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10 Must Visit Jungle Safaris In India That Will Leave You Thrilled

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By Tanmay Sharma

With more than 450 wildlife sanctuaries, 100 national parks, and 40 tiger reserves, India is deemed as an abode of world’s highest number of animals. Whether it’s the luscious Western Ghats or sparse marshes of Sundarban, every nook and corner of India clinches wildlife. So, friends, relatives, and countrymen, have your cameras ready and hit these parks for the best chance to see the elusive wildlife.

Here are some of the places in India where an exhilarating safari experience is waiting for you.

Jim Corbett National Park

jim corbettPossibly the oldest, safest and diverse national park in India, Jim Corbett lures millions of people from across India just to catch sight of the wild cat. Surroundings of the park make me feel Numinous, it’s terrifying yet fascinating. I have been to this place many times and every time I visit, there is something unique to see. You can explore Corbett by either hopping in a jeep or riding on the back of the elephant. While spotting a tiger is one of the biggest draw of this national park, there is so much to explore here. So make sure you take your time.

Ranthambore National Park

ranthamboreYour trip to India will be incomplete if you don’t see any fort and wildlife reserve. One such place in India that serves both the purposes is the Ranthambore National Park. Once the hunting ground of the Indian emperors, Ranthambore is considered as a famous heritage sites. Many years ago, I went there to see the famed tigress, Machli. 3 hours later, I spotted Suraj (T 65). The majestic beast not only posed wisely for my camera but also walked right behind my jeep.

Kaziranga National Park

Long yet, luscious grasslands and wet plains of the Kaziranga National Park lure hundreds of unknown migratory birds from all across the globe. Personally, I have never been to Kaziranga but I am planning to go there in near future. The more I read and learn about it, the more excited I get.

Sundarban National Park

sunderbansWhen I was in my 20s, I went to Sunderbans for the first time. It was this place where I saw the jaw-dropping sight of a crocodile while he was waiting for his prey. Sunderbans, the largest delta in the world is home to hundreds of Royal Bengal tigers. Apart from them, tourists can spot animals like Hermit Crabs, Red Fiddlers, Ridley Sea Turtle, King Cobra, Water Monitor, and Rock Python. Getting inside the nature park is its self an adventure, since you will not be traveling in jeeps but on boats.

Tadoba National Park

All thanks to its unique landscapes and variety of wildlife species, the national park is nothing less than a shutterbug’s paradise. Whenever, I go to Maharashtra for some official work, Tadoba is something I just can’t afford to miss. The size of the park is relatively small as compared to othersin India; so the chances of spotting a tiger here are good. The national park offers the best wildlife viewing throughout the year.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

When I landed in Kerala for the first time, I didn’t know that there is also a wildlife sanctuary to explore here. For me, Kerala was all about backwaters and beaches. Perhaps the largest wildlife reserve in Kerala, Periyar National Park is a mixture of wildlife and serene beauty. An elephant safari and the cruise ride are probably the charming way to indulge in the wilderness. The national park houses an unbelievable number of unique flora and fauna- Gaurs, Lion-Tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Langurs and Sambar.

Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

When I talk about lions, a diminishing image of Simba from Lion King comes to my mind. But the reality is quite modulated and arousing. In the year 2014, when Gujarat tourism was in full swing with ‘kuch din to guzaro Gujarat me,‘ I immediately left to explore the golden hues of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.The forest is sprawled over the hilly region of Gujarat, halfway between Veraval and Junagarh. The moment I entered the park, I had goosebumps all over my hand. I not only saw well groomed and ferocious lions, but many migratory birds as well. Just make sure you don’t make last minute plans, especially during the peak season – December to April.

Kanha National Park

kanha national parkThis territory is one of those places where every traveller should visit, not because it’s an abode for wildlife, it’s scenic, beautiful and enchanting. The sanctuary is home to more than 1000 species of plants including the Indian ghost tree inside the dense forest. Bamni Dadar, a sunset point is the main attraction of the national park. Set amidst the lush green landscapes, here you can spot deer, sambhar, gaurs and herds of elephants strolling here and there. While Gypsy safari is the best mode to explore the different hues of this vivacious national park, there is an option of a hot air balloon ride as well.

Bandhavgarh National Park

The sanctuary is home to the largest number of photogenic wild cats who have even appeared on the cover page of National Geographic. Sita, one of the most photogenic tigresses in the world was a part of this sanctuary. My trip to Bandhavgarh National Park was peaceful and enchanting. No doubt, the sanctuary is the photographers’ paradise. For the first time in my life, I saw animals posing for the camera. Yes, this is right, animals in Bandhavgarh are used to human interference.

Pench National Park

pench national parkOne of the best-kept secrets of the Madhya Pradesh is Pench National Park. It is assumed that Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ is based on the natural surroundings of this national park. Pench is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiast who is looking for an easy-going jungle tour.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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