The beauty of a forest is unlike any of the other natural landscapes. Forests are alive, they are a world within themselves. Every part of a forest is full of a vibrant and colourful kind of life. The culture itself is so different from our human lives, that makes it absolutely fascinating. One such fascinating forest for wildlife tour in east India is the famous Kaziranga National Forest.
Kaziranga is located in the lovely town of Kohora in the state of Assam, located at the banks the beautiful river of Brahmaputra. The town is located about 250km away from Guwahati and can be reached by car. The landscape is peaceful and serene to look at. The small green plateaus provide a wonderful background to the ever-flowing yet the calm Brahmaputra.
The town is famously known for its National Park and the One-horned Rhino. This species of Rhinoceros are endangered in the world, and about 2/3rd of the remaining are found in this Park. This species of rhinos are usually hunted and poached for their luxurious horns. The horns are actually thick hair which the poachers cut and sell off in the black market. This has led to the one-horned rhino being endangered.
Kaziranga located near the Karbi Anlong Mountains is also recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The park itself is amazing and is bound to make one feel so much closer to nature. It is commendable to maintain a park of this size and to make sure that every living organism is well fed and well kept. This feat itself is what makes this park so wonderful. The National Park is a free place and a lesson in coexistence. The animals and humans coexist as there are mutual respect and understanding.
The animals roam freely and their freedom never once hampered by the presence of the thousands of tourists that throng this park every day. Kaziranga is often termed as the ‘Serengeti of the East’, and it lives up to that name. With an area of about 430 square kilometres, this National Park is India’s pride. It is a hotspot for biodiversity, with hues of elephant grass, puddles of lakes and all kinds of animals all existing under the same sky.
The forest radiates calmness and purity in every sense. It is so calm the only the occasional chirping of the birds breaks the silence. It hard not get lost into a pure sense of admiration for this huge park. It also has about 480 species of birds and is also a tiger reserve.
Kaziranga came into existence in 1905, after Mary Curzon, the wife of the then Viceroy of India Lord Curzon of Kedleston insisted on the need to protect the one-horned rhinos of the world. Upon her visit to Kaziranga, she had not seen any rhino and grew concerned. She then came up with the idea to establish a national park that would protect the species from becoming completely extinct.
It initially covered an area of 232 square kilometres and kept on expanding over the years.
Kaziranga has three exit and entry points, which spans over four districts of Assam. Additionally, it has four demarcated zones from where the famed mighty rhinoceros can be spotted. There is also an adventurous Jeep ride, which tourists can take. The Jeep safari takes the tourists extremely close to the natural habitat of these exotic species and gives a close glimpse of the majestic animals that have made Kaziranga their home.
A lot of times, animals like elephants or monkeys can be found nonchalantly crossing the road right in front of the jeeps. It is truly a sight to behold. The safari provides a great overview of the forest and shows the main spots of the National Park. Driving down the lush greenery as exotic and colourful birds fly over one’s head is a treat on itself.
If one is lucky one can also spot the elusive tiger, that hides behind the tall grass that covers Kaziranga like a blanket.
Jeep Safari prices depend on the area that one wants to go to. The jeep safari for the central reserve is about 1750 rupees for the whole jeep.
Watching the sun go down for its slumber is a treat to one’s eyes. Watching it with the birds chirping and the night grasshoppers creaking amidst forest is a different kind of experience. The sunsets, the park is filled with a lovely hue of yellow and red, and the sky is covered with flocks of birds returning to their resting places. The animals residing in the parklet out their night howl and everything seems perfect. Such a kind of experience is what makes the trip was authentic and special.
Elephant safari is also an extremely popular activity that a lot of tourists undertake. This is a really enthralling way to explore the forest and be drenched in the forest experience. The Safaris start from the Central Reserve, and it starts as early as 5:30 am in the morning during summers and 6:30 am during the winters.
Elephant safaris are a guaranteed way of seeing the One-horned Rhino. The path also that the elephants take is pretty off beaten and an adventure on its own. Most of the times, the baby elephants travel alongside their mother, and their cute interactions are so pure that one cannot help but keep such a memory in their hearts forever.
The safaris are about 1950 rupees for one foreigner adult, and 900 for an Indian adult
The most amazing time to visit Kaziranga is anytime between November to April. The climate of this park is usually tropical and the summers are usually hot and humid. This makes the summer months an undeniable time to visit, and the park also remains closed from May to October. The monsoon months are extremely terrible since the river Brahmaputra tends to overflow every year.
The park opens are 5:15 am and usually closes down by 3:30 pm.
Kaziranga also has a staggering amount of restaurants, and many stay options are found nearby. One should usually choose a resort that is closest to the park. Kaziranga also has a tea estate and a small handicraft souvenir shop which are also a delight to look at.
There is also a local function that happens every evening near the national park. It is a traditional dance performance. It is really fun to watch it and learn about the different instruments and folk culture of Assam. At the end of the performance, one can also join in and dance, which costs up to Rs. 250 per person, but the experience and the dance are truly worth it.