When it comes to exploring the different bio-diversities of Mother Nature then Assam is one destination that should be in the bucket list of every traveler who wants to explore into the dense jungles and admire the beauty of the majestic animals and floral species. Once a visitor is already in Assam then Kaziranga National Park is the place to visit upon your arrival to the State. Kaziranga is not just a National Park; it is among the best biosphere reserves of India where one gets to sight majestic species of the likes of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Asiatic Water Buffaloes, Sambars, Gaurs, Pythons and a host of other mammals, reptiles, birds and butterfly species. But even more than the sight of a Rhino, Tiger or Elephant, it is Kaziranga National Park’s indescribable peace and quiet magic that feed the soul and remain with visitors forever. Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kaziranga is also a Project Tiger Reserve and as per facts, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve has the highest population density of Tigers among all other protected areas in the World! To add a feather to the cap of Kaziranga, this National Park also has within the region of India, the highest population density of Asiatic Elephants, Swamp Deers and Wild Asiatic Water Buffaloes. Kaziranga National Park has also been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and is also home to the only Ape species found in India – the Hoolock Gibbons.
History of Kaziranga National Park
At present, Kaziranga National Park is home to a population of over 2,400 Indian One Horned Rhinoceros – a remarkable feat! But reaching this number has been a long and hard fought battle against natural calamities and uncontrolled poaching of these majestic animal species. Many years ago, Rhinos were spread across India but with the combined activities of cultivation, grazing and hunting lead to an alarming decrease in the population of Rhinos in India. The Brahmaputra valley which once had a sizeable population of this species with the advent of poaching and habitat destruction saw this species being pushed towards extinction. It is said that when Mary Curzon came to this park she was unable to sight even one single Rhino here. She then persuaded her husband Lord Curzon to take immediate measures to protect this species. This was when the entire process of the success story of Kaziranga started. In 1905, this area was first declared as the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest. In 1908, the area was declared as Kaziranga Reserve Forest. In was gradually upgraded as the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary in 1916 and further upgraded to Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950. Kaziranga was declared as Kaziranga National Park in 1974. With the continued efforts of the Park Management authorities over the years, Kaziranga National Park was finally declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, thus providing it with the International recognition it truly deserved! Continuing with the efforts of conservation here, not only the Indian Rhinoceros but also the population of the Tigers at Kaziranga started to increase and Kaziranga National Park was declared as a Project Tiger Reserve in 1906. With many species of birds both resident and migratory to be found here, Kaziranga National Park was recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the Birdlife International for conservation of Avifaunal Species.
Flora of Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park has an abundant diversity of flora spread across the length and breadth of the park. With the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries depositing silts along the river beds and also inside the premises of Kaziranga during floods, the soil at Kaziranga promises a wide growth of various species of floral diversity. It can be said that Kaziranga’s vegetation is a mix of eastern wet alluvial grasslands, semi evergreen forests and tropical moist deciduous forests. At Kaziranga National Park, the entire vegetation can be diversified as tall grasses cover 42 percent, short grasses around 11 percent, open jungles 29 percent, swamp 4 percent, rivers and water bodies 8 percent and sand about 6 percent of the area of the Kaziranga National Park. Some of the plant species of Kaziranga National Park are Aphanamixis polystachya, Talauma hodgsonii, Dillenia indica, Garcinia tinctoria, Ficus rumphii, Cinnamomum bejolghota, and species of syzygium. Common trees and shrubs under semi evergreen composition are Albizia procera, Duabanga grandiflora, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Crateva unilocularis, Sterculia urens, Grewia serrulata, Mallotus philippensis, Bridelia retusa, Aphania rubra, Leea indica, etc.
Fauna of Kaziranga National Park
When it comes to the Wildlife in India, Kaziranga National Park happens to be an amazing showcase to highlight these majestic fauna species. In addition to being home to the ‘Big Five’ viz. the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, the Asiatic Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Swamp Deers and the Asiatic Water Buffalo, Kaziranga’s topography also serves as an ideal habitat for as many as 14 rare and endangered species of the likes of the Gaurs, Sloth Bears, Leopards, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Otters, Mongoose, etc. The huge area of 430 sq. km. of the Kaziranga National Park comprising of the tall grasslands make it an ideal area for the survival of its more than 2400 numbers of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species. And as much of its area of Kaziranga is open for exploring it doesn’t become much of a hindrance to sight the roaming herds of the Asiatic Elephants, the Leopards, Asiatic Water Buffaloes and the occasional Tigers.
While the ‘Big Five’ of Kaziranga National Park roam around freely in the park, a majority of the herbivores that can be sighted here of the likes of the Hog deer, Sambar, Barking deer and wild pig form a key diet for the Tigers and Leopards, while birds, frogs, rodents, fish and snakes for the much smaller Jungle and Fishing Cats of Kaziranga. Visitors to Kaziranga National Park also have a rare opportunity at times to spot the badgers, moles, civets, porcupines and pangolins at certain areas within the park. A wide variety of the primates of the world are spotted on the trees of Kaziranga where the primary ones are the Capped Langurs, Capped Leaf Monkeys, Monkeys, Common Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Rhesus along with the Hoolock Gibbons. The trees of Kaziranga are also home to many bats. While the Indian deer species are to be found in abundance near the water bodies of Kaziranga National Park, the park also has an abundant population crossing 5000 numbers of the Hog deer. Barking deers are also to be seen here particularly in the well watered forest areas while the Sambar Deer species of Kaziranga comprises of herds of hinds and young frequented the edges of lakes and shallow streams of Kaziranga National Park. The forests and grasslands of Kaziranga National Park is home to a large number of Wild pigs, the Indian bison viz. the Gaurs, the Leopards, Sloth bears and the Fishing Cats.
A paradise for Ornithologists and Bird lovers as well, Kaziranga National Park is a bird lovers paradise with over 470 species of both resident and migratory to be spotted here. Some of the species of birds to be found in the Kaziranga Biodiversity area are Fulvous Whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling-Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Gadwall Anas, Falcated Duck, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Common Teal Anas crecca, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Barred Buttonquail, Eurasian Wryneck, Speckled Piculet, White-browed Piculet, etc.
Jeep & Elephant Safari – Kaziranga National Park
In order to explore the varied flora and fauna of Kaziranga National Park, the forest department of Kaziranga National Park organizes Jeep and Elephant Safari to the interiors of four (4) different wildlife ranges at the Kaziranga National Park. With a vast corea area sprawling over 400 sq. km. it becomes necessary for visitors to Kaziranga to take either of the following options. Also trekking into the forest reserves of Kaziranga is presently not allowed for the safety of its visitors.
There are four (4) Safari ranges at Kaziranga National Park namely:
- Kohora or the Central Safari Zone
- Bagori or the Western Safari Zone
- Agoratoli or the Eastern Safari Zone
- Burapahar or the Ghorakati Safari Zone
Of these four safari ranges the Elephant Safari is conducted in the Kohora and Bagori ranges while the Jeep Safari is conducted in the Kohora, Bagori and Agaratoli ranges. The Elephant Safari timings at Kaziranga National Park are two (2) slots in the mornings starting at 5 AM in the morning for the first and 6 AM in the morning for the second.
To Book your Elephant Safari at Kaziranga National Park: Click Here
The Jeep Safari is conducted on 3 ranges of Kaziranga National Park viz. at Kohora, Bagori and Agoratoli. The morning Jeep Safari slot starts at 8 AM in the morning and extends for a duration of 2 hours while the afternoon slots starts at 2 PM in the afternoon and extends for 2 hours duration.
To Book your Elephant Safari at Kaziranga National Park: Click Here
Hotels and Resorts at Kaziranga
From luxury resorts to rest houses to dormitories, an assortment of accommodation options are available in Kaziranga National Park. Many numbers of Tourist Lodges at Kaziranga National Park are maintained and furnished by the Forest department of Kaziranga. The Hotels and Resorts are owned and operated by private companies. Generally during the off season at Kaziranga National Park accommodations are easily available at these Hotels, Resorts, Lodges and Guest Houses of Kaziranga. However, during the peak travel season viz. from November to April, it is recommended to book ahead and paying in advance at these accommodations to confirm availability of your stay here. Mentioned below are some of the Deluxe Hotels, Resorts, Guest Houses in Kaziranga National Park.
Climate and Best Time to visit Kaziranga
Kaziranga National Park being surrounded by trees and fresh tea gardens has a pleasant and favorable climate across the year. The weather at Kaziranga can be classified into four primary seasons (i) Spring (ii) Summer (iii) Monsoon and (iv) Winters.
The summer season at Kaziranga lasts from May to June when the weather remains dry with temperatures ranging from 18 degree celsius to 35 degree celsius.
The spring season in Kaziranga lasts from the months of March to April when the weather remains quite favorable. It will be slightly warm during the day and the temperature gradually decreases to a fine and pleasant one by evening. Visitors to Kaziranga National Park prefer this season for their visit mostly the holidays fall during this season too.
The monsoons in Kaziranga are very severe. Couples with the heavy showers and the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra river, the park gets flooded with water from the months of July thru September. Temperatures too are hot and humid during the monsoons at Kaziranga National Park.
Towards the end of the month of September the monsoon winds in Assam recede and this brings a huge respite the fauna of Kaziranga National Park. The water levels start receding and new flora start to bloom at Kaziranga. The Park management of Kaziranga National Park get completely busy to prepare the surroundings and safari area of Kaziranga for the upcoming tourist season. The park is reopened to public generally in the first week of October.
December marks the starting of the winter season at Kaziranga National Park and it lasts upto mid March. The weather during this time is cold and perfect for the Jeep Safaris during the day and afternoon session at Kaziranga National Park. Adequate warm clothing is necessary during the winters especially for the Elephant Safari in the morning.
The Best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is from the months of November to April.
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