Kaziranga National Park is one of the last refuges and the habitat of one horned Rhino (Rhinoceros Unicornis). With its weight of nearly two tons and 24 inches horn, which is a compressed hair; the Indian Rhino enjoys its monopoly in the wetlands of northeast India.
The Kaziranga National Park in India located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River encompassed by a large part of Mikir Mountain Ranges; it is covered with tall elephant grass, marshes, and dense tropical forests in the state of Assam. It covers an area of 430-sq-kms making an ideal habitat for the Indian One-Horned Rhino.
In 1908, Kaziranga was declared a reserve forest to protect this indigenous endangered species imposing a ban on poaching of Indian Rhino. The Kaziranga National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940 and in 1974 it was given the status of a national park. The national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. By the efforts of the Indian government and the zoo officials, from then figure of 12 Rhino in early 90's, the rhino population of Kaziranga has exceeded to thousand Rhinos.
Wildlife in Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
Breaking the hegemony of the gigantic one horned Rhino, the other animals that attract the attention of the visitors are: Indian Elephants, Tigers, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wild Buffalo, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, Indian Bison, Swamp Deer or Barasingha, Leopard, Hog Deer, Sloth Bears, Jungle Cats, Otters, Hog Badgers, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons etc.
Kaziranga National Park is a bird watching paradise. The major bird species residing here are the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon etc. A large number of migratory birds that inhabit the lakes and marshy areas in the park during winters include Greylag Geese, Bar-Headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Red-Crested Pochard and Northern Shoveller.
Special Attractions In Kaziranga National Park
Safari: The wide area covered by the Elephant Grass can
be best viewed when you are on an elephant's back. The elephant
ride is best enjoyed in the morning time of dawn. Elephant
safari covers Baguri, Hole Path, Mihimukh, Kohora-Central
Path and Arimarah. When out for an elephant ride, do wear
trousers fully covering your legs to avoid abrasions from
the coarse elephant-grass.
Apart from the wild Elephant herds the tourists can also observe the activities of the Indian Rhino. Such a close encounter with the animals in Kaziranga National Park makes your trip quite memorable.
Sightseeing in Kaziranga: The main tourist attractions around Kaziranga are the lush tea and gardens, rubber plantations and the wildlife film shows arranged at the various hotels and lodges on request. The nearby Karbi villages with the native Karbi people of Kaziranga offer a range of activities and the life style for the tourists to make their tour to Kaziranga quite different.
When to Visit Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park can be best visited from mid-November to early April. The low-lying grasslands of the park get flooded with the waters of Brahmaputra River in the monsoons. During this time period of floods the animals migrate from one place to another.
How to Reach Kaziranga National Park
By Air: The nearest airport near Kaziranga is situated at Guwahati at a distance of 217-kms. Another airport is located at Jorhat, which is 97-kms from Kaziranga.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Furkating; 75-kms away from Kaziranga National Park. There are direct trains from Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum to Guwahati. Jorhat and Guwahati are well connected by road with all the neighbouring states- West Bengal, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
By Road: The main gate for Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is at Kohora on the NH-37. The private buses connect the national park to the major cities like Guwahati, Tezpur and Upper Assam. Some buses also provide for a certain quota for the tourists willing to visit Kaziranga. From Jorhat and Guwahati, one can hire taxis and buses for Kaziranga.
Reservation Authority : Joint Director of Tourism, Kaziranga, P.O Kaziranga National Park, District Jorhat, Assam - 785612
The tourists visiting the Kaziranga National Park are required to register at the Tourist Centre in the Bonani Tourist Lodge at the entry of the park. The entry fee for the foreigners is about Rs. 200; for Indians it is Rs. 10. The tourists have to pay extra charges for cameras and vehicles. The vehicle on rent and the elephant rides cost between Rs. 750 - 800 for one and a half hours. The fees for Indian visitors are Rs 50 for an elephant ride and Rs 150 for a hired jeep.