Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is situated in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. Considered as the oldest park of Assam, it covers an area of 430 sq kms. The national park is bordered by the Brahmaputra on the north and the Karbi Anglong hills on the south. Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Assam. Kaziranga National Park is mainly famous for the Great Indian one horned rhinoceros.

kaziranga

Important facts

  • The park stretches in the Kaliabor subdivision of Nagaon district and Bokakhat sub division of Golaghat district.
  • A certain 175 sq kms of the park falls under the Bagori Forest Range and another 40 sq kms falls under Ghorakati Forest Range office.
  • The park covers a distance of approximately 40 kms in length from east to west and 13 kms in breadth from north to south.
  • The park is famous as the home to the One-horned Rhinoceros found in its highest number in here.

History of Kaziranga

The history of Kaziranga can be traced back to 1904 when Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon visited the area. When she failed to see a single rhino in the area, she urged her husband to take urgent measures to protect the species. Doing so, the Kaziranga proposed reserve forest area was created with an area of 232 sq kms. In the next three years, the area was extended to the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Then in 1908, it was designated as a Reserve Forest.

 In 1916, it was converted as Kaziranga Game Sanctuary and remained like that till 1938 when hunting was prohibited, but visitors were allowed inside the park. The Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was renamed as Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950 by a forest conservationist to get rid of the hunting connotations. In 1954, the Assam Rhinoceros Bill was passed to impose heavy penalties on rhino poaching.

Fourteen years later in 1968, the state Government passed ‘The Assam National Park Act of 1968’ declaring Kaziranga a designated National Park. The 430 sq kms park was given official status by the Central Government on 11th February 1974. In 1985, Kaziranga was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was also declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 for having the highest density of tigers in the world (number counting to 86) as per the 2000 census. It is also identified as an Important Bird Area for having a large species of resident, riverine and migratory birds.

The park celebrated its centenary with much ordeal in 2005, inviting descendants of Lord Curzon and Baroness for the celebrations. In 2007, elephants and two rhinoceros were relocated to Manas National Park.

Origin of Kaziranga

There are many stories regarding the origin of the name ‘Kaziranga’. According to the Karbi language, Kazi means ‘goat’ and Rangai means ‘red’. This led to the name Kaziranga- the land of red goats (deer).Another tale tells of a girl names Ranga and a youth named Kazi who were in love with each other. Their relation was opposed by their families and as such they disappeared into the forest never to be seen again. The forest was named after them. Another story tells of an old couple named Kazi and Rangai who didn’t have children. They approached a saint and he told them to dig a pond and blessed them that their name will live on through generations. Some historians say that the name Kaziranga was derived from Karbi word Kajir-a-rang which means the village of Kajir. Among the Karbis.

Terrain of Kaziranga

The Kaziranga National Park contains vast expanses of fertile alluvial land which is formed by the deposits of silt and erosion by the mighty Brahmaputra. There are sandbars, flood formed lakes known as beels and elevated regions which provide a source of shelter and habitat for the animals. The average elevation ranges from 40 m to 80m. There is a difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the sanctuary with the western area being at a lower altitude.  It is ranked as a biodiversity hotspot located in the Brahmaputra valley.

Climate in Kaziranga

The Kaziranga National Park experiences tropical climate with an average annual rainfall of 2300 mm which is heavy during summer. Summers are hot with temperatures rising up to 37°C. The summer months continues from March to May accompanied by the rainy monsoon season which lasts from June to September. During the monsoon months of July and August, heavy rainfall occurs due to which the banks of the Brahmaputra overflow covering the majority western region of the sanctuary in floods. The winter months go on from November to February with temperatures dropping to as low as 5°C.

Biodiversity of Kaziranga

rhino

Vegetation and Flora:

The vegetation of Kaziranga National Park comprises of alluvial grasslands and savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests and tropical semi-evergreen forests. The park has tall grasses, short grasses, open jungles and swamps.Short and tall grasses including sugarcane, spear grass, elephant grass and common reed can be seen on higher and lower grounds. There are also trees like the kumbhi, Indian gooseberry and cotton tree and elephant apple prevalent among these grasses.

Thick evergreen forests dominate the Panbari, Kanchanjhuri, and Tamulipathar blocks with trees like Aphanamixis Polystacya, Talauma Hodgsonii, Garcinia Tinctoria, Cinnamomum Bejolghota, Ficus Rumphii, Dillenia Indica, Syzygium etc. likewise, tropical semi-evergreen forests are present in Baguri, Bimali, Haldibari areas with trees like Duabanga Grandiflora, Sterculia Urens, Albizia Procera, Lagerstroemia Speciosa,  Leea Indica, Crateva Unilocularis, Mallotus Philippensis, Bridelia Retusa, Grewia Serrulata, Apharia Rubra, Leea Umbraculifera etc.

There are also aquatic floras in the lakes, ponds and river banks in the sanctuary. Among them, the Water Hyacinth is the most common. This plant often fills up the ponds and has to be cleaned out during floods. There is also a type of climbing palm named Rattan Cane which is found in the park.

These vegetative and plant species provides excellent fodder for the animals who depend on plants for food. According to the Bio-geographic classification, the Kaziranga National Park comes under 9A: North East Brahmaputra valley Province.

Fauna:

Kaziranga is famous for the One-horned Rhinoceros found here.
The One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Unicornis) is found in Kaziranga and Manas National parks. The rhino prefers swampy grasslands area and the fodder consists of grass. It has a thick layered body with one horn at the tip of its nose. This rhino is found only north-east India and in some protected parts of Nepal. It is listed among the vulnerable species by conservation department.

 The Kaziranga National Park has the world’s largest population of the One-horned Rhino, Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo and the Eastern Swamp Deer. Apart from there are other herbivores like elephants, gaur, sambar, Indian Muntjac, eastern mole, wild boar and hog deer. Around 57% of the water buffalo population in the world can be found in Kaziranga alone. Kaziranga National Park is also a popular bird reserve with large number of resident and migratory birds found in the sanctuary every year. Two of the largest snakes in world, the Reticulated Python and Rock Python as well the longest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra are found here.


Kaziranga is also a home to wild cats like the Indian Tiger, Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat and Leopard. Apart from that, small mammals like the hispid hare, Indian gray mongoose, Small Indian mongoose, large Indian civet, Bengal fox, golden jackal, sloth bear, Chinese pangolin, hog badger, Chinese ferret badgers, parti-colored flying squirrels etc. there are also species like the Hollock Gibbon which is the only ape found in India, the Golden langur, Assamese macaque and Lutung. The rivers and tributaries of Brahmaputra also serve a home for the Gangetic Dolphin.

 Kaziranga is a home to a number of migratory birds like the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck, lesser adjutant stork, greater adjutant stork, black-necked stork, Asian open billed stork etc. apart from that, resident and riverine birds like Blyth’s kingfisher, white-bellied heron, Dalmatian pelican, spot-bellied pelican, Nordmann’s Greenshank, black-bellied tern etc are also found.

Avifauna in Kaziranga also includes birds of prey like eagles and vultures and game birds like the swamp Francolin, Bengal florican and pale-capped pigeon. Eagle species like the eastern imperial, greater spotted, white-tailed, Pallas’s fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle and lesser kestrel are found in the park. Kaziranga was once home to seven species of vultures. However, due to the feeding on animal carcasses containing Diclofenac drug, the vulture population has drastically decreased. Presently, the Indian vulture, slender-billed vulture, and Indian white-rumped vulture are found.
Other bird families existing in the Kaziranga are great Indian hornbill, wreathed hornbill, marsh babblers, Baya weaver, Hodgson’s bushchat, Bristled grassbird, black-breasted parrotbill, and Rofous-vented prinia.

Kaziranga National Park is also the home to a number of reptiles. Snakes including the Indian Cobra, Monocled Cobra, Russell’s viper and Common Krait, Kukri snake, pit vipers, rat snake, striped keelback etc are found here. Other reptiles like the Bengal monitor lizard, water monitor lizard, Assam grayish-brown gecko, dotted garden skink, light-olive Assam garden lizard, tuckto gecko, endemic Assam roofed turtle, brown tortoise, Indian eyed turtle, Indian black turtle, spotted pond turtle, Oldham’s leaf turtle and a number of fish and crocodile species are found in Kaziranga.

Administration of Kaziranga

The Wildlife Wing of the Assam Government responsible for the management of Kaziranga is located in Bokakhat. The office has a director followed by forest officers, divisional forest officers, chief administrative executive, and other officers. The Kaziranga park area is divided into four ranges to be overseen by forest range officers. These four ranges are Burapahar, Baguri, Central and Eastern. The headquarters for these ranges are located at Ghorakati, Baguri, Kohora and Agoratoli respectively.

Conservation of Kaziranga

Various conservations and laws have been passed to conserve and protect the animals in the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary. Measures like anti poaching camps, patrolling, and control of firearms around the park have helps in tackling threats with time. Corridors and patrolling services have also been built and developed in the NH 37 to prevent animals from running down by vehicles. Fencing of sensitive parts of the park has also helped the animals to prevent them from going astray.

Apart from that, activities like flood season measures, control of grazing, weed control, controlling raging patterns of animals, erosion monitoring and control, animal health surveillance, man-animal coexistence measures and development of the park have gone a long way in conservation and managing the World Heritage status. Research activities like Tiger monitoring services with camera and monitors placed in different parts of the park have helps in keeping a check on the number of tigers and decreasing the death occurrences.

How to reach Kaziranga

By air: The nearest airport to Kaziranga National Park is Rowraiah Jorhat, 97 kms away and LGBI Airport in Guwahati, 239 kms away.

By Rail:  The nearest rail head is located in Jorhat (90 km ) and Guwahati ( 200 km ).

By Road: Buses operating from Guwahati, Jorhat, Tezpur and Nagaon will take you to Kaziranga.

Contact

Shri S. Dutta
Director, Kaziranga National Park & Field Director, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve
Bokakhat – 785 612
Telephone: +91-3776-268095
Email: dir.kaziranganp@gmail.com

Directorate of Tourism, Govt. of Assam
Station Road, Guwahati 781001
Phone: +91-361- 2547102 / 2542748
Email: info@assamtourism.org

Tourist Information Officer
Kaziranga: O/o Dy. Director of Tourism, Kaziranga, Phone: +91-3776-262423 & 262429

Hotels in Kaziranga

For a comfortable stay in Kaziranga these hotels are at your service.


Diphlu River Lodge
Address: Kaziranga National Park, Kuthuri, Near Bagori Police Outpost Kaziranga
Phone: (+91) 95 95 333 333

Infinity Resort
Address: Bocha Gaon, Kaziranga

IORA-The Retreat
Address: Bogorijuri, Kohora, Kaziranga National Park Kaziranga

Kaziranga Florican Lodge
Address: Kohora, Golaghat Kaziranga


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