Wildlife sanctuary is a place of refuge where abused, injured and abandoned captive wildlife may live in peace and dignity for the remainder of their lives.
National parks and wildlife sanctuaries are protected natural habitats, declared by the government of a country according to the regulations from the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) to preserve the wildlife through conservation of ecosystems.
The restriction levels vary within these two categories but, the principal objective of declaring protected areas is the conservation of nature. Thus, it is important for people to understand the differences and similarities between a national park and a wildlife sanctuary.A wildlife sanctuary is a declared protected area, where very limited human activity is allowed. The ownership of this type of protected are could lie in the hands of either a government or in any private organization or person, provided the regulations are governed by the government. Inside a wildlife sanctuary, the hunting of animals is completely prohibited. Additionally, the trees can not be cut down for any purpose; especially the clearing of the forest for agriculture is completely banned. However, it is not physically fenced to restrict the public from entering and roaming inside a wildlife sanctuary for research, educational, inspirational, and recreational purposes. The general public could use it up to a certain extent so that the sanctuary is useful for them also. People can collect firewood, fruits, medicinal plants…etc in small scale from a wildlife sanctuary.
.Here is a list of top 10 wildlife sanctuaries in India:
1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Among all the national parks in India, the Corbett National Park is the oldest and one of the best among the top 10 national parks in India. It was established in 1936 to protect the imposing Bengal Tigers. Located at the foothills of the Himalayan range of Uttarakhand, Corbett National Park is one of the hot spots of the wildlife lovers.This park has been named after the popular wildlife story writer Jim Corbett. Beauty and wilderness of this park attracts enthusiasts from various parts of the globe. This wildlife tourist destination of India has also been featured in many wildlife documentaries in order to raise the awareness towards the mighty and stunning Bengal Tigers.
2. Kaziranga National Park, Assam Kaziranga I
National Park is the only natural habitat of the endangered One-Horned Rhinos in India as well as in the world. Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries to explore the wildlife of Northeast India. It is also a highly visited park among the top 10 national parks in India. This park also boasts of its number of tigers and other wildlife species. Due to the noteworthy number of tigers, Kaziranga National Park has been declared as Tiger Reserve Forest in 2006. Other wildlife consists Elephants, Wild Buffaloes and Swamp Deer. The park also witnesses a large number of migratory birds during the winters.
3. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka Bandipur
The Bandipur National Park is the most popular among all the national parks in South India. It is a natural home to Elephants and several other endangered species. Lush forest of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats makes this park one of the beautiful parks in India. The park is located 80 km away from Mysore and almost 215 km away from Bangalore.
4. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Bandhavgarh National Park is another enticing name in the list of national parks of India. Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, it is one of the largest national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Declared as a national park in 1968, this park has a noteworthy number of Tigers in India. This park also has a significant number of Leopards and Deer. Among all the attractions of Bandhavgarh National Park, White Tigers are the most spectacular.
5. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
National Park is another sought after destination in the list of national parks of Madhya Pradesh. Established in the year 1955, this park has gained a lot of attention due to its efforts in saving the rare and almost extinct species of the Swamp Deer, also known as ‘Barasingha’. It is also one of the well-maintained parks in Asia. The other feature of the Kanha National Park is its sunset point called Bamni Dadar. Almost the entire park can be seen from this point. It offers the most eye-catching views of the animals in their natural habitat.
6. Gir National Park and Sasan Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat
National Park and the Sasan Gir Sanctuary of Gujarat are the only wildlife sanctuaries in India that have Asiatic Lions. October-June is the ideal time to visit the place and watch these majestic beasts strolling in their territories.The park was established on 18th September 1965 and it is one of the largest and elegantly preserved areas for the Asiatic Lions. Rivers and streams flowing through this national park remain occupied by the dwellers of the park.
7. Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Ghana National Park is one of the man-made wetlands in India that has been declared as a National Park. It was formerly called as ‘Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary’. Bharatpur This park hosts a large number of avifauna during the summers and is considered as one of the best national parks to observe exotic migratory birds and other birds of India. Located in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, this park serves as a primary centre for ornithologists and other zoological studies.
8. Periyar National Park, Kerala
The Periyar National Park, Kerala is the only national park in South India as well as in India that has an artificial lake flowing through the forests. Located on the evergreen hills of the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary is also one of the Tiger Reserve Forests in India. While boating in the Periyar Lake, visitors can behold the mighty beasts of this park, quenching their thirsts on the lakesides. Elephants, Deer, Nilgiri Tahrs and Langurs are the other attractions of this park.
9. Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
While visiting the Pench National Park in Madhaya Pradesh, the childhood fantasy of most of the visitors will turns into reality. Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ is based on the natural surroundings of this national park; this park is also known as ‘Mowgli Land’.While Tigers are the most dominant species of this park, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Barking Deer are some of the other attractions. With more than 170 species of birds, this park has also become one of the best places for birdwatchers.
10. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, is one of the royal national parks in India. It is ranked as one of the top 10 wildlife sanctuaries in India. The majestic Tigers are the pride of this national park. Surrounded by the Banas and Chambal River, this park serves as an ideal habitat for the predators and other animals of this park. Leopard, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Sambar and Hyena are some of the major animals found in this park. Tiger Safaris are immensely popular among the visitors of Ranthambore National Park.