EAST INDIA WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES
The habitat of the Indian one- horned rhino once ranged from the Indus river in the West to Burma. In the heart of Assam, Kaziranga National Park is rhino country, one of the last refuges of these formidable beasts, and a World Heritage Site.
Kanchendzonga National Park (Sikkim) is an unspoiled refuge in this hill state's remote reaches. It boasts a huge range of flora and fauna, including the rare red panda. The magnificent Kanchendzongapeak overlooks the park. Several interesting treks can be undertaken in the park's environs. The Yuksom- Dzongri-Goecha La trek is recommended.
Orissa's premier wildlife sanctuary, Simlipal is one of the country's earliest tiger reserves (there are over 100 tigers here). It is noted for its majestic sal forests.
In the world's second largest delta, the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans are home to a sizable tiger population. This World Heritage Site has over 300 tigers.
Rather more unusual than other Indian parks, the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (Andaman and Nicobar) at Wandoor is a water-land of 281 square kilometres in the Andaman islands. Comprising creeks and open sea, and around fifteen islands, the park supports a variety of marine life, including large colonies of live coral as well as gigantic coral reefs. All this can be experienced on glass- bottomed boats and through snorkelling and scuba diving.