The Kaziranga National Park or the Kazironga Rastriyo Uddan is a reserved forest and one of the oldest national parks in India that is spread over the districts of Nagaon and Golaghat in the state of Assam.
History says that Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, wife of Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, visited the area sometime in 1904. She was shocked when she failed to see a single rhino in the area for which it is renowned. Upon her persuasion, Lord Curzon took immediate measures to initiate plans to protect the waning species. The Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created on 1 June 1905, covering an area of 232 sq km. The next three years saw the extension of the park by 152 sq km. In 1908 it became a reserved forest and in 1916 it was designated The Kaziranga Game Sanctury. In 1938 the park was opened for visitors and hunting was prohibited. Again in 1950 it was renamed as Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary by the forest conservationist P. D. Stracey. In 1968 the Assam government declared Kaziranga as a national park by passing the Assam National Park Act of 1968. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985 by the UNESCO. The centenary of the park was celebrated in 2005 and the invitees included descendants of Lord Curzon and Baroness. For the first time, elephants were relocated from one national park to the other in India when elephants and two rhinos were relocated to the Manas National Park from Kaziranga.
The Kaziranga National Park lies at the edge of eastern Himalayas, with the mighty Brahmaputra flowing in its vicinity. It lies between latitudes 26°34' N to 26°46' N and longitudes 93°08' E to 93° 36' in the 9A Indo-Burma bio-geographical region. Spread over the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, the Kaziranga National Park covers a vast area of 430 sq km. It is about 217 km away from Guwahati, which is quite accessible place from other parts of the country by road, rail and air. Other places near the Kaziranga include Jorhat (97 km) and Furkating (75 km).
Kaziranga National Park is famous for
The Kaziranga National Park is most famous for the one-horned rhino. It is the domicile to the highest density of tigers compared with other protected and reserve forests in the world. Breeding inhabitants like the wild water buffaloes, elephants and swamp deer are other attractions of the park. Different inhabiting and migrating birds of dwindling species are also seen here. The Birdlife International has declared it as an Important Bird Area. The park includes small water-bodies and is an expanse of marshland, tall elephant grass and tropical moist broad-leaf forests that are intersected by four rivers, including the Brahmaputra.
Guided elephant safaris and jeep tours are the two most popular options for visitors, apart from enjoying life in the vicinity of a jungle with wildlife and nature in abundance. To avoid human and animal conflict, hiking is prohibited. The Sohola, Kathpara, Harmoti, Mihimukh and Foliamari holds observation towers for viewing wildlife.
When to visit
Kaziranga and its vicinity experience typical tropical climatic conditions. During summer from April to June the climate becomes hot and humid with the maximum temperature hovering around 37 degrees centigrade while the minimum remains around 22 degrees centigrade. Every year in monsoon from June to August, Kaziranga witness flood due to rise in the water level of the Brahmaputra River. During this period Kaziranga National Park becomes inaccessible. Winter remains chilly with a maximum temperature of around 26 degree centigrade and minimum temperature around 10 degrees centigrade. So the best time to visit the park is after monsoon that is nearing winter or winter or at end of winter that is around October to early April when the flora of the area becomes very soothing to view and experiencing safaris also becomes most enjoyable.
The Kaziranga National Park opens daily from November 1st to 30th April every year for six months unless the management closes the park earlier due to unexpected rains for the purpose of safety. The Park remains partially open in the months of October and May. During monsoon that is June to September the park remains closed.
Typically the park remains open from 5:15 am to 3:30 pm daily unless otherwise the closing schedule is changed due to seasonal variation in climate. Kaziranga experiences early sunrise and early sunset compared to other places like Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmadabad. While the park experiences sunset at around 4:30 pm in November, in April sun sets around 5:30 pm.
From November 1st till 30th April, the first elephant ride is from 5:15 am to 6:15 am and the second from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. During winter it is advisable to take the second slot for an elephant ride when the fog gets cleared. Timing for jeep safaris is from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. Jeep safaris are available from November 1st till 30th April and also on the months of October and May depending on the weather and road conditions.
Flora and Fauna
Kaziranga is a bio-diverse region with abundance of flora and fauna. It is the house of about 2048 rhinos (according to 2009 census), 1048 elephants (according to 2002 census), 1431 buffaloes (according to 2001 census), 486 Swamp deer and 86 tigers (according to 2000 census) among 35 species of mammals. Other inhabitants include 491 species of birds, 27 species of reptiles, 42 species of fish and 9 species of amphibians. Kaziranga national Park is also the abode of 546 species of flora.
The tall and dense elephant grass helps the tigers to wander around without being noticed by visitors. It is one such area outside Africa where large cats such as Leopards and Indian Tigers are found apart from fishing cats and jungle cats. Rare mammals such as Hispid Hare, Large and small Indian Civets, Golden Jackal, Indian Grey Mongoose, Chinese and Indian Pangolin, Parti-colored flying squirrels and Hog Badger to name a few are found. Birds such as Spot billed Pelican, White bellied Heron, Nordmann's Greenshank, Lesser White-fronted Goose to name a few are found.
The park is equally rich in fauna with four main types of vegetation namely alluvial inundated grasslands, tropical evergreen forests, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests and alluvial savanna woodlands existing. Trees include Indian gooseberry, elephant apple, kumbhi and cotton trees. Elephant grass, spear grass and sugarcanes are some of the common tall grasses available here.
Entrance Fees and Safari charges
The entrance fee to Kaziranga National Park is Rs. 50 for Indians and Rs. 500 for foreign nationals.
Charge for a jeep ride in the surroundings of the park varies depending on the area selected. Western range and Central Range are the two most recommended ranges with charges Rs. 1200 and Rs. 1100 respectively as of January 2012. Charge of Eastern Range is Rs. 1500 and that of Kalapahar is Rs. 2000.
Charge of an elephant ride is Rs. 450 for an Indian citizen and Rs. 1000 for a foreign national plus a guard fee of Rs. 25.
Charges for cameras:
- Still camera: Rs. 50 for Indian national and Rs. 500 for foreign national
- Video camera: Rs. 500 for Indian national and Rs. 1000 for foreign national
Kaziranga National Park can be approached by two airports, Jorhat - 97 km away and Guwahati - 217 km away. The closest railhead is Furkating around 75 km away but the more popular one is the Guwahati railhead. Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) conducts regular bus service from Tezpur, Guwahati and other upper parts of Assam to the park. The buses end at the Kohora region on NH 37 near the gateway of Kaziranga. Private agencies also conduct bus services. Motorcycle tours are also conducted in group in Assam and other adjoining states arranged by different tour operators. The tour includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur covering popular places as also rural regions giving the visitor a chance to experience tradition and culture of the tribes.
Location of Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park - Entry Fee, Timing, Address, Official Website
|Address||Kazinranga National Park, National Highway 37, Bokakhat, Assam - 785612|
|Entry fee:||Entry Fee for Indians : 50 Rs.|
Entry Fee for Foreigners : 500 Rs.
|Fee for Elephant Ride :||450 Rs. (Central Range)|
|Fee for Jeep Ride :||1100 Rs. (Central Range)|
1200 Rs. (Western Range)
1500 Rs. (Eastern Range)
2000 Rs. (Kalapahar Range)
|Timings :||Visiting Hours - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM|
|Days When Closed||Sunday|
|Phone No (Official)||+91-361-2544475|
|Photography allowed or not||Allowed|
|Still Camera Fee :||50 - 500 Rs.|
|Cam-order Fee :||500 - 1000 Rs.|
|Nearest railway station||Helem Railway Station|
Last Updated on : May 7, 2015