For tourists desperate to escape to wilderness, it is time to pack their baggage and rush to Kaziranga National Park in Assam, famous for one-horned rhinoceros. The park opens on November 1 and for the next six months tourists will get opportunity to undertake elephant and jeep safaris for thrilling experience watching of the rhinos and other park animals roaming free in this vast grassland. A World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park has an estimated population of 2401 rhinos. The park also has the highest density of tigers in the world.
The park received 1, 15,111 domestic visitors and 8564 foreign visitors in 2014-15. The figures for 2013-14 were 121513 and 6922, says Tourist Information Officer Danny Gam. Every morning there will be two trips of elephant safaris at 5.15 am and at 6.15 am each trip of one hour duration. A third trip of elephant safari at 7.15 am will also arranged by the park authorities depending on weather condition and elephants’ stress level. Jeep safaris are of two-hour duration and will begin everyday at 8 am and will also available in the afternoon. For elephant safari each domestic visitor has to pay a fee of Rs 525 and each foreign visitor has to pay Rs 1525. The booking for elephant safari starts at 7 pm the previous night at the Centenary Convention Centre in Kohora. The tourists will also be able to enjoy cultural programme of folk music and dances to be organised every evening at the botanical garden for an entry fee of Rs 100 each.
Kaziranga cycling club will be an added attraction for tourists this season. Tourists will be able to hire bicycle from the club at Bonani Tourist lodge run by Assam Tourism department for daily rental of Rs 100 for 12 hours from 5 am to 5 pm to roam around outside park areas, Mr Gam adds.
Photo and Text - Dasarath Deka