Wildlife Travel

9 Lesser-Known Tiger Reserves in India

Tiger Reserves in India
Written by Jane Sophia

Skip the famous and crowded tiger reserves and visit these less crowded and little known tiger reserves in India.

India’s diverse geography and flora make ideal habitats for all kinds of wild animals. In fact, you need not travel to Africa to see the wild forest animals in their own den. Indian deciduous and rain forests are home to every other big cat, such as tigers, lions, cheetah, leopards, and panthers.

Trivia:

Do you know that of all the worldwide population of tigers, India houses 70% of them?

Are you surprised to know this fact?

Here is one more surprise for you.

As many as 50 tiger reserves are in India, and they are all efficiently managed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Have you ever heard of “Project Tiger” in Africa, the world’s highly visited continent to see wildlife? But, the Indian Government has one such enviable and ambitious “Project Tiger” that was solely responsible for bringing the tiger population in India to nearly 3000 from a meagre 1400 counted in the year 2006!

Which are all the major tiger reserves in India?

Jim Corbett tiger reserve located in Uttarakhand state is home to the most significant number of tigers in India. It is also where you can spot the elusive white tigers if you are lucky. As a matter of fact, wildlife spotting, especially the tigers and lions, require a fair amount of luck and immense patience.

Other popular and crowded Tiger Reserves in India are:

  • Sunderban tiger park in West Bengal
  • Ranthambore tiger reserve in Rajasthan
  • Periyar tiger reserve, Kerala
  • Kanha tiger reserve, Madhya Pradesh

The count is only four, but where are the rest of 46 tiger reserves in India? Why are they not popular?

The answer to your second question is, probably, they are located a bit deep and far away from any major city or town. Another possible reason is there may not be more added attractions to see.

Well, the answer to your first question, the rest of 46 lesser-known tiger reserves are spread over several states in India that include:

  • Assam
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Tamilnadu
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Karnataka
  • Jharkhand
  • Orissa
  • Bihar
  • Mizoram

Let us delve a bit deep into 9 of the little-known, unpopular, and thus less-crowded tiger reserves in India.

Less Crowed Tiger Reserves in India: Panna National Park,

Panna Tiger Reserves in India

Good capture-those Bengal tigers, isn’t it?

Panna Tiger Reserve spread over two districts of Madhya Pradesh state, namely Panna and Chhatarpur.

The nearest famous city is one of the highly visited Indian town, Khajuraho. It has an airport too, but I think not many flights serve it. The nearest railway station to the Panna tiger reserve is Satna. The state capital Bhopal is 370 km away.

Apart from the majestic tiger, Panna national park is home to various other forest animals that include:

  • Sambhar
  • Leopard
  • Nilgai

Nilgai

  • Chinkara
  • Changeable hawk-eagle

Changeable hawk-eagle

Other Birds of Panna national park:

  • Honey-buzzard

Honey-buzzard

  • Blossom-headed parakeet
  • Bar-headed goose

Bar-headed goose

Panna tiger reserve is the best maintained among other tiger reserves in India.

Lesser-Known Tiger Reserve: Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra

In spite of its age, this national park in Maharashtra has not become very popular. The national park has a varied landscape, including marshlands, rugged cliffs-the two places that make ideal home to the tigers and panthers.

Tadoba national park and tiger reserve is a naturally beautiful place where you can spot sloth bears, wild dogs, and Indian bison.

From any part of India or Maharashtra, take a flight to Nagpur and drive the 150+ km to the Tadoba tiger reserve. If you a train journey buff, reserve your ticket up to Chandrapur. From Chandrapur, the Tadoba national park is just 50 km.

The Tadoba tiger reserve also includes the Andhari National Park.

Book your vantage seat in any one of the Tadoba Tiger Safaris operated by private wild safari tour organizers.

Indravati tiger reserve, A less crowded Tiger Reserve in India

Location: Chhattisgarh state

Reaching by air can be tedious as the nearest airport Raipur (state capital) is 500 km away. So, the better option is to go by train. Go up to Jagdalpur and then hire a taxi to go Indravati tiger reserve, which located about 170 km from Jagdalpur railway station.

River Indravati flows through this little-known tiger reserve in India.

The terrain is hilly, and thus the flora includes plenty of wildflowers that attract butterflies. The forest is quite dense, thus providing camouflage to tigers who like to shield themselves amidst thick bushes and tall grass.

Wild animals you can see in Indravati tiger reserve:

  • Wild buffaloes
  • Nilgai
  • Wild boar

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and National Park, Tamilnadu

Sathyamangalm forest near Erode city in Tamilnadu is home to plenty of wildlife, and among them, several tigers also recorded. The forest is not very dense and somewhat deciduous. Nevertheless, there is the altitude, and the presence of caves and rocky terrain makes it safe for the tigers to hide, but the tourists would find it challenging to navigate the tiger trail.

Very few animal safari organizers offer trips in the Sathyamangalam tiger reserve as it is less crowded and lesser-known even to the people of Tamilnadu.

The distance between Erode city and Sathyamangalam tiger reserve is only 65 km.

The population of gaurs far exceeds the population of tigers here (only 10).gaurs

More than 2000  spotted-deer live happily here. Even the fast blackbucks are numbering more than 1000 in the Sathyamangalam tiger reserve.

Coimbatore has the nearest airport.

Dampa Tiger Reserves in India

Dampa Tiger Reserves in India

This lesser-known and uncrowded Indian tiger reserve located near the border of Bangladesh.

Being a hilly terrain of Lucia hills, a big mountain range that spreads over to the adjacent Tripura state, the variety of avifauna is said to be exotic.

Located close to Bangladesh, this has become a natural habitat to Bengal tiger. However, of late, there are no tigers found in the far-east India tiger reserve.

You can still visit this rare land of myriad birds and try to spot:

  • Orange-bellied leafbird

Orange-bellied leafbird

  • Great Barbet

Great Barbet

  • Beautiful Emerald Dove

Beautiful Emerald Dove

  • Long-tailed Broadbill

Long-tailed Broadbill

  • Scarlet minivet

Scarlet minivet

  • Indian paradise flycatcher

Indian paradise flycatcher

The nearest airport is in the state capital Aizawl.

Pench tiger reserve, Maharashtra

Pench tiger reserve

It comprises such a large area that it spills over to the adjacent state Madhya Pradesh.

Pench Tiger reserve is home to more than 40 tigers. I suppose this gives you more chances spotting the fiery tiger.

Through the Pench tiger reserve, River Pench flows.

Near the Pench tiger sanctuary, the beautiful Mowgli Pench Wildlife Sanctuary located.

Though the population of the tiger is quite good, the Pench tiger park receives a fewer number of wildlife enthusiasts.

This cute and rare Indian civet spotted inside the Pench Tiger Reserve.

Indian civet

Indian porcupine and the northern plains grey langur are other wildlife of Pench tiger sanctuary.

Nagpur is the nearest airport and the railway station (about 100km away).

Satkosia Tiger Reserves in India

Satkosia Tiger Reserves in India

Cuttack is the nearest rail station, and the Satkosia tiger reserve located about 150 km from here.

Satkosia Tiger Reserve is bordering the mighty Eastern Ghats. Also, the wild river Mahanadi is flowing close by this tiger reserve and enjoys little patronization.

The added attraction to Satkosia tiger park is the Baisipalli wildlife sanctuary located nearby.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamilnadu

This less-crowded tiger reserve in Tamilnadu located near the lush green Pollachi town near Coimbatore.

The popular small hill station Valparai is your ultimate destination by road.

The Anamalai Hills is part of the evergreen Western Ghats. The Anamalai tiger sanctuary is also home to a large number of elephants and Nilgiri Langurs.

The rather dense forest that gets copious rain makes the living conditions for several species of poisonous snakes, perfect.

Bird watching and trekking enthusiasts frequent Anamalai hills throughout the year.

Kamlang Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh

This tiger reserve is the second tiger reserve located in the Far East Indian states. Arunachal Pradesh is a strikingly beautiful state that is surrounded by lots of forests and tall hills.

The park gets its name because of the Kamlang River that flows through the little-known tiger reserve.

Apart from the Indian tigers, one can watch the rare snow leopard  and the clouded leopards.

Tiger Reserves in India snow leopard

A whopping 15 species of monkeys recorded in Kamlong Tiger Reserve. Some of them are:

  • Stump-tailed macaque

Stump-tailed macaque

  • Hoolock Gibbon

Tiger Reserves in India Hoolock Gibbon

  • Bengal slow Loris

Bengal slow Loris

These nine tiger reserves in India are least visited but are lovely vacation spots with your family. Avid bird watchers can also accompany tiger enthusiasts in the organized forest safari vans and jeeps.

About the author

Jane Sophia

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