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Tiger reserves in India hold immense significance in promoting ecotourism, attracting visitors from around the world to witness the majestic Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. This blog will delve into the importance of tiger conservation, the current status of tiger populations, the history of the first tiger reserve, a comprehensive list of tiger reserves, top 10 reserves, challenges faced, prospects, and the economic benefits of tiger tourism.

Importance of Tiger Conservation

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Tiger conservation is vital for biodiversity as they are apex predators, maintaining ecological balance. Protecting tigers safeguards habitats, benefiting numerous species. As an endangered species, their conservation symbolises broader efforts. Furthermore, tiger tourism provides economic incentives, fostering local livelihoods and promoting conservation, creating a sustainable ecosystem.

Population of Tigers in India

The population of tigers in India has witnessed a significant increase, with conservation efforts playing a pivotal role. This increase has been facilitated by programs including habitat preservation, anti-poaching efforts, and community engagement. Strict enforcement of wildlife laws and conservation awareness campaigns have also helped safeguard tiger populations.

First Tiger Reserve in India

The first national park in India was created in 1936 and is known as Jim Corbett National Park. Originally named Hailey National Park, it was renamed in honour of the renowned conservationist Jim Corbett. Spanning Uttarakhand, it’s celebrated for its biodiversity, notably Bengal tigers, making it pivotal in Indian conservation history.

List of 53 Tiger Reserves in India

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Here is a comprehensive list of the 53 tiger reserves in India, categorised by state/union territory, along with their respective area sizes:

S No.Tiger ReservesState/UTLocationYear EstablishedTotal Area (sq km)
1Bandipur Tiger ReserveKarnatakaWestern Ghats1974914.02
2Corbett Tiger ReserveUttarakhandHimalayan Foothills19731,288.31
3Amanagarh Buffer Tiger ReserveUttar PradeshTerai202080.6
4Kanha Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshCentral India19742,051.79
5Manas Tiger ReserveAssamEastern Himalayas19732,837.10
6Melghat Tiger ReserveMaharashtraSatpura Range19742,768.52
7Palamu Tiger ReserveJharkhandChota Nagpur Plateau19731,129.93
8Ranthambore Tiger ReserveRajasthanAravalli Range19731,411.29
9Simlipal Tiger ReserveOdishaEastern Ghats19732,750.00
10Sunderban Tiger ReserveWest BengalSundarbans19842,584.89
11Periyar Tiger ReserveKeralaWestern Ghats1978925
12Sariska Tiger ReserveRajasthanAravalli Range19781,213.34
13Buxa Tiger ReserveWest BengalEastern Himalayas1983757.9
14Indravati Tiger ReserveChhattisgarhBastar Plateau19822,799.07
15Namdapha Tiger ReserveArunachal PradeshEastern Himalayas19832,052.82
16Nagarjunsagar Tiger ReserveTelanganaDeccan Plateau19833,296.31
17Dudhwa Tiger ReserveUttar PradeshTerai19872,201.77
18Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger ReserveTamil NaduWestern Ghats19881,601.54
19Valmiki Tiger ReserveBiharGangetic Plains1990899.38
20Pench Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshSatpura Range19921,179.63
21Tadoba Andhari Tiger ReserveMaharashtraCentral India19931,727.59
22Bandhavgarh Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshCentral India19931,536.93
23Panna Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshCentral India19941,598.10
24Dampa Tiger ReserveMizoramMizo Hills1994988
25Bhadra Tiger ReserveKarnatakaWestern Ghats19981,064.29
26Pench Tiger ReserveMaharashtraSatpura Range1999741.22
27Pakke Tiger ReserveArunachal PradeshEastern Himalayas20021,198.45
28Nameri Tiger ReserveAssamEastern Himalayas1999464
29Satpura Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshCentral India19992,133.31
30Anamalai Tiger ReserveTamil NaduWestern Ghats20081,479.87
31Udanti Sitanadi Tiger ReserveChhattisgarhMaikal Hills20081,842.54
32Satkosia Tiger ReserveOdishaEastern Ghats2007963.87
33Kaziranga Tiger ReserveAssamEastern Himalayas20071,173.58
34Achanakmar Tiger ReserveChhattisgarhMaikal Hills2009914.02
35Kali Tiger ReserveKarnatakaWestern Ghats20101,097.51
36Sanjay Dhubri Tiger ReserveMadhya PradeshCentral India20111,674.50
37Mudumalai Tiger ReserveTamil NaduWestern Ghats2012688.59
38Nagarhole Tiger ReserveKarnatakaWestern Ghats20121,205.76
39Parambikulam Tiger ReserveKeralaWestern Ghats2010643.66
40Sahyadri Tiger ReserveMaharashtraWestern Ghats20091,165.57
41Biligiri Ranganatha Temple Tiger ReserveKarnatakaWestern Ghats2010574.82
42Kawal Tiger ReserveTelanganaDeccan Plateau20122,015.44
43Sathyamangalam Tiger ReserveTamil NaduWestern Ghats20131,408.40
44Mukundara Tiger ReserveRajasthanAravalli Range2013759.99
45Nawegaon Nagzira Tiger ReserveMaharashtraCentral India20131,894.94
46Amrabad Tiger ReserveTelanganaDeccan Plateau20142,611.39
47Pilibhit Tiger ReserveUttar PradeshTerai2014730.25
48Bor Tiger ReserveMaharashtraCentral India2014816.27
49Rajaji Tiger ReserveUttarakhandShivalik Range20151,075.17
50Orang Tiger ReserveAssamEastern Himalayas2016492.46
51Kamlang Tiger ReserveArunachal PradeshEastern Himalayas2016783
52Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger ReserveTamil NaduWestern Ghats20161,016.57
53Guru Ghasidas Tiger ReserveChhattisgarhMaikal Hills20232,048

Top 10 Tiger Reserves in India

1. Nagarjunsagar Srisailam (3296.31

  • Ranking: 1st
  • Significance: Spanning an extensive area of 3296.31 sq. km., Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve is one of India’s largest tiger reserves. It is known for its rugged terrain and diverse flora and fauna.
  • Location: Situated across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Year Founded: 1983.
  • Unique Features: Its vast expanse includes dense forests, rocky cliffs, and winding rivers, providing an ideal habitat for tigers, leopards, and various species of deer.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve earns its place among the top 10 due to its expansive size, thriving tiger population, and significant contributions to tiger conservation in India.

2. Manas National Park (3150.92

  • Ranking: 2nd
  • Significance: Manas National Park, covering 3150.92 sq. km, is not only a tiger reserve but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
  • Location: Located in the state of Assam, Manas National Park lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, bordering Bhutan.
  • Year Founded: Established as a sanctuary in 1928, it was declared a national park in 1990 to protect its diverse flora and fauna, including the Bengal tiger.
  • Unique Features: The park’s diverse habitats range from tropical evergreen forests to grasslands and wetlands, supporting a wide array of wildlife, including the critically endangered pygmy hog and golden langur.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Manas National Park’s UNESCO status, immense biodiversity, and successful conservation initiatives secure its position among the top tiger reserves in India.

3. Melghat Tiger Reserve (2768.52

  • Ranking: 3rd
  • Significance: Melghat Tiger Reserve, covering 2768.52 sq. km, is situated in the state of Maharashtra. It is renowned for its unique topography and rugged terrain, providing sanctuary to tigers and other wildlife species.
  • Location: Nestled in the Satpura Range of the Western Ghats, the Melghat Tiger Reserve spans across the Amravati and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra.
  • Year Founded: Established in 1974 as part of Project Tiger.
  • Unique Features: Melghat’s landscape comprises deep valleys, dense forests, and cliffs, creating a picturesque setting for wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Melghat Tiger Reserve’s rugged terrain, unique biodiversity, and community involvement in conservation make it a standout among India’s tiger reserves.

4. Similipal National Park (2750

  • Ranking: 4th
  • Significance: Similipal National Park, spanning 2750 sq. km., is a biodiversity hotspot and Biosphere Reserve located in the state of Odisha.
  • Location: Situated in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Similipal National Park forms part of the Eastern Ghats mountain range.
  • Year Founded: Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 and later designated as a national park in 1980.
  • Unique Features: The park’s ecosystems include moist deciduous forests, grasslands, and waterfalls, supporting a myriad of wildlife species, including the rare melanistic (black) tigers. 
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Similipal National Park’s status as a Biosphere Reserve, diverse ecosystems, and presence of rare wildlife species elevate its significance among India’s tiger reserves.

5. Amrabad Tiger Reserve (2611.39

  • Ranking: 5th
  • Significance: Spanning an area of 2611.39, Amrabad Tiger Reserve is nestled in the Nallamala Hills of Telangana.
  • Location: Located in Telangana, Amrabad Tiger Reserve is situated in the southern part of India.
  • Year Founded: 1987.
  • Unique Features: Amrabad Tiger Reserve is renowned for its rugged terrain, dense forests, and scenic landscapes.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Amrabad Tiger Reserve earns its place among the top tiger reserves due to its significant tiger population, unique biodiversity, and successful conservation initiatives.

6. Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (2584.89

  • Ranking: 6th.
  • Significance: Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest mangrove forest in the world.
  • Location: Situated in the Ganges Delta in West Bengal, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is located in the eastern part of India.
  • Year Founded: 1973.
  • Unique Features: Sunderbans is characterised by its tidal mangrove forests, intersected by numerous creeks and tributaries.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Sunderbans Tiger Reserve’s unparalleled biodiversity, iconic status as a mangrove ecosystem, and critical role in tiger conservation place it among the top tiger reserves in India.

7. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (2201.7748

  • Ranking: 7th.
  • Significance: Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is situated in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, bordering Nepal.
  • Location: Located in the northern part of India, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve spans across the districts of Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Year Founded: 1987.
  • Unique Features: Dudhwa is known for its extensive grasslands, locally known as ‘chaurs,’ which provide vital grazing grounds for herbivores and hunting grounds for predators.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Dudhwa Tiger Reserve’s diverse ecosystems, significant tiger population, and conservation success stories make it a prominent tiger reserve in India.

8. Satpura Tiger Reserve(2133.30

  • Ranking: 8th
  • Significance: Located in the rugged terrain of the Satpura Range in Madhya Pradesh, Satpura Tiger Reserve is renowned for its pristine wilderness, scenic landscapes, and rich biodiversity.
  • Location: Situated in the central part of India, Satpura Tiger Reserve spans across the districts of Hoshangabad and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Year Founded: 2000.
  • Unique Features: Satpura is characterised by its rugged terrain, deep valleys, and meandering rivers, creating a mosaic of habitats that support a wide variety of plant and animal species.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Satpura Tiger Reserve’s exceptional biodiversity, pristine wilderness, and sustainable tourism initiatives contribute to its recognition as one of the top tiger reserves in India.

9. Namdapha Tiger Reserve(2052.82

  • Ranking: 9th
  • Significance: Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapha Tiger Reserve is renowned for its unparalleled biodiversity and pristine wilderness.
  • Location: Located in the northeastern part of India, Namdapha Tiger Reserve spans across the districts of Changlang and Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Year Founded: 1983.
  • Unique Features: Namdapha is characterized by its rugged terrain, dense forests, and high species diversity.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Namdapha Tiger Reserve’s exceptional biodiversity, pristine wilderness, and conservation success stories place it among the top tiger reserves in India.

10. Kanha Tiger Reserve (2051.79

  • Ranking: 10th.
  • Significance: Kanha Tiger Reserve is one of the oldest and most well-known tiger reserves in India, immortalised in Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel, ‘The Jungle Book.’
  • Location: Situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha Tiger Reserve spans across the districts of Mandla and Balaghat.
  • Year Founded: 1955.
  • Unique Features: Kanha is known for its extensive meadows, locally known as ‘maidans,’ which provide prime habitat for herbivores such as the barasingha.
  • Why it’s in the Top 10: Kanha Tiger Reserve’s iconic status, significant tiger population, and successful conservation efforts make it a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Tiger Reserve Challenges and Future Prospects

Challenges faced by tiger reserves include human-wildlife conflicts, illegal poaching, and habitat destruction. Prospects involve implementing sustainable conservation practices, community involvement in wildlife protection, stringent law enforcement against poaching, habitat restoration initiatives, and promoting eco-tourism for economic benefits, ensuring the long-term survival of tigers and their ecosystems.


In conclusion, tiger reserves in India play a vital role in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem preservation, and sustainable development. These reserves are not only crucial for the survival of the majestic Bengal tiger but also serve as sanctuaries for a diverse array of flora and fauna. By protecting tiger habitats, we safeguard entire ecosystems and ensure the ecological balance of our planet. Hence, together, we can secure a future where tigers continue to roam free in the wild, symbolising the beauty and resilience of nature.

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1. What is the primary objective of establishing tiger reserves in India?

The primary objective of establishing tiger reserves in India is to conserve and protect the endangered Bengal tiger and its habitat.

2. What are the key differences between national parks and tiger reserves in India?

The key differences between national parks and tiger reserves in India lie in their primary focus, with national parks emphasising the conservation of all wildlife and habitats while tiger reserves specifically prioritise the conservation of the tiger species and its ecosystem.

3. What steps are taken to ensure the safety of both visitors and wildlife within tiger reserves?

Safety measures within tiger reserves include strict regulations, trained staff, designated safari routes, and education programs for visitors, alongside habitat protection, anti-poaching patrols, and wildlife monitoring to ensure the safety of both visitors and wildlife.

4. Which city is also known as the tiger city in India?

Nagpur is known as the “tiger city” in India.