- Posted on 09 Dec 2013 7:32 am
“They are dangerous, yet beautiful; they are predators, yet royal.
Their roar dares you to come face to face, and you accept it just to witness their grace.
They are the Royal Bengal Tigers, the majestic beasts of the woods.”
Known for their swagger, the Bengal Tigers (Panthera Tigris Tigris) not only rule over the forest, but also on the hearts of every wildlife enthusiast. These magnificent striped cats are found only in the Asian countries. Though India is said to possess the maximum number of the Panthera Tigris Tigris, there are a few other nations namely Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan that also hold the pride of owning smaller populations of the big cats.
Where can you sight tigers in India?
India is a home to more than 450 wildlife sanctuaries, 90 national parks and 40 tiger reserves. These figures make it clear that in India you have the best possible chances of sighting the big cats. At the same time, it is quite difficult to pen all the tiger habitats of India in one single piece of content. Therefore after a great research and a long expedition around the nation, we present to you the most prominent destinations for spotting tigers.
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
You must be aware of the fact that Jim Corbett is the oldest national park, but did you know that it was the first national park established in the Asian continent, and the conservation of this land started even before it was given the respective recognition!! In fact it is the very place that was honored with the title of the first Tiger Reserve in 1974, under the Project Tiger. Similar to these, there are various other facts and milestones associated with this park. The point to ponder here is that since its establishment till date it has been among the best habitats for the Royal Bengal Tigers. This is one of the best places where these big cats can live without fearing anyone or anything.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The ‘Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling, an all time favorite classic of almost everyone especially during one’s childhood, and Sher Khan came to be known as the most evil character. However, in the real land of Kanha National Park that laid the ground for the Jungle Book, Sher Khan, the Bengal Tiger is the leading hero. Acknowledged as a national park in 1955, this place is a home to various fauna species, but the royal predators stand as the center of attraction. Thus, the respective park welcomes every wildlife freak to come and meet the beast.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Both Tigers and Rajasthan are recognized as royal, as Rajasthan is better known as the Royal Rajasthan and the stripped cats are more popular as the Royal Bengal Tigers. In addition to this, there is one more thing that brings the two together and that is the Ranthambore National Park, which is located in Rajasthan and provides a habitat to the Bengal Tigers. Considered as one of the largest national parks in India, Ranthambore provides a sprawling land to the beautiful predators. In 1955 it was announced as a game sanctuary, then in 1980 it stood as a national park. The journey thus started never stopped.
Sunderban National Park, West Bengal
Have you ever heard of amphibian tigers? No? It’s ok, visit the Sunderban National Park and get familiar with the term as well as with the tigers frisking in the water. Cosseting the largest populace of the mangroves in the world, the Sunderban National Park is a rare place where the predators of the woods not only swim but also prey on aquatic species like fish, crabs and so on. It is the topography of the place due to which these big cats have adopted this lifestyle. All this is quite sufficient to justify Sunderban’s name engraved in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Stretched over an area of 450 square kilometers, the Bandhavgarh National Park is another very popular and prominent abode of the Panthera Tigris Tigris. In the yesteryears, Bandhavgarh served as a hunting ground for the royalties of Mewar. It was 1968, when the place was declared as a national park and then hunting, poaching and all activities that posed a threat to wildlife were banned. Further, for easy governance, the park has been divided into three zones, namely Tala, Magdi and Bamera. It is the Tala zone that you must visit, as there you have more chances of catching the glimpse of the Royal Bengal Tigers.
Where can you sight tigers in Bangladesh?
As stated above, most of the tiger populace resides in India and only a few numbers are present in other parts. Despite the density in which the tigers are found in Bangladesh, the fact can’t be denied that the nation houses the big cats. Mentioned below are the places that are popular as tiger sighting destinations in Bangladesh.
Sunderban West Wildlife Sanctuary
While one-third of Sunderban lies in India, the rest (i.e. two-third region) is located in Bangladesh. Even with this separation, both the Sunderban National Park (that is in India) and the Sunderban West Wildlife Sanctuary (that is in Bangladesh) are recognized as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Another thing that the two have in common is the roar of the royal predator, of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Chittagong Hill Tracts
The forests of the Chittagong area are among the best stations to spot the big cats. Wildlife lovers from different nooks and corners of the world visit this region just to catch a glimpse of the Bengal Tigers.
Where can you sight tigers in Nepal?
There are around 10 national parks and 3 wildlife sanctuaries in Nepal. Out of these, 2 national parks and 2 wildlife reserves serve as a home to the Bengal Tigers. Stated below is a brief on these wildlife destinations.
Chitwan National Park
Established in 1973, Chitwan is the first national park of Nepal. Besides this, it also enjoys the privilege of being one of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. Adding more to its popularity is the presence of the Royal Bengal Tigers. Herein you can see the Panthera Tigris Tigris enjoying a wonderful stay with the other members of the wild world.
Parsa Wildlife Reserve
Located in the Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal, Parsa is among the largest Wildlife Reserves of the respective nation. It was declared as a wildlife reserve in 1984, and before that it served as a hunting ground for the ruling classes. Fortunately, since 1984 the state of the place took a 360 degree turn and the Bengal Tigers along with various other species are now living under a protected roof.
Bardiya National Park
Formally known as the Royal Bardia National Park, the Bardiya National Park is a wonderful place to enjoy a wildlife tour. Though this park is more popular for accommodating Rhinoceros and Elephants, but you can also catch the glimpse of Bengal Tigers here. We agree to the fact that the cat population here is not very high, but still in the core area there are chances of sighting tigers. Therefore, tiger lovers must not miss a chance to visit this park.
Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Stretched over an area of 305 square kilometers, the Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve is known for possessing a blend of varied topographies like forests, tropical wetlands, open grassland and riverbeds. Amid these diverse and beautiful geographical patterns reside the Bengal Tigers that entice the wildlife freaks from different parts of the globe.
Where can you sight tigers in Bhutan?
Bhutan or officially the Kingdom of Bhutan is situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas. Owing to its prime location, it forms a ground for a happy habitat for various fauna species, and the Bengal Tigers are one of them. The places where you can spot tigers in Bhutan are stated as follows.
Thrumshingla National Park
The Thrumshingla National Park is one of the high altitude national parks located in Asia. This park has derived its name from a mountain pass – the Thrumshing La Pass, which also serves as a land mark for the place. On one hand where its height entices adventurists, on the other hand the presence of beautiful fauna allures wildlife lovers. The striped cats being a part of the inhabitants of this park are equally responsible for fetching tourism to the place; and the best part is that it attracts both adventure and wildlife freaks.
Jigme Dorji National Park
Declared as a national park in 1974, the Jigme Dorji National Park is the second largest national park of Bhutan. It is another high altitude national park and is very popular for its glaciers and the majestic cats. Though it is the Snow Leopard that stands as the center of attraction, yet the Jigme Dorji National Park is considered as an abode of the Bengal Tigers.
These are the main habitats of the Royal Bengal Tigers in Asia. Though there are various other destinations where you can witness these mighty cats, but the above mentioned places top the list as they guarantee you a lot more than just a mere glimpse. So all those tiger lovers out there, don’t think much and just head off towards any of these destinations (nothing better than visiting all of these destinations), and come face to face with the beasts.