- Location:In Golaghat and Nagaon districts in Assam along River Brahmaputra
- Attraction type: National Park
- Significance: Home of the one-horned rhinoceros; a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best Time to Visit: November to May
- How to reach: By flight or train to Guwahati and then along NH 37
- Nearest Airport: Guwahati Borjhar Airport
Kaziranga National Park is the home of the redoubtable one-horned rhinoceros. Unlike other Indian forests, Kaziranga mainly consists of grasslands, marshes, reeds, and shallow pools. Every year thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe throng this national park to have glimpse of the one-horned rhino. In addition to having the largest numbers of one horned rhino, Kaziranga also has the largest density of tiger.
Kaziranga in Assam covers an area of approximately 146 square miles along River Brahmaputra to its north and the Karbi Hills to its south. A further addition of 166 square miles has been added to this national park for an extended habitat. The history of Kaziranga goes back to 1904 when Mary Curzon, wife of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India visited this place. On not finding any one-horned rhinoceros for which Kaziranga was famed she persuaded her husband to protect the endangered species. Subsequently the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was formed in 1905 and designated a ‘reserve forest’ in 1908. Thereafter, Kaziranga Reserve Forest was converted to Kaziranga Geme Sanctuary where shooting was permitted. 1938 onwards when killing of games was prohibited by law Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was renamed Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, and ultimately Kaziranga National Park in 1968.
Kaziranga most likely is derived from ‘Kajir a rang’ meaning ‘village of Kajir’ in local Karbi language. Kajir was supposedly the name of the lady ruler of this land.
Visit to Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is flamboyant with mainly four vegetation types: tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, alluvial forests, and alluvial swamps. Elephant grass, marshes, and rugged reeds make up most of this national reserve. Vast open areas are typical of this open forest which enables an unobstructed view of the fauna. An elephant ride ensures a closer view of the animals of this park. In addition to one horned rhinos, you could also chance upon the gaur, Eastern swamp deer, sambar, Asiatic water buffalo, elephants, hog deer, wild boar, and maybe tigers. Among the smaller animals, Bengal fox, Indian civets, badgers, mongoose, golden jackal, hog badger, Chinese ferret, and pangolins are observed. In the primates you might see the Hoolock gibbon, golden langur, and Assamese Macaque.
If you are an avid bird-watcher then Blyth’s kingfisher, grey headed fish eagle, spot-billed pelican, black necked stork, Baer’s Pochard duck, spotted greenshank and Palla’s fish eagle would delight you. Among the reptiles, Russel’s viper, Indian cobra, king cobra, python, Bengal monitor and water monitor could be discovered.
Accommodation in Kaziranga National Park
For visiting Kaziranga National Park you might stay in the resorts and lodges located just outside the forest’s periphery. Bonhabi Resort, Landmark Woods, Wild Grass Lodge, Aranya Resort, Iora Resort, Kalibor Manor Resort, and Kaziranga Resort are the notable accommodations close to this park.