Kaziranga National Park (India)
In a nutshell
Seated on the banks of the Brahmaputra, on the edge of the Himalayan Hotspot, in the Golaghat and Nagaon district of Assam, is the World Heritage site - Kaziranga National Park. The park has been successful in saving about 66 per cent of the planet's One-Horned Rhinoceros.
The credit of creating the Kaziranga National Park goes to Mrs. Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, the wife of the Viceroy of British India, who noted that even the species for which Assam was famous were dwindling from the place. Hence, she made her husband start the planning of protecting the animals, this led to the formation of Kaziranga on June 1, 1905.
The park, apart from sizable Rhino population, has the distinction of having highest Tiger Density in the world. It's also home to around sixty per cent of world's population of Wild Water Buffalo. The park is also accredited as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger and Important Bird Area by Birdlife International.Other animals like Bison, Indian Elephants, Swamp Deer (Barasingha), Sloth Bears, Hog Deer, Jungle Cats, Leopard Cats, Otters, Hog Badgers, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons, Jackal, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, Hispid Hare, Indian Gray Mongoose, Small Indian Mongooses, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civets, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal etc., are Present in the park.
It is also abundant in Birds like the Black-Shouldered Kite, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, Brahminy Kite, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, etc. Other birds found in the marshy areas during winters include Greylag Geese, Bar-Headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Red-Crested Pochard and Northern Shoveller.
How to Reach:
Guwahati (225 kms from Kaziranga) & Johrat (80 kms from Kaziranga) are the closest airports; from there you can hire a taxi or a cab.
Rail: The closest railway station is Furkating (75 kms away); from there you can hire a taxi or a cab easily.
Road: For driving down, Johrat (80 kms), Guwahati (225 kms) & Furkating (75 kms) are major points. National capital, Delhi is around 2000 kms away and Kolkata is around 1200 kms from the park.
State-Run Tourist Lodges
Kaziranga is flanked by a number of private resorts, many of which are excellent. The only thing against them is that those are located just outside the park borders.
If you can shrug off the luxuries, then state-run Jungle Lodges are the place to be. There are four tourist lodge at Kohora and three inside the park boundaries, maintained by Forest Department.
If one is able to climb up the Observation Towers, they offer a great sight of the wildlife and the park. Do seek for the information from your resort and seek the official permission (if required), and keep your fingers crossed that all go right!
Such towers are situated at Sohola, Mihimukh, Kathpara, Foliamari, and Harmoti for wildlife viewing.
Best Time to Visit
- One must go for Expedition On Elephant.
- You must go for Sightseeing through the plantations and must meet the Karbi people.
- One must go to the interpretation centre set at the Bagori range of Kaziranga. It will tell you a lot about the park.
- Of all the activities at the park, we single out Elephant Safari as a must do, no matter what!
- Besides, one can go for Jungle Walks in the campsite (only where permitted), Jeep Safari, or Brid Watching which are always a delight at Kaziranga.
- Elephant Safari is a must. Tip- If you get an opportunity to get bathed by the elephant, DO NOT SAY NO!
- Meet the local Karbi people, try a hand in whatever daily activity they're doing.
- Ask as many questions (not annoying, of course) from your guide or the locals at the campsite. Jungle Stories are something not be missed.
- Kakochang Falls