Covering about 1% of the country’s landmass, India has around 100 national parks that can give you awesome wildlife experience. The national parks of India depict a seldom and peaceful scene that will make you feel great. There are some national parks that are better than others and so we have come up with 5 national parks that you must visit and they are:

1. Gir Forest National Park

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Located 43km north-east of Somnath in Gujarat, the Gir Forest National Park is on the top of the list because of its inhabitants. As of now it is the only natural reserve in the world inhabited by the Asiatic Lion. And this gets more interesting when you realize there are only two major species of lions in the world, the African Lions and the Asiatic Lions. And since they’re not endangered, there a high probability of an actual lion sighting during a safari. The best time to visit is during the summertime, since the guides are smart enough to detour to the watering holes, where you might even chance upon an entire pack of lions.

2. Corbett National Park

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Corbett National Park is India’s first national park established by none other than Jim Corbett himself, ironically a tiger hunter. Located in Uttarkhand, the park is divided into multiple zones, out of which one zone, Jhirna, is accessible to the general public throughout the year. Elephant safaris are possible but chances of seeing a tiger are slim. You can, however, feast your eyes on hog deer, chital, the Indian grey mongoose, Indian pangolins and rhesus macaques.

3. Sunderbans

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The Sunderbans are one of the only mangrove jungles in the world. Located in Bengal, this forest boasts of the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger. However, due to excessive poaching and dwindling numbers, chances of you coming across one are slim. In case you don’t sight a tiger though, the Sunderbans offer compensation in the form of Leopards, jungle cats, fishing cats, wild boars, saltwater crocodiles and musk deer. The Royal Bengal Tiger, however, is quite a sight with its majestic mustache and graceful yet fierce presence. It is a gamble worth taking. The best time to take your chance is in the summer season, or in the winter.

4. Bandavgarh National Park

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Bandavgarh National Park, located in Madhya Pradesh, is quite cumbersome to reach from the railway station or the airport. It is also one of the best places to visit during wintertime. If you’re going for the tigers, you have a higher chance of seeing the tigers by mahout if not by jeep safari. Mahouts are elephant back rides that allow the guide to take you to terrains the jeeps may not be able to go to.  Summer seasons are extremely hot, therefore it may be a tough decision based on how badly you want to see a tiger in Bandavgarh.

5. Ranthambore National Park

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Located in Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is famous, once again, for the tiger. You do not have to go there for the tiger though. Spotted deer, crocodile enclosures, owls, and rhesus macaques are a common sight in Ranthambore. The entrance of the park is glorified with a large settlement of peacocks, and even though elephant safaris are not very common, one does get the chance to tour through the forest on a military open truck. It is a bird watcher’s paradise.