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a walk on the wild side

Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Location Assam
Speciality one horned Rhinoceros
Airport Jorhat 96 kms, Guwhati 217 kms.
Railhead Furkating 78 kms.
Accomodation Within Park
Best Time To Visit November to April

The most famous place to see the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, hunted almost to extinction for its prize as big game and for the Chinese apothecary trade. The park is dominated by tall (up to six metres) grass lands and swampy areas (jheels). Travelling is best done by elephants, which can be arranged by the park. The first sighting of a rhinoceros is always impressive and awesome, as they can reach a height of over two metres and weigh more than two tonnes. Despite the prehistoric appearance, rhinos are incredible agile and fast. Soptting them in the tall grass may be difficult. Watch for egrets and other birds who use the rhino's armoured back as a perch, and also listen for the 'churring' sound of a large animal moving through the grass. Best viewing may be by the jheels, where they bathe.

One of the animals which have survived the vagaries of time is the one-horned Rhinoceros. This huge animal has continued its struggle for survival since prehistoric times. Lording over the plains of Ganga, Indus and the Brahamaputra, they slowly fell to the greed of man. They were killed in large numbers so much that they came on the verge of extinction.

It was early in the 20th century that the British government woke up to the plight of the one-horned rhino. But the damage had been done and very few of them were found in the wet lands of Assam. But efforts were made to save what ever was left and in 1908 Kaziranga was declared a reserve forest officially closed for shooting.

However, it was not until 1974 that Kaziranga was declared a national park. Today it covers an area of 430 km. Kaziranga is the best home of the great Indian one-horned rhino. This park is located in central Assam and lies partly in Golaghat district and partly in Nagaon district of the state.

The deep forests, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, marshes and shallow pools are perfect to support the largest number of rhinos in the subcontinent. Though the greatest threat to these animals has come from poaching, their number in the park is quite healthy. The park is located along the main highway between Jorhat and Guwahati, which makes it easily accessible. The chance to see animals in the wild at close quarters makes a visit to the park a very rewarding experience. At Kaziranga, the open country makes wildlife viewing fairly easy. A day's outing is sufficient for visitors to see most of the major species here.

Park Population :

The wildlife population of the park includes elephants, Indian bisons, swamp deer, sambhars, hog deer, sloth bears, tigers, leopard cats, jungle cats, hog badgers, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, pigs, jackals, porcupines, pythons, buffaloes and of course the one horned rhinoceros. Pelican, duck, geese, hornbill, ibis, cormorant, egret, heron, black necked stork, lesser adjutants, ring tailed fishing eagles are also in plenty in the park. During winters a large number of migratory birds are regular visitors.

Nearby Attractions :
There are many places which can be visited while you are staying at Kaziranga. The Kakochang waterfalls is 13 kms from Bokakhat. Not far from the park are the ruins of the ancient Numaligarh. These ruins are of great archaeological importance. The tea gardens of Hatikhuli, Methoni, Difalu, Behora Borchapori are also other local attractions. Also visit the coffee and rubber plantations behind the tourist lodge.

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