Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.

Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as a reserve forest.

Fauna In Kaziranga

Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. The park has the distinction of being home to the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1,855), Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1,666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). Significant populations of large herbivores include elephants (1,940), gaur (30) and sambar (58). Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac, wild boar, and hog deer.

Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species of large cats, such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world (one per five km²), with a population of 86, as per the 2000 census. Other felids include the Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, and Leopard Cats.Small mammals 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 Badgers, and Particolored flying squirrels.Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park.Prominent among them are the Assamese Macaque, Capped, 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.
An Indian Roller at Kaziranga

Kaziranga has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area. It is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. Birds such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Baer's Pochard duck and Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Black-necked Stork, and Asian Openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during winter. Riverine birds include the Blyth's Kingfisher, White-bellied Heron, Dalmatian Pelican, Spot-billed Pelican, Spotted Greenshank, and Black-bellied Tern. Birds of prey include the rare Eastern Imperial, Greater Spotted, White-tailed, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, and the Lesser Kestrel.

Kaziranga was once home to seven species of vultures, but the vulture population reached near extinction, supposedly by feeding on animal carcasses containing the drug Diclofenac. Only the Indian Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Indian White-rumped Vulture have survived.Game birds include the Swamp Francolin, Bengal Florican, and Pale-capped Pigeon.

Other families of birds inhabiting Kaziranga include the Great Indian Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill, Old World babblers such as Jerdon’s and Marsh Babblers, weaver birds such as the common Baya Weaver, threatened Finn's Weavers, thrushes such as Hodgson's Bushchat and Old World warblers such as the Bristled Grassbird. Other threatened species include the Black-breasted Parrotbill and the Rufous-vented Prinia.

Two of the largest snakes in the world, the Reticulated Python and Rock Python, as well as the longest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra, inhabit the park. Other snakes found here include the Indian Cobra, Monocled Cobra, Russell's Viper, and the Common Krait. Monitor lizard species found in the park include the Bengal monitor and the Water Monitor. Other reptiles include fifteen species of turtle, such as the endemic Assam Roofed Turtle and one species of tortoise, the Brown Tortoise.42 species of fish are found in the area, including the Tetraodon

Flora in Kaziranga
Albizia procera, Duabanga grandiflora, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Crateva unilocularis, Sterculia urens, Grewia serrulata, Mallotus philippensis, Bridelia retusa, Aphania rubra, Leea indica, and Leea umbraculifera and many more, the park has been simply great, whenever one talked about its richness in flora. Grasslands and damps are some of the common feature of the Kaziranga national park. Aphanamixis polystachya, Talauma hodgsonii, Dillenia indica, Garcinia tinctoria, Ficus rumphii, Cinnamomum bejolghota, and species of Syzygium extensively found over here. Apart from land, also go through the different aquatic floras in the forms of lake and ponds. Don’t forget river shores, which are pretty unique from what else you would have seen. However, its strongly recommended to take adequate precautionary measures before accessing the wet areas of the park.

Other Attractions In Kaziranga
Elephant Safari : The vast open country makes Kaziranga National Park very accessible and wildlife viewing fairly pleasurable. Here one can leave in the early hours of the dawn for an elephant-back-ride. Authorized and trained Mahouts who guide visitors through the park train the Elephants. One could see wild Elephant herds roaming around or Indian Rhinos browse past visitors unconcernedly. Since Kaziranga wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible, its provides a chance to see animals in the wild at such close quarters, thus making a trip to this National Park a very rewarding experience.

Sightseeing in Kaziranga : Tourists can stroll through the lush coffee and rubber plantations of the nearby Karbi Anglong. Or visit the Karbi villages, meet the Karbi people and observe their way of living. Yiu can also venture through the tea gardens that Assam is so famous for and watch how one gets one's daily cup of tea. Film shows on wildlife can be arranged at the various tourist lodges in Kaziranga, on request.

Best Time to Visit Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga's visiting season is from mid-November to early April months. During the monsoons, the Brahmaputra River bursts its banks, flooding the low-lying grasslands and causing animals to migrate from one area to another within the Kaziranga National Park.

How to Get there
Air : The nearest airport is situated at Guwahati, which is 217-km away from the park. The other airport is located at Jorhat, 97-km from Kaziranga.

Rail : The nearest railhead is Furkating, situated 75-km away from Kaziranga National Park.

Road : The main gate for Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, at Kohora on the NH-37, consists of a handful of cafes and a small local market. ASTC and private buses stop here on their way to and from Guwahati, Tezpur and Upper Assam. Some private buses also retain a seat quota for Kaziranga passengers.


 General Info / Tips
Reservation Authority :Joint Director of Tourism, Kaziranga, P.O Kaziranga National Park, District Jorhat, Assam - 785612

Note :Visiting Kaziranga independently can be expensive due to the two-tier price system, with different entry costs for Indian nationals and foreigners. There are separate charges for elephant safari and jeep rides from the lodges to the park entrance, as well as a system of variable camera fees.