Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world’s Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognised as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as a reserve forest.
Kaziranga is a title of a remarkable success story of conservation of the One Horned India Rhinoceros and other wild lives in the North East India. It is not only the homeland of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, but also provides shelter to a variety of wild lives.
It is one of the significant natural habitat for in situ conservation of biological biodiversity of universal value. The values and criteria made Kaziranga National Park to get inscribed in the World Heritage Site List 1985. The Kaziranga National Park area consists of 429.93 Sq.Km. with an additional area of 429.40 Sq.Km. and situated in the two districts of Assam, namely Golaghat and Nagaon. The total area of the park within Nagaon district is 175 Sq.Km., out of which 135 Sq.Km. falls under Bagori Forest Range office and 40 Sq.Km. falls within Ghorakati Forest Range office.
But Kaziranga is not all about Rhinos. Apart from 60% of the world’s endangered One-horned Rhinoceros, the Park sustains half the world’s population of genetically pure Wild Water Buffaloes, over 1000 Wild elephants and perhaps the densest population of Royal Bengal Tigers anywhere. Kaziranga is also a bird watcher’s paradise andhome to some 500 species of birds. The Crested Serpent Eagle, Palla’s Fishing Eagle and the Greyheaded Fishing Eagle circle the skies above the marshes. The Swamp Partridge, the Bar-headed goose, the Whistling Teal, the Bengal Florican, Storks, Herons and Pelicans play in the water. Each monsoon, the mighty Brahmaputra breaches its banks and floods the park, breathing life back into the parched land and replenishing the 200 ‘beels’ or shallow lakes with water and fish.
The easy accessibility to wildlife is the secret of Kaziranga’s popularity among wildlife lovers and tourists. With its primeval vegetation, it presents a view of what the Brahmaputra valley must have been years ago, before it was touched by cultivation and civilization. Engaged in wildlife conservation since 1926, the park is on the National Highway 37, which passes along the park and is almost midway between the two major cities, Guwahati and Dibrugarh, amidst the undulating landscapes of the world’s oldest tea gardens outside China.