Nature has been a prime subject for photographers, in its abundance of colors, shapes and patterns. With its rich diversity of flora and fauna, the Indian subcontinent houses rare species of animals and plants that attract wildlife photographers from across the globe. In an attempt to freeze hunting patterns, habitats, migration and animal behavior in their photos, photographers are constantly on the lookout for newer, exotic and raw habitats that allow them to capture these animals in their essence. In the pursuit of finding such places, it is important to understand the kind of animals, habitable seasons and migration periods before planning a shoot. Here are a list of 4 places ideal for spotting rare animals and birds in India that are relatively unseen or offer unique interactions with the wildlife:
1. Khangchendzonga National Park: Ensconced in the bounty of Sikkim is this national park that derives its name from the Kanchenjunga Mountain. It is abundant with rich forest landscapes, pleasing colors and an active wildlife, that allows for spotting. Owing to glaciers and its cold temperature, it inhabits the snow leopard, musk deer, clouded leopard, red panda and great Tibetan sheep.
Birds such as the blood pheasants, Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan griffon and almost 500 other rare species are spotted her. The ideal time to visit is from March to April or August to early October.
2. Namdapha National Park: On the international border between India and Burma lies the unseen and raw beauty of the Namdapha National Park. A botanist’s dream, its fauna boasts of the Blue Vanda orchids, the medicinal Mishimi Teeta used by local tribes for curing diseases and more than a 100 varieties of timber.
This translates further into the plethora of wildlife including tigers, leopards, snow leopards, Assamese macaque and the endangered ape-like Hoolock Gibbons. Its natural vista poses as a fitting background for the distinct species found in the park. The best time to visit is from February to April or October to early December.
Famous for its role in the Project Tiger Reserve, this park is a ideal destination for photographers interested in observing tigers in their full glory. It has varying landscapes that spread over 520 square kilometers, standing on grasslands, lakes, marshes and hills. With rich concentrations of tigers, otters, the endemic fish eating crocodile and the wildlife buffs, it is golden opportunity to capture some unique images. For bird lovers, the park has more than 600 types of resident and migratory birds that offer a palette of colors and shapes. For luxury campers looking at spending quiet time in nature, Jim Corbett is a silent haven.
The best time to visit is usually from March to June or October to February, but for photographers looking for a quiet and less crowded park to observe the mating season, the monsoon months from July to September are ideal.
A true representation of the beauty of Karnataka, the Bandipur National Park in Mysore is an enchanting experience. Once the private game of the Maharaja of Mysore, the national park holds a special place in the conservation movement in India. Home to sizable numbers of tigers, gaurs, sambhar, chital, four-horned antelope, jackals, panthers and a variety of other species, the national park allows for a unique experience as you walk through the jungles. It houses many smaller wildlife species such as the black-knapped hare, green pigeon and porcupines, making the experience friendly and approachable for novices as well. The best time to go is from March to June.
India offers an eclectic mix of landscapes and wildlife that make each park and its species aesthetically appealing, friendly and fun. The thriving opportunities for wildlife photography have thus made it a global destination. For photographers looking to explore a range of animals and vistas, the Indian landscape mixes and matches its beauty to offer a kaleidoscope of rare images.
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Cover Photo Credit: Sukesh Viswanath