Considered to be among the richest biodiversity zones in the world, Assam is home to 7 national parks. It ranks third (after Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar) in terms of number of parks per state. Having earned the reputation of being one of the unspoilt natural wonders in the country, the state has always boasted about its diverse varieties of flora and fauna. Surrounded by numerous tea plantations, the beauty of the state is ethereal.
In this article, we will try to give you an insight into all the national parks, so that you can plan your next trip likewise!
1. Kaziranga National Park
The Kaziranga National Park, located in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses. So, if you wish to see a rhino casually walking in front of you or grazing in their natural habitat, this is the place! Apart from rhinos, this park also houses the world’s largest populations of Asiatic water buffalo, Asian elephant, and Eastern swamp deer (also known as Barasingha). It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985.
2. Manas National Park
Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Manas National Park is famous for its scenic beauty. The Manas national park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including many endangered species, such as the tiger, pygmy hog, Indian Rhinoceros, and Indian elephant. Located at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, this biodiversity hotspot is a treat to animal lovers!
How to Reach
By Air: Nearest Airport is Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Guwahati Airport, which is 180 kms away and takes about 5 hours to reach Manas National Park.
By Road: One can take local buses from Guwahati to reach the park.
By Train: The Barpeta Road Railway Station (20 kms) is the nearest station. New Bongaigaonstation (1.5 hours away from Manas) has scheduled stops for Dibrugarh-Rajdhani Trains as well.
Many eco-camps, hotels, lodges, and homestays are available in and around the park. With affordable prices, these comfortable accommodations here can arrange safaris too. Local and traditional cuisine with other options of snacking and fast food are also available.
Best time to visit Manas National Park is from October to May. During June-September, the park is closed due to heavy rains and floods.
3.Nameri National Park
Located in Sonitpur district of Assam, Nameri National Park is one park that allows wildlife trekking into the forest reserves. Bifurcated by the river Jia Bhoroli, Nameri is also a sought-after location for river rafting. The Nameri National Park is known for its diverse variety of birds. Birdwatchers from all over the world visit the park to enjoy the best avifaunal diversity of the region.
The Nameri national park provides activities like wildlife trekking, birdwatching, fishing, and river rafting. Though all the activities are fun, the wildlife trekking experience is not to be missed!
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is situated at Tezpur, which is 34 kms away from the park. The other airport is located at Guwahati, 220 kms.
By Train: The nearest railhead is Rangapara, situated 25 kms away from Nameri National Park.
By Road: Regular buses ply to and from Tezpur, which is well connected with all the major cities of Assam.
The Nameri Eco Camp is the nearest with many other homestays that have come up lately. Simple homemade food and snacks are easily available in these stays. Few local shops may also be of great help.
Best time to visit Nameri National Park: November-April.
4.Orang National Park
Sometimes referred to as mini Kaziranga, the Orang National Park is known for its population of rhinos and tigers. Located approximately 140 kms from Guwahati in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, this park is an important breeding ground for a variety of fishes. The park provides activities like bird watching, elephant safari and river cruising.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airports are Salonibari (Tezpur), which is at a distance of 80 kms, and the Guwahati airport, which is 150 kms away.
By Train: Nearest railway stations are Saloni and Rangapara railway stations.
By Road: Orang National Park is well connected to major cities and places by road network.
Orang too provides a wide range of eco camps, hotels and homestays for the visitors.
Best time to visit Orang National Park: November-April.
5.DibruSaikhowa National Park
The DibruSaikhowaNational Park is a reserve under the central government that is located in the districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh. This park paints a pretty picture with Brahmaputra, Lohit and Dibru rivers on its sides. TheDibru-Saikhowa National Park is ideal for birdwatchers and photographers as it is home to many unique and diverse species of birds.
How to Reach
By Air:Mohanbari Airport (Dibrugarh airport) is the nearest airport which is at a proximity of 40kms from the National Park.
By Train: The Dibrugarh railway station is the nearest station.
By Road:Dibru-Saikhowa National Park has good road connectivity and cabs, taxis or personal cars can be opted to travel to the place. Though travelling by road can be avoided as the ride may turn out to be a little more than bumpy!
There are multiple options for comfortable, luxurious, and pocket friendly stays in and around DibruSaikhowa national park.
Best time to visit DibruSaikhowa: November-April
6. Raimona National Park
Assam’s sixth national park, the Raimona National Park is in Kokrajhar district. The Assam Government declared it as a national park on 5th June 2021, making it the newest national park. The Raimona National Park is renowned for Golden Langur, one of the world’s most endangered primates which is endemic to Bhutan and Assam. With over 260 species of birds, the Raimona National Park has over 100 species of butterflies, orchids. The blooming orchids provide a sight to sore eyes and the continuous chirping of the birds breaks the silence of the enchanting forest.
How to Reach
By Air:The nearest Airport to Raimona National Park is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, Guwahati, which is at a distance of 236.6 kms.
By Train: The Kokrajhar Railway Station (53 kms) is the nearest station.
By Road: Raimona National Park is accessible from different directions of the states. You can take a bus from Rangpur (177.6 kms), Siliguri (239 kms), or Guwahati (201.1 kms) to reach the Raimona National Park.
There are several hotels and resorts available, ranging from luxurious to budget packages in Gossaigaon. The only thing you need to take care of is prior booking, as options run out fast.
Best Time to Visit: During Spring and Autumn (March to mid-May and mid-September to October)
7. DihingPatkai National Parkaa
DihingPatkai National Park is yet another forest area that reminds us of the abundance of gifts by mother nature to this region. It is located in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam. Known to be a major elephant habitat, the landscape of this forest is beautified manifolds by the Hollong and Mekai trees, with other species that bring out a colourful sight in spring. The BurhiDihing river flows through the park not only provides a soothing experience, it also makes the place favourable for migratory birds.
The DehingPatkai national park does not have safari vehicles and canter buses, but it can be explored by vehicle (private or hired), by boat, or on foot.
How to Reach
By Air:Dibrugarh Airport (103 kms) is the nearest airport. One can hire a taxi to Jeypore, or take a bus to Naharkatiya, and then board a shared van to JeyporeChariali.
By Train:The nearest railheads are in New Tinsukia Junction, Dibrugarh, and Naharkatiya
By Road:DehingPatkai is well-connected with Dibrugarh and Digboi. Buses ply regularly from Guwahati or other parts of Assam
Though there are many options in the towns of Digboi, Duliajan, and Tinsukia, they are relatively farther away from the park. The nearby areas have guesthouses managed by the forest department. However, getting to book a room in these forest guest houses, which are at an ideal distance, is a tough job. All you have to do is drop a mail to the District Forest Officer in Dibrugarh prior to your visit, pray, and just hope for the best! There are multiple options for food as well. From local traditional cuisine to just snacks, you would not have to worry at all!
Best Time to Visit: Winter (November to March), Spring (March-April)
Dos and Don’ts in all the national parks
- Avoid colours that might tend to trigger animals.
- Avoid plastics, as these are environment friendly areas
- Maintain silence during safaris or trekking
- Do not smoke or use any inflammable object or material
- Always pay attention to your guide
- Always be alert and keep an eye on your surroundings
- If possible, always get yourself a guide.
- Do not forget that these animals do not have a routine. So, you might end up not spotting any animals during your visit. Be patient, and do not lose heart.
Assam is known for its wide range of forest covers and natural beauty. It might not be possible to visit all the listed places in just one visit, but who said you can visit the state just once!
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