Tourist Destinations Near Guwahati

Manas National Park, Barpeta, Assam


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About

The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary or Manas National Park, situated in the foothills of Himalaya in the state of Assam, is a Natural World Heritage Site as declared by the UNESCO. This national park, an abode of endangered and rare wildlife, is predominantly famous for its Tiger Reserve and Elephant Reserve.

This park is contiguous with the neighbouring country Bhutan's Royal Manas National Park. Passing through the heart of the park is the Manas River, a major tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra River. Endemic wildlife species such as the Golden Langur, Hispid Hare, Pygmy Hog and Assam Roofed Turtle, along with a huge population of Wild Water Buffaloes, are other attractions of the park that is rich in flora and fauna.

History

The park is named after the Manas River, which flows through the heart of the park and is the major tributary of the Brahmaputra River. The Manas River was named after Manasa, the serpent goddess. On 1 October 1928 it was declared a sanctuary, prior to which it was a reserved forest known as the Manas Reserve Forest and North Kamrup Reserve forest. The sanctuary, with an area of 360 sq km, was used as hunting reserve by the royal family of Cooch Behar and the Raja of Gauripur. From 1951 to 1955, the area of the sanctuary was increased to 391 sq km. In 1973 the Manas biosphere was created.

In December 1985, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. In 1990, the Manas National Park was formed by adding the Kokilabari Reserve Forest, the Panbari Reserve Forest and the Kahitama Reserve Forest to the sanctuary. Due to terrorist activities and heavy poaching, the UNESCO in 1992 enlisted it as one of the World Heritage Sites in Danger. The area of the sanctuary was expanded to 950 sq km on 25 February 2008. On 21 June 2011, due to its commendable efforts in preservation, the UNESCO removed its name from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

Habitation in and around the park includes the only forest village Agrang and other 56 villages. While Agrang is located in the heart of the park, other villages are in the park's surroundings.

Location

The Manas National Park is located in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas in the Bhabar area of western Assam. The area of the park covers five districts of Assam, namely, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Udalguri and Baska. The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is segregated into three ranges, with the central range at Bansbari, the western at Panbari, and the eastern range based at Bhuiapara. The three ranges are not well connected. Rough trail of the Daim Ari road connects the eastern range with the central, while one needs to ford two major rivers to pass between the central range and the western range. The park has an area of 950 sq km and is at a height of 61 metres to 110 metres above mean sea level.

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for

The biodiversity of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, along with its unique natural beauty and scenic landscape in the foothills of ever-mesmerizing Himalayan range, has made it one of the hot spots for nature and adventure lovers. The tumultuous Manas River, flowing through the heart of the park, the rugged mountains and forested hills, the tropical evergreen forests, the alluvial grasslands along with the wildlife, offers a unique experience of wilderness to the tourists. The Manas Sanctuary is famous for its Tiger Reserve and Elephant Reserve. Bansbari is the most visited tourist spot in Manas where tourists stay at Mathanguri, inside the forest near the Bhutan border. Jeep safaris, including night excursions to explore the wildlife, are the prime attraction in Manas. Other popular activities include elephant ride and boating on the Manas River, covering a distance of 35 km from Mathanguri. Other wildlife sanctuaries that may be clubbed with Manas include Pabitora and Orang.

When to visit

The temperature in Manas varies from a minimum of 15 degrees centigrade to a maximum of 37 degrees centigrade. The monsoons, lasting from May to September, experience heavy rainfall, with an annual average of about 333 cm. It becomes tough to spot most of the wild habitats during this time, so it is better to avoid the rainy season. The best time to visit the sanctuary is after monsoons, before summer sets in (from October to April).

Opening Timings

The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary remains open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Flora and Fauna

The Manas Wild Life Sanctuary is home to 450 species of birds, 36 reptiles, 55 mammals and three amphibians. Aggressive inhabitants include the Indian Rhinoceros, Asian Elephants, Indian Tigers, Clouded Leopards, Black Panther, Leopards and Asian Golden Cat. Others include Gaurs, Barasingha, Golden Langur, Hoolock Gibbons, Assamese Macaques, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, Chital, Sloth Bear and Hog Deer, some of which are endangered species only found in this area in the entire world. The Bengal Florican, one of the rarest species of birds, has its largest population here. Jungle Fowls, Egrets, Giant Hornbills, Pelicans, Serpent Eagles and Bee Eaters, to name a few, are some of the birds in the sanctuary. This southeast Asian rainforest also harbours a variety of reptiles, like Assam Roofed Turtle, Monitor Lizard and Gharial.

The vegetation type of the area varies considerably, which includes light alluvial semi-evergreen forests, moist and dry deciduous forests, semi-evergreen alluvial grasslands, and low alluvial Savanna woodland. The rich flora includes 139 species of Monocotyledons, 374 species of Dicotyledons and 30 species of Gynmosperms and Pteridophytes. Common trees found here are Anthocephalus chinensis, Syzygium formosum, Careya arborea and Gmelina arborea, to mention a few.

Entrance Fees and Other Charges

  • Entry Fee to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is Rs. 20 for an Indian citizen and Rs. 250 for a foreign national. The fee is paid at the Bansbari Range Office, which is around a kilometre away from the gate at Baripada.
  • Parking charges are Rs. 20 for Indians and Rs. 250 for foreign nationals.
  • Jeep entry fee is Rs. 300.
  • Charges for still and video cameras are Rs. 50 and Rs. 100, respectively, for Indians, and Rs. 500 for foreigners.
  • Safari charge for Indians is Rs. 120 and that for foreigners is Rs. 750.
  • An eight-seater boat ride costs Rs. 8,000 which can be shared by tourists.
How to Reach

The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary can be approached by air, rail and road.

The nearest airport is Guwahati, around 176 km away. Cities in India like Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata, Agartala, Dibrugarh, Aizawl, Jorhat and international cities like Paro and Bankok are well connected with Guwahati by air. The Manas National Park can be reached easily from Guwahati by availing taxis. Also, places like Shillong, Naharalagun, Tawang and Tura provide helicopter services.

Reaching Manas by availing rail service is also a good option. The nearest railhead is Barpeta, about 22 km away from the park. Major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Bikaner and Varanasi are connected with the Barpeta railhead. Taxis are easily available near the station. Neighbouring regions like Guwahati, Rangia, Nalbari, Howli and Shimlaguri are well connected with the park by road. Regular buses are available between Barpeta Road and Guwahati.

Location of Manas National Park - Assam


Manas National Park - Entry Fee, Timing, Address, Official Website

AddressBarpeta-Manas Road, Barpeta, Guwahati, Assam - 781315
Entry Fee :Entry Fee for Indians : 20 Rs.
Entry Fee for Foreigners : 250 Rs.
Fee for Safari :Fee for Jeep for Safari : 300 Rs.
Timings :Visiting Hours - 5:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Phone No (Official) +91-361-2547102
Official Websiteassamtourism.gov.in
Photography allowed or notAllowed
Still Camera Fee :For Indians : 50 Rs.
For Foreigners : 500 Rs.
Cam-order Fee :For Indians : 100 Rs.
For Foreigners : 500 Rs.
Nearest railway stationGuwahati Train Station




Last Updated on : May 13, 2015




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