India is an amazing destination to enjoy wildlife watching. Indeed, the country is home of many different kind of species, all very fascinating. You can spot wild birds, elephants, rhinoceros, leopards and many others. Moreover, a lot of travellers as well as locals come to India to spot wild tigers. That large feline really seems to arouse people’s curiosity. Where can you spot wild tigers in India though? This a frequently asked question. Although spotting one is always a matter of luck, here are the top destinations to spot wild tigers in India.
1. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh
If you happen to be around Madhya Pradesh state or if it is possible for you to go, then you should definitely head to Bandhavgarh National Park, your best chance to spot a tiger in his natural environment in India. It is said that more or less 90 tigers are living in this area. Fortunately, there is also a great place to stay nearby the main gate of the park, the village of Tala, without having to pay high price for safari hotel packages. If you can, stay around two to three days and since you are around, make a stop to the ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort.
Best time to visit Bandhavgarh: The park is opened from October to June, but if you can, go between April and June.
How to reach: The closest village is Tala. You can catch a flight to Jabalpur, four hours of drive from the park.
2. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Located in the same state as Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park is also well known for being one the best places to spot wild tigers in India. Not only will you have a high level of chance to see one, but you will also see many other species including leopards, chitals, gaurs, wild pigs, striped hyenas and more. It is surely going to be one of your best memories of India since it also a picturesque place to see, with a dense and wide forest. Fun fact: it actually inspired the Jungle Book movie.
Best season to visit Kanha: April to June
How to reach: The nearest airport and the nearest railway station are Jabalpur. There are two entrances to the park, Khatia (Mandla district) and Mukki (Balaghat district).
3. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
There is no doubt that Ranthambore National Park should be on your bucket list if you want to see wildlife tigers in India. This park is one of the best places to spot them, but it is also a scenic area with dry forests and rocky hills. If you are lucky, you might also see crocodiles. Located in the colourful state of Rajasthan, it can easily be combined with a weekend in Jaipur, the Pink City.
Best month to visit Ranthambore: April and May
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Sawai Madhopur and the nearest airport is Jaipur.
4. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Among the best places to spot tigers in South India, Bandipur National Park is also a great spot to see wild elephants. Although your chances of seeing tigers are slimmer than in the previous parks listed here, it is still a great park with dense forests to enjoy. Also, it is the perfect way to have a weekend away from the busy cities of Bangalore and Mysore.
Best month to visit: March and April
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Nanjungud although Mysore is not too far as well. The nearest airports are Mysore and Bangalore.
5. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Although your possibilities of seeing a tiger are not as high, it is totally worth taking a chance in Sundarbans National Park. Why? Because the park is home of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger! This not the only fun part though; you might also have the opportunity to do a safari in a canoe which is very unique experience.
Best month to visit: November to February
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Canning and the closest airport is Kolkata, only three hours drive away.
6. Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra borders
Madhya Pradesh is one of the greatest states to visit if you want to see tigers in India. Pench Tiger Reserve is Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks’ neighbour, but with fewer tourists. It is home of many tigers as well as around 32 other mammals. You can enjoy jeep safaris through the dense forests or elephant rides to have closest views of the tigers.
Best month to visit: April to June
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Seoni and the nearest airport is Nagpur.
7. Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
Located in the great western ghats with beautiful rolling green hills, this Tiger Reserve is a good park to enjoy wildlife watching in South India. Not only you might see a tiger, but you can also spot the famous elephants of India as well as some leopards, hyenas and other carnivores. It’s a nice getaway from Mysore.
Best month to visit : Between September and May
How to reach : The nearest railway and the nearest airport are Mysore.
8. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
With a high level of chance of spotting a wild tiger, Tadoba-Andhari park is also an excellent place to enjoy birdwatching. Indeed, more or less 200 species of birds and around 88 tigers can be found in the park. Interesting fact : this park is the oldest and the largest one in Maharashtra, located in Central India.
Best time to go Tadaba : During the summer months
How to reach : The nearest railway station is Chandrapur and the rearest airport is Nagpur.
9. Periyar National Park, Kerala
Although your chances of seeing a tiger are quite low, Periyar National Park is a great place to enjoy the beautiful state of Kerala. In fact, it is South India’s most popular National Park.
The hills create amazing landscapes and a rich faune and flora. Easily accessible from Munnar, this is also your chance to see the elephants of Kerala.
Best time to go Periyar: October to June
How to reach : The nearest railway station is Theni and the nearest airport is Madurai, although Cochin airport isn’t too far as well.
10. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Chances to spot a wild tiger might be a little slimmer in Jim Corbett National Park, but it is still considered as one of the best places to see a tiger in India. Also, it’s among travellers’ favourite National Parks since it is easily accessible from New Delhi.
Moreover, it is located in the foothills of the picturesque Himalayas and many resort options are available as well as safari packages. You might also see some wild elephants.
Best month to visit : April to June
How to reach: Easily accessible from New Delhi, The nearest railway station is Ramnagar. The nearest airport is Patanagar.