Kaziranga National Park
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.
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 near Bokakhat, Assam covers an area of about 430 sq. km. Its swamps and grasslands with tall thickets of elephant grass and patches of evergreen forest, support the largest number of rhino in the subcontinent. It was an alarming depletion in their numbers, due to hunting and poaching that led to the conservation of this area in 1926.
The most ferocious bovine in the world, the massive wild buffalo is impressive and can weigh up to 915 kg. Contrary to what one may have heard, rhinos browse past visitors nonchalantly. 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 elevated viewing of the wildlife park. Pleasant boat rides at the nearby Rhinoland Park can also be availed by tourists. An occasional herd of elephants or wild boar is also sighted. The grasslands are raptor country and the crested serpent eagle, the Pallas fishing eagle and grey headed fishing eagle can be seen circling over the marshes. The water-bird variety includes swamp partridge, bar-headed goose, whistling teal, the Bengal florican, storks, herons and even pelicans.
The park contains about 15 species of India's threatened mammal species. The best-known inhabitant of course is the Rhinoceros unicornis (rhino) and they make it their largest home anywhere in the world. The number of this once-threatened mammal has been regularly in the increasing order from only a few dozen in 1908 to more than 1000 now. 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.
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) and thousands of migratory birds, representing over 100 species, 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, green imperial pigeon, and silver-breasted broadbill. You will also find eagles, partridge, bar-headed geese, whistling teals, florican storks, herons, pelicans and water fowls.
There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of the park and tribal culture.
The best season to visit Kaziranga is the winter - November to April. There is heavy rainfall and the park often gets flooded from June to September.