Kaziranga Tiger Reserve
Kaziranga Tiger Reserve (KTR) is located in the flood plain of the Brahmaputra River, on the foot hills of Karbi-Anglong district, spread across the civil districts of Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur. The terrain of the reserve is, by and large, flat with gentle slope from east to west. The habitat comprises of alluvial deposits from the Brahmaputra River system. The river Diffalu, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, flows through the National Park area (core/critical tiger habitat), while another tributary Moradifalu flows along its southern boundary. Biogeographically, Kaziranga belongs to the North East Brahmaputra Valley Province.
Famous for its plentiful wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is a favourite haunt of wildlife explorers from all over the world.
The most conspicuous animal of Kaziranga is one-horned rhinoceros but it is equally known for a sizable tiger population. The park is spread over Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam covering 430 sq km.
According to estimates, the tiger population in Kaziranga is pegged at 104. The park offers opportunities to spot a fairly eclectic mix of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Apart from its flagship species, one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga is a popular wildlife destination for sighting tigers in India.
Area of the Tiger Reserve
Core area : 482.0385 sq km
Buffer area : 573.8555 sq km
Total : 1055.894 sq km
Latitudes : 26.797750 to 26.471837 N
Longitudes : 92.594317 to 93.691783 E
5 Remarkable Facts – Kaziranga National Park is Famous For
Unesco World Heritage Site
The park owes its existence to the conservation efforts of Mary Curzon and her husband Lord Curzon, then Viceroy of India.
It became a reserve forest in 1904 primarily to protect the declining population of Rhinos.
Assam National Park Act was passed by the Assam Government in 1968, declaring Kaziranga a designated national park with an area of 430 sq km.
An additional area of 429 sq km was added later to provide an extended habitat to the wild animals.
Central Government recognized it as a national park in 1974 and later UNESCO declared Kaziranga as a World Heritage Site.
As per UNESCO’s description of Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga is regarded as one of the finest wildlife refuges in the world. The park’s contribution in saving the Indian one-horned rhinoceros from the brink of extinction at the turn of the 20th century to harbouring the single largest population of this species is a spectacular conservation achievement.
Home to Vulnerable One-Horned Rhinoceroses
Kaziranga is home to more than 91 percent of Assam’s rhinos and 80 percent of India’s rhino population, according to a 2015 population census conducted by the park authorities.
The latest Rhino census has counted 2413 one-horned rhinos, up 12 from the year 2015. The park also boasts of being home to two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) changed the status of Indian Rhinos from endangered (since 1986) to vulnerable species in 2008.
Only Habitat to Eastern Swamp Deer
India has 3 species of swamp deer, Western swamp deer, Southern swamp deer and Eastern swamp deer.
Excessive hunting and fast seizure of grasslands for agricultural use have caused a massive decline in their population.
According to the last census for Eastern Swamp Deer conducted in 2016, there were 1148 individuals in the park, out of which 284 were males, 604 females and 196 calves.
Important Bird Area
Birdlife International recognizes Kaziranga as an important bird area. It is home to almost 478 distinct bird species which includes migratory and resident birds.
You can see a vast variety of rare bird species, like Blyth’s kingfisher, white-bellied heron, black-bellied tern and many more species of birds.
Migratory birds, like black-necked stork, Asian openbill and greater adjutant stork visit the park during the winter season.
Highest Density of Tigers
Kaziranga National Park got the status of a tiger reserve in 2006 and the count of tigers in the reserve stands at 104, according to an estimate done in 2017.
The park boasts one of the highest densities of tigers in India with 21 tigers per 100 sq km, more than that of Corbett National Park and Bandipur National Park.
It has been described as a biodiversity hotspot owing to the presence of extremely rich and highly diverse species of flora and fauna.
Kaziranga National Park is famous for several unique attributes and I have elaborated some of them in this post. Every wildlife enthusiast would certainly want to visit this place.
Best Time to Visit
The best season to visit Kaziranga National Park is from November to April. The park remains closed during the rainy season from the month of May till October.
How to Get There
The nearest domestic airport is Rowriah Airport in Jorhat, located at a distance of about 97 km from the park. Guwahati Airport is the closest international airport, situated at a distance of almost 209 km.
By train, you can reach up to Furkating Junction railway station, which is located at a distance of 75 km from the park. It is well connected to many cities by train, such as Guwahati, New Delhi, and Kolkata.
The other nearest railway station in Guwahati is almost 213 km away from the park. You can also catch a bus from Guwahati to reach Kohara, which is the nearest bus stop.
Many state transport and privately run buses ply at regular intervals to Kohara.