India is amongst the ten densely forested countries on the globe with a forest cover of 67.83 million hectares. Right from lush green pine trees to deodar trees and wildlife ranging from tigers to elephants, India is home to various types of forests and diverse species of flora and fauna. A vacation in these dense and vast forests offers the most rejuvenating and enriching experience.
Forests In India: List Of 10 Most Popular Forests In India
|Forests in India||Region|
|Jim Corbett Forests||Uttarakhand|
|Gir National Park||Gujarat|
|Namdapha National Park||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Bandipur National Park||Karnataka|
|Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu|
|Kanha National Park||Madhya Pradesh|
|Vandalur Reserve Forest||Chennai|
1. Sundarbans, West Bengal – Beautiful Forest in India
Sundarbans is often referred to as ‘the home of the Bengal Tigers’. Moreover, it hosts the largest mangrove forests in the world. It is a biosphere reserve that preserves the population of tiger in the country. The forest is nestled between roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries that make this place worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its wide assortment of flora and fauna. The untouched beauty of the area makes you feel serene and calm.
The silent charm of the place engulfs and rejuvenates to the core. It houses the last mighty jungle in the country that has the largest number of sundari trees, 400 royal Bengal tigers and over 30,000 spotted deer. You can find a vast expanse of flora having medicinal as well as socio-economic value. Boat safaris, cruises, Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka viewpoints are some of the main attractions of this place.
Why Visit? Boat Safari | Cruise | Chargheri Char
Distance From Canning: 54 km
Best Way to Reach:
By Road: The road transport facility in Canning is quite good which makes you commute to the park without any hassle. If you’re up for a road trip, then you can take a bus or a cab to reach the destination.
By Flight: The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata which is 166 km far from the park.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Canning located at a distance of 48 km from the park. You can take a cab, auto-rickshaw or a bus to reach the destination.
2. Khasi Hills, Meghalaya – Picturesque Forest in India
The stunning Khasi Hills in Meghalaya are a part of subtropical forests’ eco-region. These hills are named after the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya. Deep valleys and conical peaks make these beautiful Khasi forests extremely picturesque with pristine greenery all around. The high amount of rainfall in this region is the reason behind the clean and rejuvenating ambience of Meghalaya.
It is a nature lover’s paradise and wildlife enthusiasts’ retreat. The vast expanse of deciduous and semi-evergreen forests in the state is no less than a heaven on earth. The ecoregion of these forests is home to 110 species of mammals that includes clouded leopard, Asian elephant, sloth bear, tiger, bear macaque and more.
Why Visit? Wildlife | Nature Walks
Distance From Guwahati: 140.5 km
Best Way To Reach:
By Road: There are many buses from Shillong and Guwahati that commute during the day towards Khasi Hill in Meghalaya. The fare of these buses is quite nominal. Also, you can take your own car or hire a taxi for a comfortable travel experience.
By Flight: The nearest airport to the Khasi Hills is the Guwahati Airport which is situated at a distance of 100 km from Shillong. You can take a cab or a taxi from Shillong and drive towards Khasi Hills.
By Train: The closest railway station from Khasi hills is Guwahati Railway Station which is located at a distance of 102 km from Shillong. You get a direct bus from Shillong to Khasi Hills.
3. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand – Popular Forest in India
Jim Corbett National Park is a wildlife sanctuary that was established in 1936. The place was formerly referred to as ‘Hailey National Park’. It was initially built to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. The national park is located in the Nainital district and is named after ‘Jim Corbett’ who played an important role in the establishment of this park.
This park has 488 different floral species and a diversified variety of faunal species as well. The area is spread over 520 square kilometres and the park is divided into four different zones namely, Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna and Durgadevi zones. The captivating landscape and pristine environment of the place is a delight for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Why Visit? Nature walks | Refreshing Trip | Diverse Flora and Fauna
Distance from Nainital: 66.4 km
Best Way To Get There:
By Road: There are state transport buses from Nainital to Ramnagar. You can also drive to Ramnagar from Nainital via your own car. Turn towards Ramnagar which is the nearest railway station to Jim Corbett National Park.
If you’re up for a road trip, drive from Nainital to Ramnagar UT SH 41. Take the route from Kashipur to reach Ramnagar.
By Flight: Pant Nagar Airport in Pantnagar is the closest airport located at a distance of 68.1 km from Nainital. AirIndia flights fly to this airport.
By Train: Nearest Railway Station is Ramnagar railway station. You can take a taxi, auto-rickshaw or a bus to reach the park.
4. Gir National Park, Gujarat – Serene Forest in India
Gir National Park is home to Asiatic lions that are an endangered species and utmost preservation methods should be adopted to protect them. Other than Asiatic lions, there are many other endangered species which are protected in this park. There are 2375 faunal species with 38 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and 2000 species of insects in total.
Some faunal species include leopard, chausingha, spotted deer, hyena and more. Wildlife safari amidst the greenery where you can watch the wildlife from a closer lens is what this park offers. If you’re an adventure junkie, then Gir Jungle trail awaits you. This 1000 square km park is adorned with green deciduous forests, taking you for an adventure riddled ride. You can visit the biggest water reserve ‘Kamleshwar Dam’ which is the lifeline of this forest during droughts.
Why Visit? Gir Jungle Trail | Asiatic Lion | Kamleshwar Dam
Distance From Junagadh: 79.6 km
Best Way To Get There:
By Road: You can take buses from Junagadh that ply between Junagarh and Gir National Park. If you wish to take your car, then you can follow the Sasan-Visavadar Highway and turn towards the Satadhar Road and continue straight towards Gir National Park.
By Flight: The nearest airport to the park is Keshod which is located at a distance of 70 km. You can also travel from Rajkot Airport which is situated at a distance of 160 km.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Gir National Park is Junagadh Railway Station which is located at a distance of 80 km from Gir National Park. You can take a cab or a taxi from the station to reach the national park entrance.
5. Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Odisha – Peaceful Forest in India
Bhitarkanika Mangroves is an Oriya name which means interior beauty (‘Bhitar’ means ‘interior’ and ‘Kanika’ means ‘exceptional beauty’). It is the world’s largest nesting ground for endangered Olive Ridley Turtles. Other than this, Bhitarkanika is a wildlife reserve and home to 55 mangrove species, 170 bird species, saltwater crocodiles, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.
You can also find Bibron’s soft-shelled turtle, endangered King Cobra and the Indian King Python. The Bhitarkanika mangroves were declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. The estuarine confluence of three rivers Brahmin, Baitarani and Patasala rivers serves as a visual delight for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
Why Visit? Natural Reserve | Mangroves | Endangered Faunal Species | Boat Safari
Distance From Kolkata: 370 km
Best Way To Get There:
By Road: It is an 8-hour drive from Kolkata. You can hire a taxi, take a bus or take your own car to the park. You can follow NH 16 and turn towards Pattamundai road to reach your destination.
By Flight: The nearest airport to this mangrove is in Kolkata which is located at a distance of 421 km from the forest area. It’s better to take a train from Kolkata or hire a taxi to reach there.
By Train: Bhadrak and Cuttack are the two main railheads near Bhitarkanika Forest. Bhadrak is 101 km away from the forest area of Bhitarkanika for which you can take a bus or a taxi ride.
6. Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
Namdapha National Park is the third largest national park in the world that spans over 1985 square kilometres. The beautiful park with amazing greenery is quite bewitching to the extent of being called ‘a paradise on earth’. The national park is nestled between the Patkai Range and Dapha Bum Range of high Mishmi Hills.
You can find adorable snow leopards, Hoolock Gibbons, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, wolves, tigers and more. The park has over 1000 floral and 1400 faunal species that together make the park a rich biodiversity hotspot of the eastern Himalayas. The park comprises of several tourist attractions such as Miao Museum, Moti Jheel, Raja Jheel and Miao Mini Zoo. Jeep safari is a delight in this park as the park houses more than 400 bird species.
Why Visit? Safaris | Gandhigram | Moti Jheel | Wildlife
Distance From Dibrugarh: 227 km
Best Way To Get There:
By Road: It is a 6-hour drive to Miao from Dibrugarh through Tinsukia, Digboi, Margherita, Ledo, Jagun, Namchik and Kharsang road. You can take your own car, hire a taxi or use state transport buses to reach your destination.
By Flight: Mohanbari in Dibrugarh is the nearest airport located at a distance of 160 km. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Namdapha National Park.
By Railway: Tinsukia in Assam is the nearest railway station from the park. It is located at a distance of 183.7 km. There are many buses and taxis available to offer a memorable and hassle-free travel experience to the national park
7. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka – Dense Forest in India
Bandipur National Park was established as a natural reserve in 1974 and owing to its rich wildlife and a plethora of teak and sandalwood trees, Bandipore was declared as a biosphere reserve of the country. The captivating landscape and the immense beauty of the Nilgiris creates a calm and serene ambience. It is a sight to behold when you can watch an array of teak, rose, sandalwood trees, Indian Laurel and more exotic trees swaying in the cool breeze.
Various endangered species like Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, jackals and dholes can be sighted at the park. Sail through the jungle in the most alluring Boat Safari and marvel at the mesmerizing landscape of the park.
Why Visit? Flora and Fauna | Boat Safari | Wildlife photography
Distance From Coimbatore: 125. 3 km
Best Way To Reach There:
By Road: Travel in the most interesting way via road to reach the park. You can take your own car or hire a taxi from Coimbatore to reach this park. Enjoy the refreshing and tranquil surroundings en route the park. Take the NH 181 and turn towards Mysuru-Ooty Road.
By Flight: Coimbatore Airport is the nearest airport to reach the park as it located just 84 km away. You can take a cab from the airport to reach the park.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Mysore which is located at a distance of 80 km away from the park.
8. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park was established in 1955. The place has been a preservation centre for many of the endangered species. The park lets you experience the wilderness with its wide-open grass plains where you can spend some time in solitude and rejuvenate your self. The area of the park stretches over 940 km which is further divided into two wildlife sanctuaries: Hallon and Banjar.
The park has been ranked as one of the best parks in Asia where you can catch a glimpse of Royal Bengal Tiger and many rare species. The captivating and enchanting landscape makes you spend a great time admiring it through various jungle safaris. There are many shops from where you can buy traditional handicrafts, souvenirs and T-shirts.
Why Visit? Mangrove Forests | Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower | Walking Trails | Picnic Spots
Distance from Gondia: 154 km
Distance from Jabalpur: 160 km
Best Way to Get There:
By Road: If you wish to drive to this national park, then take the fastest route from Jabalpur or from Gondia as it is a 3-4 hour drive from these two places. Take your own car or hire a taxi according to your choice. Also, you can avail state transport buses or private tour operator buses to reach Kanha National Park.
By Flight: The nearest airport from Kanha National Park is Jabalpur which is 160 km away from the park. From the airport, you can hire a taxi to reach the park or take a bus to this place.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Gondia and Jabalpur. You can take a bus or a taxi to reach the park.
9. Vandalur Reserve Forest, Chennai – Green Forest in India
Vandalur Reserve Forest is a protected forest area in the southern region of Chennai. It is located about 30 km from Chennai city centre. If you wish to spend a splendid off-beat holiday, then this place is perfect. The Vandalur hills offer a spectacular view of the surroundings while mesmerizing the visitors with their charismatic appeal.
This forest is generally dry, deciduous and dry evergreen scrub type. There are 138 plant species that are found in the area along with 47 species of mammals, 31 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians and other birds, insects and fish species. Vandalur is home to 46 rare and endangered animal species. There are 63 birds including Adjutant Stork, Macaw, Sarus Crane, Little Cormorant, Yellow-watted Lapwing and Pelican.
Why Visit? Vandalur Hills | Wildlife
Distance From Chennai: 30 km
Best Way To Get There:
By Road: You can take your own car, hire a taxi or take a bus from Chennai bus stop to reach the destination.
By Flight: The nearest airport from this park is the Chennai International Airport which is located at 20.5 km.
By Train: The nearest railway station from this park is Chennai Railway station which is located at 42.6 km.
10. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu – Popular Forest in India
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is an international biosphere reserve that stretches to some parts of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills in South India. The reserve was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. The biosphere that includes Mudumalai, Mukurthi, Wayanad and Bandipur national parks covers an area of 5520 square km. There are ample trekking trails that you can enjoy at this reserve.
The major part of this biosphere comes under the Project Tiger and Project Elephant. The unmatched attraction of this reserve is something that you should experience once in your lifetime. You can spend a great time with your friends and family amidst the green orchids and a variety of floral species at the reserve. There are about 3300 species of flora in the park and 900 varieties of faunal species. The rich biodiversity of this place attracts tourists from all over the world.
Why Visit? Rich Biodiversity | Jungle Safari | Wildlife Sanctuaries | National Parks