Home of the One Horned Rhino
You might have visited many places, gone touring to many countries and also explored a variety of wildlife sanctuaries. But, the question is, have you been to the home of the one horned rhino at Kaziranga, Assam?
Kaziranga National Park is situated in Assam’s Golaghat and Nagaon districts. It got its protected status in the year 1905; thanks to Lady Curzon. History has it that in spite of being heavily populated with rhinoceros, on that particular trip Lady Curzon was unable to spot a single rhino in the area. On her insistence her husband, Lord Curzon declared 232 sq. km of the area as Kaziranga Proposed Reserved Forest on June 1, 1905. After all, who can deny the wish of a spouse! Apparently not even Lord Curzon himself. Eventually, that area was declared a Game Sanctuary, and later with the prohibition on hunting, the park was finally declared as Kaziranga National Park. UNESCO declared the area to be a World Heritage Site in the year 1985.
Apart from the one horned rhino, Kaziranga is home to many endangered species of mammals and birds. This park was also declared as a tiger reserve owing to the large number of these stripped cats. In fact, this national park is known to have the highest population of tigers and one horned rhinos in the world!
A jungle tour on a mahout driven elephant gives you the perfect opportunity to spot birds, mammals, snakes and monitor lizards. Home to 9 out of the 14 primate species in India, Kaziranga is a paradise for all outdoor and nature lovers.
When it comes to accommodation in Kaziranga, there are many places you may choose to stay at, but, the perfect option would be to stay in the jungle guest house. This gives every tourist a firsthand feel of the surroundings and opportunity to enjoy the serenity. From this place you may take an elephant safari or a jeep safari into the jungle.
Jeep safaris are great if you are a little pressed for time. The tour is much quicker in them. The guides are very efficient and well versed. However, here are a few tips to follow if you opt for the jeep safari. Firstly, apart from your safari car, there will be at least 2-3 other cars with tourists in them. These safaris happen in groups. Therefore, try to occupy the pilot car, or ask to be placed in the pilot car. This gives you two benefits:
1. The opportunity to spot an animal before they run off; and
2. Saves you from being suffocated and covered in dust left behind by the leading car.
The second point to remember would be to maintain silence. Rhinos are gentle animals until they’re provoked. Why then take a chance and test its strength when you can silently pass it by. You get your rhino view and the animal its peace.
Last but not the least here’s another tip from a fellow tourist. Since you are in the state of Assam, known for its top quality tea why not try sipping a cup of piping hot tea prepared with tea leaves of a local tea plantation. Dwell in the aroma and flavor of the tea and the pleasures of nature. Come home to the land of the one horned rhino.