Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga’s ecosystems, comprising wetlands,alluvial grasslands, and wet tropical evergreen forests, literally burst with life. The phenomenon of annual flooding, which takes place when the Brahmaputra breaks its banks during each monsoon season, has been taking a vicious toll of wildlife in recent years of upstream deforestation… but flooding per se is not bad (75 per cent of the land is normally underwater) as it brings in life-giving alluvial silt, a key reason why Kaziranga is such as bio-rich habitat. Situated in Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Assam on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra, Kaziranga lies at the foot of the Mikir Hills that rise to a height of 1,220 m., some eight km. from Bokakhat.
History And Culture
The arterial National Highway No. 37 of Assam State forms the southern boundary of the 428 sq. km. park (proposals to double the area are pending). The Mora Diphlu, Bhengra and the Diphlu rivers also drain the park together with countless smaller streams that feed the many bheels (lakes) that dot the park. Tall dense grasslands, typical of the floodplains of the Brahmaputra, carpet almost half the park area and are interspersed with open forests.
Visitors who choose to explore all three of Kaziranga’s distinctive habitats in the Western, Central and Eastern Ranges can sample the flavour of this worldfamous rhino refuge in a matter of two days. To really savour the wilderness, of course, you would be advised to stay longer. If you set off early in winter, a thin ground mist cloaks the grasslands. Through this mist, wild buffalo, rhinos, elephants and deer tend to appear and disappear like apparitions in a strange and exotic setting.
As a rule buffaloes are shy, especially in the presence of young ones and lone bulls can be positively dangerous so it is not a good idea to try and walk at any time in the park. Elephants never used to stay all year round in Kaziranga, choosing to depart during the fl oods. But in recent years population pressures from the surrounding tribals settlements have disrupted elephant migration routes or ‘corridors’. They can consequently be seen in the park for 12 months now.
Vegetation / Flora
Water is an important constituent of the park with 29 per cent of the area covered by swamps, four per cent by rivers and eight per cent by miscellaneous water bodies. These wetlands are incredibly well-stocked larders that offer almost unlimited supplies of fish, insects and aqua flora, the foundation upon which Kaziranga’s birds and animals exist.Eastern (Agartoli) Range: Driving along a small stream with a variety of semi evergreen trees forming a closed canopies along its banks, you could see elephants swimming across in herds, or a young one enjoying a dust bath. Rotting logs are favourite spots for turtle to sunbathe.
Perhaps the most magnificent part of Kaziranga, roads from this particularly rich area lead to tall grass habitats and the sandy banks of the Brahmaputra. This is Bengal Florican country. Mihimukh is a particularly good wildlife area.Western (Bagori) Range: This range has a patch of semi evergreen forest near Baguri, Bimali and Haldibari and Dunga, Bimoli, Borbeel, Dafflong and Ramori.