Diverse Forest Landscapes of India

God Beams at Dudhwa National Park

God Beams at Dudhwa National Park

I have started the photographic journey through the major landscapes (habitats) that this country hosts. To show the world diverse Forest and National Parks Landscapes of India through my lenses. 

The diverse forest types within the Indian territory support a rich variety of wildlife. India is not only famous for its diverse wildlife, architectural marvels and culture, but also for its dense and vast forest cover. Indian climate benefits the variety of flora and fauna.

Forest is the second largest land use in India next to agriculture. The forest cover of India is assessed as 67.83 million hectares which constitute 20.64 per cent of the country's geographical area, ranging from the Himalayan Temperate to Dry Zone forests. The National Forest Policy stipulates that one-third of area should be under forest or tree cover. Being a mega-bio diversity country, the nation possesses high level of endemism.

The forests play vital role in harbouring more than 45,000 floral and 81,000 faunal species of which 5150 floral and 1837 faunal species are endemic. The nation has established 597 Protected Areas comprising 95 National Parks, 500 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 2 conservation reserves covering 1.56 million ha area or 4.75 per cent geographical area of the country. 

Infinite Canopy at Dudhwa National Park

Infinite Canopy at Dudhwa National Park

India is likely to face severe shortage of supply of timber to meet its requirement from both domestic and international front. It is estimated that the demand for timber is likely to grow from 58 million cubic metres in 2005 to 153 million cubic meters in 2020. The supply of wood is projected to increase from 29 million cubic meters in 2000 to 60 million cubic meters in 2020. As a result, the nation has to heavily depend on imports for meeting its growing demand. This could result in loss of high conservation value forests or loss of biodiversity elsewhere.

The Living Planet Report 2006 ranked India as the third highest gross foot print nation, followed by US and China. India is presently 4th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and is growing at 8-9 per cent per annum. This fast growth coupled with the needs and aspirations of more than one billion people is a challenge for conservation of forests unless environmentally responsible policies are in place. In this regard, the new strategy document of the Forest programme incorporated innovative approaches such as Payment for Forest Ecosystem Services (PES), Ecological Footprint Analysis and Forest Certification.

Ram Ganga River flowing through Jim Corbett National Park

Ram Ganga River flowing through Jim Corbett National Park

The forests of India can be classified into several types. These are- Taiga type (consisting of pines, spruce, etc.) the mixed temperate forests with both coniferous and deciduous trees, the temperate forests, the sub-tropical forests, the tropical forests, and the equatorial rainforests. But there are mainly six groups of forest in India which are- moist tropical, dry tropical, montane sub-tropical, montane temperate, sub alpine and alpine.

These forests have a great relation with the surrounded atmosphere. The range of forest of India is very diverse. We can find here from the rain forest of Kerala in the South to the alpine pastures of Ladakh, from the desert of Rajasthan inthe west to the evergreen forest in the North East.

In terms of forests and its wildlife, India is a sort of miniature representation of the world. Its biodiversity is special and unique. Diversity of forest type leads to diversity of wildlife: in terms of vegetation, we have from rainforests to desert land and from alpine pastures to coral reefs, so consequently, we have numerous species from gibbons to lions and from golden eagles to whales. India is a blessed wilderness. 

Forests depend on the climate, soil character, elevation, and topography of a country. Geographically, India shows a great range in these four factors. There is coastal land that runs for more than 7,000km on the mainland (plus two groups of islands); there are deserts in the west; hilly vegetation on the Eastern and Western Ghats (on the south-eastern and south-western coasts); undulated low and high hilly regions plus the plains in peninsular India.

Though there are several opinions on the types of India’s forests, there are 14 types that are considered by and large as major habitats, represented by around 500 wildlife sanctuaries and about 100 national parks with different sizes, locations, elevations and wildlife.

Sunrise at Jim Corbett National Park

Sunrise at Jim Corbett National Park

Forest types of India

 1. Wet Evergreen forest

2. Semi Evergreen forest

3. Moist Deciduous forest

4. Dry Deciduous forest

5. Littoral and Swamp forest / Mangrove forest

6. Dry Evergreen forest

7. Thorn forest

8. Sub-tropical broad leaved forest

9. Subtropical Pine forest

10. Subtropical Dry Evergreen forest

11. Montane Wet Temperate forest

12. Montane Moist Temperate forest

13. Montane Dry Temperate forest

14. Sub Alpine forest


Untaken road in Dhudwa National Park

Untaken road in Dhudwa National Park

Diverse Forests and National Parks considered for this Landscape Photography Project

  1. Hemis National Park (Jammu and Kashmir)

  2. Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand)

  3. Nanda Devi National Park (Uttarakhand)

  4. Valley of Flowers National Park (Uttarakhand)

  5. Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan)

  6. Keladeo National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Rajasthan)

  7. Sarika National Park (Rajasthan)

  8. Thar Desert, Desert National Park (Rajasthan)

  9. Dhudwa National Park (Uttar Pradesh)

  10. Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh)

  11. Pin Valley National Park (Himachal Pradesh)

  12. Gir National Park (Gujarat)

  13. Narara Island Marine National Park located in Gulf of Kutch at Jamnagar (Gujarat)

  14. Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar (Gujarat)

  15. Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh)

  16. Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh)

  17. Pakke Tiger Reserve (Arunachal Pradesh)

  18. Kaziranga National Park (Assam)

  19. Dibru Saikhowa National Park (Assam)

  20. Manas National Park (Assam)

  21. Orang National Park (Assam)

  22. Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary (Assam)

  23. Khangchendzonga National Park (Sikkim)

  24. Nokrek National Park, The Khasi and Garo Forest hills (Meghalaya)

  25. Keibul Lamjao National Park,Loktak Lake (Manipur)

  26. Valmiki National Park (Bihar)

  27. Sunderbans National Park (West Bengal)

  28. Singalila National Park, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary (West Bengal)

  29. Gorumara National Park (West Bengal)

  30. Tadoba National Park (Maharashtra)

  31. Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh)

  32. Bandhavgarh National Park (Madhya Pradesh)

  33. Satpura National park (Madhya Pradesh)

  34. Pench National Park (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra)

  35. Panna National Park (Madhya Pradesh)

  36. Simlipal National Park (Odisha)

  37. Bhitarkanika National Park(Odisha)

  38. Nallamala Forest (Telangana)

  39. Bandipur National Park (Karnataka)

  40. Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka)

  41. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Agumbe Rainforest (Karnataka)

  42. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka)

  43. BRT Tiger Reserve, BR Hills (Karnataka)

  44. Kudremukh National Park (Karnataka)

  45. Anshi National Park or Kali Tiger Reserve or Dandeli (Karnataka)

  46. Mudumalai National Park ,Masinagudi (Tamil Nadu)

  47. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Tamil Nadu)

  48. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala)

  49. Eravikulam National Park (Kerala)

  50. Mangroves of Andaman (Andaman & Nicobar Island)