. Other attractions here are langurs, sambar deer, blue bull, hare, wild boar, golden jackal, chital, caracal, striped hyena, four-horned antelopes and so on. Kankarwadi fort, placed in the middle of the national park, is also worth visiting.
Safari timings- 06:00 AM – 10:00 AM and 02:30 PM – 06:30 PM
9. Periyar National Park, Thekaddy, Kerala
One of the most popular tiger reserves in South India, Periyar National Park offers wildlife viewing through boat safaris. Boasting of verdant scenic surroundings and rich biodiversity, it has around 40 tigers. There are 45 reptile species, 260 bird species and 45 reptile species including elephants, wild pig, jungle cat, gaur, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, stripe-necked mongoose etc.
Boat Safari timings- 07.30 AM – 09:00 AM, 09.30 AM – 11:00 AM, 11.15 AM – 12.45 PM, 01.45 PM – 03.15 PM and 03.30 PM – 05:00 PM
10. Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
With around 70 tigers, Tadoba National Park is a newer addition to the list of top 10 best places to see tigers in India in their natural habitat. The park also has around 200 species of birds including hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, and grey headed fish eagle. Spot other animals like small Indian civet, spotted deer, stripped hyena, gaur, barking deer, four-horned antelope and 74 species of butterflies.
Safari Timings- 06:00 AM – 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM – 06:30 PM
About the Author
A keen observer of all things natural, Narendra Kumar is an expert in India wildlife destinations. He is in love with traveling and likes to share his travel experiences through his informative blogs and articles. One can easily browse through his write-ups to know everything about popular travel destinations in India.