The fact that India is home to over 70% of the total tigers remaining in the world makes it the best country to go tiger spotting. Of course you can see tigers in enclosures in many zoos but watching them in natural surroundings is unarguably an experience that has few parallels.
Here is a list of top 6 national parks and animal reserves in India where the chances of spotting tigers are the most.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
Once the hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Mysore, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, today, is one of the best places spot the big cat. Apart from a dense population of tigers, the reserve is home to Bengal Foxes, Elephants, Cat Leopards, Giant Flying Squirrels, Jungle Cats, Grey Mongoose, Striped Hyenas and other animal species.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
A lot of tiger pictures used in India’s tourism ads are shot at Ranthambore National Park. The best places to spot tigers in this park are near the three lakes (Padam Lake, Raj Lake and Milak Lake) where tigers, tigresses and their cubs come to quench their thirst. Other wild animals that can be spotted in the park include leopards, wildcats, crocodiles, hyenas and sloth bears.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Known as the land of the white tiger until Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the last white tiger here in 1951, Bandhavgarh National Park boasts a high population of Bengal Tigers. Other animals you can spot at this reserve include blue bulls, rhesus monkeys, leopards and Indian Bison. More than 240 bird species can also be spotted here. Book entry tickets to this tiger reserve well in advance.
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Sundarbans, the biggest mangrove forest in the world, is a perfect habitat for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The number of tigers in this national park is reported to be above 350, which for you means a high chance of spotting them. River dolphin, saltwater crocodile and Olive Ridley turtles are other main attractions in the park.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National park, nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, is very popular for its wildlife safaris. You can hire a private 4X4 and embark on popular tiger trails in the park. Make sure the driver you are hiring is an experienced one as your chances of spotting tigers will largely depend on him. You can also climb one of the watch towers in the Dhikal Area to spot tigers and other wild animals.
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve is counted among the newest ones in India. Reports suggest presence of as many as 70 tigers in the area. Other animals commonly spotted in the reserve include leopards and sloths. Travellers can also spot more than 200 species of birds including the hawk eagle, serpent eagle and grey headed fish eagle.