India has been blessed with a vast variety of wildlife and avifauna. For their conservation, there are numerous wildlife sanctuaries, spread all over the country. The article enlists four best pan-Indian wildlife sanctuaries-

Dudhwa National Park (North)

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, in Lakhimpur-Kheri district, Uttar Pradesh, is an exceptional example of productive Terai eco-systems. Stretched across 614 sq km, it lies along the Indo-Nepal border. This park is home to Barasingha, the largest type of Indian Deer, popular for its 12 antlers, from which it gets its name. They are around 1800 in number. It also has some other endangered species like Sloth Bear, Wild Pig, Bengal Floricans, Hispid Hare, Jackal Leopard and Tiger. It also has local and migratory birds in abundance such as Bulbul, Sarus, Indian Horned Own, woodpeckers, Barbets, bee Eaters, Painted Storks and many more. It has around 16 reptile kinds, 37 mammal species and 400 bird species. The park has been inhabited by rhinoceros from last 150 years. It is best to visit the sanctuary during mixed weather or winter season as summers are in extreme here. It also boasts of various kinds of vegetations.

Periyar National Park (South)

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, known for its elephant population was established in 1895 and thus is the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in the country. It was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. It spreads itself across 778 sq km with the background of the Western Ghats. It has around 100 species of butterfly and 240 species of avifauna. The sanctuary is closed during rainy season and the best time to visit it is between the months of October to March when it is pleasant.. The reserve is home to various kinds of animals like wild pigs, barking deers, dole, Indian wild dog, elephant, tiger, sambhar, and gaur. The best time to spot elephants is during the wee hours of the day. You can also take a boat ride or do some trekking.

Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary (East)

Sundarbans, Kolaka, stretching over 54 islands up to Bangladesh, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also the largest delta in the world that merges 3 rivers- Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It covers an area of 2,585 square kilometers and is under the Project Tiger. The sanctuary is well-known for its tiger population, famous as man-eating tigers and also its large mangrove forests. Along with this, it is also home to other animals and birds like kingfishers, white bellied eagle, spotted deer, monkeys, wild pigs, Ganges dolphins, estuarine crocodiles, herons etc. It has around 270 Royal Bengal Tigers.

Sajnekhali in the Sundarbans is the perfect place for bird watching from watchtowers where you can spot white-collared kingfisher, Asian openbill stork, black-necked stork, greater adjutant stork, white ibis, swamp Francolin , black-capped and winged Kingfisher. Then Netidhopan is famous for barking deer and Olive Ridley Turtles while Kanak is known as a breeding place for turtles. Visit it during December to February.

Sanjay Gandhi Sanctuary (West)

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, also known as Borivali National Park, located in Borivali is 40 kms north of Mumbai and is also an ideal place for bird watching. There are around 251 species of birds of both local and migratory including Racket-Tailed Drongos, Bulbuls, Peacock, Golden Orioles, Paradise Flycatcher, Gulls, Herons, Hornbills, Jungle Owlets, Kingfisher, Mynas etc. it also has a number of wild animals like Wild bear, Panther, Antelope, Deer and so on. You can enjoy toy train travel which passes through the park. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during mixed and winter season. The park also has dense South Indian Moist Deciduous and Semi Evergreen Forest.