Iyatkoi u bhoyaboh jana
Kazirangar siro seuj poribesh
Hosti byaaghrore baas
Ek khorgor gorh prithibiye sai
Pokhir suwodi prokash
Mur Kaziranga nohoi je bonyoDr. Bhupen Hazarika
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, the music maestro of Assam, feels a divine connection with nature and in this song, he is all in praise of Kaziranga. In spite of the wild forest and wild animals, he hates to call it wild because he thinks the human world is far scary and wild. The greenery of the Park and the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros are world famous and attract a lot of tourists. The cohabitation of the variety of birds and animals like elephants, tigers are really awe-inspiring and the poet hates to call “his” Kaziranga wild. He takes pride in this Sanctuary which he believes teaches us a lot about cohabitation and tolerance.
Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site located across Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Nagaon districts of Assam. This is home to the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Around two-thirds of the world rhino population is found here. According to the census held in March 2018, the rhino population in Kaziranga was 2413.
Kaziranga is an expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broad-leaf forests. The Brahmaputra and three other rivers criss-cross the park in different areas. Kaziranga is also home to many different species of animals. These include the Royal Bengal tiger, wild Asiatic water buffalo, Eastern swamp deer, and Asian elephant. These together with the one-horned rhinoceros are known as the ‘Big Five’ of Kaziranga.
Few other animal species found here are the Ganges dolphin, golden langur, Hoolock gibbon, leopards, wild boar, hog deer, Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolin, golden jackal, particolored flying squirrel, etc. Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world. Kaziranga also has the largest population of wild water buffalo accounting for about 57% of the world population. The endangered River dolphins can also be found in the rivers of Kaziranga.
Kaziranga is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. During winter bird species like the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Asian openbill stork, etc. migrate from Central Asia to the park. Game bird species include swamp francolin, Bengal florican, and pale-capped pigeon. Riverine birds include the Blyth’s kingfisher, white-bellied heron, Dalmatian pelican, spot-billed pelican, Nordmann’s greenshank, and black-bellied tern. Kaziranga is a favorite amongst wildlife lovers. Researchers spend months here to document their favorite animals and birds. Birdlife International, a global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats, has identified Kaziranga as an important bird area.
Kaziranga is home to two of the largest snakes in the world, the reticulated python and rock python. The longest venomous snake in the world, the king cobra also inhabits the park.
Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston, the wife of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon Kedleston is said to have visited this area in 1904. This area was renowned for being home to the rhinoceros, but having failed to see any she raised concern. The Viceroy, as an urgent matter to protect the dwindling species, initiated a plan and on June 1, 1905 the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 sq.km. In 1908, after adding another 152 sq.km of area, Kaziranga was designated a “Reserve Forest “. In 1950 Kaziranga was renamed as Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary by P. D. Stracey, a forest conservationist. Poaching of rhinoceros for its horn was becoming huge and so the Government of Assam passed the Assam (Rhinoceros) Bill in 1954 which imposed heavy penalties on poaching. In 1968 the State Government passed the Assam National Park Act declaring Kaziranga a designated National Park, which was given official status by the Central Government on February 11, 1974. The 430 sq.km park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 for its unique natural environment.
Kaziranga National Park conducts guided tours to visitors accompanied by guarded forest officers. There are three ranges that offer motorable trails which are Bagori, Kohora and Agoratoli range. Jeep and elephant safari are available for tourists which take an allotted route through this huge park covering main viewpoints. Observation towers are situated at Sohola, Mihimukh, Kathpara, Foliamari, and Harmoti. Most animals can be viewed in close vicinity including the one-horned rhinoceros from these towers. Trekking is not allowed in the park to avoid human-animal conflict. The Park is open from November to April end.
Read: Best Weekend Getaways from Guwahati
During your visit to Kaziranga National Park you should definitely visit these nearby tourist attractions.
Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park recently set up in Durgapur village, is a popular tourist attraction near the Park. There are more than 500 species of orchids, 132 varieties of sour fruits and leafy vegetables, 12 species of cane, 46 varieties of bamboo, and a large variety of local fishes available in the park.
The Park also has a rice museum, a medicinal plant garden along with a product outlet center, a garden for native flowers and fruits, a fishery for native fish species, a cactus species display room, and an extensive forest that has native species of trees.
The Biodiversity Park also has a cultural center to promote ethnic songs and dance forms. Everyday cultural performances are organized for the tourists on the open stage. The Park also serves an elaborate ethnic Assamese meal to tourists.
Kakochang Waterfalls is another offbeat tourist attraction located in Bokakhat, at a distance of around 48 km from Kaziranga National Park. A trek of around 4 km will lead to the base of the waterfall. This is a picturesque location which used to be a popular picnic spot for the locals, but now is attracting a lot of tourists. The Numaligarh ruins can be viewed from this location. And in the surrounding area, there are tea, coffee, and rubber farms which too can be explored.
Read: 5 Best Hotels and Resorts near Kaziranga National Park
Where to stay:
In a previous post I have mentioned the details of a few best hotels and resorts near Kaziranga in terms of luxury, comfort, security and amenities. But for those who want to experience the eco-friendly and camping thrill, you can check the list below:
Nature Hunt Eco Camp: This hotel offers Assamese style cottage as well as tent accommodation with outdoor fireplace. They conduct jeep and elephant safari to the Park along with tea garden tour, tribal village tour etc.
Agoratoli Eco Tourism Resort: Agoratoli Eco Tourism Resort is an ecotourism jungle lodge with 7 units for accommodation with Assamese style cottages.
Kaziranga Eco Camp: Kaziranga Eco Camp offers tent type accommodation with concrete flooring and thatched roofs. Facilities like cycling and fishing etc. are available for guests.
Diphlu River Lodge: A very comfortable stay on the banks of river Diphlu and at a distance of 8.5 kms from Kaziranga National Park. The lodge offers all the basic amenities. The exterior and interior are in Assamese style but blended with the modern amenities and comfort.
Truly said by Maestro Bhupen Hazarika that humans are worst than animals.
Also the whole North East is a God’s gift to the people there. It has unsurpassed beauty