India has a long tradition of preserving wildlife. Even before her independence, Maharajas who took to hunting with great pleasure had set aside wildlife preserves for the conservation of species.
Today, most states in the country have national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. To see the tiger, the visitor must travel to the Corbett and Dudhwa National parks in Uttar Pradesh, or to Kanha or Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh. India's national bird, the colorful Peacock can be seen almost everywhere, but in great abundance in Rajasthan.
India's other famous sanctuaries include Dachigam in Jammu & Kashmir; Sariska and Bharatpur, a water-bird paradise, in Rajasthan; Panna and Madhav in Madhya Pradesh; Sunderbans, Jaldapara and Bakkhali in West Bengal; Betla and Hazaribag national parks in Bihar; Simlipal National Park in Orissa; Bandipur and Ranganathittoo in Karnataka- Periyar in Kerala; and Mudumalai and Vedanthangal in Tamil Nadu.
Come to Kaziranga and Manas for a rare treat-the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The Swamp deer is found only in India, as is the Spotted deer Chinkara or the Four-horned antelope and the Nilgai. And the great Asiatic lions at the Gir forest in Gujarat.
Migratory birds from Siberia come to winter in this country. Monkeys, flying foxes, panthers, alligators, pythons and king cobras, unusual pheasants and water-birds abound.
The floral wealth of India comprises riverine forests, mixed and dry deciduous forests, swamps and meadows. Orchids are found in the north-east while alpine flowers grow in the Himalayan valleys and meadows.
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