Kaziranga National Park
The Kaziranga National Park of Assam is famous for the endangered One-Horned Rhinoceros, with two third of its population found in this park alone.
This popular National Park has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated at the edge of the Eastern Himalayas, and spread across an area of 807 sq. km within the districts of Golaghat and Nagaon of Assam. It is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world with a variety of flora and fauna.
How to Get to Kaziranga National Park
There are many ways to get to Kaziranga.
- Guwahati, the capital of Assam is situated at a distance of 217 km. from the park. You can catch a flight to Guwahati, which is well connected with major airports in India like Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata. From Guwahati airport you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Kaziranga.
- You can also fly to Jorhat, which is only 97 km. away from the park and catch a taxi from there.
- There is a railway station at Furkating which is about 75 km from the park. Plenty of trains in the North-East go by this route.
- The NH-37 connects Kohara, which is at the entrance of the park to Guwahati, Tezpur and other places in Assam. There are a plenty of private buses run from Guwahati and other places in Assam to Kohara.
What You Should Know About Kaziranga National Park
The idea of a National Park at Kaziranga came from Mary Curzon, the wife of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, when they went on a visit to this region in 1904. After failing to see a single Rhinoceros, for which the area was renowned, she persuaded her husband to take urgent measures to protect the dwindling species which he did by initiating planning for their protection. It was on June 1, 1905 that Kaziranga was converted into a reserve forest. At that time, the area of the wildlife sanctuary was 232 sq. km.
There is, however, a lot more to Kaziranga than the Rhino. It has 35 species of mammals, of which 15 have been declared as threatened. It has a large population of tigers, Elephants, Asiatic Black Bear, Leaf Monkeys, Jackals, Swamp Deer and Wild Water Buffalos. As for maintaining its reputation of being a Tiger Reserve with the highest density of this big cat, Kaziranga prides in its cat population of Indian Tigers, Leopards, Fishing Cats and Leopard cats.
Kaziranga has been declared by Birdlife International as an “Important Bird Area”. It hosts hundreds of species of birds, including migratory birds to rare, endangered ones, predators and game birds like Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Black-Necked Stork, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Eastern Imperial, Blyth’s Kingfisher, Wreathed Hornbill and Dalmatian Pelican.
The park also has a wide variety of reptiles here such as tortoises, lizards, snakes, crocodiles and alligators.
The landscape of Kaziranga can be best explained as a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, dense tropical woodlands, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra.
Wildlife viewing takes place by way of guided tours by elephant or Jeep. Elephant rides offer a great opportunity to view wildlife in the park from close as these are not threatened by the presence of elephant and jeep rides take you deeper into the dense jungles and an excellent opportunity to see a wide range of the exotic animals. There are also several observation towers. There are several hotels in the region ranging from Government run tourist lodges to award winning forest lodges and eco-resorts.
What’s the best time to visit Kaziranga National Park?
The period from November to April is the right time to visit the Kaziranga, although, the park is open to public from October- May. The park is completely closed to the public from June to September due to heavy rains and the chances of flooding.
Much of the maintenance work after the onslaught of the floods takes place in September and the park is ready for visitors from October through to May. However, if it rains the safaris and especially elephant safari gets cancelled.