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Sariska Tiger Reserve/India

Introducing Sariska Tiger Reserve

Enclosed within the dramatic, shadowy folds of the Aravallis, the Sariska Tiger Reserve is a tangle of remnant semideciduous jungle and craggy canyons sheltering streams and lush greenery. It covers 866 sq km (including a core area of 498 sq km), and is home to peacocks, monkeys, majestic sambars, nilgai, chital, wild boars and jackals.

Although Project Tiger has been in charge of the sanctuary since 1979, there has been a dramatic failure in tiger protection. In 2004 there were an estimated 18 tigers in Sariska; however, this was called into question after an investigation by the WWF. That report prompted the federal government to investigate what has happened to the tigers of this reserve.

Sariska is in any case a fascinating sanctuary. Unlike most national parks, it opens year-round, although the best time to spot wildlife is November to March, and you’ll see most wildlife in the evening. During July and August your chance of spotting wildlife is minimal, as the animals move on to higher ground, and the park is open primarily for temple pilgrimage rather than wildlife viewing.

Proposals to stop private car access and to end the free access to pilgrims visiting the Hanuman temple often get press coverage, but to date there has been no further action taken.