The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species is the Pride of Kaziranga National Park and the State of Assam in India. Enlisted as an endangered species in the IUCN Red list, there are a total of about 3000 Indian One Horned Rhinoceros alive in the World out of which 2000 are present in the Kaziranga National Park alone. The Kaziranga National Park has the highest Population of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World! Kaziranga is considered as the last stronghold of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species in the World.
Apart from Kaziranga National Park, the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species is distributed along the stretch of the Indo-Gangetic plain and in the Terai Reserve in Nepal. In Assam, the population of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros can also be found at the Manas National Park, the Orang National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros is found across the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam and in certain wildlife areas of Nepal. In Assam, Kaziranga National Park is famous for its Rhino conservation and with a population of over 2400 at present, Kaziranga is home to the highest population of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World. The success story of Rhino conservation at Kaziranga is a result of years of prolonged hard work that has resulted in the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros being the flagship species of the National Park drawing visitors from across India and abroad. Although with many conservation systems in place these Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species still face a continuous threat from poachers who hunt them down for its prized horn. An Indian One Horned Rhinoceros horn in the black market trade fetches millions of dollars as there are myths of this being used in traditional medicines that can cure a wide variety of ailments.
More than a meter wide, 180 cm. at the shoulder and weighing as much as two (2) tonnes the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species is a primary attraction at the Kaziranga National Park drawing over 1,00,000 visitors to the park every year. In size, the fully grown male Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park are larger than females in the wild, weighing from 2,200 to 3,000 kg. Female Indian One Horned Rhinoceros weigh about 1,600 kg. The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros has a single horn which is made of pure keratin and is naturally black in color. Another distinctive characteristic of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park is its thick, silver-brown skin which becomes pinkish near the large skin folds that cover its body. Males develop thick neck-folds. Its upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps. It has very little body hair, aside from eyelashes, ear-fringes and tail-brush.
Diet and Behaviour:
The diet of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros consists almost entirely of grasses which is available in abundant at Kaziranga National Park. Grass is the Rhino’s favorite food and the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros consumes prodigious quantities of plant matter to support its bulk. At times, they also eat leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruits, and submerged and floating aquatic plants. Feeding mostly during the mornings and evenings they use their prehensile lips to grasp grass stems, bend the stem down, bite off the top, and then eat the grass. Nevertheless the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park is a delicate feeder. A favorite food is a short but nourishing grass ‘lokosa’, which grows in low-lying areas and the perennial ox-bow ‘beels’. Not surprisingly, the highest density of rhinos exist in the southwestern range of the Kaziranga National Park where short grass meadows are most extensive. Kaziranga’s Rhinos also feed on the longer grasses when they are tender. A creature of habitat, the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species at Kaziranga usually follows well-frequented walking tracks or ‘dandis’ from its wallows to favored feeding grounds. When such ‘dandis’ pass through tall grasslands, the animal’s body creates a sort of tunnel that it and other animals may use for extended periods. The Indian Rhinoceros drink for a minute or two at a time, often imbibing water filled with rhinoceros urine.
As far as their behavior is concerned, the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros are mostly solitary creatures. These Indian One Horned Rhinoceros live in tall grasslands and riverine forests but due to habitat loss they have been forced into more cultivated land. Dominant males tolerate males passing through their territories except when they are in mating season, when dangerous fights break out. They are active at night and early morning. They spend the middle of the day wallowing in lakes, rivers, ponds, and puddles to cool down. The Indian Rhinoceros species are very good swimmers.
Poaching and their Conservation:
With the rapid development of the places across India conflict between man and animals in the wild have become a common occurrence. People without having much information about the threats of an animal tend to cause harm to it fearing for their own life. This has also impacted many of the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India with Kaziranga National Park being no exception. Regular farming across the lands adjacent to Kaziranga make encounter between humans and animals a regular occurance. Also, illegal grazing, floods and erosion aggravated by human landscape intervention are few of the problems that hurt the population of wildlife at Kaziranga National Park. Still the beauty of Kaziranga National Park remains one of the most vital wildernesses which attracts over 1,00,000 visitors to the National Park every year.
The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros that is seen at the Kaziranga National Park was once distributed all over the upper gangetic plains and the Brahmaputra valley. However, due to poaching and not effective management of natural resources, their numbers are now confined to areas in and around Kaziranga National Park mostly in Assam. But their survival here is still a challenge due to land encroachment and activities of the poachers. Kaziranga National Park becomes accessible to poaches because of the wide natural boundary of the River Brahmaputra in the north. With lack of adequate manpower, poachers across the Kaziranga National Park through the northern banks mostly. Poachers to the Kaziranga National Park hunt for ivory, skins, tiger bones and the most prized Rhino horn. Although, there are several anti-poaching camps set up the poachers still find a way to access the vast forest reserves of Kaziranga and get successful in capturing the Rhino horn which make the population of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park.
Poaching for Indian One Horned Rhinoceros horn became the single most important reason for the decline of the Indian rhino after conservation measures were put in place from the beginning of the 20th century, when legal hunting ended. The Horn of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park doesn’t contain a core of bone and is instead a closely matted mass of keratin fibers. Though the horn can be easily removed, poachers still hack through the bone of the Rhinoceros at Kaziranga. On an average, the Kaziranga Rhino horn will be around 20 cm. long and weighs 720 gm. The human obsession with the rhino horn has become a death warrant for the species. The horn has been traditionally used in Chinese medicines and is falsely reputed to cure ailments like high fever, food poisoning, headaches and numerous other ailments including improvement of male libido. In earlier days, the royals drank from the cups crafted from Rhino horns as they believed it could detect poisons. Many people still fall for such beliefs that has created a marker for trade for these precious horns. Although International Trade involving Rhino horn has been banned, a black market continues to thrive.
From 1980 to 1993, 692 rhinos were poached in India. In India’s Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, 41 rhinos were killed in 1983, virtually the entire population of the sanctuary. By the mid-1990s, poaching had rendered the species extinct there. Lack of adequate manpower to protect the boundaries of the wide area of the Kaziranga National Park has been the prime reason for the vulnerability. However, the local government’s ensures to put in adequate efforts every year to protect these species. A network of several strategically located anti-poaching camps have been established which in tandem with foot patrols and intelligence gathering is improving the protection steps towards the conservation of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species at the Kaziranga National Park.
One Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park. Image Credits: Jayanta Gohain
A majestic beast, the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species of Kaziranga National Park is an odd-toed ungulate having three toes on each foot. This enables the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros species of Kaziranga National Park to be agile and fast runners often running up to 50 km/hr for short durations of time and also short distances. However, Rhinos charge when they feel threatened otherwise, they are lazy and prefer to spend half of their time mostly submerged under water. Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park can also dive and feed underwater keeping their eyes, nose and ear above water. The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park have a very superb sense of hearing and smell but have a relatively poor eyesight. Rhinoceros have an active sense of territory they mark it with urine and dung. While the female and calves prefer to stay together in small groups, the male rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park are mostly solitary creatures. Indian Rhinoceros species live for more than 40 years in the wild but in captivity they are known to live up to an age of 47 years.
Mating of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros is an interesting phenomenon where the mating time between a male and a female rhinoceros lasts for several hours and in the end the male rhinoceros leaves the female rhinoceros. The gestation period is around 15-16 months while the interval between birth ranges from 3 to 4 years. In general cases, only one single baby rhino is born. The mother rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park will generally stay with their calves for four years from birth at times til the new calf is born. In general, the adult male rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park is a solitary animal. However, during the monsoon seasons, the Indian Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park form short term groupings near the forest wallows and also during the months of March and April. At times, one can spot a group of up to 10 rhinos typically with a dominant male with females and calves.
The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park are friendly creatures often known to greet each other by waving its head, nuzzling noses or licking and they can be seen running around playfully in a herd. The fights between two rhinoceros occurs at Kaziranga National Park during the mating season and they often use their teeth to injure the other rhino to gain dominance over the female species.
The Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park have a wide variety of vocalizations like snorting, howling, bleating, roaring, growling, runtling, etc. with which these species convey their expressions or call out each other. The adult male often urinates backwards often in response to being disturbed while they defecate in large dung piles. Male Rhinoceros with their strong sense of smell often sniff around dung piles to follow the scent of the females.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the Pride of Assam ~ the Majestic Indian One Horned Rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
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The Kaziranga National Park is a bird watchers paradise. The Woodland of Kaziranga is divided into three main types – Riparian Fringing Forest, Dillenia Swamp Forest and Assam Alluvial Plains Semi-evergreen Forest. In these Woodlands, almost 478 species of birds (both migratory and resident) have been spotted, including 25 globally threatened and 21 near threatened species.The park has also been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for the conservation of the avifaunal species.
The Kaziranga National Park in Assam is one of the finest birding destinations in the World! Every year thousands of birds from around the world migrate to the Kaziranga National Park making it a paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers. As per records, over 470 species of birds have been recorded here at the Kaziranga National Park. With the details of the varied species mentioned in the list below, it can be said that for birding there is no off season at the Kaziranga National Park forests. What creates this rich diversity of birds at Kaziranga is the overlap of the Indomalayan zoo-geographic realms. Kaziranga’s forests is home to all the green pigeon species in India as well as the Hornbill species of the Great Indian Hornbill and the Oriental Pied Hornbill as well.
While the most common water birds like the Egrets, Herons and Cormorants are to be easily spotted in and around the areas of the Kaziranga National Park, several other species like the Openbills and the Finn weavers nest on the Bombax trees here. Several species of Kingfisher birds like the Ruddy Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and the White Throated Kingfisher nest around the wetlands and forest habitats of the Panbari forest of the Kaziranga National Park. The Storks rule at Kaziranga mostly along the alluvial floodplains. Several species of Cuckoo like the Drongo-Cuckoo, Plaintive Cuckoo are the real soundmasters of the forests of Kaziranga National Park. The winters at Kaziranga National Park bring in huge flocks of migratory guests to the park of the likes of Great Headed Canary, Red throated flycatcher, Grey-backed shrikes, etc. While in the month of April and May the Summer migrants start arriving at Kaziranga. Along with Yellow bitterns and Cinnamon bitterns certain species of Pond Herons, the Black Necked Crane, Lesser Adjutant Storks can be seen flying around the marshes, wetlands and beels of the Kaziranga National Park. Some of the Raptor bird species to be seen at Kaziranga are Eagles, Vultures, Harriers, etc. Kaziranga is most desired for the Bengal Florican species; a bird whose mating flight is an amazing and wondrous experience to sight here!
Wildlife photography is an art of documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat. Nature photography is taken in outdoors and devoted displaying natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, birds, natural scenes and texture. When it comes to Kaziranga National Park, it is very rich in faunal diversity and also it is like a paradise for researchers, travellers, wildlife lover and wildlife photographer. Once in a lifetime as a wildlife photographer one should visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. Basically in Kaziranga National Park in Assam, one will get more experience in grassland, wetland and woodland. In wetland, different migratory ducks are being found from November – February.
As I have a keen interest in the field of wildlife and birds photography, I can assure that any wildlife photographer and wildlife enthusiast can get the endangered species of mammals in the World Heritage site Kaziranga National Park, Assam. In Assam, about 691 approx. bird’s species are found out of which 478 species are recorded only in Kaziranga National Park. As per forest official census 4 Golden Tigers have been spotted at Kaziranga National Park, Assam and 118 Royal Bengal Tigers has been recorded which has the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in the country. But, from my past experience it is quite difficult to spot a Royal Bengal Tigers due to the tall elephant grassland of Kaziranga. In Kaziranga National Park, about 2413 approx. One horned Rhinoceros has been recorded and 2/3rd of the world total Rhino population. Here are some of the endangered species found in National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserved Forest of Assam – Bengal Florican, Rufous- Necked Hornbill, White- Winged Duck, One- Horned Rhino, Bengal Tiger, Hoolock Gibbon, Gee’s Golden Langur, Pygmy Hog, Assam Rabbit, Assam Roofed Turtle.
What makes wildlife and bird photography complicated is that you can’t tell animals where to go and what to do. The decision you make rely heavily on what your subjects are doing. The most challenging factor of any professional photographer is as below:
1) Due to tall elephant grassland (Nov-Jan) it is difficult to spot some of the endangered species for making a perfect composition with the natural habitat. The forest department burns the 20% grassland of Kaziranga National Park of buffer zone and other parts of core area till Jan last week. So it is quite easy to get the highest possibilities of some endangered species from Feb first week to April last week.
2) A photographer should carry minimum 200-500mm lens for any kind of birding photography in Assam. If the camera body is in fx format than it will be very effective and helpful to any professional wildlife and birding photography. In some cases, teleconverter is very essential for close-up and to capture other distance shots.
3) Due to lack of light condition in woodland area, a photographer finds it difficult to capture the best moments. Early morning is the best time to capture the migrated and rare birds of any forest in Assam.
To Plan your Birding Tour at Kaziranga National Park please fill the form below ~
A Photographer should respect the Mother Nature and should love the inhabitants of the nature. The wildlife photographer should not interrupt any natural phenomena that occur within the natural environment. While capturing wildlife subjects a photographer should not disturb any wildlife species and should maintain silence. It shows respect to the wildlife species in their natural habitats. If the shooting location is in remote areas of Assam, it is advisable to take or hire a professional guide who knows the area very well. This basic knowledge of the environment is beneficial for your own safety and it’s easy to encounter the endangered wildlife species. Thus, this protocol will help a photographer to get the best shot to fill the frame with the chosen subjects.
Brief Itinerary for your bird watching tour of Kaziranga National Park
Day 1: Jorhat
Day 2: Jorhat – Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary – Kaziranga National Park
Day 3: Kaziranga National Park
Day 4: Kaziranga National Park – Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
Day 5: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – Manas National Park
Day 6: Manas National Park
Day 7: Manas National Park – Chandubi
Day 8: Chandubi
Day 9: Chandubi – Guwahati Airport
Day 1: Jorhat
Arrive at the Rowiah airport at Jorhat and upon arrival you will be welcomed by our representative offering you a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style. Board your luxury vehicles and then we drive to the Kaziranga Golf Resort near Jorhat that is one of the very luxurious properties to halt and is also having a heritage British Bungalow called as the Burra Sahib Bungalow along with a golf course as well. We check into our rooms and enjoy a lovely lunch at the Kaziranga Golf Resort and as it would have been a long flight we will explore around the area of the Kaziranga Golf Resort and also we will take the opportunity to visit the Swargadeo Sukapha Samanway Kshetra that is located near our place of stay. The Swargadeo Sukapha Samanway Kshetra is a memorial dedicated to the founded of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam Swargadeo Sukapha who had come to Assam from the Shan Kingdom in the 13th century and established his empire and also consolidated the various tribes of Assam into one community identified to be known as Assamese. The place has a museum that will be of specific interest to tourist that houses various relics from the Kings and Generals of the Ahom Kingdom.
In the later afternoon we will explore across the Kaziranga Golf Resort and the golf course area here and as the place around the resort is rich in flora we will have ample opportunity to sight various bird species across this place as well. In the evening there will be a folk dance performance (based on the group size – a large travel group is necessary to arrange this) and we will enjoy the steps of the glorious Bihu dance of Assam. Dinner will be served at the Kaziranga Golf Resort and it will be an ethnic Assamese meal that will have an array of delightful dishes that are culinary delights and all the food will be cooked with fresh and organic vegetables that are sourced from the local village markets and the presentation will be delightful. We savour our dinner and take our time exploring the tranquil atmosphere under the starlit skies of the place and later we call it a day and retire to our rooms.
Night Halt: Kaziranga Golf Resort at Jorhat
Meals Included: Dinner
Day 2: Jorhat – Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary – Kaziranga National Park
Today in the morning we will drive to the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary at Mariani that is a place renowned for the presence of the Hoolock Gibbon species of Assam. This is the only Ape species found across India and they inhabit the protected forests of Assam. We will have an early breakfast and keep our luggage packed and ready and we come back to the resort after exploration of the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and later we travel to Kaziranga National Park after freshening up. The drive to Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary at Mariani will take us about an hour and half and we will try to leave as early as possible because the best time to observe the birds in the forests will be in the morning time. We will arrive at the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and complete our forest entry formalities and we will be joined by a local guide and a forest guard who will take us on a memorable journey across the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary where not only we will be sighting the various bird species but also the Gibbons and other primates along with the animals of this protected Wildlife Sanctuary of Assam. Around 219 species of birds are known to be found inside the forest reserves of Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and few of these species are:
Indian pond heron
Black-crowned night heron
Asian fairy bluebird
Long-tailed shrike and many more speices
Along with the birds, various mammal species known to inhabit the forests of Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary are Bengal Slow Lorris, Hoolock Gibbons, Stumped Tailed Macaque, Sambar Deer, Hog Deer, Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Capped Langurs, Civet Cats, Indian Leopards, Jackals, Fox, Wild Boar, etc. Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is an unexplored paradise in Assam known to very few visitors and therefore the place is not yet commercialized and so you can enjoy the pristine forest cover of the place and also trekking inside the forest reserves in the only way to explore the place. The services of a guide and the forest guard are necessary as there are no enclosures hence an armed forest guard will accompany the guests. The area is covered with thick growth of various types of forests mostly tropical evergreen and so it is recommended to have binoculars to observe the birds and the primates that are often perched atop the tall trees. The bird guide will look out for us and he will tell us about the bird species and we use our DSLRs to click the pictures of these majestic bird species of Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary. We will spend around 2 hours inside the forest reserves of the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and later bid farewell to the place to board our vehicles and drive back to the resort and further to Kaziranga National Park.
We will be back at the Kaziranga Golf Resort by around 10.30AM and we will take some time to freshen up and later in the day we will travel to Kaziranga National Park at the Kohora area of the park. Our luggage’s will be boarded on our vehicles and we soon begin on our drive to the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. We will cross Jorhat to reach Dergaon and finally reach Numaligarh area where there is a very ancient fort from the times of the Ahom Kingdom and at Numaligarh we will stop for lunch at one of the very popular Dhaba of Assam – the Numaligarh Dhaba. This Dhaba is known to serve ethnic Assamese meals to its visitors and the prime USP of this place are the various fish recipes that are very fresh and the fish is caught from the pond that is present behind the area of the Dhaba. We will order our meals and enjoy it and later continue on our drive to Bokakhat and further to Kaziranga National Park. We will soon cross the Eastern Range of Kaziranga at Agoratoli that is the most famed range out of the four for go for bird watching and we will come to the fast reserves of Agoratoli in our morning jeep safari session tomorrow as this is an ideal time to spot the birds and to enjoy bird watching at Kaziranga National Park.
Today we will not schedule any safari as it has been a long day already and we have enjoyed our bird watching session at the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and as we reach the Kohora area of Kaziranga National Park we will proceed to check into our place of stay at the Bonhabi Resort. This is a very nice and budget accommodation at Kaziranga National Park and the place offers various individual cottages for the comfortable stay of the guests and the place has a rustic charm to the area and the backdrop of the Karbi Anglong hills and the lush green tea garden view on one side and the paddy fields of Assam on the other. We will check into our cottages at the Bon Habi resort at Kaziranga National Park and we freshen up and later get ready to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Park – the largest Orchid Park in India. The area across the Bonhabi Resort is also surrounded by various tall trees of the forest cover and so this is also where we can enjoy our session of bird watching as well. After this we board our vehicles to travel to the Kaziranga Orchid Park that is located at a short 5 min drive from the place of stay at the Bonhabi Resort at Kaziranga National Park.
The Kaziranga Orchid Park is the largest orchid park in India and the park boasts of various species of orchids that have been sourced from various parts of Assam and other state of North East India as well. North East India is home to around 1200 species of orchids out of the total of 1800 species to be found across India and this speaks highly of the rich biodiversity of the region. The orchid growth speaks that the place is rich in vegetation and the presence of butterflies and orchids speak that the atmosphere across the place has not yet been contaminated with the modernization of the World. This is the case of the bird life of a region as well and because of the rich biodiversity across the region that North East India attracts various migratory bird species from across the World that comes here to spend their winters and they fill the protected forests and water bodies of the region. An initiative of the KMSS, the Kaziranga Orchid Park aims to provide the visitors to Kaziranga National Park a deep insight into the various orchid species to be found across the region. There is a nice green house across the place and here we can see the various flowering orchids on display and the plants are well aligned and kept and this allows visitors to Kaziranga National Park and Kaziranga Orchid Park to view the flowering orchids.
We will admire the various flowering orchid species at the Kaziranga Orchid Park and a local guide will join us who will mostly be a young lady who will guide us across the area of the green house and it will be a wonderful experience to witness these blooming orchid species. Later we go to explore the section of handicrafts and handlooms and this section illustrates the various art and crafts of Assam that are made with bamboo and cane. The women people of the various tribes of Assam are expert weavers who can use the traditional loom to weave out exquisite hand-woven attires, shawls and towels and this is also shown at this section of the Kaziranga Orchid Park where visitors can see the local looms placed towards the end of the section and there will be local women sitting on these looms weaving out these exquisite handlooms all by hands and the finished products are put up on sale and in case you are interested, you can choose to buy a souvenir of these handlooms to carry back home and gift it to your friends and relatives as well. Next up we will visit the orchid photo gallery and as most of our group members are photographers we will have a good time at this section when we see the various image captures of the beautiful species of orchids to be found not only across Assam but across the country as well.
We will be guided across this section by a specially abled person on a wheel chair whose knowledge about these orchids is very impressive. Next up we visit the rice museum at the Kaziranga Orchid Park that is a very unique section as it displays the various rice varieties that are grown across Assam. One will be surprised that there are so many varieties of rice grown because it never comes to a person’s mind that rice comes in so many varieties. Assam and the eastern region of India focuses on rice as the primary diet and so the farmers here grow these various rice varieties and it is noteworthy that rice finds a very prominent place in the overall society because an Assamese meal is incomplete without rice. Some of the rice varieties that are grown across Assam are porimol, aijong, bora saul, kumal saul, mishing saul, etc. and these various varieties of rice can be found here at the museum of the Kaziranga Orchid Park and we will observe the prime source of food of the people of Assam here. Next up we visit the souvenir section that sells various locally made souvenirs that can be bought by guests to carry back home and these include tea, whole pepper, homemade pickles, hand woven attires, wood crafts, etc.
The important thing to be noted that all the things that are sold at this souvenir section are handmade and sourced from the various villages across the area and this provides a source of income to these villagers and they are supported with this income as well. We will have a cup of tea at the place and later we will explore the area across the place to witness any birds that we can see across the beautiful forests across the place. In case you are interested we will stay back at the place to witness the evening folk dance session that are scheduled at the Kaziranga Orchid Park and this provides an insight into the various cultures and traditions of the local people inhabiting the area around Kaziranga National Park. The area around Kaziranga is home to various indigenous people who have stayed since many years and these are the local Mishing, Karbi and the tea garden people who have been staying here since long ago and they have passed on their culture and traditions across the generations. The Mishing and Karbi people have inhabited the area since times immemorial and they practice agriculture as their primary profession and they have various rituals revolving around these agricultural practices.
They have their traditional folk dances and songs revolved around the practices of agriculture and the wear their traditional attires and perform these local songs and dances and every evening the stage area at the Kaziranga Orchid Park plays host to these cultural performances and if you are interested we will purchase our tickets to go and witness these cultural dance performances of Assam. The stage area is a nice place to witness these performances and the area is open and chairs are put out for guests who can enjoy the traditional folk dance performances and learn about the culture of the indigenous people of Assam. These dance performances have allowed the locals here to earn a livelihood and the entire setup of the Kaziranga Orchid Park is a perfect example of how tourism can help create a lot of employment opportunities for the local people as well. We will witness these performances and finally call it a day and travel back to our place of stay at Kaziranga National Park at the Bonhabi Resort and our dinner will be served at the luxurious dining area of the place and after our day we retire to our rooms to prepare for our early morning jeep ride at the Eastern range of Kaziranga National Park.
Night Halt: Bonhabi Resort at Kaziranga National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 3: Jungle Safari – Kaziranga National Park
Today is our day of jungle safari inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park and the perfect time to go for birding into the forest reserves of this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to around 495 species of birds both resident and migratory. Every year during the months of the winter season, various bird species come to Assam and they make the state their home for the next few months before the onset of the spring and many rare species of birds also come to visit the state and Kaziranga National Park like the black necked crane, mandarin duck, Siberian crane, Bengal Florican, white winged wood duck, etc. and this is what makes Kaziranga National Park one of the very sought after destinations in India for bird watching. So when you are here on your birding tour at Kaziranga National Park you are sure to meet many of your photographer buddies who can be seen going on jeep safari rides inside the forest reserves carrying their expensive DSLRs and taking the opportunity to capture pictures of some of the very rare and endangered species. We will be going for our early morning jeep safari ride into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park at the Eastern range of Agoratoli that is known to be the home of various birds and also the Royal Bengal Tigers of Kaziranga National Park as well.
We will have an early breakfast and later our jeep will come to pick us up at the Bonhabi resort and we will board the open safari jeeps and begin on our drive to the eastern range of Kaziranga National Park from the central range of Kohora. It will take us about 30 minutes to reach the forest office of the eastern range of Kaziranga National Park and here we will make our forest entry formalities and soon we will be inside the forest reserves of the Agoratoli range of Kaziranga National Park. Make sure to keep your cameras ready because from the moment you enter the dense forests you will be welcomed by the great Indian hornbill species and the hue of this majestic bird will leave you in awe and make sure not to make noise or else you lose out on the opportunity of a perfect image capture of this bird. We will be accompanied by a birding guide and also a very experienced jeep driver who had been travelling into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park across all the four ranges for the past many years and he will be aware of the landscapes of the place and so he too will be a perfect guide and he is known to be knowing the names of the various bird species that are found inside the forests of Kaziranga National Park.
The sight of the majestic Indian One Horned Rhinoceros staring at our eyes along with the herd of the wild water buffaloes is a sight you will only want to capture on your camera lenses and we will continue on our drive further inside the forests of Kaziranga National Park at the Eastern Range. Soon we reach a watch tower area that overlooks across a big swamp area and this is the time when you need to get your binoculars ready because this swamp is teeming with fish that attracts the various bird species to the place and they find their source of food here. Various migratory ducks, egrets, cormorants, black necked stork, magpie, osprey, etc. can be spotted at this swamp area and you can enjoy your bird watching session at Kaziranga National Park at this swamp in the eastern range of the park for a while. Next up we travel further inside the forest reserves and here we get to sight more of the majestic fauna species of Kaziranga National Park an along with this we will also spot more of the bird species. You have to stay alert and vigilant because the birds will be perched atop the tall trees and you cannot be sure as to which majestic bird species you might spot on your jeep safari.
We will be taken to the banks of the river that is the final end stop for the one way jeep safari ride into the forests of Kaziranga National Park and we will get down from the safari vehicles here and admire the beautiful landscapes around Kaziranga National Park and finally we will board our vehicles again and travel back to the safari entrance gate of the Agoratoli range and our safari ride will last for about 2 hours and we will return back to the Bonhabi resort to freshen up and have our lunch and we will relax for a while. Next up we will travel to the Western range of Kaziranga National Park in the afternoon. The Western range of Kaziranga National Park is known to be one of the best safari range to view the pride of Kaziranga National Park and Assam – the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and visitors who come for safari during the afternoon session here are lucky to capture grand images of this majestic beast of whose conservation story Kaziranga National Park is famous for all around the World. Also at the Western range visitors often have encounters with wild elephant herds that is a thrilling experience as well. We reach the safari entrance office of the western range of Kaziranga National Park and we head on our safari rides for more of bird watching at the Bagori range.
At the entrance of the Western range of the park we will be greeted by the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros that will be standing very close to the safari tracks and it often crosses the safari route and this is what makes the safari at this range very interesting because the rhinoceros are spotted from up close and the very close views of the animal provides a glimpse of the might armour of this one horned rhinoceros that is the pride of Assam and Kaziranga National Park. We will witness this grand beast and proceed further towards the swamp that is located at the western range of Kaziranga National Park and this is known to having various fish species and especially the big Sital fish and also the smaller ones as well and this is what makes this swamp a very attractive spot for the birds and we can enjoy a session of bird watching here as well. This is also the territory of a one horned rhinoceros that happens to be an adult male and there is a spot here where the rhino can be seen from up close and we will observe this majestic beast and later we continue on our safari ride and visit the deeper forests of the area and along our ride we will spot many more bird species and soon we will take a round across the area and in case we are lucky we might even sight the mighty Royal Bengal Tigers, Wild Elephant herd or even the rhinoceros fighting for its territory here at the western range of Kaziranga National Park.
Our jeep safari ride inside the Western range of Kaziranga National Park will last for about an hour and half and this is a slightly of shorter duration than the others at Eastern and Burapahar ranges and soon we will come out of the forest interiors of the western range and this will be our end of safari for the day where we would have spent an entire day exploring the beautiful forest reserves of the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park and with this we will travel back towards our place of stay at the central range of Kaziranga National Park. The next morning we will be scheduled to travel on another safari ride at the central range of Kaziranga National Park at Kohora that is by far the most popular safari range of the park so many visitors who stay across the area prefer to go for the safari at the range that is closest to them viz. the Kohora range and we will try our luck tomorrow to sight more rare bird species of Kaziranga National Park before we head on our drive to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati. Along our way back on our safari ride we will stop at the Buri Ai Than that is a very famous temple shrine across this are and it is located on the hills of Burapahar in Kaziranga National Park and a prayer offering here is meant to provide a blessing to the local people who travel on routes across the National highway connecting Guwahati with Upper Assam.
The area around this temple is also covered with a dense cover of trees and many a times you can spot the capped Langurs, Assamese macaques, Hoolock Gibbons and the various bird species and we will offer our prayers at the temple shrine and spend some time across the area looking out for any of the rare bird species that we might be able to see here. After spending some time at this place we will head on our safari ride back to the Kohora area and we will stop at a showroom that sells fresh tea and pepper that are grown across this area of Kaziranga National Park and we will stop here to buy this memoir of your visit to Assam as apart from the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, Silks of Assam, another globally known thing from Assam is the Assam tea. This is the showroom of the Amalgamated tea plantations (a Tata tea enterprise) and we will take some time here to shop for tea and soon we head back to our place of stay at Kaziranga at the Bonhabi Resort. The evening sky will look very beautiful as the stars can be seen gazing across the sky and we will enjoy our evening barbecue and cocktails at the place and today is our last evening at Kaziranga National Park as the next morning we will go for our safari rides at the central range of the park and come back to freshen up and travel to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati. We enjoy a sumptuous Chinese cuisine dinner at the Bonhabi resort at Kaziranga National Park and finally call it a day after a good day of safari at the Eastern and Western ranges of Kaziranga National Park.
Night Halt: Bonhabi Resort at Kaziranga National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4: Kaziranga National Park – Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
Today we get up in the morning and get ready for our early morning safari ride inside the Central range of Kaziranga National Park that is by far the most visited forest range in Kaziranga and is often known as the place where various bird species can be sighted and also the Royal Bengal Tigers as well. Our jeep rides will pick us up and we have our tea and snacks before our safari duration and later we come back to have our breakfast and check out of the Bonhabi resort. We will be picked up by the jeep that took us yesterday inside the forest reserves and soon we will begin on our safari rides at the Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park. This is the range where the elephant safari rides are conducted for the foreign Nationals and therefore when we reach the entrance gate we will be able to view the various tourists from different nationalities and this will seem as if we have come to a place that is a blend of various cultures. We soon reach the entrance of the forest office at the Kohora range and this is where we will make the arrangements of our forest entry permits and we will soon begin on our safari ride inside the central range of Kaziranga National Park.
The range is quite busy and so we have to be very observant and vigil and keep our eyes atop the trees and especially the swamp areas where we will look out for the various bird species of Kaziranga National Park. The jeep ride takes us deeper into the forest reserves and in case we are lucky we might have the opportunity of sighting the Royal Bengal Tigers of Kaziranga National Park as well. We are sure to spot more number of rhinoceros that can be sighted across the four ranges of Kaziranga National Park as well and also the Asiatic Wild Water buffaloes and the wild elephant herds along with various primate species and this is what makes Kaziranga National Park a very popular wildlife destination. Our birding guide and the very experienced jeep driver will look out for the birds for us and soon we will complete the round of the jeep safari into the forest interiors and finally come out of the Central range of Kaziranga National Park to head back to the Bonhabi resort and we will freshen up and have our breakfast and later we will put our luggage’s in our vehicle and bid farewell to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. We continue on our drive towards Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati and we will schedule a late lunch and we cross Jakhlabandha, Koliabor, Amoni, Nagaon to hit the four lane road and continue on our drive to the Jagiroad area and further to the Morigaon district where we will have to take a right diversion from the National highway and travel further towards the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and we will cross a beautiful tea garden and gently approach the area of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. What is special about the place is that it is home to the highest population density of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and with its varied wildlife, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is often referred to as the ‘Bharatpur of the East’ and also the land of Black Magic – Mayong is located near Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary as well. We will take our opportunity to explore all of this during our stay here.
We will soon approach the entrance of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary after our successful safari rides inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park and we will reach a view point area that is where we can get close up captures of the One Horned Rhinoceros and the Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes along with the various bird species of the ‘Bharatpur of the East’ viz. the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a swamp area here basically that is a fish source for the birds and therefore numerous bird species of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary like greater adjutant stork, lesser adjutant stork, ruddy shelduck, falcated duck, Baikal teal, Indian Cormorant, Great Indian Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, etc. can be spotted at this swamp here itself. We will spend some time here and as it will be time for lunch we will head to our place of stay at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary at the Maibong Eco Resort that is a very nice place to stay around the forests of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. We will check into our rooms to freshen up and later have our lunch and then we explore some time at the bird observatory site at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary itself where the owner of the place keeps out food in the open and the various bird species that come to Pobitora including the Oriental Pied Hornbill and the Great Indian Hornbill can be seen coming to the observatory site.
We then go to explore the Mayong Museum of Black Magic that is located near the entrance of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. During the medieval period, Assam had earned a repute of being a land of black magic and various magic practices un the name of God used to be practiced by the sorcerers of Mayong who became to be revered among the masses and there sorcerers used to achieve various feats like converting a man to goat, taming wild tigers and other animals, causing immense harm to someone else by using magic practice and just a strand of hair of the other person, etc. These sorcerers also had powers to heal various ailments of the people who came to them with problems and gradually these practitioners used their powers to heal and not harm other people transformed to be the sorcerers who practiced white magic and these sorcerers are also found in the villages of Mayong until today and they use their healing powers coupled with various herbs used as medicines and this helps to treat the people of the local villages who even today instead of visiting a doctor prefer to visit a local ‘Bez’ as they are called. This black magic museum at Mayong is one of a kind in the World and even though the original museum building has been proposed the artefacts of the ancient art of black magic can be found at a long display hall that is opened to tourists for public viewing.
An old caretaker will open up the place to us and we will head to visit the Mayong museum of black magic that depicts the various artefacts that were used by the sorcerers to create the powers of black magic. One interesting thing to be noted here is that the place will tell us that the Morigaon area where we are staying is still under the rule of the King who is a nominal head and he is still consulted by the local people who come to him to settle disputes. The King presides over the various religious festivals that are held across the place including the age old festival of barter trade called as the Jonbeel Mela that is held every year in the month of January at the Jagiroad area of Morigaon district. The various pictures depict the king with his subjects presiding over the various religious ceremonies and we also see models that depict how the sorcerers use to tame wild animals that are the be found across the dense forest reserves around Mayong and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary as well. There is a long display section that displays the various ancient black magic manuscripts that were used by the black magic sorcerers to script down the black magic verses that were passed down across the generations who learnt about black magic and these sorcerers had to spend years in meditation and Sadhana to learn about the practices of magic. Also they were devout followers of Goddess Kamakhya and we will learn about the Kamakhya temple when we visit this temple shrine on our way back to admire the grand architecture of this temple shrine. We will spend about an hour’s time at the Mayong museum of black magic and we will travel back to the Maibong Eco resort where we will spend our early evenings at the bird observatory site and watch the various bird species here to find and capture our pictures and later in the evening we will savour a nice dinner and prepare for our day of safari tomorrow inside the forest reserves of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to spot more bird species and the rhinos up close before we head on our drive to Manas National Park in the Baksa district of lower Assam that is another World Heritage Site of Assam and also the place where the Bengal Florican species are spotted.
Night Halt: Maibong Eco Resort at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – Manas National Park
Today in the morning our jeep safari rides will be scheduled at 7.30AM to travel into the forest interiors of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary that is another great bird watching destination of Assam and is known to be home to certain rare bird species. In the morning over tea we will spend time at the bird observatory site of the Maibong Eco Resort where the owner will put out the morning food and the various bird species will flock to the place to feed on this and we will be seated a little further away and we observe the birds from the binoculars and also our DSLRs. We will have breakfast and then start on our jeep safari rides to go to the interiors of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and this will be scheduled after the elephant safari rides are over and we can have the safari track to ourselves. An experienced jeep driver along with a forest guard who is also a very good birding guide will accompany us along with our tour bird guide and we start on our jeep safari for bird watching inside the ‘Bharatpur of the East’ viz. the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon entrance of the tracks of the jeep safari ride, there is a swamp area and various bird species are to be spotted at this swamp area itself that will be trying to catch its prey and we will get busy with our DSLRs capturing the images of these common and few rare bird species as well.
We continue to drive deeper into the forest reserves and we will have the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros wait to greet us at the entrance and we admire the beast and continue further on our bird watching ride inside the forest reserves of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest cover starts and we need to keep an extra vigil on the ride as the birds are perched atop the tall trees and also there are certain bird species that many get left out on our observation in case we do not look out properly. The jeep driver along with the forest guard and our birding guide will keep a vigil but it is also recommended that guests too look out with a keen eye. We might be lucky to spot the Eagles, Serpent eagles, Kites, Greater Adjutant Stork, Black Necked Stork, White Breasted Kingfishers, etc. on our bird watching ride inside the forest reserves of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary just like in Kaziranga National Park and this is of great opportunity to us. The jeep driver takes us on a nice road across the forest reserves of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and we admire the beautiful cover of the forests and along with it we also admire the One Horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo, Wild boars, Hog Deers, Civets, etc. and we keep looking out for more birds.
We will drive across a small stream that flows alongside the area of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and here we will have the opportunity to look out for more birds and soon we will come out of the forest interiors of the place and we will be dropped back at our resort. We take time to freshen up and have a bite to eat and later we board our vehicles with our luggage and we head on our drive to Manas National Park that is another renowned bird watching destination of Assam and we will be crossing Guwahati city via Burha Mayong, Chandrapur and Panikheti and we cross the city limit and the Brahmaputra Bridge to drive towards North Guwahati and further towards lower Assam where we will go further towards Barpeta Road and here we will stop to have our lunch at a nice restaurant and later continue on our drive to Manas National Park that is not much further ahead. The river Manas is a very mighty river that flows across the area of the Park and we will be greeted by the Manas river on our way in.
We will soon approach the forest entrance of Manas National Park and here we will be greeted by a lovely tea garden and we proceed to check into our place of stay at Manas National Park at the Bansbari Lodge that is located just at the entrance of the main safari gate of Manas National Park. We check into our rooms and here we will take some time to rest and freshen up and later in the afternoon we come out for tea and we admire the lush green forest cover of Manas National Park. The border fence runs across the road from our place of stay and there is a high probable chance of sighting animals and obviously the bird species that can be seen around the place of stay. Manas National Park is arguable one of the best bird watching destinations in Assam and some of the rare and endangered bird species like the Bengal Florican is known to inhabit the forests of Manas National Park. Every year many tourists from various nationalities come to Manas National Park with a specific purpose of bird watching itself and so this has become a good tourism destination for not only wildlife lovers but bird watchers as well. We spend some time across the place looking out for the birds and later we return back to our resort for dinner to prepare for the early morning safari ride.
Night Halt: Bansbari Lodge at Manas National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6: Manas National Park Jungle Safari
Today is day of safari at the 2nd UNESCO World Heritage Site of Assam at Manas National Park and we will be going on our day long safari inside the forest reserves of the place starting in the morning after an early breakfast and also the next morning we will go for another round of jeep safari before we head on our drive to the pristine Chandubi Lake area near Guwahati. We will get up in the morning and we will take a short walk across the place to take the opportunity of bird watching at the fringe areas of Manas National Park and later we will come back to have our breakfast and we start on our safari rides from the Bansbari Lodge and the jeep will pick us up from the place and we will head on our safari at the Mathanguri area of the place. We will complete our forest entry formalities and then enter the pristine forest reserves of the one of the last surviving grounds of the rare pygmy hogs, hispid hare, golden Langurs and some very rare animals and birds as well. Manas National Park has come a long way today when it comes to being a World Heritage Site and it was only until a few years back that this National Park in Assam was listed as a World Heritage Site in danger and with able conservation practices adopted by the forest authorities along with local governments and the local people, today Manas National Park is a world renowned destination for wildlife safaris and birding.
The birdlife at Manas National Park is so diverse and rare that many tourists who are avid birdwatchers travel to Assam from various countries just to enjoy bird watching at Manas National Park. We will be going on our safari ride accompanied by our tour birding guide and a jeep driver who is well aware of the birds of the area and both of them will assist us to spot the rare birds of Manas National Park just as we had enjoyed at Kaziranga National Park. We will see the various local people who have assumed the role of the protectors of the forests of Manas National Park and one interesting thing to note is that these protectors were earlier poachers and today they take it as a full time job to protect the flora, fauna and avifauna of Manas National Park. At one point in time this area where Manas National Park is located in the Baksa district was marked with a lot of terrorism related activities by the Bodo militant outfits and so the place was at a critical junction and various illegal activities like felling of trees in an uncontrolled manner and poaching of animals used to occur inside the forest reserves of Manas National Park leading to a dwindling number of animals, trees and bird species and only after a certain period that the people realized that this was not the way to move forward and they created associations amongst them to protect the habitat and biodiversity of Manas National Park.
The Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism society is one such example and this society today is a group of the various poachers who were trained and now they have turned into protectors and every day they ensure to travel to the forest reserves of Manas National Park and carry out strict vigil to see that no terror related activities are carried out inside the forest reserves of Manas National Park. Such is a history of this World Heritage Site that is now a top tourism destination that has been achieved by years of conservation efforts and the man’s ability to realize that there is nothing better than the greatest gift of nature to mankind. The bird life of Manas National Park is very diverse and rare as well and we will have the perfect opportunity to sight the bird life on our bird watching tour of Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park and some of the species that we might be able to spot out of the 380 species of birds that are known to inhabit the place are the Bengal Florican, greater adjutant, black tailed crake, pied harrier, lesser adjutants, Ibis bill, swamp francolin, marsh babbler, jerdon’s babbler, Finn’s weaver, Rufus vented laughing thrush, etc.
The jeep driver will take us into the forest reserves of Manas National Park and we will spot the various bird species that we will observe from our jeep safari ride and our guide will assist us with the same and we keep spotting the other mammals and primates of Manas National Park as well. The Golden Langur and the Capped Langurs are two grand primate species that are known to inhabit the forest reserves of Manas National Park and we will have the opportunity to sight these in the wild as well. The Asiatic Wild water buffaloes, Indian one horned Rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal tigers and the Asiatic elephants are a pride of Manas National Park and these animals can be spotted inside the forest reserves as well based on our luck and we will continue on our jeep safari ride across Mathanaguri and finally we reach back to our lodge for a late lunch thereby completing our day of safari at the forests of Manas National Park on our bird watching tour.
We will savour a sumptuous meal for ourselves at the Bansbari lodge at Manas National Park and we will be having the evening to ourselves to walk across the beautiful tea gardens of the place and also there are small local villages across the place and we will visit these villages as well to understand the life of the local Bodo people who are arguably the oldest indigenous inhabitants of Assam. We will go along with our bird watching guide who will be of great help to us as you are never sure as to when you might get lucky to spot a rare bird species just outside the premises of the National Park itself. We explore the beautiful tea gardens of the area and later we go to explore the Bodo villages and here we will learn about the life and culture of the indigenous people of Assam. The Bodo people are credited with the introduction of the silk varieties of Assam as they used to feed on these worms and one day by accident they learnt that beautiful silk yarn can be spun out from these silk worms that give rise to the grand Muga silk of Assam. The Bodo people have since long been marred with the controversy of terrorism as they always felt that their region has been neglected by the governments and so until recently with the cease fire talks these terror related activities have substantially come down and today they are focussed on all around development of their place.
Today tourism related activities across Manas National Park have helped the local people ot gain additional source of earning apart from their regular commercial activities like agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry, handicraft and handloom, etc. We will witness the Bodo women weaving on their local looms and weaving out some of the most exquisite handloom fabric you can find in the country and with this we call it a day and we travel back to the Bansbari lodge after a long day of safari and exploration. In the evening, if there are more number of guests staying at the lodge then the lodge management will be hosting a folk dance performance of the Bodo traditional dance of Bagurumba and if we have the opportunity we will take our seats to witness this performance and after watching this we will take our places at the dining area of the Bansbari lodge and we will savour a sumptuous dinner and we enjoy a lovely evening across the fringes of the forests of the World Heritage Site of Manas National Park.
Night Halt: Bansbari Lodge at Mansa National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7: Manas National Park – Chandubi
Today we will have another round of jeep safari scheduled in the morning after an early breakfast and post this we will pack our baggage and start on our drive to the Chandubi area near Guwahati. Our jeep safari ride will take us again in the forests of Manas National Park and we try our luck again to sight any of the bird species that we might have missed out from our list. After our jeep safari ride is over we will start on our drive to Chandubi area and we will cross Barpeta road, Nalbari, Rangia to finally reach Amingaon area and here we will stop for lunch at the Borluit Dhaba that is a nice place to enjoy some ethnic Assamese cuisine of Assam. The place is designed in ethnic decors and the furniture is made up of bamboo handicrafts of Assam that provides guests a unique décor to learn about the various monuments of Assam across the North Guwahati area and we savour a sumptuous Assamese thali at the place and later we will continue on our drive towards Chandubi Lake area via the Rani area and the entire drive is across the lush green countryside of Assam and Meghalaya because on one side of the road it is the territory of Assam and the other side is the territory of Meghalaya and also the pristine forest reserves across the place are home to some animals and birds as well.
We drive across the Rani reserve forest area and soon we will reach a beautiful tea garden area to be followed by the Chandubi Reserve forest and finally the Chandubi lake area and we get down from our cars here and we will take time to admire the beautiful area of the Chandubi Lake that was created after the great earthquake of 1897 and it is a beautiful lagoon area that is located at the base of the Garo hills of Meghalaya. This lake is known to have various fish species and this attracts the various migratory birds in the winter season that come here to spend the winter months and they feed on the fish on the waters of the Chandubi Lake. After a little time we will board a country boat and our luggage will follow on another boat and we head to the Chandubi Jungle Camp that is our place of halt for the night. We will freshen up and take our time to explore the Chandubi Lake and observe the various bird species present here.
The Chandubi Jungle Camp is Eco camp based across the Chandubi Lake that offers accommodation to guests in cottages, Assamese type stilt houses and tents and we will occupy the cottages at the place and this will be a good opportunity for us to interact with the Rabha tribes of Assam who are also an indigenous community of the state. We will check into our rooms to freshen up and later we assemble for tea and snacks at the Chandubi Jungle Camp and in some time we will board the country boat again and we will go out to explore the Chandubi Lake and take our time to enjoy some bird watching on the waters of the lake and also the forest cover nearby that is a good opportunity to relax and spend time bird watching on the waters of the Chandubi Lake. The forest cover across the lake is lush and green and it is a pristine habitat for the Asiatic Elephants, Royal Bengal tigers, Black Bears, Hoolock gibbons, Slow Loris, Assamese, macaques, etc. and we will enjoy the time around the Chandubi Lake accompanied with our birding guide and soon we will come back to the Chandubi Jungle Camp and we will assemble to have our early dinner and cooking session at the Camp.
Today is our last day of our tour and the next morning after spending some time birding across the lake and the nearby forest reserves of Chandubi we will head on our drive to Guwahati city where we will visit the Kamakhya temple shrine and later we will drop you at the LGBI airport at Guwahati. In the evening we will enjoy a session of cooking at the kitchen of the Chandubi Jungle Camp where we will learn about the traditional way of cooking food over the fire. The Rabha people still follow the age old method of cooking where they are not dependant on cooking gas and instead they use wood fire to power their kitchen and to cook the food and they use all organic produce that are grown across the village gardens and also the fish is caught fresh from the lake and the chicken home raised and powered with all natural vegetables, herbs and other ingredients, the food is all very healthy and delicious at the same time as well. We go to the kitchen and understand the various food preparations here at the Chandubi Jungle Camp and the cook will assist us with the cooking process and we will enjoy the last day of our tour here. After a sumptuous dinner we return to our rooms for night halt:
Night Halt: Chandubi Jungle Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 8: Chandubi – Kamakhya Temple – Guwahati Airport
We have to ensure to reach the Kamakhya temple in the morning hours and so we will get up early in the morning and also this will be an ideal time to go for bird watching across the Chandubi Lake because the birds are active in the morning time and so we will have the perfect opportunity to look out for them on our boat ride. The owner of the camp accompanied by his brother will take us on our final bird watching session across the pristine Chandubi Lake area near Guwahati and we enjoy our birding session to be followed by an early breakfast and we will cross the lake again to board our vehicles and we will bid farewell to Chandubi and head on our drive to the Kamakhya temple shrine of Goddess Kamakhya that is situated atop the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati. We will drive across the beautiful Rani Reserve forest area and soon reach the Garchuk area and we drive to the Maligaon area in Guwahati and we drive atop the Nilachal hills to reach the parking area of the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati. One among the 51 Shakti Peethas and 4 Adi Shakti Peethas, the Kamakhya temple is the holiest temple shrine in North East India.
We will mostly visit the Kamakhya temple shrine to admire the grand temple architecture that the various sculptures on the walls of the temple and this is where we will have some amazing picture captures of the place and the statues of the temple and we will also take the opportunity to view the inner sanctum of the temple shrine and seek our blessing from the holy Goddess. Known as the temple of the bleeding Goddess, Kamakhya temple is a shrine that celebrates the spirit of womanhood and also every year the temple celebrates the ability of a woman to give birth to a child at the annual Ambubachi Mela festival where it is believed that the Goddess menstruates and the waters of the Brahmaputra River turns red. We will purchase our VIP entry passes and we will travel to the inner sanctum of the temple and the place has a stone in the shape of a vulva that is fed continuously by an underground water stream and this is where we seek our blessing and complete our Darshan of the Kamakhya temple and we admire the sculptures on the temple walls and we will begin on our drive to the LGBI airport at Guwahati and we drop you off for your flight to your onward destination. Bird watching tour of Kaziranga National Park along with Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas National Park and Chandubi Lake ends. Bid Adieu!
The Species of Avifauna found at Kaziranga National Park in Assam are as below:
Grey Peacock Pheasant
Greater White-fronted Goose
Common Teal Anas crecca
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
Blue –bearded Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee eater
Chestnut-headed Bee eater
Large Hawk Cuckoo
Common Hawk cuckoo
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Asian Emerald Cuckoo
Asian Palm Swift at Kaziranga
Eurasian Scops Owl
Oriental Scops Owl
Collared Scops Owl
Mountain Scops Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl
Dusky Eagle Owl
Brown fish owl
Tawny fish Owl
Brown Hawk Owl
Oriental Turtle Dove
Red Collared Dove
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Pin-tailed Green pigeon
Pompadour Green Pigeon
Thick-billed Green Pigeon
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
Green Imperial Pigeon
Mountain Imperial Pigeon
References ~ Wikipedia, orientalbirdclub.org
Tips for Birdwatching at Kaziranga National Park ~ Reference www.birdlife.org.au
Take your time – don’t rush. By walking slowly you will see more birds, especially the quiet or skulking ones
Make sure to listen for birds calling. These records are as valuable as those of birds seen. Take time to follow up unfamiliar calls (never ignore them!)
Don’t just record the obvious species (e.g. large birds or birds that are calling vociferously). You should be aware that there will also be less-obvious species present, so look and listen carefully, and make sure to check all likely areas
Listen for noises other than bird calls. For example, Crested Shrike-tits are often first detected by the sound of them tearing at bark with their stout beaks; and parrots quietly feeding in the treetops are often first detected by the sound of dropped seed-pods falling to the ground
Be quiet. It lets you hear more birds and disturbs them less. However, talk in your normal voice. Never shout, and try not to whisper, as sibilant noises may disturb birds; many species use similar sounds to indicate alarm or aggression
Avoid wearing bright clothing or clothing that rustles
Be aware that when birdwatching beside a busy road bird calls will be more difficult to hear, as they tend to be drowned out by traffic noise
Try to go birdwatching early in the morning. Birds are more active then, and tend to call more often
Try to avoid birdwatching on windy days. Wind makes it more difficult to hear birds calling, and they are also less active in these conditions
Try to avoid birdwatching on hot days. Birds are inactive during the heat of the day, and are difficult to find. If you must conduct surveys on hot days, do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it is cooler and birds are likely to be more active
Try to go birdwatching in small groups; large groups can be divided up into smaller groups
Birds are more easily detected in open habitats than in more heavily wooded ones. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security in open areas, as cryptic species can be easily missed. In all habitats, take your time and you will see more birds
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the various majestic Avi-Fauna Species at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
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The Wild Water Buffalo also called as the Asiatic Buffalo is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000. Kaziranga National Park boasts of having the highest population of Asiatic Water Buffalo anywhere in the World!
Wild water buffalo are larger and heavier than domestic buffalo, and weigh from 700 to 1,200 kg. Both sexes carry horns that are heavy at the base and widely spreading along the outer edges, exceeding in size the horns of any other living bovid. Their skin color is ash gray to black.
The Kaziranga National Park harbors a crucial breeding population of the Asiatic Water Buffalo. Grasslands, reed brakes combined with swamps and water-bodies provide an ideal habitat for these animals. Sporting magnificent horns, perhaps the largest among the bovines in the World, the Water Buffalo species at the Kaziranga National Park are formidable opponents and can weigh over 1000 kilograms. Yet Tigers at the Kaziranga National Park have been known to prey on them. Like Elephants and Rhinoceros of Kaziranga, the water buffalo species can be seen grazing in and around Kaziranga’s water bodies in the morning and afternoon. Though they feed predominantly on grass, they have been observed eating water hyacinth as well that grows in abundance at the Kaziranga National Park. They are seldom found far from a reliable water source and often immerse themselves neck deep in water for extended periods. Like Kaziranga’s other animals, the Water Buffalo species seek higher grounds during the monsoon.
Wild water buffalo occur in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, and Cambodia, with an unconfirmed population in Myanmar. In India, they are largely restricted to in and around Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary and in a few scattered pockets in Assam.
Wild water buffalo are both diurnal and nocturnal. Adult females and their young form stable clans of as many as 30 individuals. Clans are led by old cows, even when bulls accompany the group. Several clans form a herd of 30 to 500 animals that gather at resting areas. Adult males form bachelor groups of up to 10 individuals, with older males often being solitary, and spend the dry season apart from the female clans.
The Asiatic Water buffalos found at the Kaziranga National Park are both diurnal and nocturnal. On an average, these Asiatic Water Buffaloes have a life span of around 30 years. Bearing an ash color skin these water buffaloes in the wild of Kaziranga National Park have horns larges than any other bovine species on both the male and female sexes. Much heavier than the domestic buffalo species, these water buffaloes can weigh anywhere from 1000 to 1200 kgs. Horns of the Asiatic Water Buffalo are long, flat,massive and triangular and are semi-circular growing in the upward direction.
Group of wild buffaloes are commonly seen as grazing in marshy & grassland areas of Kaziranga National Park as well as crossing the Safari tracks. The Asiatic Water Buffaloes of Kaziranga National Park feed on herbs, fruits, shrubs, crops including rice, sugarcane, and jute. When the herd of these Water buffaloes moves close to human habitation, they can be seen consuming rice, sugarcane, jute etc. and causes often considerable damage. Often it is seen that villagers around the villagers of Kaziranga National Park set up makeshift guarding home to wade of these animals from destroying their crops. Here in Kaziranga National Park the presence of Brahmaputra river and its tributaries perfect area for feeding and surviving comfortably. The Asiatic Water Buffalo of Kaziranga National Park is a terrestrial animal. Wild Buffalo can not be categorized into diurnal or nocturnal as they remain active in day and night as well. They can be spotted in group of 20 to 25 buffaloes grazing together. Several groups can be seen together often in a resting area where their strength could go up to 500 wild buffaloes. These water buffaloes can be seen in places of Kaziranga National Park where there are water bodies. Wild buffalo usually seen grazing in early morning and later evening hours. They can even go on grazing after sunset due to which they are put in both category diurnal and nocturnal. Scents and hearing capacity of these buffaloes is well developed but eyesight is weak. They are not wandering animal by in dry season may move from one area to another. They don’t even hesitate to go close to human habitation and often enter into cultivated fields. Males are more aggressive than female and sometime even attack without any provocation depending upon they mood. Female show aggressive behavior when she is with calf and can even face tiger in boldly way. Their paring season is towards the end of rainfall season at Kaziranga National Park.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the Asiatic Water Buffalo Fauna species at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
Kaziranga National Park is a wild breeding area for multiple species of Large Cats and is also known as the Home of the Big Five (5) Cat Species.The five (5) Cat Species known to prowl across the dense Jungles of the National Park are Indian Tigers, Leopards, Jungle Cat, Fishing cat and the Leopard Cat. Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world, with a population of 118. Kaziranga National Park is India’s most densely populated Tiger Reserve. Kaziranga’s mix of habitats, which has given rise to such a diversity and density of herbivores, directly benefits Tigers and Leopards. In most Indian forests, Tigers wait at dawn and dusk for herbivores to come and drink at waterholes. The Tigers of the Kaziranga National Park are however unlikely to use this strategy, since water is distributed freely throughout the park.
Considered to be a child of the mighty river Brahmaputra, the biosphere of the Kaziranga Reserve is one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the World. The rivers and their tributaries flowing across the length of the Kaziranga National Park result in large reserve forests and tall elephant grass that harbour home to a wide variety of insects, birds and animals. Kaziranga National Park is a magical land that brings to mind promptly the picture of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros – a name the inspires pride and awe in the hearts and minds of the people of Assam. Kaziranga is also a tiger and elephant country where one can also hear the hoolock gibbons calling. Asiatic water buffalo, swamp deer, sambar, hog deers also reside in the dense jungles and forest reserves of Kaziranga. But more than the sight of a rhino, tiger or elephant, it is Kaziranga’s indestructible peace and quiet magic that fill the heart and soul of any visitor here.
Small mammals at the Kaziranga National Park include the rare Hispid Hare, Indian Gray Mongoose, Small Indian Mongooses, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civets, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear, Chinese Pangolin, Indian Pangolins, Hog Badger, Chinese Ferret Badger and particoloured Flying Squirrel.
Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the Kaziranga National Park. Prominent among them are the Assamese Macaque, Capped and Golden langur, as well as the only ape found in India, the Hoolock Gibbon.The Hoolock Gibbons at the Kaziranga National Park can be sighted in the misty and moist forests of Panbari. The striking white brow and black pelage of the males is distinctive while female Gibbons are lighter in shade. The female Hoolock Gibbon species can be seen carrying young ones either on their backs or under their arms as they move across Treetops of Kaziranga.
At the Kaziranga National Park, there are over 500 swamp deers, the largest population in Eastern India. Swamp Deer grasslands with reed brakes and patches of forest. The animals frequent open areas around the water bodies of Kaziranga. These swamp deers can be identified by their trademark antlers and rich chestnut brown coats. These swamp deers form gregarious herds that break up during the rut. Kaziranga’s wetlands are most suited to the deer’s need to cool off in mud wallows in summer.
Small Sambar herds comprising hinds and young can be seen at the Kaziranga National Park. They frequent the edges of lakes and shallow streams and can be seen wallowing in muddy pools. Estimated to number over 5000, Kaziranga National Park’s most abundant deer species is the Hog Deer. These delicate animals prefer reed beds and grasslands. Barking Deer species is also present at the Kaziranga National Park particularly in the well-watered forested areas.
Kaziranga National Park harbours the World’s largest population of Indian Rhinoceros(Rhinoceros unicornis) and Asiatic Wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and provides optimal habitat for Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris) to attain their highest ecological density. Other mammals include Capped Langur (Presbytis pileatus), Hoolock Gibbon (Hylobates hoolock), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus), Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica), Otter (Lutra lutra), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Gaur(Bos gaurus), Sambar(Cervus unicolor), Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli), Hog Deer (Axis porcinus), Barking Deer(Muntiacus muntjak), Common langur ( Presbytis entellus), Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), Assamese Macaque (Macaca assamensis), Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), Indian Porcupine(Hystrix indica), Fishing Cat (Felis viverrina), Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), Large Indian Civet (Viverra zibetha), Small Indian Civet(Viverricula indica), Common Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), Indian Fox (Vulpes bengalensis), Jackal (Canis aureus), Himalayan Mole (Euroscaptor micrura), Chinese Ferret Badger (Melogale moschata), Smooth-Coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), European Otter (Lutra lutra), Hog Badger (Arctonyx collaris), Eastern Mole(Talpa micrura), Hoary-bellied or Irrawaddy Squirrel (Callosciurus), Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor), Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus), Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Squirrel(Dremnonys lokriah), Bats(various species) etc.
Wild Pigs at the Kaziranga National Park can be seen digging for roots and tubers. They are found in both the forested areas and grasslands of Kaziranga.
In addition to mammals, Kaziranga National Park is home to an incredible diversity of insects, arachnids, reptiles and amphibians.
Some of the amphibian species of Kaziranga National Park are Red-eyed frog (Leptobrachium smithi), Myanmar pelobatidae toad (Megophrys parva), Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), Indian hylid frog (Hyla annectans), Ornate narrow-mouthed frog (Microhyla ornata), Annadale’s tree frog (Chiromantis simus), Red narrow-mouthed frog (Microhyla rubra), Flat-headed frog (Limnonectes laticeps), Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus), Twin-spotted tree frog (Rhacophorus bipunctatus), Large tree frog (Rhacophorus maximus), Warty tree frog (Theloderma asperum), Indian skipping frog (Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis), Cricket frog (Fejervarya cf. limnocharis), Northern frog (Ingerana borealis), Leaf frog (Hylarana tytleri), Long-tongued frog (Hylarana leptoglossa), etc.
Reptiles found at Kaziranga National Park are Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), Asian giant tortoise (Manouria emys), Indian Softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica), Indian peacock softshell turtle (Nilssonia hurum), Black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans), Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra indica), Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata andersoni), Southeast asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis), Spotted pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii), Crowned river turtle (Hardella thurjii), Brown roofed turtle (Pangshura smithii), Assam roofed turtle (Pangshura sylhetensis), Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tectum), Indian tent turtle, Brahminy worm snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus), Daird’s worm snake (Typhlops diardii), Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), Common vine snake (Ahaetulla prasina), Striped keelback (Amphiesma stolatum), Eastern cat snake (Boiga gokool), Siamese cat snake (Boiga siamensis), Green cat snake (Boiga cyanea), Copper-headed trinket snake (Coelognathus radiatus), Common trinket snake (Coelognathus helena helena), Painted bronzeback tree snake (Dendrelaphis pictus), Common wolf snake (Lycodon aulicus), Yellow-speckled wolf snake (Lycodon jara), Mock viper (Psammodynastes pulverulentus), Indo-Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros), Indian rat snake (Ptyas mucosa), Red necked keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus), Checkered keelback (Xenochrophis piscator), Banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia), King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), White-lipped pit viper (Trimeresurus albolabris), Indian garden lizard (Calotes versicolor), Flat tailed gecko (Hemidactylus platyurus), Assamese day gecko (Cnemaspis assamensis), Khasi hill bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus khasiensis), Asian house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), Little grass skink (Eutropis macularia), Himalayan litter skink (Sphenomorphus indicus), Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis), Yellow monitor (Varanus flavescens), Water monitor (Varanus salvator).
Kaziranga’s rivers are also home to the Endangered Ganges dolphin.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the varied Fauna species at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!