- National parks in India that you can consider visiting during the monsoon season.
- India’s first sloth bear sanctuaries.
- The appearance of bioluminescent mushrooms
- Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka
- Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
- Periyar National Park, Kerala
- Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
- Hemis National Park, Ladakh
Although not the typical choice for a getaway, a safari during the monsoon season can be a unique and mesmerizing experience in India. Despite the variable weather conditions across the country, many nature parks and wildlife reserves remain open year-round. Even during the monsoon season and offer stunning landscapes to explore. While wildlife sightings may be more challenging during this time, the monsoon safari experience is often considered magical and captivating. Additionally, there are other compelling reasons to visit parks during the monsoon season. Such as discounted prices and fewer crowds due to limited awareness of park availability.
Some parks also remain open to deter poachers who may take advantage of park closures. Many naturalists and park guides believe that the monsoon season brings the forests to life. With rare plant species, elephants reveling in the rain, and tigers leaving their mark. Here are some national parks in India that you can consider visiting during the monsoon season.
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka
The Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is in Karnataka near Hampi. It spreads over 82.7 square kilometers and serves as a sanctuary for more than 150 sloth bears, making it one of India’s first sloth bear sanctuaries. In addition to sloth bears, the sanctuary is home to a diverse array of wildlife such as leopards, wild boars, jackals, and hyenas. Which we can observe during a wildlife safari amidst the lush green forest and tall grass. The sanctuary also offers the opportunity to spot peacocks, yellow-throated bulbuls, painted spurfowls, and other avian species during the rainy season. As sloth bears are primarily active during the night, the sanctuary is open in the evenings from 4-6 pm, offering guided tours, safaris, and machan sightings to visitors.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. During the monsoon season, certain zones (6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) of the park remain partially open year-round. And offer three tiger territories for visitors to explore. The park boasts a unique landscape with dense trees intermingled with dry shrubs from the desert region, creating a captivating blend. Despite the rainy season, tiger sightings are still possible, along with opportunities to spot other elusive wildlife such as leopards, desert cats, jackals, and nilgai. The monsoon travel experience at Ranthambore National Park is truly mesmerizing. With its lush scenery and abundant wildlife, making it a not-to-be-missed adventure for nature lovers.
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Situated along the picturesque banks of Periyar Lake, this park has a thriving population of elephants that visit to its lakeside location. This park, which is approximately a four-hour drive from Kochi, is open during the monsoon season when it completely comes to alive. As the rains transform the landscape, herds of elephants can huddling together. While various species of monkeys swing from the trees and orchids bloom wild everywhere, creating a mesmerizing sight. Although spotting a tiger may be challenging due to their elusive nature (with about 40 tigers roaming the area), there are plenty of other wildlife sightings to enjoy, barking deer, sambar deer, and a variety of birds including racket-tailed drongos, cormorants, kingfishers, and the magnificent Malabar hornbill.
Apart from a thrilling 4×4 safari, visitors can also opt for an early morning boat ride on the lake. To witness herds of elephants socializing along the shores, adding to the unique experience of exploring the wilds of this park during the monsoon season.
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa
In the northern part of Goa, at the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, a fascinating phenomenon occurs during the monsoon season. It is the appearance of bioluminescent mushrooms. These unique mushrooms emit a bluish-green or bright violet light, creating a mesmerizing sight in the sanctuary. Located near Valpoi town, the sanctuary is best explored through guided tours. It allows visitors to witness endemic orchids, indigenous trees, as well as wildlife such as sambar deer and wild boar, among others.
On rare occasions, lucky visitors may even spot elusive animals like black panthers, tigers, and jungle cats. Also, the ‘big four’ Indian venomous snakes like the spectacled cobra and saw-scaled viper. Besides the wildlife, Mhadei offers a perfect monsoon escape with thrilling activities such as white water rafting in the Mhadei river. Which comes alive during the rainy season, rock climbing at Chorla Ghats. And monsoon trekking along the sanctuary’s hilly regions, making it an ideal destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.
Hemis National Park, Ladakh
Located just outside Leh, in the region of Ladakh, this park is a habitat for its elusive snow leopards. Surprisingly, the monsoon season may be the ideal time to visit, especially if you’ve had enough rainfall by then. Unlike other parts of Ladakh, this region receives limited rainfall, making it a favorable time to explore the park. Hemis National Park, named after a monastery within its boundaries, is home to approximately 200 snow leopards, although spotting one requires patience and luck. However, other wildlife such as great Tibetan sheep, blue sheep, and Ladakhi urials, which are prey for the snow leopards, are more commonly seen. The park also hosts red foxes, Tibetan wolves, Eurasian brown bears, mountain weasels, Himalayan marmots, and mouse hares.
Vehicles are not allowed inside the park, so the only way to experience the wildlife is by trekking on the park’s designated trails. The trek typically takes around two days to complete, and camping is available in one of the six village communities that reside within the park.