List of most popular Tiger Reserves in India

Tigers have been a part of Indian culture and mythology for centuries and are revered by many. These creatures are regarded as the national animals of the country and are a symbol of power, strength, and grace. They play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of forests and are considered to be an indicator of the health of the ecosystem.

According to the latest tiger census, the population of tigers in India has significantly increased since 2018. To be precise, there were 2,967 tigers recorded in 2018 compared to this, in 2023 recorded  3,167 tigers. On Prime Minister’s recent visit to Karnataka, he took to Twitter to express his views on the increasing tiger census. 

Here, we will cover the major tiger reserves that come under Project Tiger; 

1. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. It has been named after the Ranthambore Fort, which is located within the reserve. Spread over an area of 1.134 sq. km, it is one of the largest tiger reserves in India.

There are three serene lakes located within the reserve namely,  Padam Talao, Raj Talao, and Malik Talao. These lakes act as wildlife spots. Apart from tigers, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including sambar deer, sloth, leopards, bears, and more than 300 species of birds. Known for its beautiful landscapes, the reserve is a major tourist attraction. 

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2. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is a national park spread over an area of 105 square kilometres. The reserve holds a high population density of Royal Bengal Tigers and is also home to the ancient Bandhavgarh Fort which is believed to be more than 2,000 years old. It was declared a national park in 1968 and was later included in Project Tiger in 1993. 

Being home to a wide range of wildlife species such as leopards, sambar deer, and more than 250 species of birds, the reserve acts as one of the major tourist spots. The best time to visit this Reserve is from October to June. 

3. Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal

Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is the biggest tiger reserve in India that is home to a variety of endangered species including birds, reptiles, and aquatic mammals. Located in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, it covers an area of approximately 2,585 square kilometres and is widely known for its population of tigers. It was declared a national park in 1984 and was later included in Project Tiger in 1973. 

As opposed to most national parks and reserves of India, Sunderbans do not offer jeep safari, it is only accessible via boat. Visitors can opt for guided boat safaris to explore the mangrove forests and spot wildlife. Besides wildlife safaris,  they can also enjoy activities such as camping, fishing, and bird watching in the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. 

4. Sariska National Park, Rajasthan

Located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Sariska National Park is a wildlife reserve that covers an area of approximately 866 square kilometres for its diverse flora and fauna. Known for its historical significance, it is home to several ancient temples and monuments including the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Pandupol Hanuman Temple, and the Kankwari Fort. 

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Apart from the historical heritage, it is also home to several species of animals including leopards, sambar deer, hyenas, and over 200 species of birds. One of the best aspects of the reserve is that it includes several activities for tourists such as bird watching, trekking, and camping. 

5. Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand

Located in the Nainital district of  Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve is a popular national park named after Jim Corbett, a British author, conversationist, and hunter who played an important role in the establishment of the reserve. The reserve is best known for its population of Bengal tigers that act as the main attraction for visitors. Other wildlife species that can be found in the reserve include elephants, deer, and leopards. Although the reserve is open to visitors from mid-November to mid-June, the best time to visit it is from February to May. 

6. Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Kanha Tiger Reserve is one of India’s premier national parks and a prominent tiger reserve. Located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, it spans over 940 square kilometres of dense forests, grasslands, and meandering streams. Established in 1973, it was also the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” The reserve is renowned for its thriving population of Bengal tigers, as well as other wildlife like leopards, wild dogs, deer species, and various bird species. It is actively involved in tiger conservation efforts and offers visitors a chance to experience India’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty through safari tours and eco-tourism initiatives.

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These were some of the most prominent tiger reserves in India that attract large numbers of tourist population every year. Their rich population density of tigers and activities such as camping, trekking, and bird watching offer a worthwhile experience making them an ideal tourist destination. 

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