Kaziranga National Park in Assam is the world’s largest habitat for the great one-horned rhinos. It is India’s biggest bio-diversity treasure, and a UNESCO’s world heritage site.
A visit to Kaziranga National Park is in the bucket list of almost every Indian. The park is located on the banks of river Brahmaputra, and covers two districts of Nagaon and Golaghat in Assam.
Kaziranga National Park is home to about 2,600 one-horned rhinos. In addition to the Assam Forest Department, more than one-dozen wildlife NGOs work in tandem to preserve the unique wildlife habitat.
Kaziranga was declared as a Tiger reserve in the year 2006 as it had the highest density of tigers of all the protected areas in the world. The park also shelters huge breeding populations of elephants, swamp deer and wild water buffalo.
In addition to the huge population of rhinos, elephants, tigers and elephants, Kaziranga National Park is also recognized as a prominent birdlife area by Birdlife International for conserving varied species of birdlife.
The vast area of Kaziranga comprises of tall elephant grass, dense tropical broadleaf forests and marshland. Four major rivers including the Brahmaputra River crosses the Kaziranga National Park.
History of Kaziranga National Park
In 1904, Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, along with his wife Mary Curzon, had gone for an excursion in the area to get a glimpse of the great one-horned rhinos. Unfortunately, they couple could not see any rhino, and were sad because most of the rhinos were poached.
Mary Curzon immediately decided to take some measures for the conservation of rhinos. In June 1905 she came up with the idea of conserving rhinos in the area, and Kaziranga was declared a reserve forest. A present, the Kaziranga National Park shelters two-third of great Indian one-horned rhino population of the world. Subsequently, Kaziranga was upgraded as a national park. In the year 2006, Kaziranga was declared as a tiger reserve with the highest density of tigers in this region.
Flora of Kaziranga National Park
The rich variety of flora in Kaziranga National Park attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world. The national park is surrounded by the floodplains of Brahmaputra that helps in the nourishment of the major plants, animals and bird species of this region. It has been titled as a “Hotspot of Biodiversity” because of its rich diverse species and their omnipresence.
Kaziranga National Park’s vegetation comprises of three major types such as grasslands on alluvial plains which includes tall elephant grass and short grasses as well along with tropical wet and semi-evergreen forests. The array of charming flowers adds glory to the vegetation of Kaziranga.
In addition to the grass land, Kaziranga National Park is also blessed with aquatic flora, including lotus, water lilies and water hyacinth. Some species of climbing plants add to the beauty of the park.
Fauna of Kaziranga National Park
While Kaziranga is biggest habitat of the one-horned rhinoceros, it also shelters a large number of tigers. The park is inhabited by major populations including 35 species of mammals, out of which 15 are considered as endangered species by the IUCN Red List.
Elephant, wild Asiatic water buffalo and swamp deer are found in abundance in Kaziranga National Park. It also shelters Gaur and Sambar. Fishing Cat, leopards, jungle cat, small Indian mongoose, gray mongoose, hispid hare, golden jackal, bengal fox, sloth bear, civets, Chinese pangolin and Indian pangolins are other prominent animals found in the wild habitat.
Kaziranga National Park is also home to 479 species of migratory and resident birds, out of which 25 are globally and 21 are locally threatened species.
The park is also a home to 42 species of reptile which includes the about to extinct species like King Corbra, Assam roofed turtle and gharial. The endangered Ganges Dolphins are sheltered in the floodplain of River Brahmaputra.
Best season to visit Kaziranga National Park
The best season to enjoy at Kaziranga National Park is between November and March.
Safari of Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park offers two exclusive safaris like Elephant Safari and Jeep Safari that gives extensive view of the wilderness of the wild habitat.
Elephant ride through the jungle of Kaziranga National Park is always majestic, and tourists can get a better view of rhinos and other wildlife. The elephant safari is organized by the Forest Department in Kohora and Bagori ranges.
Jeep Safari is also popular in Kaziranga National Park. The forest department arranges two shift of jeep safari for its visitors. A jeep is allowed to carry 6 persons, and cover large area than the elephant safari.
Wildlife Safari Timings
Kaziranga Elephant Safari Rides Timing
Enjoy elephant safari at Kohora and Bagori ranges in the morning from 5:30 am to 07:30 am.
Jeep Safari Timing
A Jeep Safari can be enjoyed either in the morning from 07:00 am to 09:30 am or in the afternoon from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
How to Reach Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park can be reached by all modes of transport – rail, road and air.
The nearest airport to Kaziranga National Park is at a distance of 96 km in Jorhat town. Jorhat is connected by air from Kolkata. But, the best option is to fly to Guwahati, 225 Km away to the west of Kaziranga National Park. Guwahati has fantastic air connectivity with almost all major cities of India.
The nearest railhead to Kaziranga National Park is 80 km east at Furkating. It is connected by trains to all the major cities of India. Some tourists even take a train to Guwahati, and travel to Kaziranga by road.
Kaziranga is well connected with the major cities of the world and within the country through roadways as it has NH 37. Several public and private buses run on the roads.
Distance of Major Cities
Jorhat 90 Km
Nagaon 100 Km
Guwahati 240 Km
Shilong 280 Km
Best Places to Stay in Kaziranga National Park
There are many luxurious resorts and lodges where you can stay comfortably. Few of them are mentioned below:
Diphlu River Lodge
Wild Grass Lodge
Aranya Tourist Lodge