There are 55 National Parks and 247 sanctuaries and preserves in India. A few of the most popular are listed below in alphabetical order by the state in which they are located.

Some suggested reading:

The Carpet Sahib - A Life of Jim Corbett - Martin Booth. Jim Corbett grew up in the jungles of India during the Raj and early days of independence. His views are slightly dated - there is still some glory in killing man-eating tigers, but his insights into the way of the jungle are extraordinary.

The Story of Mt. Everest national Park - Margaret Jeffries

The Snow Leopard - Peter Matheson. Travels in Dolpo while searching for snow leopards.

Saving the Tiger - Guy Mountfort. An account of the tiger conservation project

Wildlife in India and Stones of Silence - George Schaller. Out of print, but anything by him is worthwhile. His writing style is somewhat dry and technical but if wildlife is really your thing, he's great.

Tiger, Tiger and Tiger Haven - Arjun Singh. One of the foremost tiger experts of India, and instrumental in the founding of the Tiger Foundation.

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent - K.K. Gurung and Raj Singh. The first part of the book has a description of each animal with a color drawing. There is a description of each of the main game parks, drawings of the tracks, and a list of where to go to see which animal.

The Book of Indian Birds - Salim Ali

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India and Nepal - Bikram Grewal

Birds of India - Richard Grimmett

Insight Guides Indian Wildlife - Lots of pictures as well as practical information. Slanted more towards mammals rather than birds and insects.


Game Parks

Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh) Tiger Reserve.
Best time: October - June
Set on the Nagarjunasagar reservoir on the Krishna River, this is India largest tiger reserve.
Animals: tiger, striped hyena, leopard, sloth bear, palm civit, barking deer, nilgai,sambar,
Access: Air: Hyderabad (150 Km) Rail: Machesla: (13 Km)

Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh)
Best time: October - March
The altitude in this park rises from 650 ft. to 14,800 ft, so the habitat is extremely diverse - rainforest to alpine forest, and all the beautiful landscapes in between. Lots of rivers.
Animals: tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, and possibly snow leopards. Red pandas, musk deer, hoolock gibons, slow loris and binturong
Access: Air: Didrugarh (163 Km) Rail: Ledo (56 Km)

Kaziranga National Park (Assam)
Best time: October - March
Game viewing on elephant back. Thirty years ago, there were only 12 Indian Rhino left here, but today there are 1200. The park supports 75 tiger, giving this park one of the highest densities of tigers.
Animals: Rhino, wild buffalo, tiger, hog deer, swamp deer,
Access: Air: Guwahati (170 Km) Rail: Nagaon (20Km)

Manas Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve (Assam)
Best time: October - March
Beautiful scenery in the Indian and Bhutanese foothills with 2 lovely rivers, the Manas and the Hakua. Part of this park lies in Bhutan, but visitors are allowed to cross freely.
Animals: Herds of elephant, Rhino, clouded leopard, wild buffalo, swamp deer, gaur, langur.
Access: Air: Guwahati (186 Km) Rail: Barpeta Road (40Km)

Dhangadhra Sanctuary (Gujerat)
Best time: January - May
During the monsoons, The Little Rann of Kutch is flooded, but for the rest of the year, this is the place to see Indian Wild Ass.
Access: Air: Rajkot (140 Km) Rail: Dhangadhra (20 Km)

Dachigam National Park (Jammu & kashmir)
Best time: May - September in Upper Dachigam, elevation 14,000 ft.
September - December in Lower Dachigam
Spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery.
Animals: The last of the hangul. 150 species of birds.
Access: Air: Srinagar (32 Km.) Rail and air at Jammu, (315 Km)

Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve (Karnataka)
Best time: March - June, and September - October
Hill terrain next to the Western Ghats. Good viewing due to the network of roads.
Animals: Elephant, Gaur,
Access: Air: Mysore (80 Km.) Rail: Nanjungud (55 Km.)

Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka)
Best time: October - April
Very beautiful terrain on the banks of the dammed Karbini River.
Animals: Elephant and gaur. Some tiger, leopard and sambar. Over 250 species of birds have been reported.
Access: Air and rail: Mysore (95 Km.)

Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve (Kerela)
Best time: September - May
This is the best place to go for elephants
Animals: Tiger, elephants, birds.
Access: Air: Madurai (145 Km.) and Cochin (190 Km.) Rail: Madurai and Cochin

Hemis National Park (Ladakh)
Best time: July - September
Stretching southwest of Leh, this park lies at 3300 meters to 6400 meters. It is Himalayan high alpine desert
Animals: The very elusive and hard to see snow leopard, The very cute pallas's cat, red fox, brown bear, wolf, and bharal.
Access: Air: Leh (40 Km.)

Bandhavgarh National Park (Madhya Pradesh)
Best time: January - June
Once this was the private forest of the Maharaja of Rewa, his old fort now in ruins. Now, it has one of the nicest jungle camps (The White Tiger Lodge) in India with excellent trained naturalists and elephant back game viewing. Hilly terrain with grasslands and sal and bamboo forests.
Animals: One of the best places to see tiger. Also leopard, sloth bear, nilgai, gaur, Indian gazelle, Nilgai, jungle cat.
Access: Air: Khajuraho (210 Km) Rail: Umaria (35 Km)

Kanha National Park and Tiger Sanctuary (Madhya Pradesh)
Best time: February - June
This is one of India's most famous parks, and with good reason. It has beautiful natural surroundings with grasslands and stands of bamboo. It just won the National Tourism Award for the best maintained, tourism friendly national park. Elephants are available for viewing.
Animals: One of the best parks for viewing tigers.
Access: Air and rail: Jabalpur ? (160 Km.) Nagpur (250 Km)

Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve (Orissa)
Best time: February - May
Twelve rivers and several waterfalls make this ex-hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj one of the prettiest game parks in India.
Animals: Tiger, elephant, leopard, mouse deer, chital, sambar, and mugger crocodiles.
Access: Air and rail: Jamshedpur (140 Km.) or Bhubaneshwar (350 Km.)

Keoladeo Ghana National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) (Rajasthan)
Best time: October - February to see the migratory birds.
Twenty-nine square km of this park is a shallow fresh-water marsh.
Animals: European and Central Asian birds come from as far away as the arctic to breed here. Sarus, Damoiselle , and Siberian cranes nest here along with 2000 pair of painted storks. There are usually thirty different kinds of birds of prey. . The scrub forests attract nilgai, sambar, blackbuck, and fishing cats.
Access: Air: Agra (55Km.) Rail: Bharatpur: (2 Km.)

Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Reserve (Rajasthan)
Best time: October - March
This may well be India's most magical (and most popular) park! A thousand year old fort, delightful pavilions, and semi-ruined palaces are a picturesque backdrop for the animals. Several of the palaces and hunting lodges have been turned into hotels. This is one of the smallest tiger reserves, but chances of seeing one are fairly good as they have little fear of people.
Animals: Tiger, leopard, nilgai, chinkara, and wild boar.
Access: Air: Jaipur (132 Km.) Rail: Sawai Madhopar (14 Km.)

Sariska National Park and Tiger Preserve (Rajasthan)
Best time: November - June
Easy access from Delhi and the beautiful Hotel Sariska Palace hotel make this park very popular. There is a new weekend package from Delhi using the "Fairy Queen", the world's oldest working steam engine.
Animals: Tiger, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar.
Access: Air: Jaipur (110 km) or Delhi (200km) Rail: Alwar (35 km)