Top 5 Wildlife Sanctuaries Every Wildlife Photographer Must Visit in India

Among all genres of photography, wildlife photography is probably the most adventurous of all. It’s got everything – excitement, thrill, opportunities to travel and to interact (from a distance) with our counterparts from the wild – the exotic wildlife – lions, deer, tigers, rhinos, elephants, and other endangered species.

Since, all these wonderful creatures cannot visit our studios or be found roaming around on the streets, we, the photographers have to go calling to their homes – parks, sanctuaries, and forests – in the hope that they’ll oblige and give us some clickable moments. Royal, isn’t it!

There are over a 100 wildlife parks or sanctuaries in India, each with it’s own speciality, catering to specific interests. But, there are five which we feel every wildlife photographer in India or visiting India must visit to complete his wildlife photography expeditions and to get amazing shots of our exotic co-habitants.

Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand – This park gets it’s name from the famous hunter Sir Edward Jim Corbett. Among the most famous and the oldest national parks in India and the first in the Project Tiger, this park is home to the Royal Bengal Tigers. Apart from housing the royal tigers, Jim Corbett is also the abode of a wide variety of flora and fauna. One can hope to see Asiatic Elephants, Deer and Chittal, Himalayan black bears, Bengal Monitor Lizard, variety of birds, flowers and trees, and if you’re really lucky you could get a chance to meet one of the impressive and ferocious Indian Cobras residing there!

A favourite among both the Indian and international tourists, this is a must visit for wildlife and nature photographers. If time permits, you can enjoy a session of river rafting at Rishikesh or a walk by the beautiful Nainital Lake, both these locations are just a 3-4 hour drive away from the sanctuary and provide great opportunity to capture nature in all its glory.

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Images Courtesy: Mahesh Nair

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan – Club a desert and wildlife expedition in one go! The Ranthambore park, a part of Project Tiger, is a ‘pet’ destination of many wildlife and nature photographers. It is home to many of our friends from the wild like – Leopards, Tigers, especially the diurnal tigers, Black Bucks, Indian Flying Foxes, Jakals, Indian False Vampires, and Indian Pythons, the Cobra, Vipers among many other wildlife species.

If you go during the monsoons, you may get to see the beautiful peacocks dancing to the pitter-patter of the rains! Can anything beat this? Rains, the desert, beautiful company, and your camera?

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Image Courtesy: facebook/ranthamborenationalparkindia/timeline

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh – The largest wildlife park in Central India, the Kanha National park is famous for giving a safe home to the Barasingha (Swamp Deer), and is also a part of Project Tiger. Apart from the tigers and deer, one can also expect to see jackal fox, barking deer, black deer, black buck, bison, gaur, sambar along with a number of other wildlife, birds and flowers.

It’s believed that Rudyard Kipling met his Mowgli (Jungle Book) here, you too might find something inspiring here! Visit this sanctuary during the winters when nature is at its best and enjoy misty mornings with the bagheeras, baloos, and the mighty Sher Khans!

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Images Courtesy: Mahesh Nair

Gir National Park, Gujarat – Meet the king of the Jungle here – the Asiatic Lion. The park is the only home to the Asiatic Lions living in their natural habitat. Apart from the few hundred lions, the park is also home to sambar, jackal, antelopes, wild boar, Indian gazelle, leopards, and many other species of animals, birds, butterflies, and flowers.

Plan your visit during the winter months, there’s a higher chance of the royal Lions and it’s subjects giving you an appearance.

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Images Courtesy: Mahesh Nair

Bandipur and Kabini National Parks, Karnataka –  On either side of the Kabini River, these two beautiful parks are surrounded by the beautiful Western Ghats, and are two of the most enchanting wildlife sanctuaries in the country and are a part of Project Tiger. Primarily the home of tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Gaurs, they also houses panthers, sloth bear, among others. While Bandini park is also safe haven for Sandal wood trees and a great place to see birds like the green pigeon and jungle fowl, one can expect to see near extinction species like darters, greater greater headed fish, oriental white ibisis. Like Bandipur, this side of the river also has plenty of greenery.

Plan a visit during the monsoons and enjoy the lush greenery or during the winter months to take in the dewy morning or evening scenery in your photographs.


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Images Courtesy: Raghav Sethi

These places give us an opportunity to be in the same place as some of the most beautiful, ferocious, and amazing creatures gifted to us by nature, and tell their stories to the world through our photographs!





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