Did you know? India is the third-highest number of National Parks in Asia. There are various national parks in different terrains with rich biodiversity. And as of today, there are about 110 national parks in India. Of which the largest national park is located in Leh District of Jammu and Kashmir. And the most popular national park is Jim Corbett National Park, in Uttarakhand.

Likewise, national parks in Maharashtra show a diverse range of terrain with rich flora and fauna. Like the most Nationals parks of India, the best time to visit national parks in Maharashtra would be from October – March. Summers can be very hot in the wild and Monsoon is not the ideal time for the animals.

We are got a list of National parks with details required to plan for your trip to the wildlife.

Chandoli National Park

This beautiful national park was initially declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1985. However, it was declared as the National park in the year 2004. Spread across four districts i.e. Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri Districts of Maharashtra that covers up to 317.6 Km2 areas, this national park is home to various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. Blessed with dense vegetation, many conservation programs are being conducted by the local government, tourism boards and wildlife agencies to protect and conserve the area.

Chandoli National Park is declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Wildlife that includes here are Tigers, Gaurs, Deer, Leopard cats, Panthers, Sloth bears, Barking deer, Mouse deer etc. Around 123 species of birds are also found in the forest. With some parts of the park spread on the Sahyadri’s of Western Ghats; there are forts and caves in this area. And this area was used as a jail for their prisoners during the times of the Maratha Empire. There are a lot of adventure seekers who come to Chandoli Forest to camp and trek.

The best time to visit Chandoli National Park is from October to February. The nearest railway station to the park is Sangli, which is 70 km from the National Park. There are various accommodation options such as hotels and guest houses available near Chandoli National Park.

Gugamal National park

Gugamal National park is one of the significant parks which is a part of Melghat Tiger Reserve. Melghat was declared tiger reserve in the year 1974 under Project Tiger. And eventually was declared as a National Park in the year 1975. Gugamal National park is sprawling over the area of 361.28 km2 in Amaravati district of Maharashtra.

The park offers a wonderful opportunity to spot a wide range of rare animals and birds including the Tiger, Bison, Panther, Sloth bear, and Wild dog, Jackal, hyena, Chausingha, Sambar, Barking deer, Ratel, Flying squirrel, Cheetal, Nilgai, Wild boar, Langur, Rhesus monkey and a host of migratory birds.

What makes it one of a kind is that this National Park is one of the rarest places to harness nature’s wonders. There are about Variety of tree, herbs, shrubs, climber and grass species; making it one of the richest places to find medicinal plants.

The best time to visit Gugamal National Park is between October to June. And the nearest railway station is Amravati station. The park is 110 km from the station. The road is well connected to the national park. Accommodation can be possible at the forest guest houses.

Nawegaon National park

Navegaon National Park is one of the popular places to experience Jungle safari, stay in tree house and boating in the crystal clear waters of the Lake present in the National Park. This National Park was established in the year 1975. Its name Navegaon comes from Marathi word translates to ‘new village’. This National Park is spread across the area of 133.88 km2 in Gondia district of Maharashtra. This Park is the most popular in Vidarbha region comprises of a wildlife park along with Deer Park, a bird sanctuary and a beautiful lake. The beauty of the entire area can be witnessed from a watchtower. And during the winters, the lake attracts a huge number of migrant ducks and birds flocking to this area.

The jungle safari is one of the popular attractions that allure tourist to this National Park. There are a variety of animal species can be found here. Some of them are leopard, tiger, panther, and sloth bear, fishing cat, four-horned antelope, sambar, nilgai, python, peafowl and migratory birds.

The best time to visit the park is between April- May when the Wild-life comes out to the waterbody and in winters to see the migratory birds. Nearest railway station to Navegaon National Park is Deulgaon railway station. There are several guesthouses and MTDC guest house near the National Park.

Pench National Park

Pench National Park is also known as Jawaharlal Nehru National Park is one of the popular National Parks coming under Project Tiger with special reserves. In the year 1975, due to its rich bio-diversity, Pench was declared a National Park. Located on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Pench national park spreads over 257.26 km2 area with rich flora and eco-system consisting of Teak and bamboo as dominant species.

The wildlife of the park includes tiger, leopard, jungle cat, wild dog, hyena, sambar, spotted deer, Indian gaur, neelgai, four-horned antelope, barking deer, wild boar etc. This park is also a haven for birdwatchers. It attracts a variety of birds from Serpent Eagle, Hawk Eagle, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, White-Eyed Buzzard and Honey Buzzard. Barred Jungle Owlet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Scarlet Minivet, Painted Francolin, Oriole, Barbets, and Kingfisher. There is a watchtower from where you can witness the beautiful birds and nature surrounding it.

The best time to visit the national park is from February to April. It is closed on Monday. Nagpur is the closest Railway station. From here it is 70 km to Pench National Park. Accommodation is available for the visitors at the Park.

Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) National park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park or Borivali National Park is one of the popular parks located at the northern parts of suburbs in Mumbai. Belonging to Thane and Mumbai District, this park spreads over 87 km2 through the dense vegetation and small population of Tigers, this National park is often visited by folks from the city. It was declared a National Park in the year 1983.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is densely covered by a variety of plants and trees, with rich bio-diversity. It also has 2 lakes to add to the beauty. Apart from being the eco-logical hub, there are some historical significant caves situated in the protected area such as Kanheri Caves belonging to Buddhist history. The main attraction of this National park is the Tiger and Lion safari. Migratory birds are flocking here during the winters. To get the best view, there are two watchtowers.

The best time to visit the National park is from October to March. Mondays the park is closed. Borivali station is the closest railway station to the National Park.

Tadoba National park

Tadoba National Park located at Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. It is declared as a National park in the year 1955 and became a significant part of Project Tiger reserve in the year 1995. It is one of the biggest tiger reserves showing an immense improvement in the increase of Tiger population. Tadoba National Park and Andhari wildlife sanctuary together became Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. It is one of the finest and biggest Tiger reserves in Maharashtra with few lakes in the forest being the source of water for the wildlife.

The park has a large number of species of trees & plants and wildlife. The wildlife includes tigers, hyenas, leopards, gaur, sloth bears, wild dogs, jackals, barking deer, sambar etc. And it is a home to about 181 species of birds, which includes endangered and water birds. For the convenience of tourists, jungle safaris are organized to facilitate tiger spotting.

The best time to visit is from November to May. It remains closed on Tuesdays. The ideal time during the day is, however, in the early morning and late afternoon. The nearest railway station is Chandrapur railway station. From here, it is 40 km to the National Park.