Important National Parks in India UPSC

Important National Parks in India – UPSC

In this article, You will know everything about National Parks in India for UPSC (Environment).

Important National Parks in India act as an apt place for preserving animals by providing natural habitat and prey. Anthropogenic activities like developmental activities, industrial activities, forestry, poaching, hunting, and cultivation are not permitted. The boundaries of National Parks are well defined and no private activities are allowed inside the National Park.

National Parks in India

National parks in India are IUCN category II protected areas. India’s first national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, now known as Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand.

By 1970, India only had five national parks. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard the habitats of conservation reliant species.

As of May 2020, there were 105 national parks encompassing an area of 40,501.13 km2 (15,637.57 sq mi), under-protected areas of India category II comprising 1.23% of India’s total surface area.

Protected Areas

In simplest terms, protected areas are regions or zones of land or sea which are given certain levels of protection for conservation of biodiversity and socio-environmental values. In these areas, human intervention and exploitation of resources are limited.

Protected Areas are the principal mechanism of conservation of biodiversity on Earth and serve as the most important units for in-situ biodiversity conservation.

Protected Areas of India(As on December, 2019)

 No.Total Area (km2)Coverage % of Country
National Parks (NPs)10540,564.031.23
Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLSs)553119,756.973.64
Conservation Reserves (CRs)863,858.250.12
Community Reserves163833.340.03
Protected Areas (PAs)9071,65,012.595.02

As of December 2019, there are 907 notified protected areas covering 5.02% of India’s land area. This is far below Target 11 of the Aichi Targets – which states that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas should be conserved under Protected Areas.

There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection. Examples include national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, marine protected areas, community reserves, etc.

In terms of protection, National Parks > Wildlife Sanctuary > Reserved forests > Protected forests

Different IUCN categories of Protected areas

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), through its World Commission on Protected Areas, has put forward six Protected Area Management Categories. The categories are as follows:

  • Category I aStrict Nature Reserve: Protected areas managed mainly for science and receives the least human intervention. E.g. Urwald Rothwald in Austria
  • Category I b Wilderness Area: Wilderness protection. E.g. wilderness areas in the Sami native region in Finland
  • Category IINational Park: ecosystem protection and recreation
  • Category III Natural Monument or Feature: Conservation of specific natural features. E.g. cliffs, caves, forest groves. E.g. Cono de Arita in Argentina.
  • Category IVHabitat/Species Management Area: Conservation of specific species that require protection.
  • Category V – Protected Landscape/Seascape: Conservation of entire area. It permits the surrounding community to interact. Example: Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Category VI – Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources: Conservation of ecosystem and habitats together with associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems.
  • Forests and wildlife are included in the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution. Therefore, the Union government makes the policies and plans for Wildlife Conservation. On the other hand, the State Forest Departments are the ones implanting those national policies and plans at the state level.
  • National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) puts forward a policy framework for wildlife conservation in India. The Board was constituted under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is chaired by the Prime Minister.
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (with Amendment Acts of 2003 and 2006)
    • It provides for the protection of plants and animals in India. The aim of the Act is to ensure the ecological and environmental security of India.
    • It is the principal act that contains provisions for setting up and managing national parks, sanctuaries, and other protected areas.

In India, there are four major categories of Protected areas. These protected areas are constituted under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The four categories of protected areas are:

  1. Wildlife Sanctuaries
  2. National Parks
  3. Community Reserves
  4. Conservation Reserves

Apart from these protected areas, India also has the following:

  • Biodiversity Reserves
  • Tiger Reserves
  • Elephant Reserves


  • BR: Biosphere Reserve
  • NP: National Park
  • TR: Tiger Reserve
  • WS: Wildlife Sanctuary
  • BS: Bird Sanctuary
  • PF: Protected Forest
  • RF: Reserve Forest
  • ER: Elephant Reserve
  • RS: Ramsar Site

List of National Parks of India

NameStateYear formedNotability
Dehing Patkai National ParkAssam2020
Kuno National ParkMadhya Pradesh2018Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project
Jaldapara National ParkWest Bengal2012Indian rhinoceros
Inderkilla National ParkHimachal Pradesh2010
Khirganga National ParkHimachal Pradesh2010
Simbalbara National ParkHimachal Pradesh2010
Papikonda National ParkAndhra Pradesh2008Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopards, rusty-spotted cat, King CobraIt is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and home to some endangered species of flora and fauna.
Bison (Rajbari) National ParkTripura2007
Mukundra Hills National ParkRajasthan2006
Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Rameswaram)Andhra Pradesh2005
Chandoli National ParkMaharashtra2004
Clouded Leopard National ParkTripura2003
Anamudi Shola National ParkKerala2003
Mathikettan Shola National ParkKerala2003Elephants
Pambadum Shola National ParkKerala2003Nilgiri marten, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri flycatcher, Blue rock-thrush
Kalesar National ParkHaryana2003On the bank of Yamuna river
Mukurthi National ParkTamil Nadu2001Nilgiri tahr
Betla National ParkJharkhand1999Tiger, Indian bison, elephant, hyenas, monkey, leopard
Dibru-Saikhowa National ParkAssam1999Feral horse
Orang National ParkAssam1999aka Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Orang)
Rani Jhansi Marine National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1996
Gorumara National ParkWest Bengal1994The park is rich in large herbivores including Indian rhinoceros, gaur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, chital, and sambar deer
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National ParkTelangana1994
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National ParkTelangana1994
Mrugavani National ParkTelangana1994
Ntangki National ParkNagaland1993
Buxa Tiger ReserveWest Bengal1992
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National ParkMizoram1992
Salim Ali National ParkJammu and Kashmir1992
Campbell Bay National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1992
Galathea National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1992
Murlen National ParkMizoram1991
Govind Pashu Vihar National ParkUttarakhand1990
Manas National ParkAssam1990UNESCO World Heritage Site
Gangotri National ParkUttarakhand1989Gaumukh Glacier
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National ParkTamil Nadu1989has 42 tigers ,leopards,elephants,wildboars,deers dholes.
Sultanpur National ParkHaryana1989
Sri Venkateswara National ParkAndhra Pradesh1989
Bhitarkanika National ParkOdisha1988Mangroves, saltwater crocodile, white crocodile, Indian python, black ibis, wild pigs, rhesus monkeys, olive ridley sea turtle, chital
Nagarhole National ParkKarnataka1988aka Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarhole)
Gugamal National ParkMaharashtra1987
Anshi National ParkKarnataka1987Great hornbill, tiger, leopard, black panther, bear, elephant,
Kudremukh National ParkKarnataka1987
Pin Valley National ParkHimachal Pradesh1987
Middle Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1987
Mount Harriet National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1987Important bird area as attributed by BirdLife International
South Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1987Dugong, dolphin, water monitor lizard, blue whale and smallest National park in India
Neora Valley National ParkWest Bengal1986
Singalila National ParkWest Bengal1986
Balphakram National ParkMeghalaya1986Wild water buffalo, red panda, elephant, and eight cat species, including the tiger and marbled cat
Nokrek National ParkMeghalaya1986UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
Bannerghatta National ParkKarnataka1986Tiger, sloth bear, peacock, elephant, sambar deer, mouse deer
Mouling National ParkArunachal Pradesh1986
Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal1984UNESCO World Heritage Site
Great Himalayan National ParkHimachal Pradesh1984UNESCO World Heritage Site
Rajaji National ParkUttarakhand1983Mainly known for elephants, tigers, leopards and several species of birds, reptiles and mammals.
Mandla Plant Fossils National ParkMadhya Pradesh1983
Van Vihar National ParkMadhya Pradesh1983
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1983
Nanda Devi National ParkUttarakhand1982UNESCO World Heritage Site, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
Valley of Flowers National ParkUttarakhand1982UNESCO World Heritage Site
Sirohi National ParkManipur1982
Bandhavgarh National ParkMadhya Pradesh19821336 species of endemic plants
Periyar National ParkKerala1982Malabar parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri laughing thrush, Nilgiri blue robin, great hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, lion-tailed macaque, hairy-winged bat
Kanger Ghati National ParkChhattisgarh1982
Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan1981UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ranthambore National ParkRajasthan1981Tiger Reserve.
Panna National ParkMadhya Pradesh1981
Sanjay National ParkMadhya Pradesh1981
Satpura National ParkMadhya Pradesh1981
Hemis National ParkLadakh1981Largest National park in India
Dachigam National ParkJammu and Kashmir1981The only area where Kashmir stag is found
Kishtwar National ParkJammu and Kashmir1981
Guru Ghasidas (Sanjay) National ParkChhattisgarh1981
Indravati National ParkChhattisgarh1981Wild Asian buffalo, tiger reserve, hill mynas
Gulf of Mannar Marine National ParkTamil Nadu1980has 8 species of whales and 21 small coral islands
Desert National ParkRajasthan1980Great Indian Bustard
Simlipal National ParkOdisha1980Tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, sambar, barking deer, gaur, jungle cat, wild boar
Silent Valley National ParkKerala1980Indian bison, Travancore flying squirrel, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, Stripe-necked mongoose, Blue-winged parakeet, Crimson-backed sunbird
Marine National Park, Gulf of KutchGujarat1980
Vansda National ParkGujarat1979
North Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1979
Saddle Peak National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands1979
Eravikulam National ParkKerala1978Nilgiri tahr, Strobilanthes kunthiana
Mollem National ParkGoa1978
Nameri National ParkAssam1978
Dudhwa National ParkUttar Pradesh1977Tiger, Sambar deer, hog deer
Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim1977UNESCO World Heritage Site
Keibul Lamjao National ParkManipur1977Only floating park in the world
Pench National ParkMadhya Pradesh1977Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ was set in this NP.
Guindy National ParkTamil Nadu1976Has more than 2000 chitals, 493 blackbucks and 84 jackals.
Blackbuck National Park, VelavadarGujarat1976Blackbuck Lodge, the endangered Indian grey wolf, the nocturnal striped hyena, Indian fox, golden jackal, jungle cat and many small mammals like hare, gerbil, field mice, mongoose and hedgehog.
Valmiki National ParkBihar1976
Navegaon National ParkMaharashtra1975
Gir Forest National ParkGujarat1975Asiatic lion
Bandipur National ParkKarnataka1974Chital, Bengal tiger, gray langurs, Indian giant squirrel, gaur, leopard, sambar deer, Indian elephants, honey buzzard, red-headed vulture
Kaziranga National ParkAssam1974Highest known tiger density in the world, Indian rhinoceros, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Namdapha National ParkArunachal Pradesh1974Tiger, easternmost National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National ParkMaharashtra1969Indian Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Bonnet Macaque, Spotted Deer, Hanuman Langur, Indian Flying Fox, Indian Hare, Barking Deer, Porcupine, Palm Civet, Mouse Deer
Madhav National ParkMadhya Pradesh1959
Sariska Tiger ReserveRajasthan1955
Tadoba National ParkMaharashtra1955Tiger
Kanha National ParkMadhya Pradesh1955
Mudumalai National ParkTamil Nadu1940second oldest National park india. Has 103 tigers.
Jim Corbett National ParkUttarakhand1936First national park in India (established in 1936 as Hailey National Park)
List of National Parks in India

A complete list of National Parks in India: State-wise

South Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Saddle Peak National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Rani Jhansi Marine National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
North Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Mount Harriet National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Middle Button Island National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Galathea National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Campbell Bay National ParkAndaman and Nicobar Islands
Sri Venkateswara National ParkAndhra Pradesh
Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Rameswaram)Andhra Pradesh
Papikonda National ParkAndhra Pradesh
Namdapha National ParkArunachal Pradesh
Mouling National ParkArunachal Pradesh
Orang National ParkAssam
Nameri National ParkAssam
Manas National ParkAssam
Kaziranga National ParkAssam
Dibru-Saikhowa National ParkAssam
Dehing Patkai National ParkAssam
Valmiki National ParkBihar
Kanger Ghati National ParkChhattisgarh
Indravati National ParkChhattisgarh
Guru Ghasidas (Sanjay) National ParkChhattisgarh
Mollem National ParkGoa
Vansda National ParkGujarat
Marine National Park, Gulf of KutchGujarat
Gir Forest National ParkGujarat
Blackbuck National Park, VelavadarGujarat
Sultanpur National ParkHaryana
Kalesar National ParkHaryana
Simbalbara National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Pin Valley National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Khirganga National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Inderkilla National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Great Himalayan National ParkHimachal Pradesh
Salim Ali National ParkJammu and Kashmir
Kishtwar National ParkJammu and Kashmir
Dachigam National ParkJammu and Kashmir
Betla National ParkJharkhand
Nagarhole National ParkKarnataka
Kudremukh National ParkKarnataka
Bannerghatta National ParkKarnataka
Bandipur National ParkKarnataka
Anshi National ParkKarnataka
Silent Valley National ParkKerala
Periyar National ParkKerala
Pambadum Shola National ParkKerala
Mathikettan Shola National ParkKerala
Eravikulam National ParkKerala
Anamudi Shola National ParkKerala
Hemis National ParkLadakh
Van Vihar National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Satpura National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Sanjay National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Pench National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Panna National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Mandla Plant Fossils National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Madhav National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Kuno National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Kanha National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Bandhavgarh National ParkMadhya Pradesh
Tadoba National ParkMaharashtra
Sanjay Gandhi National ParkMaharashtra
Navegaon National ParkMaharashtra
Gugamal National ParkMaharashtra
Chandoli National ParkMaharashtra
Sirohi National ParkManipur
Keibul Lamjao National ParkManipur
Nokrek National ParkMeghalaya
Balphakram National ParkMeghalaya
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National ParkMizoram
Murlen National ParkMizoram
Ntangki National ParkNagaland
Simlipal National ParkOdisha
Bhitarkanika National ParkOdisha
Sariska Tiger ReserveRajasthan
Ranthambore National ParkRajasthan
Mukundra Hills National ParkRajasthan
Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan
Desert National ParkRajasthan
Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim
Mukurthi National ParkTamil Nadu
Mudumalai National ParkTamil Nadu
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National ParkTamil Nadu
Gulf of Mannar Marine National ParkTamil Nadu
Guindy National ParkTamil Nadu
Mrugavani National ParkTelangana
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National ParkTelangana
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National ParkTelangana
Clouded Leopard National ParkTripura
Bison (Rajbari) National ParkTripura
Dudhwa National ParkUttar Pradesh
Valley of Flowers National ParkUttarakhand
Rajaji National ParkUttarakhand
Nanda Devi National ParkUttarakhand
Jim Corbett National ParkUttarakhand
Govind Pashu Vihar National ParkUttarakhand
Gangotri National ParkUttarakhand
Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal
Singalila National ParkWest Bengal
Neora Valley National ParkWest Bengal
Jaldapara National ParkWest Bengal
Gorumara National ParkWest Bengal
Buxa Tiger ReserveWest Bengal

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