Kaziranga National Park is the home to One-horned rhino. This national park accommodates the largest population of the one-horned rhino. This place is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. Snuggled in the North-Eastern state of India, Kaziranga National Park is located in Assam and situated in the Nagaon, Golaghat, and Karbi Anglong district of the state. This wildlife conservation park was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. This national park lying on the floodplains of the mighty Brahmaputra and the region is boasts of rich vegetation. Kaziranga receives heavy rainfall and some time the river crosses the danger level. An area of 232 sq. km was created as the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest on June 1, 1905. The national park was declared as a Reserve Forest in 1908 and renamed as the Kaziranga game Reserve in 1916. It was again renamed as Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary by conservationist P.D. Stracey in 1950. The Assam govt. passed the Assam National Park Act in 1968 and declared Kaziranga a national park. It was an accredited official status on 11 February 1974 by Indian govt. and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kaziranga National Park thrives with a wide variety of fauna which includes the one-horned rhino, Asiatic elephants, wild water buffalo, leopards, and Royal Bengal Tigers. The national park is characterized by the tall elephant grass, marshlands, and tall tropical broadleaf forests. This national park is also listed officially as a Tiger reserve and is home to one of the world’s largest population of tigers.
In the national park, different types of birds can also be spotted. It is a popular location for migratory birds who fly down from the north and one can spot various birds such as the black-nested stork, the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, and Baer's pochard duck to name a few. Other prominent bird species that can be seen here include the great Indian hornbill and wreathed hornbill among many others.
The national park safaris can be undertaken during the day and night time. Elephant safaris are very popular among tourists. Hiking is not allowed in the national park to avoid casualties. The authorities are taken great care of this national park so that tourism and natural sustainability go hand in hand.
Legends of Kaziranga National Park
According to stories, a girl Ranga from a nearby village fell in love with a boy named Kazi from Karbi Anglong. Upon rejection from their relatives, they fled and disappeared into a forest, and placed named after them as Kaziranga. Another story says saint-scholar Srimanta Sankardeva in the 16th century blessed a childless couple- Kazi and Rangai and asked them to dig a pond in the area so that their name could live on forever. The name Kaziranga could also mean the ‘ land of red deer’ as ‘Kazi’ in Karbi means ‘goat’, and ‘Rangai’ means ‘red’. Some historians believe that the name could also mean ‘village of Kajir’, derived from the Karbi word ‘Kajir-a-rong’.
Wildlife Species in Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is renowned being home to the world’s largest population of One Horned Rhinoceros (1855), Wild Water Buffalo (1666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). The national park is also home to 35 mammalian species and out of which 15 are endangered. Other species reside in the national park include elephants, gaur, sambar, Indian muntjac, wild boar, Indian grey mongoose, small Indian mongoose, large Indian civet, Bengal fox, golden jackal, sloth bear. The ‘big five’ of Kaziranga is the combined name given to the group of the one-horned rhino, wild water buffalo, swamp deer, Asian elephant, and royal Bengal tiger.
The national park was declared a tiger reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world- 1 per 5 sq.km. The total population of wild cats is 118, and it is one of the few breeding grounds for the same, outside Africa. Rivers of Kaziranga are also home to the endangered Ganges Dolphin. The bird kingdom includes names like the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer's Pochard duck and lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, Asian openbill stork, Blyth's Kingfisher, white-bellied heron, Dalmatian pelican, spot-billed pelican, Nordmann's Greenshank, and black-bellied tern. Three species of the vulture- Indian vulture, slender-billed vulture, Indian white-rumped vulture are also found.
Safari Zones in Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is divided into 4 zones: Kaziranga Range, Western Range, Eastern Range, and Burapahar Range. One safari of one zone is allowed at a time.
Kaziranga or Central Range - Mihimukh-Kathpora- Daphla ng-Diffolu River Bank- Mona beel- Karasing and back
Bagori or Western Range -Dongabeel- Rouman- Rajapukhuri- Monabeel and back
Agratoli or Eastern Range - Agratoli Sohola beel- Rongamotia- Maklung- Turturoni- Dhoba and back
Burapahar Range - Ghurakati- Potahi beel- Diffolu- Phuloguri- Tunikati
Wildlife Safari at the Kaziranga National Park
The wildlife safari to Kaziranga National Park is probably the highlight of the Kaziranga tour. You can book a safari jeep with Indian Holiday or a modern SUV with the Kaziranga tour package with which you will get an opportunity to roam around the area. Kaziranga National Park is a preserved habitat for some of the most endangered species of the world which includes, animals, mammals and birds alike. The animals which you can spot here include the Indian Rhinoceros, Indian Elephant, Wild Buffalo, Wild Boar, Sambar, Macaque, Sloth Bear, Indian Leopard, Black Bear and a variety of birds. The national park is the home to several migratory birds that also found here and make a great spot for bird watching. This place is an absolute treat for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts.
How to reach Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga is located in Assam and is well-accessible by the major cities of the country. The national park is well-connected by roadways, airways, and railheads. The nearest railway station is Furkating, from where Kaziranga is accessed in a matter of an hour. The nearest airport to Kaziranga is the Jorhat Airport, which is located at 97 km away from Kaziranga. The road networks here are well-developed and make transport easy to Kaziranga by road.
Best time to visit Kaziranga National Park
The best time to visit Kaziranga National Park is from November to April. The whole of Assam receives a heavy rainfall during the monsoon season so the excursion is almost impossible. The winter season is the ideal season for the visit as the weather remains comfortable for the outdoor activities.