Have you ever dreamt of meeting the majestic and the magnificent? Well, if you think we are talking about the royals, well we are…but just about the ones that rule the jungle. The sprawling national parks in India offer a date with wildlife at its exciting best! And an even better way to experience the wild and the exotic is to stay at one of the world-class resorts that take the forest experience a few notches up.
1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Being the first national park to be established back in 1936, Corbett tops the chart for a number of reasons. It is named after the celebrated tiger hunter Jim Corbett, who played an important role in creating a national reserve for the endangered Bengal tiger. Today Corbett National Park is home to many animals including the mighty tiger, leisurely elephants, reptiles, and beautiful birds along with other animals.
- Patlidun Safari Lodge:This rustic-looking property offers a flavor of luxury set against the backdrop of the jungle. Think canopy beds, private pools, chirping birds, open verandahs, roof beds, and a lush spa. Indulge in ultimate luxury in the lap of nature.
- Aahana The Corbett Wilderness: This eco-friendly resort provides a relaxed living environment both for its guests and nature. Pamper yourself with spa treatments, and get your adrenalin pumping with safari visits to the jungle.
- Hideaway River Lodge: Nothing adds a touch of wildness to the wilderness like camping. Add charm to the forest experience by checking into one of the luxury tents at this riverside lodge and soak in the magic of nature as you enjoy a mix of earthy and luxury.
2. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Spend a few days at this national park and you are sure to spot the wild cat. Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest concentration of tigers in the world. The national park is home to animals like deer, boar, sambar, barking deer, over 250 different species of birds and several reptiles. However, the prominent attraction at Bandhavgarhis the white tigers and leopards.
- Samode Safari Lodge: Take your safari experience to the next level at this chalet-inspiredlodge, that offers lush living in natural splendor. This exotic twist to forest style living will surelyboost your experience with the wild.
- Kings Lodge:This forest estate set in the heart of the wild country is nestled between two forest hills of the national park. Untamed and natural, it offers serenity that blends in with its surrounding, along with a modern infrastructure to enhance the jungle experience.
- Tree House Hideaway: Get an experience of living like the wild at this tree house hideaway. An elevated view from your tree house offers an unparalleled experience of the jungle, along with special viewing machans at the retreat that offer views of the tiger’s water hole.
3. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
One of the most enchanting forests in South India, Bandipur National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is set across the Deccan Plateau and Western Ghats. This national reserve was at one time a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, before being upgraded to a national tiger reserve. The forest is home to many endangered wildlife species.
- The Windflower Resort & Spa: If you’re looking to get off the grid, this jungle resort promises to take you away from the hustle and bustle to a rendezvous with nature. Soak in infinity pools, enjoy the walking trails, or just elevate your senses at their spa.
- The Serai: At Serai they welcome deer and birds as much as they welcome their guests. Built in the forest area, this spa resort connects you with nature in more ways than one.
4. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
The rocky forest of Rajasthan is a famous national park open from October to June. Apart from being home to the glorious tiger, the forest houses a 10th century old fort, ancient temples and mosques, hunting pavilions, crocodile lakes, and over 300 species of birds. The temples and fort add a touch of heritage and culture to the wilderness of Rajasthan, making this trip to the jungle, come alive with history.
- Nahargarh Ranthambhore: Mix palatial charms with a wildlife holiday at this stunning heritage hotel. Set at the foot of the Aravalli Hills, and the national park as its backdrop – the palace offers a royal escape to an entrancing forest.
- Aman-i-Khas: Experience the tunes of the wild as you rest in a Mughal styled tent after a day of tiger spotting or pamper yourself at their exquisite spa. Aman-i-khas provides an opulent experience even in the remoteness of the forest.
- Sher Bagh: Inspired by the 1920s-style safari encampments, SherBagh brings a 19th century experience, enjoyed by the prince of the time. This globally renowned safari camp welcomes its guests to a world-class experience.
5. Kanha National Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park is one of the largest national parks of Madhya Pradesh and is divided into two sanctuaries – Hallon and Banjar. A large population of the Bengal tiger, leopards, sloth bear, barasinghas, and wild dogs inhabit this sal and bamboo forest.
- BanjaarTola: Set on the edge of Banjaar River and just opposite the national park, this Taj safari property offers a luxury jungle tent experience unlike any other. Soak in the extravagance as you take in the encompassing view of the forest in front of you.
- Kanha Earth Lodge: Set in the buffer zone of Kanha, this green lodge offers an environment-friendly resort experience. The use of recycled material and waste wood for construction has won this lodge several awards for eco-friendly architecture both in India and internationally.
6. Hemis National Park, Jammu & Kashmir
Hemis is not for the faint hearted. This high altitude national park is located in the eastern region of Ladakh, and is a world famous site to spot snow leopards – as it houses the highest number of snow leopards in any protected area in the world. It is the only national park in India north of the Himalayas, and is home to a number of endangered species. Guided tours are the best way to explore the area, as the only living option available is homestays at the villages or rooms at the Hemis Monastery.