South India is mostly famous for its rock cut temples, exotic sea beaches and rich culture. But an aspect that often goes unnoticed is the rich flora and fauna of the place. The lush greenery, pleasant climate and abundance of water make South India a favourite place for wildlife. Let us checkout some of the national parks of Southern India:

#1. Bandipur National Park

If you want to check out the tigers of India in natural ambience, visit Bandipur National Park. Transformed into a tiger reserve in 1973, this park along with Nagarhole, Mudumalai and Wynad National Park forms the Nilgiri Biosphere. The dense forests of Bandipur are also favorite among the large Asian elephants and leopards. Cheetahs, deer, jackals and sloth bear are the other species found here. Bandipur also attracts tourists with its bamboo, teak, rose and sandal wood trees.

When to visit?  March to August.

Periyar National Park

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1985, is also a safe shelter to the Asian elephants and tigers;it is a well-known tiger reserve of the country. The park has a hundred years old artificial lake where varied kinds of fish can be seen. Wild pigs, sambar deer, mouse deer, barking deer, dole and Indian wild dog are seen strolling through the forest in own mood. You can also enjoy bird watching here sailing through the Periyar Lake. The sanctuary has 62 kinds of mammals, 320 avian species, 45 types of reptiles and 165 varieties of butterflies.

When to visit? November to February

Eravikulam National Park

This is one of the largest conservation areas of Western Ghats. Almost 750 of the endangered species of Nilgiri tahr are seen here. Atlas moth, Sambar deer, langur, leopard, sloth bear and wild dogs are the other species along with 132 species of birds and 19 kinds of amphibians. The park also has the highest peak of Southern Himalayas, the Anamudi within the forest region.

When to visit? September to January

Nagarhole National Park

While the snaky river flows through the forest creating a mysterious environment, the herds of elephants, a gang of bison, moody tigers and sly leopards make it an ideal forest to visit.

When to visit? November to February

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled between the crystalline rivers of Periyar and Cheruthoni, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is the hamlet of peace for elephants, leopards, bison, bear, jungle cats, and sambar deer, barking deer, jackal, civets, wild boars and wild dogs.

When to visit? October to June

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

If you love birds, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is your paradise.

When to visit? If you want to witness the breeding of marshland birds like darters, cormorants, kingfishers and white ibis, be here at June and August. If you want to watch the migratory birds visit this sanctuary between November and May. Enjoy here a pleasant cruise over the backwaters of Vembanad Lake snapping rare pictures of pin tailed ducks, spot billed ducks, marsh harriers, Garganey teals, osprey and steppe eagle.

Feel the thrill of the forests this holiday at South India, visiting any of the above places.

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