Nature is one of the best escapes from the monotony of the everyday city life. Lush greenery, soothing weather, beautiful flora, some exotic variety of animals and more than anything the peace. Won’t it make a perfect getaway? Well, if you are finding such heaven-on-earth places, we have the answer for you – Biosphere Reserves. Biosphere Reserves are places that protect large areas of natural habitat, often including one or more National Parks or Wildlife Sanctuaries. To your delight, India is home to 18 biosphere reserves, preserving different sorts of flora and fauna. But 18 is a big number to cover, so we bring to top 10 Biosphere Reserves in India to decide your next holiday destination from –
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
This Biosphere Reserve is the ultimate destination for mountaineers and trekkers. There are a total of 25 peaks present, including the massive Nanda Devi peak right in the center of the Reserve. This reserve is home to various endangered species like snow leopard, brown bear etc. The most famous part is the Valley of Flowers National Park. Other National Park found in the core region is Nanda Devi National Park
Where – Uttrakhand
Entry Fee – INR 2500/person for Indians / INR 2600/person for foreigners (Nanda Devi National Park)
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
Established in 1986, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve consists of a large span of Nilgiri hills and the Western Ghats. It is spread across 3 states, i.e, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, making it the largest biosphere reserve in the country. In addition to 350 species of birds and 3300 flowering plants, there is the beautiful Pykara Lake and Waterfall to take hold of your sense. It consists of various National Parks and Sanctuaries like Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary, Mukurthi National Park, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park etc
Where – Bandipur, Karnataka
Entry Fee – INR 300/person for Indians / INR 1100/person for foreigners (Bandipur National Park)
Gulf of Mannar
This Biosphere Reserve is spread between India and Sri Lanka, flowing into Laccadive Sea of Indian Ocean. The main attraction here includes Dhanushkodi village, Ram Setu on the Mannar Island etc. With a lot of sea plants, you can also find sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, pearl oysters here. It comprises of Gulf of Munnar Marine National Park.
Where – Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
Entry fee – INR 10 for adults (Gulf of Munnar Marine National Park)
Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
Sundarbans is home to some of the rarest species in the world due to its unique ecological conditions. It is the largest reserve for Bengal Tiger. You can visit the beautiful Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, the ancient temple of Bonbibi, the 400-year-old temple at Netidhopani. It consists of Sundarbans National Park.
Where – Dayapur, Gosaba, West Bengal
Entry fee – INR 15 per person for Indians / INR 150 per person for foreigners (Sundarbans National Park)
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
Located in the great Satpura Range, this Biosphere Reserve was created by UNESCO. The Pandava Caves here, named after Pandavas who stayed here during their exile, is a must visit. 10,000 years old rock paintings at Mahadeo Hills, leopards, tigers, bison are sure to make you spellbound. The wildlife Conservation Units present here are Bori Sanctuary, Pachmarhi Sanctuary, Satpura National Park
Where – Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, India
Entry Fee – Free (Satpura National Park)
Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
This Biosphere Reserve is shared by the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. It is the origination point of river Narmada. Temples of Kalachuri, Dudh Dhara Falls, Narmada Udgam Temple make it one of most the awesome places. It has Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Where – Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Entry Fee – Free (Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary)
Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
On the West of the Garo Hills in Meghalaya, is located the beautiful Nokrek Biosphere Reserve. You will find the red pandas, which are exclusive to India, along with Asian elephants and a few tigers. In addition to trekking and hiking, you can explore Siju Cave, an unusually long water-filled cave, at Balpakram National Park. Nokrek National Park is the core of the reserve.
Entry Fee – INR 40/person (Nokrek National Park)
Simlipal Biosphere Reserve
Named after the simli plant, this biosphere reserve is home to many indigenous plants and animals. Barehipani Falls, Joranda Falls, Sitakund Falls are bound to make your eyes gleam.Trekking and Safari are an added bonus. Simlipal Biosphere Reserve consists of Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve
Where – Odisha, India.
Entry Fee – INR 30/ Indian / INR 40/ Foreigner
Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
With more than 2000 varieties of medicinal plants, 50 exotic species of animals, this biosphere reserve is located in the Moist Deciduous forests of Western Ghats. It is the place you can discover Kanikarans, one of the most ancient tribes at the Museum. You can get your dose of adventure here by trying activities like zip-lining, camping etc. It has Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
Where – Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Entry Fee – INR 50/ Indian / INR 150/ foreigner (Peppara wildlife sanctuary)
Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve
It is one of the most captivating of all the Biosphere Reserves in the country. It is located in the Western Himalayas and preserves the rare snow leopard. The main attractions here include trek from Pin valley to Parvati Valley via Pin Bhabha Pass, Kibber village, Key Monastery. It includes Pin Valley National Park, Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary.
Where – Himachal Pradesh
Entry Fee – free ( Pin Valley National Park)