India’s unique yet beautiful diversity is not only limited to its people but also its wildlife. The country houses some of the most fascinating, distinctive and endangered animals. Most of this is possible due to the varied terrain and ecosystems all around the country. For as long as time can tell, Indian forests have been home to the intelligent and India’s largest living mammals, Elephants. Every year the world celebrates World Elephant Day, to preserve, protect and spread awareness about these majestic creatures.
When is World Elephant Day celebrated?
World Elephant Day has been celebrated annually on August 12th, since 2012. This year, i.e. World Elephant Day 2023 falls on Saturday.
All around the country, there are several wildlife destinations in India with elephant safaris and elephant nature parks, where you can catch these animals in their natural habitats.
This World Elephant Day, visit these 8 best Elephant Sanctuaries in India:
1. Bandipur National Park
An integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Bandipur National Park is one of the best elephant sanctuaries in India. It is located in the Charamanjar district of Karnataka and is spread over 874 sq.km. While it is most famous for being a tiger reserve, it is also known to nurture a large breeding population of Indian elephants and the latest habitat of wild elephants not only in India but in entire South Asia.
You can also spot other animals like antelopes, jackals, sloths and reptiles here. One can also enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding Nandi Hills with a safari ride. Make sure to book the safari in advance. To enjoy more of nature, check out our Karnataka Tour Packages.
How to reach: A 2-hour drive from Mysore Airport. Book cheap flight tickets online to Mysore from all major cities of India.
Safari timings: 6:30 am- 4 pm.
2. Manas National Park
The Manas National Park here is home to the biggest chunk of North East India’s elephant population. Located on the foothills of the Himalayas, this is one of the best national parks in India. This area has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the forest area stands at 950 sq.km.
A major part of this national park is the Manas- Chirang- Ripu Elephant Reserve. Here you have the highest chances of spotting wild Indian elephants. The Smiling Tusker Elephant Camp here has several activities to draw more attention to protecting these animals. The elephant density is almost more than 2 elephants per sq.km. of the forest. This national park’s rich biodiversity here also offers glimpses of tigers, one-horned rhinos, deer, snakes and whatnot.
How to reach: Manas is accessible from all major cities of Assam.
Safari timings: 6 am- 2 pm.
3. Jim Corbett National Park
Known as one of the best national parks in India, the Jim Corbett National Park is located at the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. This 520 sq.km. huge forest reserve sprawls through three hilly districts – Nainital, Almora and Pauri Garhwal.
This park is very famous for its tiger safaris, but a large breeding population of elephants roam through the park. Wildlife enthusiasts will surely get to see herds of elephants up close in their natural habitats here. You can also find a diverse range of flora and fauna here with waterfalls and verdant valleys to explore. For nature lovers, a Uttarakhand holiday is all you need.
How to reach: A 6-hour drive from Delhi. Make hotel bookings online to stay in Delhi or opt for a retreat stay in Jim Corbett National Park itself.
Safari timings: 6 am- 5 pm.
4. Kaziranga National Park
The Kaziranga National Park of Assam houses the Big Five and one of them is the Asian Elephant. This Elephant Nature Park is another popular wildlife destination you can explore with our Assam Tour Packages this World Elephant Day.
Spreading over 430 sq.km. of area you get to see a large population of Asian Elephants having fun in the national park’s several water bodies. Be ready to also encounter tigers, rhinos, water buffaloes, swamp deer and crocodiles on a jungle safari here.
How to reach: A 4.5-hour drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga. Furkating is the nearest railway station.
Safari Timings: 7 am – 4 pm.
5. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is one part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which also has the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on one side and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve on the other side.
Nestled in the Western Ghats area of Tamil Nadu, this sanctuary has many elephants. You can easily spot them at ‘Ombetta vayal’ or just pass through the many corridors. The Theppakadu Elephant Camp is the main point here from where you can begin your elephant safaris or even engage with the elephants at the camp. This wildlife sanctuary also has tigers, leopards, golden jackals and other reptiles and birds. Make use of the upcoming long weekends to plan a trip to Tamil Nadu.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Coimbatore (135 km) and the nearest railway head is Ooty (40km).
Safari Timings: 7 am- 6 pm.
6. Singhbhum Elephant Reserve
The Singhbhum Elephant Reserve of Jharkhand is tagged to be the first elephant reserve in India. Since this reserve covers a large forested area, herds of elephants can be seen flourishing here going about their daily life. The area is also within proximity of the Palamau Tiger Reserve, so lucky wildlife visitors might even see a tiger here. Many more animals and reptiles call this reserve their home.
How to reach: 10 km drive from Jamshedpur city.
7. Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve
The Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve is part of the greater Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve, known for its great conservation efforts. Your Odisha holiday can be more than temples, with a visit to this beautiful reserve made up of stunning landscapes, waterfalls and elephants in their natural habitat. With such varied flora and fauna, the reserve is a great photo op.
Wildlife lovers can also check out the nearby Similipal Tiger Reserve, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary. Visitors can also opt for a stay in the tourist cottages inside the reserve.
How to reach: Closest airport is Bhubaneshwar and the nearest railway station is Balasore.
Safari Timings: 6 am- 2 pm.
8. Jaipur Elephant Village
India’s only Elephant village or also known as Hathi Gaon is situated in Amer in Rajasthan. There are hundreds of rescued elephants here. You can help in making their food, feeding them, helping to bathe them or even painting them beautifully. They also offer elephant rides to tourists but we’d suggest not to do it.
After you visit the Jaipur Elephant Village, you can also explore all the beauty that Rajasthan offers with our Rajasthan Tour Packages.
How to reach: Take an auto or taxi from Jaipur station or Jaipur Airport.
These are some of the many elephant sanctuaries that are famous across India. The kind of diversity that India offers, it is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Some other lesser-known Elephant Nature Parks in India also include the Garo-hills Elephant Reserve, Anamudi Elephant Reserve, Mahandai Elephant Reserve, Dubare Elephant Camp, etc.
Which of these elephant safaris in India do you plan on visiting this World Elephant Day?
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