Lying along the mighty Brahmaputra River, the Kaziranga National Park covers an area of about 430 sq. km. Its swamps and grasslands with tall thickets of elephant grass and patches of evergreen forest, support the largest number of rhino in the subcontinent. It was an alarming depletion in their numbers, due to hunting and poaching that led to the conservation of this area in 1926.In 1940, Kaziranga was declared a sanctuary. Though poaching still constitutes a major threat to the rhino population, the numbers of this species are fairly healthy.
At Kaziranga, the open country makes wildlife viewing fairly easy. A day&39s outing is often sufficient for visitors to see most of the major species here. Elephants take them into the Park at dawn. As the mist lifts and the rising sun touches the hills in the distance, herds of barasingha and wild buffalo are to be seen in the marshes.The most ferocious bovine in the world, the massive wild buffalo is impressive and can weigh up to 915 kg. Rhinos browse unconcernedly as the visitors pass by and an occasional herd of elephants or wild boar is also sighted.
The grasslands are raptor country and the crested serpent eagle, the Pallas fishing eagle and grey headed fishing eagle can be seen circling over the marshes.The water-bird variety includes swamp partridge, bar-headed goose, whistling teal, the Bengal florican, storks, herons and even pelicans.Located along the main highway, Kaziranga is easily accessible and the chance to see animals in the wild at such close quarters makes a visit to the Park a very rewarding experience.
Kaziranga National Park in Assam has to be the most beautiful and attractive place you can choose to visit in north-eastern India. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga&39s 470 sq kms of lush green flood plains is home to some of the most fascinating wildlife in Asia.The Burma Monsoon Forests of Kaziranga lies in the flood plains of the mighty Brahmaputra river at an altitude of 50 -80m . The habitat consists primarily of tall, dense grasslands interspersed with cane brakes, open woodlands, interconnecting streams and numerous lakes or &39beels&39. The three primary types of vegetation are alluvial grasslands, tropical wet semi-evergreen and evergreen forests.
The Park is divided into four ranges. The Agoratoli range covers the eastern part and covers woodland interspersed with grassland and water-bodies. The Kohora range covers the central part and is the most easily accessible from the range office at Kohora. The Baguri range covers the western part of the Park and has the highest rhinoceros density. Burhapahar, 4th range, covers the first additional area attached to the Park.
Wet savanna grassland covers 65 - 70% of Kaziranga. The grassland comprises of tall elephant-grass, chief amongst which are Erianthus ravannae, Phragmites karka, Arundo donax, Saccharum elephantinus, Saccharum arundinaceum, Imperata cylindrica and Poinia ciliata. The forested portions consist of species such as Bombax ceiba, Albizzia odorotissima, Carreya arborea, Lagerstromia parviflora, Dillenia pentagyna and Zizyphus jujuba.
Everything about Kaziranga is large. From 5 meter tall elephant-grass to Greater Adjutants, Bengal Floricans, Pallas&39s Fish Eagle, Black-necked Storks, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Asian Elephants, size dominates the vast grasslands. The rarity and restricted range of most of these giants adds to the excitement and experience.
Birds: Kaziranga is a birding paradise with a checklist of almost 500 species. Key species include Swamp Francolin, Pale-capped Pigeon, Bengal Florican, Great and Wreathed Hornbill, Jerdon&39s Baza, Slender-billed Vulture, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle , Greater Spotted Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Pied Harrier, Pied Falconet, Oriental Hobby, Black-necked Stork, Greater Adjutant, Hodgson’s Bushchat, White-vented Myna, Rufous-vented Prinia , Marsh Babbler, Jerdon’s Babbler, Black-breasted Parrotbill and Finn’s Weaver . There is a breeding colony of Spot-billed Pelicans near Koladuar in the Agoratoli area.
Mammals and reptiles: Kaziranga is popularly known as the home of the "Big Five" - the elephant, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, tiger and Swamp Deer. A total of 52 mammalian species has been recorded in the Park itself and include such rarities like Gangetic Dolphin, Chinese Pangolin, Hoolock Gibbon, Hog-Badger and Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel. 39 reptiles make the list and include the endangered Gharial and the rare Assam Roofed Turtle. Both the Reticulated and Rock Pythons occur in the area.