Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO declared world heritage site occupied by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros. On top of, it also supports healthy population of royal Bengal tigers, elephants, panthers, bears and thousands species of birds. This reputed national park of India lies in the north eastern part of the country in the state of Assam.

Almost after many decades of efforts and experiments, Kaziranga National Park has become a well-known example of the success of wildlife conservation. As a outcome of sustained conservation endeavor, the estimated number of rhinoceros has significantly increased from just 40 in 1911 to more than 2400 in the year 2018 according to the census which was jointly conducted by the forest department of the Government of the Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs. The sad part of the story are floods that occurs annually which is spread over Nagoan, Golaghat and Sonitpur districts of Assam and covers an area of little more than a thousand square kilometers (482 square kilometers of core zone and 548 square kilometers of buffer zone).

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Introduction

Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is located in the floodplain of the Brahmaputra River in the Nagoan, Golaghat and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India sprawl over an area of 1030 square kilometers and it is the largest protected region on southern bank of the Brahmaputra River. As far as the terrain of the park is concerned it is flat (approx 55-75 above sea level) with an east to west inclination. Since the park area is the part of the floodplain of the Brahmaputra River the soil of the park is rich in alluvial deposits (sandy loam to clay).

The was also declared as a Tiger Reserve by the Government of India that inherit its name from the Karbi language in which the word ‘Kazi’ means ‘Goat’ or ‘Deer’ and ‘Rangai’ means ‘Red’,thus meaning ‘the land of red goats or deer’. The park enjoys the ecologically rich Indo-Malayan biological environment. Many small rivers and channels flow through the Kaziranga from east to west, mostly emerginging from the Karbi Anglong hills to the south, run northwards and ultimately drain into Brahmaputra River, adding to its catchment area.

History of Kaziranga National Park

In the early twentieth century, in between the wake of aggressive industrialization, the concept and idea of national parks as a space for public recreation and protection of flora and fauna had firmly taken shape and became one of the central concerns of the modern nation state. And the united states become the leader in shaping early ideologies of the national park. And hence the ideological paradigm of wildlife conservation in Kaziranga National Park has changed significantly over a long period. Since its establishment as a game sanctuary in the early twentieth century and gradually being given the status of a national park, Kaziranga has experienced varied forms of natural conservation policies.

Actually the conservation efforts in Kaziranga began in the year of 1908, when it was notified as a ‘Reserve Forest’, with the main focus on protecting the Indian Rhinoceros and its habitat. The park was subsequently declared as a ‘Game Reserve’ in 1916. Later in the year of 1950 it became ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’ and finally on January 01, 1974 declared as a ‘National Park’. It was also proclaimed as a UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’ in 1985.

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Let’s see the Quick Facts of KNP

1 1905 The Conservation journey Begins (and the journey continues…)
2 1905 Lady Curzon Visited But Could Only See The Hoof Marks Of Rhino. Persuaded Lord Curzon For Conservation Of Rhino
3 1908 Declared as Reserve Forest
4 1916 Declared as Game Sanctuary
5 1937 Opened for Tourists
5 1937 Opened for Tourists
6 1950 Wildlife Sanctuary Named as Kaziranga
7 1974 Notified as a National Park

Kaziranga National Park – Fauna at a Glance

1 Mammals – 39 species including some of the most endangered & rare species of Schedule I
2 Birds – 478 species including 25 globally threatened and 21 near threatened species
3 Reptiles – Different species of Lizard, Snake & Turtle
4 Fishes – 40 different species recorded

Area Expansion Story

1 Kaziranga National Park 429.93 Sq. Km.
2 First Addition to KNP 043.79 Sq. Km
3 Third Addition to KNP 000.69 Sq. Km.
4 Fourth Addition to KNP 000.89 Sq. Km.
5 Fifth Addition to KNP 001.15 Sq. Km.
6 Sixth Addition to KNP 376.50 Sq. Km.
6 Kurkurakata Reserve Forest 015.93 Sq. Km
7 Panbari Reserve Forest 007.65 Sq. Km.
8 Total Area Calculated 882.00 Sq. Km.

Kaziranga National Park – An Unique Eco System

1 Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests 29.13%.
2 Grass Lands 51.91% .
3 Water Bodies 06.62%.
4 Swampy Marshy Area 05.21%.
5 Sand 07.12%.

Things to do in Kaziranga National Park

KNP also known as the ‘Serengeti’ of the East India is bestowed with a myriad geographical vast and the shining jewel of the park are One-horned Rhinos and Royal Bengal Tigers. From Jeep & Elephant safaris to trekking from bird watching to exploring tea estate gardens, from tribal village visit to knowing Assamese culture and folk dances; there is an ample of activities one can indulge in while touring Kaziranga National Park. The major attraction of the state pride is Jeep and Elephant Safari.

Must Take Elephant Safari while are in KNP – Riding on an Elephants back is absolutely unique way of experiencing a jungle safari. Elephant safari in Kaziranga also happens to be safer and more reliable than other modes of transportation during jungle safaris. Riding on elephant-back is adventurous and thrilling and gives you an opportunity to see rhino, tigers from too close. Operated in two shifts morning as well as in evening includes the following ranges: Bagori or Western Range, Agoratoli or Eastern Range, Burapahar, Kohora or Central Range.

Enjoy the Customary Jeep Safari- Jeep safari is another feasible option to explore the vast landscape and view exotic animals. Jeep safari is also conducted in the above mentioned four zones of the park. Jeep safari tours in Kaziranga are perfect for nature lovers. Four wheeler gypsy is one of the rare modes of travel that can make you feel adventurous and offers you a fun ride at the same time. The best time for such trips is in the morning just after sun rise.

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Major Attraction of the Kaziranga National Park

One –Horned Rhinoceros - : The one-horned rhino found in Kaziranga is also known as Great Indian One-horned rhinoceros and Asian One-horned Rhino. Indian Rhinos are the second largest herbivorous mammal in size after the Indian Elephant. They prefer to live in densely vegetated sub tropical forests. They eat buds, flowers, fruits, berries, leaves and roots. Fully grown rhinos weigh around 2 to 2.5 tons while female rhino weigh approximately 1.6 tons. The Indian Rhino has a single horn found in both male as well as in female. They use horn for intimidation, defense, digging up roots and breaking branches of trees. Horn is made up of ‘Keratin’.

Indian Elephant – : Indian Elephant is the second largest mammal on this earth after blue whale. An Indian elephant belongs to ‘Elephantidae’ family. They are very much identical to African elephant except smaller ear. An Indian Elephant weighs between 2 to 5 tons and they grow up to a length of 20 feet and a shoulder height of 8 to 11 feet. An interesting fact about elephant is that their trunk has more than 40,000 muscles. They consume up to 150 kilograms of plant life every day. They can drink 50 gallons of water in a day. The back of an Indian Elephant is convex shaped. They have long, rough body hairs lightly covering their body.

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