National parks are a protected area under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The Kaziranga National park is one of the many national parks in India, and is located in Golaghat and Nagaon district of Assam. The park is also listed as a World Heritage Site. It also has a reputation of being home to the world’s great one-horned rhinoceros.
No one is certain as to how the park derived it name. Some believe that is is named after a love couple Kazi and Karbi Anglong, other believe it to be named after a childless couple Kazi and Rangai, and some believe that the park derived its name from a Karbi word. The park was included in the protected area list in 1904, when Mary Victoria Leiter noticed that the area famous for rhinoceros was not left with much of it. Thereby she persuaded her husband, the viceroy of India, Lord Curzon to take measures in order to protect the dwindling species in that area.
In 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2. The park was selected as a Reserve Forest in 1908. In 1916, it was converted into a game sanctuary, the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary, which was later changed to the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950. Kaziranga claimed the title of a national park in 1968 when the state government passed ‘The Assam National Park Act of 1968’.
Home to Different Species
The Kaziranga National Park is a home to almost 35 mammalian species. The park is home to the maximum number of great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, wild Asiatic water buffalo, and eastern swamp deer. It also has the maximum number of tigers in the world. Some of the species found in the park are elephants, gaur, wild boar, Indian tigers, leopard, Bengal fox, hog badger, hoolock gibbon, and the Ganges dolphin. The park also consists of a bird area, which includes a variety of birds, predators, game birds, water birds, and scavengers.
Different Types of Vegetation
The park also consists of four types of vegetation. These are alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests. Some of the grasses and trees found in the park are sugarcane, spear grass, elephant grass, kumbhi, cotton tree, aphanamixis polystachya, ficus rumphii, albizia procera, grewia serrulata, aphania rubra, and leea indica.
Attraction for Tourists
The Kaziranga National Park offers various tourist activities. The main tourist activity in the park is wildlife viewing. Tourists can also opt for guided tours by elephant or jeep. The park also has an interpretation centre for visitor’s convenience. The park is closed for visitors during the monsoon in mid-April to mid- October. There are various rest houses, dormitory and lodges available in the park for tourist accommodation. Private resorts are also available outside the park borders.
The Kaziranga National park has undergone some drastic natural and man-made calamities. In spite of the various rebel and terrorist movements in Assam, the park celebrated its centenary in 2005. The state and central governments always take adequate measures in order to conserve, manage and administer the park. The Kaziranga is no doubt a heaven for wild life lovers.
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