• Sonia Naithani

Sonanadi Wildlife sanctuary

Updated: May 3

Embraced within the majestic Jim Corbett National Park and adjacent to the grandiose Rajaji National park is the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary got its name from the Sonanadi River which flows in this area literally meaning river of gold due to once held gold panning activities at this river. Later on, the area was converted into a sanctuary and comes under the Project Tiger run in India.

Spread over a huge area of 301.18 square kilometers, the sanctuary is loaded with dense forests in the Terai Biotic province of Shiwaliks. Bamboo trees, Sheesham, Bakli, Aonla, Kanthber, Jamun, Semal, figs and Sal form the major flora of the forests here. Two rivers Mandal and Palain enrich this area with desired minerals and nourish the aquatic life here. Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is a famous tourist destination under the Nainital Tourism and should be on your must-visit places here.

A perfect spot for people seeking nature’s embrace and nirvana with the chirping of birds and a feeling of coexistence with the wildlife. Founded on January 9th, 1987, the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is essentially linked to the ‘Project Tiger’ which was initiated in the year 1973. On a combined level, the second-largest panther and tiger population in the world is found in Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Jim Corbett National Park.


Fauna at the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary The wetlands of the sanctuary serve as the adobe for rare animals like Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Cheetal, Wild Bear and several Reptiles. The sanctuary also flourishes with avian fauna housing almost 600 birds with a mix of both resident and migratory birds. The migratory birds fly to this sanctuary looking for a cozy winter home as their original adobe gets colder through the winters. Falcons, Warblers, Hornbills, Himalayan Bearded Vulture, Pheasants, Wall Creeper, Thrushes, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Emerald Dove, Flycatchers, Brown Fish Owls are some of the bird species found in the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The flora of the sanctuary includes some of the rarest medicinal herbs found in the country and few species of shrubs which have been declared endangered.


Famous Jeep Safari at Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary In order to be able to experience the diversity and beauty this place beholds, there is a provision for jeep safaris for tourists. As thrilling as it is, it lets you peek into the natural habitat of animals and birds here. Tiger spotting is one of the most famous activities here but be sure of your safety first. Elephant safari is also available at the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The tickets for these safaris can be booked at the Ramnagar Office of the sanctuary in advance. The Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary remains closed during the monsoon and is open to tourists from 15th of June to 15th of October.


Timings to visit Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary There are different timings for summers and winters at the sanctuary.


Morning safari: 7:00 am to 10:00 am Evening Safari: 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm For Winters Morning Safari: 6:00 am to 9:30 am Evening Safari: 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm


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