Bihar is an Eastern Indian state with fertile plains and the river Ganga flowing right through the middle of it. In Ancient India, the state was considered as a pioneer in education, learning and culture. Major empires rose up from the plains of Bihar and left behind relics of their legacy. Also known for its bio-diversity, let us look at the top 5 National Parks (or Wildlife sanctuaries) in Bihar.
1. Valmiki National Park
Valmiki National Park is located in The Someshwar hill range and the Dun hill range run through the park that creates a diverse terrain for flora and fauna to flourish in. Among other animals, leopards, black bear and rhinoceros are the most popular for which tourists come from all over the country to visit. An area close to the park called Madanpur forest block has the largest number of flying fox, a kind of bat that can be sighted here all the time. The park is also home to over 241 different kinds of birds that include emerald doves, waders and storks. A must visits for a peak into a very diverse topographical area, the park is spread over 880 square kilometres and borders Nepal in the North.
2. Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Nalanda district, the Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1978. Spanning over an area of 13.83 square miles, this wildlife sanctuary has a variety of medicinal plants, different kinds of deer, leopards and hyenas that live here. Covered by the tropical deciduous forest, the sanctuary is open throughout the year but the best time to visit is between October to June. Tourists can stay at the tourist bungalow in Nalanda while visiting the park to truly experience wildlife at its best.
3. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
The Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary was established in 1987to ensure the preservation of birds that migrated to Bihar. The marshes around the Kanwar lake, known to be the largest freshwater oxbow lake in Asia, creates the perfect habitat for these travelling birds. Over 60 different varieties of birds have been recorded to have travelled through the park from Central Asia and over 160 birds live permanently in the park. Among animals, the musk deer, leopards, black bear and foxes are commonly found here. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October to June.
4. Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
Located in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar, the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary was established in 1991. It was created to protect the Gangetic dolphins in Asia. Declared as the National Aquatic Animal of India, the dolphin sanctuary is also home to the smooth coated otter, turtles found in freshwater and many aquatic birds. For those willing to experience aquatic wildlife, this dolphin sanctuary is the best place to visit for a lovely insight into the lives of these beautiful creatures.
5. Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Kaimur district of Bihar, the Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kaimur Hills range where numerous waterfalls and lakes grace the sanctuary. The sanctuary is known for its variety of bird species that come here during the winter season as well as rare animals like the panther, tigers, sloth bears and antelopes. Among the many lakes in the area, a variety of fish are found here as well. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and June and the guest house under the Forest Department is the best place to stay while visiting the sanctuary.
Bihar has a plethora of wildlife sanctuaries that hold the rarest of the rare animals as well as birds. It is home to dolphins, tigers, rhinoceros and over 500 different kinds of birds! Bihar is one of the best places to visit for any nature-lover who wants to experience wildlife from close quarters!