(One of the Best World Heritage Site Kaziranga National Park famous for One horned Rhino is situated in Assam, North East India. The name Kaziranga has came after the name of Lady Carzon. Let’s know few lines about the National Park.)
The nature has been very kind and compassionate to the land of Assam. The land of Assam is richly endowed with natural resources. Due to its natural beauty, rivers, mountains, river valleys, wildlife and biodiversity, Assam has, over the years, attracted a vast number of tourists, both within and from outside India.
Assam is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The geographical features of Assam had a major role to play in this respect. Assam receives an abundant amount of rainfall; on an average more than 200 cm of rainfall in a year. High rainfall has led to the development of rich biological diversity of plants, which in turn has supported a wide variety of wild animals, many of which are endemic, i.e., they are found naturally only in Assam and occasionally in bordering States.
The State of Assam is particularly known for its rich and varied biodiversity and, as a result, a large number of nature and wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, tourists and conservationists visit the different protected areas within the State. Amongst the National Parks situated in Assam, the pride of place is occupied by the Kaziranga National Park, chiefly due to Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, besides Wild Water Buffalo Tiger, Swamp Deer and Elephant, to name a few.
The Kaziranga National Park, the oldest National Park of Assam is located in two districts of Assam, namely, Nagaon and Golaghat. It was declared as a National Park in 1974 and accorded UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Kaziranga National Park is situated between the mighty Brahmaputra river on the north and the Karbi Anglong Hills on the south, adding to its natural landscape and scenic beauty.
The Kaziranga National Park is about 430 Sq km in areas and is open for visitors from November till April. However, the best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is the month of January. It is well connected with all the modes of modern transportation. The nearest airport is Salonibari, Tezpur, about 80 km. The alternate airports are located in Jorhat, about 95 km, and Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, about 120 km. By rail, a visitor can reach Nagaon Railway Station. The National Highway-37 passes through the Kaziranga National Park and, therefore, road is also an option for those who wish to drive or prefer to travel by road.
Things to look for
Besides the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, the Asiatic Elephant, Tiger, Wild Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer and birds are also a centre of attraction for the visitors of Kaziranga National Park. Moreover, a large number of migratory birds also visit Kaziranga National Park during the winter season, adding to the delight of the bird watchers.
For the visitors, the Forest Department of Assam has made adequate arrangements to make their visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Thus, the visitors could book their rooms in the accommodation provided by the Assam Tourism. A single room costs between Rs. 700 and Rs.1000 depending upon the needs of the visitors.
Kaziranga National Park is an abode to the world famous Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, Wild Water Buffalo, Asian Elephant, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer, Tiger, Sambar, Monitor Lizard, a large variety of Indian and migratory birds, and a host of other wild animals, many of which are endemic to Assam. The richness of biological diversity is unparalleled. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Kaziranga National Park attracts a large number of visitors every year.
Forest ranges in Kaziranga
The Kaziranga National Park has four Forest Ranges- the Bagori Forest Range, Burapahar Forest Range, Kohora Forest Range and Agaratoli Forest Range. Of these four Ranges, the best Ranges to visit are the Kohora Forest Range and Bagori Forest Range, and it is must for the wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers to visit these Ranges, without which visit to Kaziranga National Park is incomplete.
1. Kohora Range
The Kohora Range, also called the Central Range, is known for its Jeep Safari. The visitors can book their Jeep Safari for around Rs. 2000. The Kohora Range has such high density of wildlife that within 30 minutes wild animals can be spotted. As one goes deep inside the forest, One Horned Rhinos, Asian Elephants, Birds, native as well as migratory, Swamp Deer, Wild Water Buffalo, Hog Deer, etc can be viewed from close range, which is a thrilling experience. However, amidst such excitement, silence has to be maintained so that the animals are not scared or disturbed in their routine activities.
2. Bagori Range
The Bagori Forest Range is famous for its Elephant Safari. For those who wish to see the wild animals from close range, Elephant Safari would not disappoint you. With Elephant Safari, one gets to visit the areas of forest which are inaccessible to the motor vehicles. Moreover, sitting on the Elephant’s back, one gets a bird’s eye view of the forest; it’s a different experience altogether.
The Elephant safari starts from about 6 AM in the morning. The visitors can book their Elephant Safari and enjoy the ride. In one Elephant Safari, four people can be accommodated. The Elephant ride is about one hour and it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and once you are in Kaziranga National Park, Elephant ride is a must.
The other most important place to visit in the Kaziranga National Park is the Kaziranga Orchid and Biodiversity Park. It not only showcases the floral diversity of Assam and the North East, but is also known for the cultural and folk dances of various tribes. In the daytime, one must visit the Botanical Garden. Evening is the best time to see the cultural program.
Botanical Garden & Orchid Park
The Botanical Garden has a collection of some of the rarest and renowned Orchids, Cactus, Medicinal plants, Bamboo, vegetables used by various ethnic indigenous tribes and other ornamental plants. There are more than 600 species of Orchids, special attraction being the Kopou Phool, the State Flower of Assam. This purple colour flower is one of the wonders of nature. There is also a large collection of Cactus; 12 species are native to Assam and the rest have been brought from Rajasthan.
Assam has a long history of using traditional medicinal plants. Many tribes in the past centuries have tried several plants for medicinal purposes and passed the knowledge from one generation to the next. In the process, a large number of medicinal plants have become an integral part of the traditional medicine system, and in this modern era of biotechnology and nanotechnology, a large section of the indigenous people still rely on the traditional medicinal plants to treat common ailments such as cold, cough and fever.
The Botanical Garden has a collection of about 600 species, some of which are rare, threatened and endemic. Bamboo has been a part of the people of Assam since time immemorial. Bamboo is colloquially referred to as the “Poor Man’s Timber”; and indeed it certainly is. The Botanical Garden has about 54 species of Bamboo. The most surprising and equally interesting is the Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra). For those who think that Bamboos are always green, this is the Bamboo to watch out for.
The Kaziranga Orchid and Biodiversity Park is also known for showcasing, in the best possible manner, considering the resources that they have at their disposal, the ethno-cultural diversity not only of Assam but also of the North East. The entry ticket cost between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300. The performance includes a collection of traditional and folk dances and music. Traditional dances of the Mishing, Bodo and Karbi Tribes are performed, interspersed with musical and vocal performances. At the end of the program, the most important dance of Assam, i.e., Bihu is performed. The cultural program at the Kaziranga Orchid and Biodiversity Park is a rejuvenating, enthralling and soul touching program and should not be missed.
For any visitor, quality and nutritious food is essential. In this regard, the Kaziranga National Park is next to none. The Maihang Restaurant is particularly known for the ethnic and traditional cuisine of Assam. The delicacies served at the Maihang Restaurant are healthy and nutritious in every respect. Both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian food are served here.
The visitors have a long list of food items to choose from. However, one must try the local fish cooked in the traditional style, particularly the Borali fish, cooked in Banana leaf and fish curry prepared with sesame.
The Kaziranga National Park is the most important National Park of Assam and India. It provides an experience of a lifetime and memories to cherish for a long time. There are many National Parks in Assam and India, the experience, excitement and solace provided by the Kaziranga National Park, however, is a notch above from the rest.
Read Also EIA-2020 vs Biodiversity of North East