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Unknown Tiger Sanctuaries in India

2:11 AM

Of the 47 Tiger Reserves in India under Project Tiger only few are known and visited by all. Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Jim Corbett, Ranthambore are famous Tiger parks but with these celebrities comes a catch - “crowd”. The open jeep safaris in India promises a breathtaking game watching and unknown bush hunting of the big cats. Needless to say how game watching with such a crowd is depressing and disheartening, also it comes for a price to have a glimpse of anything four legged.

My trip to Bandhavgarh made me realise that the real thrill is in exploring the unexplored and traversing the unknown crown jewels wherein I can experience the sheer fear of emptier roads and remain vulnerable in the wild.

I have archived the top 10 unknown wildlife sanctuaries in India for those who want to be the part of the game with less crowd. 

Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary 

Just 270 km drive from Hyderabad in Adilabad district is Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, an important Tiger Reserve of Telangana spread over 893 sq km area. Very few know that this sanctuary of tropical dry deciduous teak forest with abundant Bamboo, Terminalia and Bombax serves as a corridor connecting the southern forests of Telangana to reserve forests of Maharashtra, which are connected to the forests of the Vidharbha region.

This dense pristine beauty untouched by human presence is home to several animals and birds including Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Indian Bison, Panther, Tiger. One can also spot Crocodiles, Python, Monitor Lizard, Star Tortoise and Cobra in the forest. Jeep Safaris and special bird watching trips are available to spot the rare wild in the habitat.
A tiger in the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo Courtesy - Buzzintown
A bird perched on a tree in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary
Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Best time to visit: November to May
  • Major attractions: Pochera waterfalls, Kuntala waterfalls
  • Distance from city: 270 km from Hyderabad
  • Nearest Railway Station: About 50 kms from Kawal is Mancherial Railway Station
  • Where to stay: Forest Rest House at Jannaram & Mancherial

Manas National Park

Once a private hunting reserve of the Cooch Behar Royal family and Raja of Gauripur, Manas National Park is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the banks of river Manas and at the foothills of Himalayas it is one of the most picturesque homes to tigers. This 950 sq km biodiverse park is a shelter to many endangered wildlife Assam Roofed Turtle Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog. It is also famous for its wild water buffaloes in abundance. 

Divided in three ranges and two rivers, tourist are mostly on the central mountain range of Banasbari in the forest at Mathanguri on the Manas river at the Bhutan border. The wooded hills give way to alluvial savannas and tropical forests.


Indian Rhinoceros can be easily spotted in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Rhinoceros, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

Hornbills and several other birds can be spotted in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Hornbill, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Best time to visit: November to March
  • Major attractions: Manas river inside the forest
  • Distance from city: 176 km from Guwahati
  • Nearest Railway Station: About 40 kms from Manas is Barpeta Railway Station
  • Where to stay: Few budget accommodation options in the sanctuary and other budget hotels around Manas.

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary 

Intervened between Anaimalai hills and Nelliampathy hills, Parambikulam Sanctuary is on Sungam range of hills. Protected from all sides from wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it’s artistic landscape is under consideration of being one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Endowed with peninsular flora and fauna and less human habitat, it encompasses an area of 277.40 sq km in the Palakkad District of Kerala.

This quaint beauty is an abode to 36 species of mammals, 268 species of birds , 61 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians, 47 species of fishes and 1049 species of insects. Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Common Langur, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Sloth Bear and Wild dog are commonly sighted animals.


A leopard spotted in the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Leopard, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Black Panther are one of the member of the cat families that can be spotted in Paramabikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Black Panther, Paramabikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Best time to visit: August to January
  • Major attractions: Parambikulam dam
  • Distance from city: 90 km from Palakkad
  • Nearest Railway Station: About 100 Kms from Parambikulam is Palakkad Railway Station and Coimbatore
  • Where to stay: Lot of accommodation options in the sanctuary

Sahyadri Tiger Reserve 

At the junction of Sangli District, Kolhapur District, Satara District and Ratnagiri District including Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary and to the south is the notable portion of Chandoli National Park Sahyadri spreads across an area of 741.22 sq km.

In the backdrop of historical places this reserve comes live during the winter months. It is residence to 23 species of mammals, 122 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles. Bengal Tigers, Indian leopards Indian bison, leopard cats , sloth bears and Indian giant squirrels can be sighted distinctly.


Along with tigers, Sahyadri Tiger Reserve is also a birder's paradise
Sahyadri Tiger Reserve
A tiger by a water source in the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve
Tiger, Sahayadri Tiger Reserve
  • Best time to visit: October to February
  • Major attractions: Kandhardoh and Kandhardoh Falls, Tanali falls and Vasant Sagar Reservoir
  • Distance from city: 128 km from Satara
  • Nearest Railway Station: About 47 km from Karad, 75 km from Sangli, 80 km from Kolhapur and 85 km from Miraj is Sahyadri.
  • Where to stay: Comfortable lodgings within the sanctuary

Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary

Adjacent to  Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park,Sathyamangalam is the largest tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu. Over 1,411.6 sq km.it forms a vital wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

Anywhere between 19 and 25 Tigers are present as per the forest department’s study. Apart from Tigers it gives way to 866 Indian Elephants, 672 Gaurs, and 27 leopards, 2,348 Spotted deer, 1,068 Blackbuck, 304 Sambar deer, 77 Barking deer and Four-horned antelope, 843 wild boar, 43 Sloth bear and 15 striped hyenas.


Hyena, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Hyena, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Bear, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Bear, Photo Courtesy : Sanctuariesindia.com
  • Best time to visit: October to January
  • Major attractions: Bilgirirange Swamy Temple
  • Distance from city: 65 Km from Talamalai
  • Nearest Railway Station: About 80 km from Sathyamangalam is Erode Railway Station. One can also go from Coimbatore railway station.
  • Where to stay:Government Guest House, Hasanur and cottages at Dhimbham.

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Nothing better than this blog can describe me well. I am a passionate craft lover, an avid traveler and an amateur photographer. I love meeting people, going places and also making friends. My traveling tale started when I was just 5 and my journey continues. The color, culture and traditions that I come across inspire my creations.

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