Kaziranga, India

Kaziranga - Wonders of India

Kaziranga National Park is located 217km to the east of Guwahati, in the heart of Assam on the bank of the majestic Brahmaputra. It set against a backdrop of hills like the Mikir and Karbi Anglong.

In 1940, the Kaziranga National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary due to countless poaching of this ancient survivor for the mythical aphrodisiac properties of its horn. The main attractions are Elephant Safari and One-Horned Rhino.

The landscape consists of a land quite all over the park covering an area of approximately 430sq kms, mostly covered by dense and tall elephant grasses which are intermixed by small wetlands left behind by the receding floodwaters of the Brahmaputra river making it the most ideal habitat for the one-horned rhinoceros and other mammals wildlife.

The flora with the picturesque wetland has an abundant of water lilies, waterhyacinth and lotus. However the vegetation that breaks the monotony of these grasslands are large clumps of semi-evergreen forest, mostly covered with elephant size grass.

The fauna includes Indian One-horned Rhinos, tigers, leopards, elephants, barasingha or swamp deer, barking deer, wild boar, para or hog deer, bison, sambar, leopard cats, otters, hoolock gibbons, golden langurs, wild buffaloes, slow loris, pygmy hog, capped langur and bears.

The great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros population is over a thousand and is the largest concentration in the subcontinent. They are animals of mammoth proportions, next to Indian elephant with a particular distinctive black horn about 50cm long and grey brown hide with skin folds which give it an armor-plated image. Male are distinguish from female for their enormous development of the neck folds and semi-prehensile upper lips. They live in tall grassland and riverine forests, although nowadays they must to live in a cultivated land too. Rhinos are herbivores and grazes on grasses, leaves, aquatic plants and fruits. Sometimes they get together at bathing areas but in general they are ascetic animals with exception on the breeding session, unlike elephants that always move in a herd. After the successful effort of many foundations, the waning population of rhinos began to gradually increase and the conservation is a success story. The Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros can be found in the national reserves of Kaziranga, Manas and Jaldapara.

The abundant bird life includes egrets, herons, storks and a grey pelican colony settled among the red cotton trees. Although the crested serpent eagle, swamp partridge, red jungle fowl, Bengal florican, bar headed goose, whistling teal, and ducks are among the major number of bird varieties visible in the park. However, wild animals are under increasing threat because the domestic cattle encroaching upon the sanctuary and introducing epidemics.

The reptiles include rock phytons and many more varieties of snakes, monitor lizards and turtle are abundant in the park.

There are two available modes of transport in a trip within the Kaziranga National Park: elephant rides and jeep safaris. A ride on the elephant’s back could be the best experience to see rhinoceroses. During around last one hour, visitors traveling in a three or four kilometres circle, must be booked at the park offices in Kohora the previous evening. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into forests than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals, and can be booked at the various lodges and through local operators.

The best time to visit is mid November to early April. During the monsoons, the animals migrate from one area to another within the park. Often deer and even leopard cross the main road, heading for the hills until the water recedes.

Visitors can to get there by air Assam has two airports at Guwahati and Jorhat; by rail throughout the railhead, Furkating; by road, the main gate for Kaziranga, at Kohora on the NH37. The majority of accommodation facilities are along this road, with a variety to choose from forest rest houses, bungalows, lodges and hotels. People must to book with anticipation because the demand is more than the supply.