India's Stunning Forest Landscapes

India's Stunning Forest Landscapes
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The diverse forest types within the Indian territory support a rich variety of wildlife. A tour of the forests is a thrilling experience

March 21 , 2022
02 Min Read

Lowland rainforests: They bear a heavy name, the South Western Ghats Moist Deciduous forests. But together with the higher Montane Sholas, these are home to some astounding numbers of plant and animal life. About 87 mammal species are found here, and 345 birds, and an impressive tally of amphibians and reptiles. With a mean average rainfall of 7,640mm, Agumbe, in southern Karnataka, is one of the wettest places on earth. Forming a crucial link in a contiguous stretch of lowland rainforests, this is also the seat of the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. Agumbe is 385km from Bangalore.
Himalayan forests: Singalila National Park in West Bengal is one of the most beautiful parks in the Eastern Himalaya. It has a range of mountain forests - from temperate coniferous to temperate broadleaf and subtropical coniferous. Thick bamboo, oak, magnolia and rhododendron forests (2,000m-3,600m) cover much of the Singalila ridge. At the edge of two geographical zones, the park has plenty of fauna, too. Mammals include the red panda, leopard cat, Himalayan black bear and serow. There are over 120 species of birds, including the Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Griffon, Steppe Eagle and Fire-tailed Myzornis.
Meghalaya's forests: The Khasi and Garo hills in Meghalaya have some of the most species-rich forests in India. Enter these tropical and sub-tropical moist broadleaf forests to find a universe of ancient trees, overhung with vines and orchids. A superabundance of rainfall is caused by the 'funnelling' effect on a land that lies between two mountain ranges. The channel acted as a gateway for animals - most famously, the tiger - to spread from Indochina to India. But the forest cover is highly diminished, particularly in the East Khasi hills featured here. Small pockets of sacred forest have been preserved by village communities.
Central Indian jungles: The forests of Central India hold wonderful natural treasures. Now best known for the ease of tiger sightings, these jungles were once prime hunting territory. Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, featured here, lies between the Vindhya and Satpura hill ranges. Both moist peninsular sal forests and moist deciduous forests are found here. Sal covers 57 per cent of the park, while salai, saj, dhobin, saja, etc cover another 35 per cent. One can pass through dense jungle to emerge onto rolling grassland in minutes. There are over 22 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 75 varieties of butterflies.
Forests of the Andamans: A ring of blue water, a fringe of mangroves, and a dense canopy of trees that lean out from the island - it's a scene repeated on nearly every one of the 572 islands. The unique tropical rainforest here is a mix of floral elements from Indian, Myanmarese, Malaysian and endemic species. There are nearly 2,200 varieties of plants, of which 200 are endemic and 1,300 are not found on the Indian mainland. The South Andaman forests are rich in orchids and ferns, the Middle Andamans have primarily moist deciduous forests, while the North Andamans have wet evergreen forests with dense undergrowth.

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