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There’s no better way to watch animals in their natural habitats than in sanctuaries. Unlike in the zoos where animals are caged and put up for public viewing, national parks and sanctuaries provide safe havens for wild animals. India’s wildlife network has some 514 wildlife sanctuaries that also include 99 national parks, 4 community reserves and 41 conservation reserves. The entire network covers an area of almost 15,600 sq km. These sanctuaries and national parks are also a dream-come-true for wildlife photographers who can capture majestic beasts in their natural habitats. So, as we celebrate Wildlife Week, here’s doffing our hats to five of our best-known sanctuaries and national parks. We start with: Also Read - 'Rockstar' Delhi Police Constable Rajat Rathore Leaves Kartik Aaryan Smitten by Crooning 'Tera Yaar Hoon Main' Song From Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
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The oldest national park in India, Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936 to protect the endangered Bengal Tiger. It is today a gem in Uttarakhand’s and indeed India’s crown. With close to 500 species of plants and a wide variety of fauna, Jim Corbett is the best place you can take your family this winter.
2. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Best known for its one-horned rhino, Kaziranga National Park is home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still need reasons to visit it?
3. Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat
The last home of the Asiatic lions, Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat is considered one of the most important protected areas in Asia.
4. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is known for its large biodiversity, large breeding populations of leopards and deer call it home. Over 80 species of butterflies and a number of reptiles too can be found here. But the park’s major attraction is, of course, the tiger.
5. Ranthambore National Park
How can any list of national parks in India ever be complete without Rajasthan’s Ranthambore? Spread over 392 sq km, Ranthambore National Park is perhaps Rajasthan’s most popular wildlife sanctuary. Ranthambore is also the place where history, wildlife and nature come together. For in the heart of Ranthambore National Park is the 10th century Ranthambore Fort and scattered nearby are ancient temples and mosques, crocodile-filled lakes and cenotaphs.
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