Monday, May 2, 2011
Spotting Big Cat on Wildlife Holidays in India
Planning holidays in India is a good option for anyone looking forward to some cheap jungle safaris. Here is an insight into the famous Indian jungle destinations of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandavgarh, Kanha, Corbett National Park and the Sunderbans.
Jungles have been part of India’s identity right since the discovery of the country. Today, despite being ravaged by the winds of time, jungles still remain a strongly compelling motivating force for planning one’s holidays in India. Visitors from far and near come to the country’s jungles in the hopes of spotting big cats like leopards and tigers.
Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
Home to the last of the Asiatic wild lions, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary proves to be an unforgettable treat for most jungle aficionados on their India holidays. Most visitors are also lucky enough to catch at least one glimpse of this magnificent predator. The Gir also has quite a few leopards and other animals like blue bulls or nilgais, wild boars, four horned antelopes, striped hyenas, and marsh crocodiles. Morning and evening safaris are held to the forest and visitors also get ample free time to check out nearby attractions like the famous Shore temple and Sun temple of Somnath.
Bandavgarh, Madhya Pradesh
The elusive tiger is probably at his social best here as most travellers spending a couple of days here are graced by a tiger sighting. The phrase, ‘Tiger Tiger Burning Bright’ is perhaps evidenced here. There are provisions for hiring an elephant for an hour and two for a tour of the jungle. Bandavgarh is also very popular as a jungle destination because of the availability of cheap accommodation facilities in the village of Tala, which is bang next to the main gate of the park.
Kanha, Madhya Pradesh
The chances of spotting a tiger in Kanha are somewhat lower than at Bandavgarh. However, tiger spotting does occur pretty frequently and the feel of a safari experience in Kanha is much more pronounced. A huge buffer zone surrounds the humongous core area of the forest and visitors get an overall more wholesome jungle experience as visitors can penetrate into the deep heart of the jungle. Mahouts go into the forest on their elephants and in case a tiger is spotted, they communicate the same to jeep safari drivers. Tourists are then put on elephant back for up close views of the tiger. Kanha definitely ensures a memorable experience of one’s India holidays.
Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
This is the oldest tiger park in India and was the erstwhile hunting ground of the legendary hunter, Colonel Jim Corbett. Only the very lucky ones get to spot a tiger at Corbett, but that is part of the charm. In some of the other national parks, one can’t help feeling that the sighting was stage managed. However, somehow in Corbett, the feeling is very different. Corbett also has a vast population of wild elephants and lucky or rather unlucky visitors even get to spot the lone rogue tuskers.
Sunderbans National Park, West Bengal
Wildlife holidays in India are somewhat incomplete without visiting the verdant Sunderbans. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve is the native home of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. The experience here is very different from most of the other jungles in India. For instance, owing to the swampy terrain, visitors have to take their jungle safari aboard a boat rather than a jeep or elephant. Although, the jungles are said to be well stocked with tiger, but a sighting is very rare. Sunderban tigers are also instinctive man eaters, which is a peculiarity.
Book your flights to India to enjoy wild holidays with your spouse, friends, colleagues or family members.