Kaziranga National Park (Assam)

Kaziranga National Park is located in the heart of Assam on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river. The nearest towns from the park are Tezpur, Jorhat and Golaghat. Famous for the one-horned rhino, Kaziranga National Park covers an area of approximately 430 square kilometres. Vast stretches of coarse, tall elephant grass, marshlandKaziranga National Park and dense tropical forests makes Kaziranga the ideal habitat for the one horned rhino and many other animal and bird species. Abundant availability of water in the park is another advantage.
It was rampant poaching that attracted the attention of British authorities towards Kaziranga during the early part of 20th century. As the rhino population was dwindling, Kaziranga was declared a reserve forest in 1908 and a ban was imposed on shooting. It became a wildlife sanctuary in 1940 and was designated as a national park in 1974. Kaziranga was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The Rhino population in Kaziranga has increased significantly over the years. The park celebrated its centenary in a grand manner in the early part of 2005.

Sightseeing at Kaziranga National Park -
The Flora : Kaziranga has a good cover of sal, sagon, teak and other trees. The park also has a scattered bamboo Kaziranga National Parkcover. Vast stretches of coarse, tall elephant grass could also be found. Most of the nearby places of Kaziranga have lush green tea gardens.

The Fauna : More than half of the one horned rhino population of the world is found in Kaziranga. Besides the famed rhino, other major animal species found in the park are elephants, bison, tigers, leopard cats, jungle cats, otters, hog badgers, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, wild boar, jackal and wild buffaloes. The reptile species include pythons and monitor lizards. A few varieties of deer like swamp deer and hog deer are also found.

Park Trips : Rides on back of elephants is the best way to explore the park. The elephant safari begins very early in the morning as that is the best time to see most animal species. The elephants and mahouts of Kaziranga are very well trained and experienced. If luck favours tourists, most animal species including the rhino could be seen from very close quarters. Jeep trips are also available but are not as exciting and rewarding as elephant safaris.

Best Season to Visit : Mid November to early April

Reaching Kaziranga National Park-
By Air : Guwahati is the major airport nearest to Kaziranga at a distance of 217 kms. The other airport is Jorhat at a distance of 97 kms.
By Rail : Furkating is the nearest railhead at a distance of 75 kms from Kaziranga National Park.
By Road :The main gate of Kaziranga is at Kohora on NH -37. All buses operating between Guwahati and upper Assam towns go through Kohara. Some private operators also retain a seat quota for Kaziranga passengers.

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