Jayanth Sharma, Co-founder & CEO of Toehold Travel & Photography, shares 10 places in India where you can spot the big cat
What could be more exciting for the family than an adventure into the heart of the Indian jungles to meet its king, the majestic tiger? Savour the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the incredible royal Bengal tiger at one of these 10 tiger hotspots across the country…
How to get there: Ramnagar is the closest railway station, though travellers from New Delhi would prefer travelling through Kathgodam, from where taxis can take travellers to the reserve in a few hours. By road, the reserve is 260 km from New Delhi, 145 km from Lucknow, and 66 km from Nainital. Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, bird-watching, rappelling, rock climbing.
Other wildlife: Leopard, barking deer, sambar, elephant, Indian python, crested serpent eagle, blossom-headed parakeet.
How to get there: Sawai Madhopur is the nearest railway station, and connects the area with almost 50 trains. The nearest airport is in Jaipur, 160 km away. Delhi is 381 km away, while Jaipur is 180 km, Udaipur is 388 km, and Bharatpur is 202 km away from the national park. Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, visit to Ranthambhore Fort.
Other wildlife: Leopard, caracal, sloth bear, striped hyena, jackal, palm civet, crocodile, python, Indian gazelle and nilgai.
How to get there: Khajuraho Airport is only 25 km away, and the nearest main railhead nearby is Satna, which is two hours away and a great place for those travelling from Delhi, Kolkata, or Varanasi. Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, river boating, waterfalls Other wildlife: Jungle cat, wild dog, leopard, hyena, sambar, sloth bear, nilgai, spotted deer, porcupine.
How to get there: It has good road connectivity from Jabalpur, Satna, Umaria, Khajuraho, etc. The park is located 200 km from Jabalpur, 250 km from Khajuraho, and 35 km from Umaria. Umaria and Katni are the nearest railway stations (35 and 100 km respectively). Nearest airports are at Khajuraho and Jabalpur.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, shopping at Bandavgarh market, visit to Bandavgarh Fort if permitted by the Forest Department.
Other wildlife: Leopard, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, striped hyena, chital and Indian gaur.
How to get there: Situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is well connected by road, rail, and air. It is 176 km from Jabalpur and 270 km from Nagpur by road. Jabalpur, Nagpur, and Gondia are the nearest major railheads and serve all parts of the country. Jabalpur, Nagpur, and Raipur are the nearest airports. Family-friendly activities: Jeep safaris, birding walks, nature trails, cycling, weekly market, village visits, crafts workshops. Other wildlife: Leopard, barasingha, four-horned antelope, blackbuck, striped hyena, sloth bear.
How to get there: Nagpur and Jabalpur are the nearest major centres nearby, at 110 km and 200 km respectively. Both cities also act as the nearest airports to reach the park, and the nearest railway stations for travellers to reach from across the country.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, visit to nearby pottery village.
Other wildlife: Indian gaur, sloth bear, nilgai, leopard, Indian wild dog (dhole), striped hyena, honey badger.
How to get there: The park is 140 km away from Nagpur’s airport, which is the easiest travel hub from which to make one’s way to Tadoba Andhari. Chandrapur is the nearest railhead to the national park and is only 45 km away. Chandrapur and Chimur are the nearest settlements on the road to Tadoba Andhari, which is 132 km away from Nagpur.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle safari, visit to Tadoba lake.
Other wildlife: Leopard, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, sambar, barking deer.
How to get there: Nagpur is the closest airport and railway station at a distance of 60 km. It is located 40 km. north of Tadoba and 60 km from Nagpur.
Family-friendly activities: Wildlife safari, bird watching
Other wildlife: Leopard, jungle cat, small Indian civet, sambar, jackal, nilgai.
How to get there: 80 km from Mysore and 205 km from Bangalore, Kabini is situated on the banks of the Kabini river and is easily accessible by road from both cities in Karnataka.
Family-friendly activities: Jungle Safari, river boating, bird watching.
Other wildlife: Leopard, dhole, sloth bear, chital, sambar, barking deer, gaur, wild boar, crocodile, elephant and several birds.
How to get there: Mysore railway station is 80 km away, and the Nanjungud station is only 5 km away from the national park. Mysore’s airport also acts as the nearest and most convenient landing spot when travelling by air.
Family-friendly activities: Wildlife safari, nature walk, bird watching.
Other wildlife: Elephant, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, mugger, Indian rock python, jackal, dhole and many birds.
This article appeared in The Free Press Journal on 29 July 2018