Best time to travel to India

Barasingha (Swamp Deer) in India

An endangered unique deer that can be seen only in one nature preserve

Barasingha (Swamp Deer)
Barasingha (Swamp Deer)
Barasingha (Swamp Deer)

The barasingha or Cervus duvaucelii is a swamp deer, which used to be quite common in the Indian subcontinent. However, currently, Barasingha is extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Its two populations in India are small. The other two populations can be found in southwestern Nepal. Due to a successful conservation program in Kanha Tiger Reserve, the swamp deer was brought back from the brink. There were only 60 deer in the reserve when the program started in the 1970s. Today there is about 450 Barasingha in the Kanha Tiger Reserve. It is now the only place where one can encounter the wild swamp deer. Barasinghas are really large, with golden brown hair, and look very impressive when you see them roaming through meadows at sunset.

Kanha Tiger Reserve is open from mid-October to June. It's a very popular place so book your safari a few months in advance.

In the Assamese language, the deer's name—dolhorina—originates from the word swamp. The name Barasingha refers to the number of tines on a deer's antlers. Barasingha can be translated as “12-tined” from Hindi. Branderi Barasingha is the symbol of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Kanha Tiger Reserve and spot Barasingha?

If you want to catch sight of the Barasingha in Kanha Tiger Reserve, it's best to visit from mid-October until June. However, this destination is very popular, so visitors are advised to book their safari months ahead of time. During the summer months, your chances of observing the deer are higher because it's hotter, and there's less water available, meaning they visit water holes more often. Show more

Where can I find the Barasingha deer other than Kanha Tiger Reserve?

You can only spot Barasingha deer in the wild in Kanha Tiger Reserve as it's the only remaining location. Previously, they were found in various areas throughout the Indian subcontinent. However, habitat loss and hunting have restricted them to a few protected areas in India and Nepal. Therefore, if you're keen to observe this unique species, you must go to Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, India, where the only surviving population roams. Show more

How many Barasingha deer are currently living in the Kanha Tiger Reserve?

Conservation efforts in the Kanha Tiger Reserve have been successful, and the population of Barasingha deer has increased from 60 in the 1970s to around 450. Thanks to preservation and habitat restoration, the Barasingha population is growing, making Kanha Tiger Reserve the only place where the species may be observed in the wild. Show more

What is the meaning behind the name 'Barasingha' and 'Dolhorina'?

The name 'Barasingha' is from Hindi, meaning '12-tined,' drawn from the deer's antlers. Local people in Assam refer to the Barasingha as 'Dolhorina,' which translates to 'swamp deer' in the Assamese dialect. They received this name because they flourish in wetland habitat such as swamps and marshes. Show more

What are some unique features of the Barasingha deer that distinguish them from other deer species found in India?

The shape of the Barasingha deer's antlers, with 12 tines, sets them apart from other deer species. They are larger than other deer species and have golden-brown fur that glimmers in the sun. Furthermore, they're strong swimmers and prefer habitats in swamps and marshes, whereas other deer exploit forests and plains. Overall, their unique features make Barasingha deer an excellent species for observing and learning about. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Barasingha (Swamp Deer) (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin