Indian National Park Essay

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Kanha National Park is one of the best tiger reserves in India

THE KHATIA GATE OF KANHA NATIONAL PARK and tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh is a busy place at 6 a.m. in mid-winter. Indian made jeeps, called gypsies, have been arriving since about 5:15 to be first in line when the gate opens at 6:15. Guides and naturalists line up at the park registration window while officials check passports. And eager tiger safari tourists, wrapped up in coats and blankets to keep the morning chill at bay, check their camera equipment.

There’s an unmistakable buzz in the air, and unmistakable camaraderie among the guides and naturalists, as the first light of day dawns on the busy scene. Everyone knows this is one of the best tiger reserves in India. With only minutes to go before the gate opens, the buzz turns to excitement at the entrance of the safari park. Engines are revved, gypsies jostle for position, cameras come out, and the park gate opens. And then a five-hour drive through some of India’s most beautiful forested landscapes begins.

Langur monkeys in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

The lure of tiger reserves in India

I became addicted to this routine when I was in Madhya Pradesh with Pugdundee Safaris. I jumped out of bed each morning excited to get into Kanha National Park. I loved the routine at the gate, drinking steamy hot chai in the chilly gloom, and chatting with the guides and naturalists. And, of course, I loved the drive itself – virtually everything about it. The possibility of spotting a tiger, the joy of experiencing a natural paradise, the pleasure of seeing all the other birds, animals, trees, and butterflies in Kanha, and the stop for a picnic breakfast.

Like many of the tourists on tiger safari, I too was intent on seeing a tiger. When the guides picked up the alarm calls and started the chase to, hopefully, spotting a tiger, I was as excited as anyone. It’s thrilling to follow signs and signals, and to focus your eyes and attention on looking for sinewy stripes in the forest.

But there’s so much more to see in Kanha National Park than tigers. The Pugdundee Safaris naturalists are all extremely well-trained and passionate nature lovers. They know as much about the many other mammals, birds, and flora and fauna of Kanha, as they do about the tiger population. And they are quick to spot them while driving.

Leopard with kill in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge also offers walking safaris and village cycling tours – and there’s lots of opportunities for bird watching and getting to know the area’s flora and fauna up-close on these tours as well.

I spent about four days at the award-winning, luxury lodge and experienced everything that both Kanha Earth Lodge and Kanha National Park have to offer. Along with seeing several tigers – including the Munna, the King of Kanha – I saw spotted deer, barasingha, sambar, gaur, golden jackals, jungle cats, wild boar, langur monkeys, barking deer, and wild dogs.

I also saw more birds than I could count – including about eight different birds of prey, several species of hornbills, kingfishers, parakeets, egrets, and owls, and my favourites – the racket-tailed drongo, green bee eater, and Indian roller.

Grey-leg geese in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

There are so many things I loved about Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge (and you can read about some of them here). But, for me, number one is the quality of the naturalists, and the attention they give to the lodge guests. They are always available to drive you into the park, to walk with you into the forest, and up to sunset point, and to share their knowledge and passion for the natural world.

I was guided at Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge by several of the naturalists, including KD Kargeti and Harpreet Dhillon. I saw a tiger with KD in Kanha, and spent about three days with Harpreet experiencing a walking safari, village cycle tour, and sunset point. I discovered that Harpreet is not just a great naturalist, he’s also a talented photographer. Thanks to Harpreet for sharing just a few of his wildlife photos on this blog. You can find many more on his Facebook page and Instagram – and he’s adding to them all the time.

Also want to give a shout out to Pugdundee Safaris for the company’s commitment to responsible tourism. You can read more about their conservation policy here, and I can tell you that I witnessed it first hand.

Barasingha (swamp deer) in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

India Tours: Tiger safari in India

In fact, I was so impressed with Pugdundee Safaris, that I am offering a tour in collaboration with them to my favourite tiger reserves in India. I will be offering a Pugdundee Safaris tour of some of India’s top tiger reserves March 21 – April 2, 2018 (when it is starting to get hot, and the animals are easier to spot). You can come along with me and see for yourself why seeing a tiger in the wild was one of the most amazing travel experiences of my life.

This is going to be a very special trip. We will stay in Pugdundee Safaris award-winning lodges, be guided by their talented naturalists, enjoy delicious local foods, and take part in some very special, customized experiences – such as walking safaris, a boat ride, village visits, hiking, and one overnight camp in Satpura National Park. At least 8 game drives, in Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Pench guaranteed – which means your chances of seeing a tiger are excellent. I did a similar trip and saw 11 tigers! We will need confirmed bookings on this one by end of November as the tiger reserves book up completely about three-to-four months in advance. The tour is organized and sold by Pugdundee Safaris.

If you are interested in this tour, please send me and email at [email protected] with TIGERS in the subject line and I will put you on the mailing list to receive more information.

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Thanks to Pugdundee Safaris

It was more than the two people I mentioned above — KD and Harpreet — who made my stay at Pugdundee Safaris Kanha Earth Lodge so incredible. It was everyone – the managers, the staff, the other naturalists, the waiters, the chefs … virtually everyone, and I can’t name you all. But you know who you are.

NOTE: I was hosted by Pugdundee Safaris at their lodges in Madhya Pradesh, India. As always, my opinions are my own, my stories are heart-felt and I only make recommendations based on personal experience and with the needs of my readers in mind.

Bengal tiger in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Golden jackal in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Jungle cat Bengal in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon

Langur monkeys in Kanha National Park. Photo Credit: Harpreet Dhillon


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Home > Reference > Flora & Fauna > Indian National Parks
Indian National Parks
Indian national parks are popular throughout the world for preserving the rich Indian wildlife and endangered species.
More on Indian National Parks   (199)
 Indian national parks are innumerable and scattered throughout the nation, which have been established to protect the rich variety of wildlife in the country. Indian national parks are also protected from human development and pollution and are declared protected areas of IUCN category II.

Indian national parks can be classified according to the regions they are located, like the Northern region national parks, the Western region national parks, the Central region national parks, the Eastern region national parks and the Southern region national parks. India has a large number of 97 national parks at the moment and they are preserving the country's finest wildlife species, under the supervision of forest departments. Most of these present day Indian national parks were once hunting grounds of the Indian kings and emperors.

National Parks of North India
The first national park in India, Corbett National Park was established in Uttaranchal, in the year 1935. It was established as Hailey National Park, mainly due to the efforts made by famous hunter, Jim Corbett and later was renamed after him. After that, quite a handful of Indian national parks have been built over the years. The Northern region houses some popular national parks in India like the Dachigam National Park, Great Himalayan National Park, Valley of Flowers, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.

National Parks of South India
Southern region of India is also home to a large number of national parks with rich diversity. Some of the most notable parks in this region include the Ranganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar Tiger Reserve, etc.

National Parks of West India The rich diversity of Indian national parks located in the Western region attracts several nature lovers. The important national parks in this region include the Desert National Park, Marine National Park, Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park, Gir National Park, etc.

National Parks of East India
The natural diversity or difference in climate conditions is also quite rich in the Indian national parks that are located in the Eastern region of India. Kaziranga National Park,Manas Tiger Reserve, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Bhitar Kanika Wildlife Sanctuary, etc. Most of these national parks have earned recognition and reputation around the world, as well.

National Parks of Central India
Central region of India also has several national parks that are serving different purposes. Some of the important ones include the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Pench Tiger Reserve, Bori Wildlife Sanctuary and many other national parks.

The rich biodiversity in the Indian national parks and their wonderful maintenance have contributed hugely to the development of eco-tourism in India. The numerous Indian national parks provide natural habitat to several flora and fauna and preserve them. They also provide ample scope for the overall development of the adventure tourism. India is counted among the largest countries of the world by geographical area and it also has one of the richest wildlife. These national parks provide a safe shelter to the numerous migratory birds that arrive in the country to escape the harsh climatic conditions of their native habitats.

Indian national parks are located at diverse geographical locations and have different climatic conditions. While some of them are located in the hilly areas or in the desert areas, there are a few that are situated in the plain lands or mangrove regions. The natural vegetation and wildlife diversity of the national parks also varies.

(Last Updated on : 01/04/2016)
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