Kaziranga National Park in the State of Assam in India is a World Heritage Site famous for its population of the endangered One Horned Rhinoceros Species. Kaziranga National Park has the highest population of the One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World. It is also a Tiger Reserve and has the highest population density of Tigers among the protected areas in the World. Kaziranga also boasts of having the highest population density of Indian Elephants, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes and Swamp Deer in India. Being a vast expense of Tall Elephant grasslands this National Park of India is home many other species of Flora, Fauna and Avifauna. Kaziranga is home to a large population of Indian Elephants, Asiatic Water Buffalo and Swamp Deer. It is also home to the only Ape species in India i.e. the Hoolock Gibbon. Kaziranga National Park is recognized as an Important Bird area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Kaziranga National Park has achieved notable success is Wildlife conservation and being located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
The name Kaziranga National Park is known worldwide as a favored tourist destination from travellers across the globe to sight the pride of Assam, the endangered One Horned Rhinoceros. Kaziranga’s success story in conservation of this species is one of kind in conservation history in the World. Kaziranga National Park provides a habitat for a number of threatened species of migratory birds as well. As a symbol of its dedication towards conservation of animals, Kaziranga with the status of a National Park strives in providing a long term viable conservation to them. Spread across the districts of Nagaon and Golaghat in Assam having the mighty Brahmaputra river flowing on its North with the sprawling Karbi Anglong Hills to its South. Kaziranga National Park is a preferred example that represents an evolution of development of significant ecological and biological processes and also the development of wetland ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.
Some of the unique and significant conservation values of Kaziranga National Park are ~
- The largest undisturbed and representative area of Brahmaputra Valley flood plain
grassland and forest with associated large herbivores, avifauna and wetland values
(including Turtle, Dolphin etc.)
- The World’s Largest Population of:
1. Indian One Horned Rhinoceros
2. Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes
- Highest Ecological Density of Tigers
- Significant population of Asiatic Elephants
- The junction of the East Asia /Australasia flyway and Indo-Asian flyway exhibits
considerable diversity in avifaunal species
- Transitional and successional example of grassland to forest and floodplain to hill
evergreen forest communities
- Considerable research, education and recreation values
Kaziranga National Park is a vast expense of tall Elephant Grass, marshlands and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests. The Kaziranga National Park is crisscrossed by four major rivers of India including the mighty Brahmaputra and the park includes numerous water bodies. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs and documentaries. Kaziranga celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as a Reserve Forest.
Kaziranga National Park is a paradise within the Brahmaputra valley interlaced between the majestic Eastern Himalayas range to the north, criss crossed by the Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, Mikir and Cachar hills. The varied climatic and geographic conditions resulting in a majestic mix of flora and fauna not to be found anywhere else in the world! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the Kaziranga National Park, within an area of 430 sq. km., alongside the tall grasslands and the majestic One horned Rhino species lie many other animal species. In addition to being home to the highest population of Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the world, Kaziranga National Park also has the highest density of Tigers per sq. km. found anywhere in the World! But all these achievements of the Kaziranga National Park have to be accredited to the hard work of the Forest department of Assam who have continuously put in efforts over the years to conserve the varied animal species here. Rampant poaching had once almost wiped out the population of Rhinos at Kaziranga National Park. The forest staff now involve much of their time containing poachers to maintain all necessary steps to protect the population of all endangered animal species at Kaziranga National Park with a special focus on Rhinos and Tigers at Kaziranga. From a dwindling population of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros Kaziranga National Park now boasts of around 2500 rhino population. Not only flora and fauna, Kaziranga National Park also boasts of a huge species of birds that congregate here each year in great numbers.
Milestones of Kaziranga National Park ~
- 1905 – Preliminary notification of Kaziranga as Reserve Forest
- 1908 – Kaziranga declared as Reserve Forest
- 1916 – Kaziranga Reserve declared as Game Sanctuary
- 1937 – Kaziranga Sanctuary opened for visitors
- 1950 – Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was named as Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
- 1974 – Declaration of Kaziranga Wildlife sanctuary as Kaziranga National Park
- 1985 – Kaziranga was inscribed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO-IUCN
- 2005 – The year 2005 was centenary year of successful biodiversity conservation of the Kaziranga National Park
Nestled between the mighty river Brahmaputra and the Mikir hills, Kaziranga National Park in Assam is gifted with a splendid terrain that enables a wide variety of life forms to thrive at Kaziranga. Kaziranga National Park is bounded by the river Brahmaputra to the north and the sprawling green Karbi Anglong hills to the south. The habitats of the Kaziranga include a mosaic of tall eastern alluvial grasslands, alluvial plains, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, semi-evergreen forests, wetlands and sandy river islands formed by the shifting, drying up and erosion of the Brahmaputra river. Grey silt and sands of the Brahmaputra combine to form a base for flood plains. The entire Kaziranga National Park area was formed by the alluvial deposits of the Brahmaputra river and its smaller tributaries, which carry a great amount of silt during the rainy season every year. The riverine area thus formed is colonised by saccharum and other grass species as soon as the landmasses are stabilized. But sometimes, it is observed that before the succession of other pioneer tree species could start on such land masses, they get eroded. Probably numerous channels of the Brahmaputra river criss crossing the entire area were once flowing through Kaziranga in the past and in course of time silt depositions and changing course of the Brahmaputra river formed into the ‘Beels’ (water bodies/ lakes) of various sizes and depth. This process of erosion and formation of land masses are still going on along the Northern Boundary of Kaziranga National Park.
Kaziranga National Park is a vast expanse of tall grasses which comprise almost 42 percent area of the National Park. The remaining area of Kaziranga National Park is covered by short grasses, open jungles, swamps, rivers, water bodies and sand.
Kaziranga National Park is divided into four (4) main Zones or Ranges viz. ~
- The Central Range or Kohora Range – Kaziranga National Park:
The Central zone of the Kaziranga National Park or the Kohora Range in Kaziranga is one among the primary zone of tourist interest within the premises of the vast forests of Kaziranga. The main entrance gate to the Kohora/Central zone of Kaziranga is situated just about 2 km. from the National Highway passing through the market and village of Kohora. The Central Zone is spread in the southern riverbed of the Brahmaputra River and highly rich in wildlife and landscape variations. The wetlands, water bodies and highland with lush greenery makes it an ideal place for the avifauna and so the best for the birding. At Kohora Range visitors can sight the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga grazing or wallowing in the large grassland, maybe spot a herd of wild elephants of Kaziranga with having the adorable baby elephants to big old elephants in the herd, and many other species of the wild flora and fauna of Kaziranga National Park.
- The Western Range or Bagori Range – Kaziranga National Park:
The Bagori Safari Range of Kaziranga is the second range that comes along your way on your drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park. Bagori Range is one of the most popular ranges for Elephant Safari into the interiors of the Kaziranga National Park. The majestic landscapes of the Bagori tourism range of the Kaziranga National Park spreads in the western region of the forest and considered among the best zones for the wildlife sighting at Kaziranga National Park. The Bagori Safari zone has magnificently beautiful lush landscapes with an abundance of wildlife species and lush greenery. The Jeep safari in the Bagori zone offers an amazing sighting of the Rhinos, Elephant, Swap deer, Buffalos and many other wild animals of Kaziranga National Park. The Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari both are organized in this zone by the forest officials. The entry gate of the Western zone is located just next to the National Highway of Assam.
- The Eastern Zone of Agoratoli Range – Kaziranga National Park:
The Agaratoli Range is the final range of Kaziranga National Park on your drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park. If you are not satisfied with the sighting on the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species at the Central and Western Ranges and want to sight the Tigers of Kaziranga in the Wild, then Agoratoli Range is the best suited Safari range for you. The Agaratoli Range of the Kaziranga National Park spreads in the eastern side of the park along the National Highway nearby the Agartoli village of Kaziranga National park. The Agaratoli Safari Zone is famous among the wildlife photographers as the zone is enriched with the raw natural beauty and wildlife species along with a host of the bird species of Kaziranga. Agaratoli Safari range is where one can sight large herds of elephants. The tall grasslands and sandy banks of the Brahmaputra are also Bengal Florican country and if one is lucky , he can watch the mating display of this rare and endangered bird here at Agaratoli. This Safari Zone is not frequented by many tourists and hence is popular for Wildlife Photography. At the Agaratoli Zone of Kaziranga National Park the option of elephant safari is not available and hence the visitors here have to rely only on the Jeep safari to explore this safari zone of the Kaziranga.
- The Burapahar zone – Kaziranga National Park:
The Burapahar zone of Kaziranga National Park is the first zone on the way to Kaziranga from Guwahati by road and is located around 40 km from the central zone viz. Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park. The entry gate of the Burapahar zone is located in the village of Ghorakati just next to the National Highway of Assam. The hilly landscape of the Burapahar range along with its dense greenery makes it the best for wildlife lovers. The Hoolock Gibbon and the Capped Langur can be primarily spotted in this zone along with a large number of Avifauna species.
Location and How to Reach:
Kaziranga National Park is located at a distance of approximately 200 kilometers from the city of Guwahati in Assam (5 hours by road). The coordinates of the park range from latitudes 26°30′ N and 26°45′ N, and longitudes 93°08′ E to 93°36′ E within two districts in the State of Assam—the Kaliabor subdivision of Nagaon district and the Bokakhat subdivision of Golaghat district. The park is approximately 40 kilometers in length from east to west, and 13 kilometers in breadth from north to south covering a total area of about 429 square kilometers.
Kaziranga National Park has flat expanses of fertile, alluvial soil formed by erosion and still deposition by the Brahmaputra. The landscape consists of exposed sandbars, riverline flood-formed lakes known as ‘Beels’ and elevated regions which provide shelter and retreats for animals during floods. Kaziranga National Park is one of the largest tracts of protected land in the sub-Himalayan belt and due to the presence of highly diverse and visible species has been described as a Biodiversity Hotspot. Kaziranga National Park is located in the Indomalaya ecozone, and the dominant biomes of the region are Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome and a frequently flooded variant of the Teral-Duar savanna and grasslands of the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands biomes. Kaziranga National Park is mostly a flood plain of Brahmaputra river and the area of the park lies in southern bank of river. The area of National Park region comes in the Indo-Burman Bio-geographical region. Along with the present boundary of Kaziranga National Park around 429 sq. km. has been added offering extensive habitat for growing population of wildlife and also to create a passageway for the safety of animals to Karbi Anglong Hills during floods in the area of the National Park. The entire area of Kaziranga National Park is confined by the Brahmaputra River which make its eastern & northern boundaries. Whereas Mora Diphlu river forms the southern boundary of national park. Here National Highway-37 is also considered as southern boundary of Kaziranga national park. The headquarter of Kaziranga national park is at Bokakhat in Golaghat district of Assam.
The best option to reach Kaziranga National Park is to arrive at Guwahati Airport/Railway Station and drive to the National Park. We arrange your transport from the Airport to the National Park with an experienced local who will guide you with the important facts of the region during the journey.
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.
Climate and Best Time to visit:
Kaziranga National Park witness three seasons: Summer, Monsoon and Winter. The months of November thru April witness winter with favorable temperature conditions to enjoy your Jeep/Elephant Safari into the park interiors. The months of May and June is Summer season with slightly higher temperatures noted. July through September are the monsoon seasons and the park gets submerged owning to the heavy downpour.
Summers in Kaziranga National Park is an ideal course of time to in visiting, as weather here is dry and windy as well too. The summers in Kaziranga National Park is usually extending from mid of the month of February to May which is consider a good time to get in around as dryness around the park make us comfortable to access animals and birds. The maximum and minimum temperatures of 30 degree celsius and 7 degree celsius respectively. With the onset of the summer season, the grasses in the burnt patches grow up quickly and the tender shoots turn into coarse blades, which no longer attract the animals. The temperature also goes up and the animals prefer to remain near the water sources of the Kaziranga National Park especially around the numerous perennial beels and water streams inside the park.
Monsoon in Kaziranga occurs from June to September when conditions are warm and humid. Most of the rainfall of 222 mm falls during this season, and annual rain fall is about 2,220 mm. During the peak months of July and August, three-fourths of the western region of the Kaziranga National Park becomes submerged due to the rising water level of the mighty Brahmaputra river. The flooding causes most animals to migrate to elevated and forested regions outside the southern border of the park, such as the Mikir hills. However, occasional dry spells create problems as well, such as food shortages for the wildlife in the park. During the monsoon, the shallow Beels and the nallahs start to get filled up, firstly by the monsoon showers and later by the floodwaters. The animals gradually start moving towards higher grounds, which are situated around the tree forests. When the flood water covers most of the areas the animals migrate to the nearby Karbi Anglong Hills and other adjoining areas.
Winters in Kaziranga National Park extends from the months of November across to February. The winters at Kaziranga National Park are a mix of mild and dry weather, with the mean maximum and minimum being 25 degrees celsius and 5 degree celsius, respectively. During the winter season at Kaziranga National Park, the water channels dry up mostly and the growth of short grasses cover up their beds. Falling after the the end of the monsoon season at Kaziranga, herbivorous animals, especially the Rhinoceros rush in these areas for grazing. The winters at Kaziranga National Park is an ideal time for Rhinoceros sighting along with other mammals, especially the months of January, February and March. During this time temperature will remain below 25 degree Celsius, which makes the weather cool and pleasant.
The park remains open for viewing for tourists from the months of October thru May every year. The best time to visit the Kaziranga National Park is during the winter thru the months of November and April. The park remains closed from the months of June thru September owning to the heavy monsoon floods that occur across the North Eastern Region of India during that time.
Flora, Fauna and Avi-Fauna:
Kaziranga National Park has a wide variety of flora all around. Grasslands dominate in the west, with tall ‘elephant’ grasses on the higher grounds and short grasses on the lower grounds surrounding the water bodies or ‘beels’. They have been maintained by annual flooding and burning over the years. Amidst the grasses are numerous shrubs and scattered trees of Bombax ceiba, Dillenia indica, Careya arborea and Emblica officinalis. Two-thirds of Kaziranga National Park is clothed by eastern alluvial wet grasslands, which vary according to soil and drainage. Shorter grasses include Cynodon dactylon, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Andropon spp., Pennisetum spp. and Eragrostis spp. Lokosa Hemarthia compressa colonises open areas and banks of beels. These grasses of Kaziranga National Park are the ones that herbivores love. Ikora Erianthus ravennae grows to about five or six meters and is widely distributed through the park, particularly in areas that dry up in winter. Imperta cylindrica grass prefers well-drained soils and is frequented by the Bengal florican. Rhinos also eat this grass but only when its quite young. In the low-lying damp areas, Khagori Phragmites karka and Meghela Saccharum arundinaceum are common, while Nal Arundo donax prefers marshy bogs. A robust reed, Phragmites grows in moist areas and was used in medieval days by scribes o craft pens in Assam. Wetlands are intrinsic to Kaziranga’s landscapes with beels and streams more or less permanently covering around 5.96 per cent of the park. Aquatic species like Kalmou Ipomea reptans, Helonchi Enhydra fluctuatans, Borpuni Pistia stratiotes and Harupuni Lemna paucicostata are found here, while ekra, nal and khagori do well in the many floating swamps of Kaziranga National Park. Tropical wet evergreen forests are dominated by trees such as 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 and Leea umbraculifera.Various species of trees to be found at Kaziranga are of the likes of Barringtonia acutangula, Aphanamixis polystachya, Talauma hodgsonii, Dillenia indica, Garcinia tinctoria, Indian Jujube, silk cotton Bombax, Alpinia Allughas, Aesculus Assamica, Dillenia Indica, Dysoxylum, Tetrameles, Bischofia, Saccharum Spontaneum, Monochoria Hastifolia, Ficus rumphii, Cinnamomum bejolghota and species of Syzygium. Common trees and shrubs are Albizia procera, Duabanga grandiflora, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Crateva unilocularis, Sterculia urens, Grewia serrulata, Mallotus philippensis, Bridelia retusa, Aphania rubra, Leea indica, and Leea umbraculifera.
Kaziranga National Park contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species. The Park has the distinction of being home to the World’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo and Eastern Swamp Deer. Herbivores in the park include the likes of the Indian Elephants, Gaur, Indian Muntjac, Wild Boar, Hog Deer, etc. Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild Water buffalo anywhere in the World. At Kaziranga National Park, as many as 14 rare and endangered species are found including the gaur, sloth bear, leopard, capped langur, assamese macaque, mongoose and otter. Other fauna also include of the likes of pangolins, badgers, civets, moles, porcupines, hoolock gibbons, sambar, hog deer, barking deer, wild pigs, indian bison, jungle cats, fishing cats, capped langurs, rhesus and many more. Kaziranga National Park is an amazing destination to observe wildlife in India. Better known as the National Park which is home to the ‘big five’, Kaziranga also attracts attention in being home to other varied wildlife across the region. The jungles of Kaziranga National Park are home to at least 14 of the most rare and endangered wildlife species of the likes of Sloth bear, leopard, Guars, capped langurs, Assamese Macaques, otters, etc. The Big cats of the Kaziranga National Park mostly feed on the sambars, deers and wild pigs here. Reports of varied mammal species of the likes of pangolins, badgers, civets, moles and porcupines are also to be found here at Kaziranga National Park. Kaziranga’s deer species are to be found in abundance with the hog deer being the most prominent with numbers exceeding 6000. Barking deer species are also to be spotted at the Kaziranga National Park.
Reptile species to be found at Kaziranga are turtles, tortoises, pythons, common cobras, king cobras, monitor lizards, gharial, etc.
Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species of large cats, such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. Kaziranga has the highest density of Tigers in the world. Other felids include the Jungle cat, Fishing cat and Leopard cat. Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park. Prominent among them are the Assamese Macaque, Capped and Golden langur, as well as the only ape found in India, the Hoolock Gibbon. Kaziranga’s rivers are also home to the endangered Ganges dolphin.
Surroundings and Stay Options at Kaziranga National Park:
Kaziranga National Park is located in the heart of the State of Assam. Assam is well known as the ‘Land of Red Rivers and Blue Hills’ because of its breathtaking nature and this description is quite evident once you are at the Kaziranga National Park. The National Park has a total area of 429 square kilometers and almost 2/3rd of this is under forest cover. The National Park is located in the midst of the lush Tea Gardens of Assam and the fragrance of fresh tea being brewed at the local factories will instantly refresh you after your day of Jungle Safari at Kaziranga.
Well known Resorts, Hotels and Guest Houses are to be found across the four ranges of the Kaziranga National Park that extend a warm hospitality and leave no stone unturned to make your stay here comfortable and memorable. Click here for the list of Hotels and Resorts at Kaziranga.
Do take a stroll around your Hotel/Resort to visit the nearby Tea gardens and also take a chance to visit the local Restaurants/Dhaba that serve the mostly delightful ‘Assamese Thali’. The River in Kaziranga are abundant in fresh water fishes and these places serve Fresh fish on a Platter you will never be able to resist. Assamese food doesn’t involve cooking with a lot of Indian Spices and hence the food is mild. However, you may choose to make your food a lot spicy with the Second Hottest Pepper the World – the ‘Bhut Jolokia‘ which is indigenous to Assam!
Safari Options at Kaziranga National Park:
Spread across a huge area of over 400 sq. km. the best options to explore Kaziranga National Park is with a Jeep Safari or an Elephant Safari here. The Kaziranga World Heritage Site is divided across four (4) ranges namely:
- The Central Safari Range viz. Kohora in Kaziranga
- The Western Safari Range viz. Bagori in Kaziranga
- The Eastern Safari Range viz. Agaratoli in Kaziranga
- The Burapahar Safari Zone in Kaziranga
Whilst the Jeep Safari at Kaziranga National Park is organized in the Central, Western and Eastern Ranges of Kaziranga, the Elephant Safari in Kaziranga is limited to the Central and Western Zones only. All of these four zones/ranges of Kaziranga National Park are rich in floral and faunal diversity with varied species of plants, animals, birds, fish and reptile species of Kaziranga National Park. The Central and Western Zones of Kaziranga are most popular with the tourists as the sighting of Rhinos of Kaziranga are a common sight here. The Agoratoli Safari range is good for sighting the Tigers of Kaziranga National Park.
At Kaziranga National Park you may choose to visit the interiors of the Park aboard a Jeep Safari or an Elephant Safari. These two serve as the most convenient and economical mode of travel inside the park premises lasting for a duration of one to two hour each. Travelling on foot into the park interiors is not allowed at present.
Kaziranga National Orchid and Bio-Diversity Park:
The Kaziranga National Orchid park is another jewel in the crown of the Kaziranga National Park in addition to the endangered One Horned Rhino species. It is the Largest Orchid Park in India!
The Kaziranga National Orchid park houses around 600 varieties of wild orchids which have been collected from across the North-Eastern region. Some are found exclusively in the local region and many of them have not yet received a name. The orchids are placed in a wild state so that the ambiance provided is as close to natural as possible. They have been placed in a greenhouse along with some hybrid varieties.
Tourism in Kaziranga National Park ~
In a brief history, before the declaration of Kaziranga as a Reserve Forest, the area covering it was considered almost impenetrable filled with dense forests and swamps. Accessibility into the interiors of Kaziranga was limited to forest officials and poachers who would travel into the interiors here. Interested people in wildlife would take the tracks made by animal movement and walk into the interiors with the forest officials only. The importance of Kaziranga came into existence when International bodies were alarmed with the rapid decline of the population of Rhinoceros here and started in collaboration with the local government to take adequate steps to conserve the population here. Gradually visitors from around India and abroad started to take interest in this conservation story of Kaziranga and regular visits to Kaziranga started. Since then, Kaziranga has become a favorite attraction as a wildlife haven for tourists, researchers, wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists and other people interested in the varied wildlife of Kaziranga. Since then, Kaziranga’s name as one of the best wildlife viewing places in the World has been growing. With better facilities, modern resorts and hotels coming up around the vicinity of the Kaziranga National Park, visitors from across the World can come to Kaziranga and enjoy the varied wildlife in comfort here. Inside the Kaziranga National Park there are certain watchtowers located at designated tourist circuits that allow a panoramic view of the National Park. At present, only Jeep and Elephant safari into Kaziranga to explore its varied fauna is allowed. Trekking into the National Park is not allowed while night Safari is also not available.
The name Kaziranga has many stories as to how it was derived. Interesting folktales to be heard by the elderly of the National Park states that the word ‘Kazi’ in the local language of Karbi means goat and ‘rangai’ means red – translating to the meaning of the word as the Land of Red Goats viz. Deer. To account to another story, local say that Kazi, a young local boy from the hills of Karbi Anglong fell in love with Ranga, a beautiful woman from the plain village of Assam. As their parents would not approve of their match, the two could only meet inside the forest. One day, the two lovers vanished into the deep woods the forest never to be seen again much to the dismay of their parents. The couple became a symbol of undying love and the people named the forest as Kazi-Ranga in their memory. In yet another folklore, it attributes the name Kaziranga to an old childless couple Kazi and Rangai who were believed to have approached Sri Madhavadeva disciple of Srimanta Shankardeva who had camped near the Narmora beel. On the advice of the holy saint they dug a huge pond in that area. The Ahom King, Swargadeo Pratap Singha, who was passing through this area was offered fish from this pond and he was so delighted with the taste of the fish that he named the area as Kaziranga after the couple who had dug this pond.
In addition to enjoying the Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari options inside the various Safari ranges of Kaziranga National Park various other activities can be done around the vicinity of the area of the Kaziranga National Park from the aspect of tourist interest. These activities are:
- Guided Bird Watching in the Safari Zones of Kaziranga National Park
- A visit to the Kaziranga Orchid and Biodiversity Park which is the largest Orchid Park in India
- Surrounding Tea gardens visit around the area of the Kaziranga National Park
- Tribal villages visit around Kaziranga National Park to understand the rich traditions and cultures of the ancient people of Assam
- Experiencing traditional handloom Weaving at the local villages around Kaziranga National Park
- Temple visit near the Kaziranga National Park
- Evening enjoy the cultural folk dance performances at the cultural hall at Kohora in Kaziranga National Park and sight the colorful Bihu dance, bamboo dance and other tribal dances
- Enjoy ethnic and traditional Assamese cuisine at various restaurants and dhabas near the Safari Ranges of the Kaziranga National Park
- Enjoying a ride on the country boat on the Brahmaputra and Diphlu rivers at Kaziranga National Park
- Watching the endangered Gangetic River Dolphins on your boat ride at the Kaziranga National Park
- Enjoying wildlife trekking into the Kaziranga National Park forest reserve
- Elephant Joy ride around the area of Kaziranga National Park during summer season
Ecosystem and Dynamics of Nature at Kaziranga National Park ~
It is said that the Kaziranga National Park has been made and is nurtured by the mighty Brahmaputra river. The river Brahmaputra, along with its major tributaries of Dhansiri and Diphlu have over the years carried a large amount of alluvial deposits and formed the area of the Kaziranga National Park. The river flowing across the Kaziranga National Park carry a large amount of silt and deposit across the area of Kaziranga National Park. Gradually, the formation of tall grasses leads to stabilization of the land masses here. It is observed that in the northern boundary of Kaziranga National Park such processes of erosion takes place. The adjoining nearby areas of Karbi Anglong and grasslands of Kaziranga National Park, form an ideal habitat for wildlife population. However, over the years, establishment of tea gardens, human settlements and agricultural activities around the Kaziranga National Park leading to the land cover for wildlife being slightly reduced. Also, over the years the population of One Horned Rhinoceros as well as Elephants and Wild Buffaloes of Kaziranga have considerably increased. Kaziranga National Park is known to be quite dynamic in nature and it is an outstanding example that represents significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in evolution and development of natural ecosystems consisting of several communities of plants and animals. Kaziranga National Park is by far the most important and significant natural habitat for conservation of biological diversity and the threatened species from the view point of biodiversity conservation with the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros as the flagship species of Kaziranga National Park. At Kaziranga National Park, the dynamic attributes are like Erosion and accretion wherein the park area gets eroded and new wildlife habitat gets formed in new island, the movement of wild animals across Kaziranga National Park where these animals of Kaziranga National Park evolved to co-exist with water. At Kaziranga, a significant population of its animals move to higher grounds prior to the monsoon and during the flood go to the nearby Karbi Anglong hills crossing the highway and just after the floods again come back to interiors of Kaziranga. Also at Kaziranga National Park, the seasonal transformation of vegetation is awe-inspiring as new short grasses sprout after monsoon shortly become thick and fleshy fodder for herbivores in the month of November and December. At Kaziranga, the old tall grasses are burned in a controlled and planned manner and new green grasses cover the vast expanses from the month of April onwards at Kaziranga National Park.
Annual Floods at Kaziranga National Park ~
Monsoons is a part of the yearly occurrence at Kaziranga National Park. Every year, the rivers and perennial streams originating in Karbi ANglong and Nagaland flowing across the Kaziranga National Park inundate Kaziranga by overflowing the banks and low lying areas. The floods at Kaziranga National Park have varying intensity each year based upon the intensity of rainfall resulting in floods occuring a number of times a year at Kaziranga National Park. In Kaziranga National Park, as long as the Brahmaputra river remains below the flood level, the tributaries of it quickly drain out allowing Kaziranga to remain free from floods. However, once the limit exceeds, the excess water from the Brahmaputra as well as its tributaries starts flowing into the Kaziranga National Park allowing it to flood. Floods regenerate and recycle nutrients vital to Kaziranga’s ecosystem. However, wild animals can be seriously impacted if the rain falls in too short a period. The water quickly overtakes the low-lying southern portions of Kaziranga, including Bagori. Many animals drown through this could have been avoided is the mammals had an escape route to the highlands if not they had been usurped by humans. The park authorities are forced to patrol the highway day and night in this season because these animals are forced to leave their protective confines to seek refuge on exposed and unprotected tar roads and embankments. When the rainy season stops at Kaziranga National Park, the water levels start receding in the Brahmaputra and the river starts carrying the discharge and excess water from the park. The floods at Kaziranga National Park can be said to have both positive as well as negative effects on the floral and faunal diversity of Kaziranga National Park. Necessary for maintaining the ecological balance of grasslands and forests, these floods however cause severe damage to the life of animals of Kaziranga National Park as they get deprived of food and shelter. Some of the positive effects of the floods at Kaziranga National Park are maintenance of vegetation status and soil formation, breeding ground of fishes, clearing of water hyacinth, replenishment of beels. The negative effect of floods at Kaziranga National Park are casualty of animals, shortage of fodder and malnutrition, migration of animals, disruption of communication, damage to infrastructure at Kaziranga National Park, etc.
Kaziranga – Its local people and their efforts in Conservation ~
With many villages around the vicinity of the Kaziranga National Park, it has a population of over 1,00,000 of these local people. These local people in collaboration with the Park Management authority at Kaziranga have always come forward to assist towards the conservation of animal species at Kaziranga National Park. It can be said that these villagers have supported the management authority significantly in bringing the area of Kaziranga National Park to obtain its International fame of what it has today.
In turn the management authority at Kaziranga National Park has been trying to support these people for their livelihood by involving them in many activities required for functioning of Kaziranga National Park e.g. the Kaziranga Development and Jeep Safari Association, a local hoteliers association as well as in Eco development committees at Kaziranga National Park. The Kaziranga Management also takes adequate steps in promoting ecotourism in the fringe villages of Kaziranga for the better economic development of the local communities here. At Kaziranga National Park, lack of adequate manpower to protect the porous southern boundary has always been a vulnerability. To the north, the Brahmaputra acts as a less accessible natural boundary through poachers are increasingly operating from the north bank. A network of several strategically located anti-poaching camps have been established which coupled with foot patrols and intelligence gathering is helping to the protect the Rhinos of the Kaziranga National Park. The local people in turn help the Kaziranga National Park authorities in anti-poaching activities by providing information, the members of the Jeep Safari association on Kaziranga National Park are involved by helping bring awareness about the dos and don’ts inside the Kaziranga National Park to tourists, during floods in the Kaziranga National Park, the locals support the park authorities in protecting animals coming out for shelter and rescue affected animals, the villagers cooperate with the authorities of the Kaziranga National Park during vaccinations, anti-depredations and get involved actively in raising awareness in conservation of the diverse flora and fauna of Kaziranga National Park.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to the Top Bio-Diversity hotspot in the World at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
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Distant view of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga ~ Kaziranga National Park ~ Assam ~ India