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Adventure Activities in Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park

There are tigers here but this World Heritage Site (1985) is famous for its one-horned rhinos, among Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring creations. The official rhino count here is around 2000 (at the turn of the 20th century, there were barely 20), roughly two-thirds of the overall world population of one-horned rhinos. These magnificent armoured-tank-like creatures, each weighing in at more than a couple of tons, can be sighted in the park’s grasslands and marshes (dawn is the best time, while seated on the back of an elephant).
Covering an area of 430sq km on the Brahmaputra’s southern banks, Kaziranga is one of India’s prettiest national parks, and unarguably Assam’s biggest tourist draw. But Kaziranga does face serious challenges on a couple of fronts – poaching and encroachment (in 2009, 14 rhinos were killed). There is huge demand for the rhino’s horns from the Chinese, who claim it has medicinal properties (the horns sell for vast sums).


In efforts to save the one-horned rhino, Kaziranga was declared a game reserve in 1916. In 1974, it became a national park, and in 2006 it was designated a tiger reserve after becoming a part of ‘Project Tiger’. In its dedicated efforts to save the rhino, Kaziranga can be regarded as one of the world’s biggest success stories in the area of conservation.


Kaziranga, a level flood plain for almost its entire area, occupies a huge valley floor. The topography is that of wide savannah grasslands punctuated with thick jungle. To the north lies the powerful Brahmaputra, and to the south the Mikir Hills. The park is made up of creeks, shallow lagoons and semi-evergreen forest, merging into marshland and plains of elephant grasses.


Kaziranga is open from November to April. The best time of the year to visit the park is February, when the elephant grass has burned off sufficiently to allow better sighting of Kaziranga’s big game. During the rains, the low-lying grasslands are flooded by the Brahmaputra, forcing the animals to relocate to higher ground.

Flora and Fauna

Besides the legendary one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros Unicornis), common sightings in Kaziranga include elephants (well over 1000 of these giants), barasingha (swamp deer), hog deer, sambar, wild buffalo (more than 1000 of them), Indian bison, wild boar, jackals, as well as the capped langur and the hoolock gibbon (the latter two endangered species of primates). Leopards and tigers, however, are more elusive (tigers are the only animals that hunt the rhino).
Kaziranga is a birder’s paradise with close to 500 species of birds, among which can be spotted (on the water) herons, kingfishers, egrets, storks (black-necked, adjutant), fish eagles, river terns, falcated teals, white-eyed pochards, spot-billed pelicans and a colony of grey pelicans, and (off the water) harriers (pied and northern), the common swamp francolin and the rare Bengal florican (a species of bustard). Among reptiles, you’ll also come across rock pythons and monitor lizards. The Brahmaputra, meanwhile, is home to dolphins and otters.
A further 12km from Kaziranga is the Panbari Forest Reserve, which has the hoolock gibbon (among other wildlife), besides many species of avifauna.

How to reach

Kaziranga is 217km east of Guwahati. There are regular bus services from Guwahati (6hrs), Tezpur (2hrs) and Jorhat (1hr 30min); the frequency to Dibrugarh (6hrs) is less. Most buses halt at the main gate (Kohora).
The nearest airport is at Jorhat, though Guwahati Airport has more connections.

Getting Around

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