Kaziranga
Kaziranga Safari
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Kaziranga Tourism

Kaziranga National Park

Introduction
A national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular tiger reserve, Kaziranga National Park situated partly at Assam state in North-East India. It covers Golaghat district and partly in Nagaon district of Assam. Kaziranga has prominent place in World Wildlife Map due to it bio-diversity and best place to witness Asiatic one-horned Rhinos (Rhinoceros Unicornis) in wilderness. It has great history of successful conservation of one-horned rhinos which are close to extinct from this region. In North-East India tourism, it is a prime tourist attraction. Geographically it is a river valley area of Brahmaputra river also called Tsangpo-Brahmaputra and part of Eastern Himalaya bio-diversity. Origin of Brahmaputra rive is in south-western Tibet as Yarlung Tsangop river and enters from Arunachal Pradesh state of India. Its direction of flow is from North-East to South-West.

Wildlife Tourism
The park has its own place in the world as it contains significantly breeding population of more than 35 mammalian species, out of which 15 are threatened mammals according to the IUCN red list. The park has the world’s single largest breeding population of Indian rhinoceros, with the 2006 census estimating the present population to be around 1,855, around 70% of the world's total wild population of 2,700. Presence of rare species like One-horned Rhinos, Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer, Hoolock Gibbon, Royal Bengal Tiger in a single national park makes Kaziranga far better place to visit for wildlifers and photographers. It has identified as an important Bird area (IBA) by birdlife international as there is approximately 479 species of birds including both migratory and non migratory whereas 25 identified globally threatened and 21 near threatened species. A total of 42 species of reptile have been reported from the park. These include the endangered Gharial and the rare Assam Roofed Turtle. Combination of mammals, birds and reptiles make Kaziranga Tourism a best package deal for tourists around the world. Observing the wildlife, including birding, is the main visitor activity in and around the park. Guided tours by elephant or Jeep are available. Hiking is prohibited in the park to avoid potential human-animal conflicts. A survey of tourists notes that 80 percent found rhino sightings most enjoyable and that foreign tourists were more likely to support park protection and employment opportunities financially, while local tourists favored support for veterinary services.

History
Kaziranga history is great and inspirational to every wildlife lover. It shows, how a small initiative can be turnout into a great story of wildlife conservation. A small incidence has changed the fate of Kaziranga and one-horned rhinos in this region. It is believed that in 1904 Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, the wife of lord Curzon ( Then Viceroy of India), played a key role to save rhinoceros being extinct. she visited the area and have not seen a single rhinoceros, she told all this incident to her husband for taking immediate actions against poaching and killing innocent rhinos. As on 1 June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2 (90 sq mi), in next couple of years park area was extended by 152 km2 (59 sq mi) in north and came closer to the bank of bramhaputra river which is one of the major rivers of Asia and the Karbi Anglong hills on the south. The National highway 37 passes through the park area and tea estates. In 1908, Kaziranga was declared as a reserved forest afterward it was upgraded to a game sanctuary in 1916 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1950, and in 1974, it became first National Park of Assam.

Kaziranga Safari
Beautiful landscapes with the perfect greenish surroundings tempting every nature lover, rare wild species like Rhinos, Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Wild Water Buffalo, Swamp deer, Hoolock Gibbon, Bengal florican, dolphin, and lots of more make visiting Kaziranga a best deal for tourists. Here tiger-density is believed to be highest in India. The Indian rhino properly known as the greatest Indian one horned rhinoceros is a descendant of an old species of rhino. Despite its fearsome appearance, it is generally a peaceful animal. Here they can be seen roaming freely in grasslands, near water sources, crossing the jungle tracks etc. Similarly species of wild Water Buffalo in Kaziranga is also now rarely seen mammal in India. They can either be seen in Chattisgarh state (Central India) at Sitanadi Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary or in Kaziranga National Park of Assam state. Tourism in Kaziranga is gaining momentum since last 10 years with better efforts of Assam Tourism Department. Elephant safaris is the best part of Kaziranga safari and important highlight of Kaziranga tourism which attracts foreigner tourists in this region. Due to presence of high grasslands (elephant grass), elephant ride is a nice way to access those areas of park which are marshy and not accessible by safari jeeps. Here one can enjoy both elephant safari & jeep safari as a part of game drives. One can begin the day with elephant ride followed by jeep safari. Time-limit of Elephant safari can range from one to two hours in early morning and later with sun-rise and better light, tourists explore the park areas open safari jeeps. Just like any other national park of India, Kaziranga forest is also divided into safari zone called ranges. At one time, one can visit only one safari range. In order to attend game drives, one has to seek advance safari booking through travel agents, resort or directly. Advance safari booking is also recommended to avoid last minute booking problems especially in peak seasons like festive time, new-year weekend etc.

Location
Kaziranga National park is located between latitude 26°30 N to 26°45 N and longitude 93°08 E to 93°36 E in the Kaliabor subdivision of the Nagaon district and the Bokakhat subdivision of the Golaghat district of Assam state. It lies in North-East of India in South-West Asia. Park is in North of Assam state covering Brahmaputra river valley. Geographically Kaziranga National park is spread along the river Brahmaputra on the North and the Karbi Anglong hills on the South. constitute important forest belt sheltering varying variety of flora & fauna.

How to reach
Nearby major city for Kaziranga is Guwahati in Assam. It is about 250kms by road from park area and is linked with good surface connectivity. Visitors can travel to Kaziranga by road, train and flight but among them, surface connectivity is best linked. Know more about various ways to reach Kaziranga:
By Flight: Kaziranga national park don't have its own airstrip so for reaching this famous national park by flight, one can take flight to Guwahati Airport, Tezpur Airport or Jorhat Airport. For domestic tourists, Guwahati airport has good connectivity with other important cities of India like Delhi, Kolkata etc. For tourists directly visiting Kaziranga or North East region of India, they should take flight to Kolkata airport which is largest International Airport in this region.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Kaziranga is Furkating, which is 80 km away. Furkating is connected by trains from Delhi and Kolkata. Guwahati & Jorhat railway station could be other options for reaching this World Heritage Site by train.
By Road: Tiger Reserve is about 250kms/05:00hrs from Guwahati city which is well linked with other nearby tourists attractions and major cities of India. Khohora region of Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary is on National Highway-37. Jorhat town is another important place at a distance of 88kms from park and linked by road. Tezpur is about 40kms from park area and is best place to launch surface drive to Kaziranga. Other nearby tourist attractions are Gibbon wildlife sanctuary (approx. 50kms), Manas National Park (260kms), Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary (125kms) etc.

Best time to visit
Kaziranga National Park and tiger reserve remains open for visitors from November to April. During this time, visitors can enjoy wildlife of this world heritage site. Park remains closed from May to October due to heavy rainfall and flood situation in Brahmaputra river. Best time to visit Kaziranga could vary from tourist to tourist as visitors come here with different mindset, interests and aim. For bird-watchers, time from November to January is good to notice resident & migratory birds in park. Those who are interested in mammals sighting, time from January to April is good as with some dryness in grassland area and absence of fogs, one can enjoy better visibility which may result to better mammals sighting. With summers like in March-April, animals can be seen easily in & around water sources. For those who are interested in reptiles, months of November-December could be good as due to recently concluded rains in & around marshy lands, water one can find better reptiles sighting. Last week of December remains fully populated with tourists due to Christmas festival & New year time so during this time one may face problem in safari booking & accommodation so advance booking is highly recommended. Tourists with no pre-fixed mindset, can visit the park anytime from November to April as per its convenience and tour plans.

Related links
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