7 Best places to see Wild Elephants in India

Although India is home to a wide variety of animals, the elephant is one of the major wildlife attractions. The Indian Elephant is one of the three recognized subspecies of the Asian/Asiatic Elephants and is native to mainland Asia. These huge animals are popular among tourists due to their gentle behavior. Another striking fact that lures tourists to take a wildlife tour to India is that India has a substantial number of Indian Elephants. As per the census conducted in 2017, as many as 27,312 elephants nestle in India. These genial giants are usually found in grasslands, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen forests.

places-where-you-can-set-eyes-on-elephants

Places where you can set eyes on Elephants

The existence of the Indian Elephants have been found in four different geographical regions of the country – Northern, East Central, Northeastern and Southern. While some of the best places to spot elephants are listed below:

  1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand.
  2. Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Odisha.
  3. Kaziranga National Park, Assam.
  4. Kameng Elephant Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh.
  5. Periyar National Park, Kerala.
  6. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka.
  7. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu.

1.      Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

jim-corbett-national-park-uttarakhand

It is the oldest national park in the country. Besides being home to enormous no. of tigers, this park also has a substantial population of elephants. Spread across an area of 520 sq. km, this park is situated in the Himalayan foothills. Moreover, you can spot several other mammals such as chital, langur and a wide variety of birds in this national park.

Location

  • Nainital District, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand 244715

Activities available

  • Canter Safari
  • Jeep Safari
  • River Rafting
  • Angling
  • Camping
  • Photography
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rappelling
  • Rock Climbing
  • Trekking
  • River Crossing

Best time to visit

  • November to February

How to reach

  • By Air: The nearest airport to reach Jim Corbett National Park is Pantnagar Airport.
  • By Road: Ramnagar shares good connectivity with cities like Delhi, Haridwar, Dehradun, etc.
  • By Train: Regular trains run from cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Delhi, Allahabad, etc. to reach Ramnagar.

2.      Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Odisha

chandaka-elephant-sanctuary-odisha

Located on Khordha uplands of the Eastern Ghats in the Indian state of Odisha, this wildlife reserve covers an area of approximately 176 sq. km. It earned the title of an elephant reserve in 1982. The wildlife sanctuary houses a notable population of the Indian Elephants along with animals like langur, rhesus monkey, pangolin, sloth bear and many others. The park also has a huge variety of flora, out of which the popular ones are teak, ferns, club mosses, orchids, etc.

Location

  • Chandaka Reserve Forest Road, Gadajit, Odisha 754007

Activities available

  • Camping
  • Jungle Safari
  • Boating
  • Elephant Riding
  • Hiking

Best time to visit

  • October to May

How to reach

  • By Air: The Bhubaneswar Airport is located 20 km away from the elephant sanctuary.
  • By Road: Chandaka can be easily accessed by road from Bhubaneswar, which is well-connected with major cities of the country.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to reach Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary is Bhubaneswar Railway Station.

3.      Kaziranga National Park, Assam

kaziranga-national-park-assam

Kaziranga National Park is not only the famous national park located in Assam but is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spread over an area of approximately 430 sq. km, this reserve is nestled on the banks of Brahmaputra River. Usually, tourists visit this park to spot rhinos as it is home o the two-thirds of the world’s total population of rhinos. Furthermore, one can spot several elephants roaming around the premises. The wildlife reserve also harbors animals like gaurs, wild cats, avian species and reptiles.

Location

  • Kanchanjuri, Assam 784177

Activities available

  • Bird Watching
  • Jeep Safari
  • Elephant Safari
  • Boat Riding
  • Trekking

Best time to visit

  • November to April

How to reach

  • By Air: Located at a distance of 74 km from the park, Rowriah Airport is the nearest one.
  • By Road: One can reach the park easily via National Highway 37. You can also opt for bus service, which plies from nearby cities like Guwahati, Dimapur, Tezpur, etc.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to Kaziranga National Park is situated in Helem, which is just 30 km away.

4.      Kameng Elephant Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh

kameng-elephant-reserve-arunachal-pradesh

Curled up in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng and East Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Kameng Elephant Reserve covers an area of 1,894 sq. km, including Sessa Orchid Sanctuary in the north, Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng River to the east, Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in the west and reserved forests under Khellong Forest Division. This wildlife reserve is the major attraction tourists, who desire to view elephants in their natural habitat. In addition to the elephants, one can also see tiger, leopard, red panda, wild dog, jackal, etc. in this reserve. The reserve also lures visitors due to 250 species of butterflies and 300 species of birds.

Location

  • Arunachal Pradesh

Activities available

  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Nature Photography
  • Bird Watching

Best time to visit

  • October to April

How to reach

  • By Air: The nearest airport to reach the reserve is Tezpur Airport.
  • By Road: Regular bus and tax services ply from nearby cities like Tezpur, Tawang and Bomdila.
  • By Train: Bhalukpong Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach the Kameng Elephant Reserve.

5.      Periyar National Park, Kerala

periyar-national-park-kerala

Portraying the mesmerizing beauty and diversity of God’s Own Country, Kerala is the Periyar National Park. It is one of the most protected areas for wildlife and is also an elephant reserve and tiger reserve. Located in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the Western Ghats, the sanctuary is spread across an area of 925 sq. km. Besides the tigers and elephants, the national park also includes mouse deer, barking deer, wild pigs, sambhar, etc. Apart from this, 246 species of birds, 112 species of butterflies and 22 species of fish are found within the reserve.

Location

  • Kerala

Activities available

  • Boat Riding
  • Elephant Safari
  • Camping
  • Jeep Safari
  • Trekking
  • Bamboo Rafting

Best time to visit

  • September to April

How to reach

  • By Air: Madurai Airport in Tamil Nadu, at a distance of 140 km is the nearest one to reach Periyar National Park.
  • By Road: The nearest town of Kumily is well-connected to nearby cities like Ernakulam, Kottayam and Madurai.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station is Kottayam Railway Station, located at a distance of 114 km.

6.      Bandipur National Park, Karnataka

bandipur-national-park-karnataka

Covering an area of 874 sq. km, Bandipur National Park is the most popular one in Karnataka. Along with Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Mudumalai National Park, this national park forms the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This wildlife reserve is rich in flora and fauna. Tourists visit this reserve to spot tigers and elephants. The park comprises of trees like teak, mango, rosewood, etc. while animals like striped hyena, jungle cat, civet, bonnet macaque, etc. are found within the park. As many as 200 species of birds can be spotted in this reserve.

Location

  • NH 67, Hangala Village, Gundlupet Taluk, Bandipur, Karnataka 571126

Activities available

  • Jeep Safari
  • Minibus Safari
  • Elephant riding
  • Boat Safari
  • Trekking

Best time to visit

  • October to May

How to reach

  • By Air: Located just 84 km away from the park, lies the Coimbatore Airport.
  • By Road: Regular bus and taxi service ply from major cities of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to Bandipur.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to Bandipur National Park is in Mysore, which is only 80 km away.

7.      Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

indira-gandhi-wildlife-sanctuary-tamil-nadu

Located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, this wildlife sanctuary is now known by the name of Anamalai Tiger Reserve. This reserve is curled up in the Anamalai Hills of Western Ghats and is spread across an area of approximately 959 sq. km. the sanctuary conserves three threatened mammals, namely tiger, elephant, and leopard along with many others. In addition to this, 315 species of butterflies and more than 250 species of birds take shelter in the reserve.

Location

  • Pollachi, Tamil Nadu 642101

Activities available

  • Trekking
  • Elephant Riding
  • Photography
  • Bird Watching
  • Jungle Safari

Best time to visit

  • June to February

How to reach

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore Airport at a distance of 75 km from the reserve.
  • By Road: Regular bus service is available from Pollachi as well as Coimbatore.
  • By Train: Pollachi Railway Station at a distance of 35 km is the nearest one to reach the wildlife reserve.

Now that you have a list ready for the best places to spot elephants in India, delay no more and take a trip to the national park of your choice. Moreover, you can partake in several adventurous activities along with your near and dear ones. Put your vacations to good use by taking a wildlife tour to India.

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