Monday, May 18, 2009

The Kaziranga National Park and the great one-horned Indian rhino

Kaziranga in the North-East India is the homeland and shelter for the famous one-horned Indian rhinoceros as well as other wild lives. Lying across the mighty Brahmaputra river and covering an area of 430, the Park is already a World Heritage Site since 1985. The one-horned Indian rhinoceros that roamed the north Indian plains in the wetlands of the Indus, Ganges and the Brahmaputra centuries ago now survives only in the north-eastern Assam and in the neighboring Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.

Rhinos are of five kinds. The white rhino and the black rhino are seen in Africa while the Indian rhino, and Sumatran rhinos are Asian rhinos found in North Pakistan, north-east Indian State of Assam, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Weighing about 2000 kg, the Indian rhino has only one horn while the African rhino has two. Also the skin of the Indian rhino falls into deep folds at the joints as though it is a coat of armour. While the rhinos are vegetarians, the Indian rhinos mostly eat grass, fruits, leaves, and crop. Tall elephant grass available in the Park is its favorite food. Its thick lip helps it to reach the tall grass and to pull out the aquatic plants by the root. They roam about usually in the mornings and evenings avoiding the heat of the day. They live for about 40 years. Two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos are hosted here.

In addition, this park is the home for large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and the swamp deer as well as an important bird area recognized by the Birdlife International. The Kaziranga National Park is a birding paradise too. A children’s park is an added attraction here. Suitable accommodation is available for the tourists here.

The credit for the development of this park goes to Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, wife of the Viceroy of India in 1905 whose initial efforts culminated into a great national park today. It is quite interesting to note that the centenary anniversary of this Park was attended by the descendants of the Baroness and Lord Curzon in 2005.

Guides accompany the tourists inside the park. Elephant as well as jeep drives are available for the travelers. The Park is accessible by road, rail, and air. A day’s outing is enough to see the variety of other species like the wild buffalo and the wild boar, the crested Serpant, the fishing eagle, a variety of water-birds like the parridges, geese, the Bengal Florican, storks, and pelicans.

Source: Google
Images: Google

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