Kaziranga National Park
Kanchanjuri, Assam, India
Kaziranga is home two-third of world’s one horned Rhino population. A very successful conservation programme has ensured a population of about 2400 Rhinos in this park.
It is also the highest Tiger density park, with over 110 Tigers last counted. Kaziranga is the only park outside Africa which has breeding population of many species of cats, like, Tigers, Leopards, Leoprad Cat, Jungle Cat, and Fishing Cat. Declared as World Heritage Site in 1974, it is also a very Important Bird Area. A healthy population of Asian Elephants, Water Buffaloes, Eastern Swamp Deers. Nine of the 14 primate species are found here including the rare Golden Langur, and the only Ape in India the Hoolock Gibbon is in this park. Protecting such bio-diversity is a huge challenge, and nature does not assist. With the massive Brahmaputra passing through the forest Kaziranga gets flooded every year, thus losing lot of wildlife as well.
About the Park
The Kaziranga National Park is the only National Park in the State situated in central Assam with an area of 430sq. km. It is the home of the great Indian one horned Rhinoceros (Unicornis). The landscape of Kaziranga is of sheer forest, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, mellow marshes and shallow pools. Kaziranga has a history of its own. Lady Curzon first heard about the Rhinos of Kaziranga from her British tea planter friends and came to Assam in 1904-05. Although she could not see the animal, she spotted hoof prints with three toes and believed that such an animal did exist. On her return, she persuaded lord Curzon to do something to save this animal from total annihilation. Lord Curzon set the wheels of the British bureaucracy rolling, and on June 1, 1905, a preliminary notification announcing the intention of the Government to declare 57,273.60 acres of Kaziranga as a reserved forest was issued. Finally, Kaziranga was declared as reserved forest on January 3, 1908, and was officially closed for shooting. On January 28, 1913 the area of reserved forest was expanded with the inclusion of another 13,506 acres. Kaziranga was declared a Game Sanctuary on November10, 1916.
In 1938, the then conservator of forest, A.J.W. Milroy stopped all poaching and opened Kaziranga to visitors. Because the word ‘game’ connotated animals for hunting, in 1950, the then senior conservator of forest Mr P D Stracey, changed the term to ‘wildlife sanctuary’. Gradually the sanctuary, begun as a nucleus encompassing a small area, expanded to its present size. Finally on February 11, 1974, the name was changed to Kaziranga National Park. The one horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Indian bison, Swamp Deer, Samber, Hog Deer, Sloth Bear, Tiger, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Hog badger, Capped langur, Hollock gibbon, Jackal, Goose, Hornbills, Ibis, Cormorants, Egret, Heron fishing eagle etc. all form a part of the very complex ecological balance of the park. During Winter a large number of migratory birds are also seen here.
How to Reach
The average temperature around Kaziranga National Park in summer is 32.2° C and in winter 10° C. The average rainfall is 160 cm. Tourists are advised to wear cotton in summer and woolens in winter. The best season for visiting Kaziranga is November to April. The off season is from May to October.