What could be more exciting for the family than an adventure into the heart of the Indian jungle to meet the majestic tiger? Here are 10 amazing places where you can spot the King of the Jungle.
By Jayanth Sharma
Whether it’s Mowgli and Sher Khan in The Jungle Book or Jim Corbett’s Man-Eaters of Kumaon, there’s something about the magnificent tiger that can capture the attention of a child or an adult. Its majesty and beauty is evident, even through the pages of a book or the visuals on a screen. However, nothing can compete with being in the living, breathing presence of a tiger. So, on Global Tiger Day this year, give your family the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the incredible Royal Bengal tiger at one of the 10 wildlife hotspots across the country.
How to get there: Ramnagar is the closest railway station, though visitors from New Delhi may prefer travelling through Kathgodam, from where it takes just a few hours by taxi to reach the Corbett Reserve. By road, it is 260 km from New Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow, and 66 km from Nainital.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, bird-watching, rappelling, rock climbing
Other wildlife: Leopard, barking deer, sambar, elephant, Indian python, crested serpent eagle, blossom-headed parakeet
How to get there: Sawai Madhopur is the nearest railway station, and there are almost 50 trains connecting the area with the rest of the country. The nearest airport is in Jaipur, around 160 km away. Delhi is 381 km away, while Jaipur is 180 km, Udaipur is 388 km, and Bharatpur, 202 km away from the National Park.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, visit to Ranthambhore Fort
Other wildlife: Leopard, caracal, sloth bear, striped hyena, jackal, palm civet, crocodile, python, Indian gazelle and nilgai
How to get there: Khajuraho airport is only 25 km away, and the nearest railhead is Satna, which is two hours away. It is a great place for people travelling from Delhi, Kolkata, or Varanasi.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, river boating, waterfalls
Other wildlife: Jungle cat, wild dog, leopard, hyena, sambar, sloth bear, nilgai, spotted deer, porcupine
How to get there: The park has good road connectivity from Jabalpur, Satna, Umaria and Khajuraho, among other places. It is located 200 km from Jabalpur, 250 km from Khajuraho, and 35 kms from Umaria. Umaria and Katni are the nearest railway stations (35 and 100 km respectively). Nearest airports are at Khajuraho and Jabalpur.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, shopping at Bandavgarh market, visit to Bandavgarh Fort if permitted by the Forest Department
Other wildlife: Leopard, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, striped hyena, chital and Indian gaur
How to get there: Situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is well connected by road, rail, and air. It is 176 km from Jabalpur and 270 km from Nagpur by road. Jabalpur, Nagpur, and Gondia are the nearest major railheads and serve all parts of the country. Jabalpur, Nagpur, and Raipur are the nearest airports.
Family-friendly activities: Jeep safaris, birding walks, nature trails, cycling, weekly market, village visits, craft workshops
Other wildlife: Leopard, barasingha, four-horned antelope, blackbuck, striped hyena, sloth bear
How to get there: Nagpur and Jabalpur are the major centres nearby, at 110 km and 200 km respectively. Both cities also act as the nearest airports and railway stations, for travellers to reach the Park, from across the country.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, visit to nearby pottery village
Other wildlife: Indian gaur, sloth bear, nilgai, leopard, Indian wild dog (dhole), striped hyena, honey badger
How to get there: The park is 140 km away from Nagpur’s airport, which is the easiest travel hub to reach Tadoba Andhari. Chandrapur is the nearest railhead to the National Park and is only 45 km away. Chandrapur and Chimur are the nearest settlements on the road to Tadoba Andhari, which is 132 km away from Nagpur.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari and a visit to the Tadoba lake
Other wildlife: Leopard, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, sambar, barking deer
How to get there: Nagpur is the closest airport and railway station, at a distance of 60 km. It is located 40 km north of Tadoba.
Family-friendly activities: Wildlife safari and bird-watching
Other wildlife: Leopard, jungle cat, small Indian civet, sambar, jackal, nilgai
How to get there: Around 80 km from Mysuru and 205 km from Bengaluru, Kabini is situated on the banks of the Kabini river and is easily accessible by road from both cities in Karnataka.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, river boating, bird-watching
Other wildlife: Leopard, dhole, sloth bear, chital, sambar, barking deer, gaur, wild boar, crocodile, elephant and several varieties of birds
How to get there: Mysuru railway station is just 80 km away, and the Nanjungud station is only 5 km away from the National Park. Mysuru airport also acts as the nearest and most convenient landing spot when travelling by air.
Family-friendly activities: Wildlife safari, nature walk, bird-watching
Other wildlife: Elephant, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, mugger, Indian rock python, jackal, dhole and many varieties of birds.
The author is a wildlife photographer, and Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Toehold.
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