5 Famous National Parks In Rajasthan (2020)
When we talk about visiting Rajasthan, it usually conjures up an image of vast deserts, royal palaces, majestic historical forts, colorful bazaars, lively puppet shows, etc. But another great reason to visit Rajasthan is to explore its various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The national parks of Rajasthan are home to some amazing flora and fauna. Tourists also have the opportunity to get up, close, and personal with animals by going on a jungle safari.
There are a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan and tourists should definitely include them in their Rajasthan itinerary.
In this post, we have listed down some of the famous national parks of Rajasthan that are worth visiting.
5 Famous National Parks In Rajasthan
1. Ranthambore National Park
The Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is one of India’s best national parks which is popular worldwide. This national park located in the Sawai Madhopur district is home to some of the richest flora and fauna. Covering an area of 392 sq km, the Ranthambore National Park is located between two rivers – Banas on its northern side and Chambal on the southern side. This tiger reserve was established by merging the Kela Devi Sanctuary and Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary.
Visitors to this national park in Rajasthan will have the opportunity to see tigers, sloth bear, Nilgai, hyena, chital, leopard, jackal, mongoose, and Sambhar. If you are in luck, you may also be able to spot the elusive Indian wolf. There are three tiger reserves in Rajasthan and Ranthambore has the largest number of tigers in its reserve. This national park is a haven for nature lovers who can lose themselves in the beauty of the rich flora such as fig trees, banyan trees, and dhok.
Wildlife photographers can also take complete advantage of this national park by capturing varieties of animals in their natural habitat. A great way to explore the Ranthambore National Park is to opt for the jeep safari. You can also spend some time visiting the Ranthambore Fort, Padam Talao (the largest lake in the park), Jogi Mahal made of red sandstone, a huge Banyan tree which is the second largest one in India.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Ranthambore National Park is between October to February.
How to reach: Ranthambore is easily accessible by road from Delhi and Jaipur. You can also travel by train from Mumbai, Delhi, and Jaipur.
Due to its high popularity, it is recommended that you book your visit to this national park in advance.
2. Sariska National Park
The Sariska National Park is located in Alwar in Rajasthan and covers an area of approximately 800 sq km which includes rocky landscape, cliffs, dry deciduous forests, and grasslands. This national park was earlier a wildlife sanctuary and in 1979 it was declared as a Tiger Reserve. Settled in the foothills of the Aravalli Ranges, the Sariska National Park was once the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Alwar.
Visitors to this national park can view a variety of animals such as the Royal Bengal Tigers, Rhesus monkeys, Chinkara, Nilgai, golden jackals, sambhar, leopard, wild boars, striped hyenas, jungle cat, etc. The Sariska National Park is a great tourist spot for birdwatchers as well who can enjoy watching birds such as Peafowl, Golden backed Woodpecker, Crested Serpent Eagle, Sand Grouse, Bush Quail, Grey Partridge, Tree Pie, the Great Indian Horned Owl, etc.
Best time to visit: You can visit the Sariska National Park in the months of March to September or October to February.
How to reach: This national park is located at a distance of 200 km from Delhi and 107 km from Jaipur. You can opt for bus or rail services to reach Alwar.
3. Desert National Park
The Desert National Park located in Jaisalmer is considered to be on one of the biggest national parks in India with an area covering 3162 sq km with a major part in Jaisalmer and the remaining in Barmer in Rajasthan. This national park is the perfect location to experience the Thar desert’s ecosystem. Despite the fact that the Desert National Park is situated in the middle of dry, arid, sandy desert, you will be able to see a variety of fauna such as Bengal Fox, Desert Fox, Desert Cat, Wolf, Blackbuck, Chinkara, etc. Not just animals, the Desert National Park is also home to migratory birds such as the Eastern Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon Vultures, etc.
The Desert National Park is the only place in Rajasthan where you will get to see Rohida (the state flower of Rajasthan), the Great Indian Bustard (state bird of Rajasthan), Khejri (state tree of Rajasthan), and Chinkara (state animal of Rajasthan) – all in one place in their natural habitat. You can explore this unique landscape of rocks, salt-lake bottoms, sand dunes, and intermedial areas by opting for a jeep safari.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit this national park is between October to March.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Jaisalmer is Jodhpur airport which is located at a distance of 300 km. Once you reach Jodhpur, you can opt for bus or rail services to reach Jaisalmer. You can also book bus or train tickets from major cities of India to Jaisalmer.
4. Keoladeo National Park
The Keoladeo National Park which was earlier known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the most important national parks in Rajasthan which serves as the breeding and feeding grounds for birds. Declared as a national park in 1982, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Comprising woodland swamps, dry grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands, this park is locally known as Ghana.
This 29 km national park is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna which includes 366 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 7 species of amphibians and turtles, 5 species of lizards, and 379 species of flora. The Keoladeo National Park can be explored either via a camel safari or a jeep safari.
Ensure that you have your cameras and binoculars ready as you will be able to witness a variety of birds such as Black-necked bills, Asian Openbill Storks, Indian Courser, Black Bittern, Sarus Cranes, Indian Spotted Eagle, White-tailed Eagles, Large-tailed Darters, Dalmatian Pelicans, Snipe Darters, etc.
Best time to visit: If you wish to witness the resident birds, then you can visit this national park between August to November and if you wish to witness migratory birds, then you should visit between October to February.
How to reach: The nearest airport to the Keoladeo National Park is the Agra Airport situated at a distance of 54 km. The Bharatpur railway station is just 5 km away from the national park. You can also avail bus services from Agra, Jaipur, Delhi, Mathura, etc., to reach Bharatpur.
5. Mukundhara National Park
The Mukhundhara (Darrah) National Park is located 56 kms away from Kota between two mountains – Mukundra and Gagrola. This national park is the third largest Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan after Ranthambore and Sariska. The main area of the national park covers an area of 417 sq km and is overall spread across the districts of Kota, Chittorgarh, Bundi, and Jhalawar.
This beautiful national park is famous for its scenic beauty as well as the wide range of exotic animals and plants. Visitors to the Mukundhara National Park can opt for a wildlife safari wherein they will get to see Asiatic elephants, Sambar deer, elk, panther, bears, wild boars, etc. This national park is a great tourist spot for birdwatchers as well.
Apart from the regular wildlife safari, visitors can also go on short treks to take in all the sights and sounds of this national park.
Best time to visit: October to March is the best time to visit the Mukundhara National Park.
How to reach: The Udaipur Airport located at a distance of 300 km is the nearest airport to Kota. You can also opt for train or bus services from major cities to reach Kota.
When it comes to national parks in Rajasthan, the list can be endless as different parts of this state have different wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Apart from the above-mentioned national parks, some of the other parks and sanctuaries that are worth visiting in Rajasthan include:
- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
- Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
- Tal Chappar Sanctuary
- Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
- Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
- Machiya Safari Park
- Nahargarh Biological Park
Rajasthan is one state in India which offers its visitors everything from historical forts to majestic palaces to diverse national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to beautiful shopping markets. So, make sure that your Rajasthan itinerary consists of all the major tourist attractions including some of the national parks listed in this post.