The state of the Tiger has been a cause of concern for over a decade now. With only 3,200 Tigers reported alive globally, organizations around the world are striving to alter the dwindling rate Tigers, working for their preservation. Being home to the worlds largest number of Tiger reserves and habitats, numbering at 48, governed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, India is home to 70% of the worlds Tiger population and in 2014 was reported to be home to 2,226 Tigers. On International Tiger Day 2015, we at Oh My India! drew up a list of top Indian Tiger reserves, where you can experience the sight of the majestic beast in flesh. The most charismatic from the cat family, the Tiger has been a symbol of strength from times immemorial. Here is a list of Tiger reserves of India, taking commendable actions to preserve the precious lives of the mystical beasts.
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest Tiger reserve in India and was later renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve. Established in 1983, the reserve spreads over five districts,Nalgonda District, Mahbubnagar district, Kurnool District, Prakasam District and Guntur District. As of 1993 there were 94 Tigers reported to be inhabiting the reserve. Surrounded by historical religious and architectural ruins, the reserve is a major tourist attraction.
Kanha Tiger Reserve
The jungles responsible for inspiring Rudyard Kipling to write Jungle Book, Kanha Tiger Reserve, also called Kanha National Park, is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh state in India. The park has an impressive population of sloth bears, Bengal Tigers, Barasingha, Leopards and Indian Wild Hogs. Recently embroiled in an interesting controversy involving the illegal eviction of the a tribal Baiga tribe village from the core zone, the park is an important site for Indian animal lovers and definitely worth the visit.
Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. Located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and named after Jim Corbett, who was an avid hunter and conservationist, and played and important role in the establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative and has made laudable conservation efforts for the endangered beasts. Day and night safaris amidst thick jungles creating a sense of mystery as tourists wait to view the coveted beast around the corner is just one of the most satisfying experiences the Park offers. The Eco-tourism destination houses hotels with options to park overnight in the buffer zone of the park and is one of India’s most cherished and loved wild sites.
Ranthambore National Park
Home to the oldest Tigress in the world, 17 year old ‘Machali’, this National Park located in Northern India is the result of the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. In 2013 it was reported to be housing 48 of the majestic predators, along with a wide array of wild animals such as the Barasingha, Wild Boar, hyena, Chittal and various reptiles. 160 kms southeast of the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur, the National Park is surrounded by luxurious hotels that promise an experience of a lifetime. In a time with a dwindling number of Tigers, this should be on your bucketlist!
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
The National park, Tiger Reserve and Bio-sphere Reserve is one of a kind in India. Situated in West Bengal its mangrove forests are favored by the Bengal Tiger. Home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile, it was established in 1984. Its conservation work for Tigers fall under the Project Tiger Initiative and it was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site.