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Kaziranga National Park |
Kaziranga National Park About
Kaziranga National Park
When Marco Polo first spotted the one-horned Rhino,
he thought it was the legendary Unicorn. With a population of over a thousand,
Kaziranga National Park has the largest concentration of the one-horned Rhino
in the subcontinent, saving it from near extinction.
Lying along the
mighty Brahmaputra River, the Kaziranga National Park covers an area of about
430 sq. km. Its swamps and grasslands with tall thickets of elephant grass and
patches of evergreen forest, support a large number of wild animals. An alarming
depletion in numbers of the rhino, due to hunting and poaching, led to the conservation
of this area in 1926.
The most ferocious bovine in the world, the rhino
is impressive and can weigh up to 915 kg. An occasional herd of elephants or wild
boar is also seen. The grasslands are raptor country and the crested serpent eagle,
the Pallas fishing eagle and grey headed fishing eagle can be seen circling over
Wildlife Attractions in Kaziranga
The park houses around 15 species of India's threatened
(Schedule I) mammal species. The best-known resident of course is the Rhinoceros
unicornis (rhino). The number of this once-threatened mammal has been regularly
on the increase. From only a few dozen in 1908 to more than 1000 now, the route
has been quite long.
Contrary to what one may have heard, rhinos browse past
visitors non-chalantly. The rhino is a peace-loving animal and, instead of batting
an eyelid about peaceful tourists who have invaded its territory, it keeps itself
busy grazing in the wild. Moreover, the conditions at Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
are ideal for the rhino to survive. In addition to elephant rides, several watch
towers have been set up for a bird's eye view of the park. Pleasant boat rides
at the nearby Rhinoland Park can also be availed by tourists.
Kaziranga is also an ornithologist's delight and
you can find a great number of avifaunal species here. The numerous water bodies
of Kaziranga are rich reservoirs of food (including fish). Thousands of migratory
birds visit the park seasonally from as far as Siberia. Major migratory birds
are the grey pelican, black-necked stork, lesser adjutant stork, Pallas's fish
eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, about 25-30 Bengal floricans, swamp partridge,
grey peacock-pheasant, great pied hornbill, bar-headed goose, whistling teal,
green imperial pigeon, and silver-breasted broadbill. Sunset is a pleasant sight
as well, with the birds returning to their nests.
Park is one of the most picturesque wildlife parks in India. Apart from being
home to the one-horned rhino, it is also the natural habitat of wild buffaloes,
wild boars, elephants, Barasinghas (swamp and hog deer), leopards, tigers, hoolock
gibbons, capped langur, rock python and monitor lizards. Large areas of the park
comprise of marshland interspersed with large pools fringed with reeds, patches
of elephant grass, scattered trees, and thickets.
The vast open areas make the sanctuary one of the best places to observe wild
animals. Elephant safaris during early morning or late in the evening make it
possible for visitors to observe the wild animals from close quaters. The Elephants
drivers of mahouts also act as guides, who provide information about the park
as you move along. Jeep safaris are also available, and the timings are 7:30-9:30
AM & 2-3:30 PM (Jeep), 5-6 AM & 6-7 PM (Elephant).
Besides watching animals there are other options for tourists
around the park. Take a gentle stroll among the lush coffee or tea plantations
at the Karbi Anglong or visit the nearby villages and observe the lifestyle
of the local people. Visit the famous tea gardens of Assam and sip on a cup of
the world's best tea.
How to Get There
By Air: Nearest airport Jorhat (96 km (W)/2 hrs) is connected
by Indian Airlines flights with Calcutta (11:30, Tue & Sat). Calcutta in turn,
is connected with all the major Indian and International cities including Delhi
(daily at 7:00, 17:00 & 20:00), Mumbai (daily 6:10 & 18:15), Bangalore
(daily 6:05) and Chennai (daily 10:30 & 17:00). Another major airport to access
the park is Guwahati, well connected to major Indian cities.
Rail: Nearest railway station Furkating (75 kms from Kaziranga) is connected
to Delhi through the Brahmaputra Mail (daily 20:55) and Chennai through the Dibrugarh
Exp. (Tue, 22:55). Another option would be to travel to Guwahati and take the
Intercity Exp. (20:30) or the Kamrup Exp. (16:45). Major trains plying to Guwahati
include the Guwahati Exp. (Mumbai-Guwahati, 7:45, Wed, Fri & Sat) and Guwahati
Exp. (Bangalore-Guwahati, 23:45, Wed, Thu & Fri)
Road: From Kaziranga (Kohora) to Jorhat it is 96 km, and Furkating is at 75
kms. The Assam Road Transport Corporation runs regular buses from Guwahati, Jorhat,
Furkating which stop at Kohora, 5 kms outside the Park. Long distance night coaches
run by private operators from Guwahati and Jorhat also stop here. The Tourist
Department, Kaziranga Forest Lodge, has a reservation quota of 10 seats on the
Kaziranga Express from Golaghat to Guwahati. To reach by road from Guwahati, take
the NH37 to Kaziranga via Dispur, Nagaon, Jakhalabanda and Hatihkuli.
Distances from Major Cities
: 230 km (E)/4 hrs.
Delhi : 1620 km
: 2292 km
Bangalore : 2270 km
: 704 km