KAZIRANGA: The elephant safari at the world-famous Kaziranga national park (KNP) in Assam will begin from November 2.

The elephant safari will be opened for tourists at the western, Bagori, Kaziranga and Kohora ranges of the national park in Assam.

The Kaziranga national park and tiger reserve (KNPTR), famed for its one-horned rhinoceros, was formally opened for tourists from October 2 for the 2022-23 season.  

On September 22, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma along with Sadhguru Vasudev opened the Kaziranga national park for tourists for this season.

The Kaziranga national park is one of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India.

It is home to over 2400 one-horned rhinoceros, which is 2/3rd of the world’s total one-horned rhino population.

The Kaziranga national park in Assam is also home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.

Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the Kaziranga national park in Assam combines high species diversity and visibility.

HISTORY OF KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK:

The history of Kaziranga as a protected area can be traced back to 1904, when Mary Curzon, the wife of then Viceroy of India – Lord Curzon of Kedleston, visited the area.

After failing to see a single rhinoceros, for which the area was renowned, she persuaded her husband to take urgent measures to protect the dwindling species, which he did by initiating planning for their protection.

On 1 June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2 (90 sq mi).

Over the next three years, the park area was extended by 152 square km (59 sq mi), to the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

In 1908, Kaziranga was designated a “Reserve Forest”.

In 1916, it was re-designated the “Kaziranga Game Sanctuary” and remained so till 1938, when hunting was prohibited and visitors were permitted to enter the park.

The Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was renamed the “Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary” in 1950 by PD Stracey, the forest conservationist, in order to rid the name of hunting connotations.

In 1954, the government of Assam passed the Assam (Rhinoceros) Bill, which imposed heavy penalties for rhinoceros poaching.

In 1968, the state government passed the Assam National Park Act of 1968, declaring Kaziranga a designated national park.

The park was given official status of a national park by the central government on 11 February 1974.

In 1985, Kaziranga was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its unique natural environment.

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