Comprising most of the Thar Desert, Rajasthan is India’s largest state by area. On one hand, it is dry and sandy with the presence of the golden landscape. On the other hand, it is rich in culture, heritage, colourful, and depicts the long ancient history of civilization with its magnificent forts, palaces, and traces of vibrant wildlife in various places.
Despite of being a parched and dehydrated land, it is abundant with a variety of flora and fauna. The state is home to various famous national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and bird sanctuaries. Some of the famous and must-visit places to witness the Rajasthan wildlife are:
Ranthambore National Park
Situated in the Sawai Madhopur district, it is best known for its tiger population, which can be easily spotted in the months of November to May. With Chambal and Banas river flowing on either side, it has a rich and diverse wildlife. You may spot several endangered species of animals, and over 500 variants of flowering plants.
Chitals, sloth bears, hyenas, sambars, wild boars, nilgai, leopards and tigers are the main attractions.
Jeep safari and Canter safari are arranged for a better and closer view of the wildlife, especially tigers. It shall be booked in advance. Tiger safari resorts in Ranthambore make for a great stay.
Sariska National Park
Situated in the Alwar district, and a part of the Aravalli range, Sariska National Park is the first ever tiger reserve of the country. With Royal Bengal Tigers as the park’s speciality, many other animals can also be spotted in the area- Rhesus monkeys, Hanuman langurs, hares, wild boars, chousingha or the four horned antelope, chinkara, nilgai, sambhar, golden jackals, striped hyenas, caracal, jungle cats and leopards.
A variety of birds can also be spotted here throughout the year, some of them being the Great Indian Horned Owl, crested serpent eagle, golden backed woodpecker, tree pie, sand grouse, bush quail, grey partridge, peafowl.
The best time to visit is from November to June.
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary
A large number of migratory birds witnessed every year made Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, now Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, as one of the main World heritage sites by UNESCO. It is home to approximately 379 floral species, over 366 exotic bird species and several animals. It is truly a bird watcher’s paradise.
Bicycle and rickshaw safari, and boat rides, during the rainy season, are commonly availed by the visitors.
Kumbalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Home to several endangered species, situated at an elevation of 500-1300 metres, the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is the main tourist attraction of Rajsamand district.
From animals which include hares, chinkaras, four horned antelopes, nilgai, sambhar, jungle cats, hyenas, sloth bears, leopards and wolves, to birds like grey jungle fowl, peacocks, doves, white breasted kingfisher, bulbuls, pigeons, golden oriole, and parakeets, Kumbalgarh Sanctuary is a pool of diversity.
You may enjoy foot trekking as well as horse safaris to explore the area.
Mount Abu Sanctuary
It is situated in the oldest mountain ranges if India- the Aravalli hills. Lions, tigers, leopards, hedgehogs, porcupines, Indian hares, mongoose, pangolin, bears, wild boars, langurs, foxes, hyenas, jackals, small Indian civets, jungle cats, sambhars are found here in large numbers. A variety of birds, especially the grey jungle fowl, can be spotted here. Several orchid species, and 3 varieties of wild rose can be seen here.
April to June and November to February is the best time to visit.