Kazaringa National Park is one of the definitive nature reserves of Southeast Asia. Located deep in the subtropical region where India, China and Burma meet, Kazaringa has one of the densest and most varied animal populations in Asia. All of the region’s large mammal species are present, but the main draw here is the Great One-Horned Rhinoceros. More than half of these massive, magnificent creatures make their home here. Because of this Kaziranga is a world heritage site.
The region wedged between the Indian Subcontinent and Indochina has been known as one of the richest wildlife areas outside of Africa since time immemorial. During the colonial era the area became a huge draw for big game hunters. In 1904, Mary Curzon, the wife of the Viceroy of India, visited the northeast and was extremely disappointed by the lack of wildlife to be seen there. Frustrated, she began working towards the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries. Kaziranga was founded in 1905 and was periodically expanded and further protected. It became a full-fledged national park in 1968 and later a world heritage site.
Kaziranga is relatively small, but it packs a wildlife punch. Nearly two thousand Rhinoceros can be found here, as well as large numbers of Water Buffalo, Asian Elephant and Swamp Deer. There are also large cats, including a dense population of tigers (Kaziranga is also a Tiger sanctuary). Large snakes are here, including the King Cobra, and the river is home to Ganges Dolphins. Hundreds of other land, marine and avian species abound as well.
Kazaringa National Park is located far to the east in Assam Province, 350 miles northeast of Kolkata past Nepal and Bhutan. Although isolated, road access to the area is fairly good, and the park is a very popular destination considering its out-of-the-way location. Kazaringa is open year-round. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.kaziranganationalpark.com (official website).
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