National Parks in India

Between 2010-11, an independent management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) of 49 of the most popular tiger reserves in India was completed. This study was performed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute Of India (WII). Each of the 49 reserves were categorized according to number of active tigers. Karnataka ranked as the state with the highest number of tigers within the age group of 1.5 years, with more than 408 Big Cats!
Other states that received honorable mentions for their tiger populations include : Uttarakhand – 340, Madhya Pradesh – 308, Tamil Nadu – 229, Maharashtra – 190, Kerala – 136, and Uttar Pradesh – 117.
Below are the top 10 Indian tiger reserves from this study open to the public.
1. Corbett Tiger Reserve
State: Uttarakhand
Number of Tigers: 215
Core Area: 520 KM^2
Buffer Area: 797 KM^2
Total Area: 1,318 KM^2
As the oldest national park in India, the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve has achieved a well deserved, highly treasured status with wildlife lovers everywhere. Started in 1936, this mostly forested national park is home to an amazing 580 species of birds! But the main attraction here, is of course, the tigers! It’s definitely what people come to see most when they visit here. This reserve has 215 beautiful, full-grown tigers available for tourists to see year round!
And the tigers are just the beginning! There’s also 110 different species of trees, 50 species of mammal, and 25 different kinds of reptiles. Indian elephants can be seen year round, roaming in herds of hundreds, which is a breathtaking to say the least. This tiger reserve makes a great vacation spot for the entire family. And make no mistake, the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve / National Park is a feast for the eyes you’ll remember for a lifetime!
2. Bandipur Tiger Reserve
State : Karnataka
Number of Tigers : 120
Core Area : 874 KM^2
Buffer Area : 582 KM^2
Total Area : 1,456 KM^2
Established in 1974, the Bandipur National Park has been a stronghold of Indian wildlife conservation efforts for over 40 years! Over that time, Bandipur has accomplished amazing feats of endangered species protection, care, and survival outlook. By keeping the park open, it ensures that the natural beauty of the tiger is not only kept safe, but improved upon for years to come.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve is one of the premier tiger reserves of India, and adjoins directly with the Nagarahole National Park. And with an impressive 120 tigers available to see on the grounds, you’ll have no trouble finding them roaming freely. Bandipur tiger reserve is positioned directly on what was previously the private hunting grounds for the Maharaja of Mysore, and features a wide array of flora, fauna, mammals, birds, and reptiles.
3. Kaziranga Tiger Reserve
State : Assam
Number of Tigers : 103
Core Area : 626 KM^2
Buffer Area : 548 KM^2
Total Area : 1,174 KM^2
The Kaziranga Tiger Reserve is home to the highest density of tigers in the world, with one every 5 km^2. The lush forests, wetlands, and grasslands of this park support tigers, elephants, and the world’s largest population of one-horned Indian rhinoceroses. There’s also a wide range of flora and fauna on the grounds.
Established as a reserve forest in 1908, it has since grown to become one of the most well known and revered tiger reserves in all of India. And with 103 tigers roaming the park, it’s a great opportunity for picture taking. There’s nothing quite like seeing a tiger up close, and at the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, you get to see these legendary animals in all their natural glory.
And don’t forget to book your trip according to the season you enjoy most. This tiger reserve features summer, monsoon season, and winter.
4. Nagarahole Tiger Reserve
State : Karnataka
Number of Tigers : 93
Core Area : 643 KM^2
Buffer Area : 562 KM^2
Total Area : 1,206 KM^2
Nagarahole National Park is another great national park / tiger reserve. It’s part of the largest protected area in Southern India, and is adjoined by Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. There’s 93 tigers here in total, so seeing one up close is guaranteed. The park was officially declared a tiger reserve in 1999, with the utmost in care and attention given to the tiger population.
There’s a wide variety of flora and fauna at this national park, including rare plant species, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and more! There’s even tribal inhabitants, including the Jenu Kurubas tribe residing in the forest area. This national park represents one of the few strongholds for conservation efforts in India, and by visiting, you’re helping to ensure the park remains open for years to come. Both kids and adults are welcome, and it makes a great spot for your next vacation.
5. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
State : Maharashtra
Number of Tigers: 88
Core Area : 626 KM^2
Buffer Area : 1,002 KM^2
Total Area : 1,728 KM^2
The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is another great spot to see tigers in action. With a total of 88 tigers calling Tadoba Andhari home, getting a glimpse of these amazing predators is easy to do. And this tiger reserve has much more to offer than just tigers, with an amazing 74 species of butterflies, insects like signature spiders, wood spiders, great eggfly, dragonflies, stick insects, jewel beatles, praying mantis, and more.
And as far as animals go, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is host to a variety of jungle cats, sambar, barking deer, chital, honey badger, chausingha, and more! Come see all the natural beauty this tiger reserve has to offer! They’ve got open-top jeeps and buses with professionally trained guides ready to serve you! And with a guide, you’ll get to see EVERYTHING, with absolutely nothing left out!
6. Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
State : West Bengal
Number of Tigers: 80
Core Area : 1,700 KM^2
Buffer Area : 885 KM^2
Total Area : 2,585 KM^2
Established in 1984, the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve has earned a spot on our Top 10 Tiger Reserve list for its inumerable watercourses and 7 main rivers running through it. It also features numerous mudflats and dense mangrove forests, coming together to form one of the very best support networks in existence in a functional tiger habitat. This tiger reserve generates over 180 million dollars in revenue for India annually, so visiting the park year round is no problem at all.
Tour guides are in place and ready to serve you! The only way to traverse the park is by boat, as it’s far too dangerous for a Jeep to attempt passage. In addition to the 80 tigers found at the park, there’s also 55 species of reptiles, 250 species of birds, and 58 species of mammals. And due to the number of man-eating tigers found here, the Sunderbans has earned a big reputation as an EXTREME tiger reserve!
7. Kanha Tiger Reserve
State : Madhya Pradesh
Number of Tigers : 60
Core Area : 917 KM^2
Buffer Area : 1,134 KM^2
Total Area : 2,052 KM^2
The Kanha Tiger Reserve gives their visitors much more than just a chance to see tigers in the wild! Created in 1973, the Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest national park in Central India. This park features bengal tigers, Indian leopards, sloth bears, barasingha, Indian wild dog, and more! And as far as the geography of the land goes, the Kanha Tiger Reserve abounds in open grassland meadows and dense forested zones.
The Kanha Tiger Reserve receives regular funding from the WWF to help stabilize the tiger population, and is home to many of India’s most treasured flora and fauna. This includes 1,000+ species of flowers, 300 species of birds, the reintroduction of the barasingha as a parkwide conservation effort, and more! This national park takes in a total of 232,815,000 dollars annually.
8. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
State : Rajasthan
Number of Tigers : 60
Core Area : 1,113 KM^2
Buffer Area : 298 KM^2
Total Area : 1,411 KM^2
With a total of 60 tigers and a wide array of plants, insects, and animals at this tiger reserve, you’ve got another really great chance to experience India’s nature at its finest. The grounds are exceptionally well maintained, ensuring that each animal/plant species gets exactly what it needs to be at its very best.
Features of the park include forests, 539 species of flowering plants, Indian leopards, nilgai, safari rides, a variety of lakes, air/rail/road transportation to and from the park, The Ranthambore National Park takes in a total of 117,113,000 dollars annually. The Indian government has donated 153 million dollars to help curb poaching and better protect the tigers in their natural environment.
9. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
State : Madhya Pradesh
Number of Tigers : 49
Core Area : 717 KM^2
Buffer Area : 820 KM^2
Total Area : 1,598 KM^2
Declared a national park in 1968, the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is home to a total of 49 tigers. Prior to its national park status, the Bandhavgarh area was long maintained as a game preserve for the Maharajas and their guests. The park itself is comprised of 3 main zones : Tala, Khitauli, and Magdhi. Each has its own elements of biodiversity and geographic structure.
In addition to the tiger population, this park also features 37 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, and number of reptiles. Much effort has gone into the retention of the Bandhavgarh National Park as an unspoilt natural habitat. Safari and tour guide services are available at the park year round, which provides tourists with a convenient way to see everything at the park for a fair price.
10. Rajaji Tiger Reserve
State : Uttarakhand
Number of Tigers: 34
Core Area : 820 KM^2
Buffer Area : 256 KM^2
Total Area : 1,075 KM^2
This tiger reserve is positioned directly within the Shivaliks mountain region. The dense green jungle habitat of the Rajaji provides the perfect environment for the 34 tigers that call the reserve home to thrive at their best. The park is home to over 315 species of birds, mountain goats, goral, elephants, tigers, chital, sambar, barking deer, hog deer, nilgai, wild pigs, sloth bears, leopards, and much more!
Rajaji Tiger Reserve is made up of a variety of landscapes, including deciduous forests, riverine vegitation, scrubland, and grassland. Rivers flowing through the park sustain life for fish species like trout and mahseer. Guided tours/safaris are available year round at this park, and it’s a vacation getaway you’ll remember for years to come! Come see why the Rajaji Tiger Reserve has earned a famed spot on our Top 10 Tiger Reserves list!