A visit to Kaziranga National Park
~Kaziranga National park is situated in the Golaghat District of Assam. It is about 86 kms from Jorhat, a 1.5-2 hrs drive…our route= Jorhat=>Deragaon=>Numaligarh=>Bokhaghat=>Golaghat
The drive is beautiful with lush green Tea Gardens n Paddy fields on either sides.
~Kaziranga is home to several wild animals One Horn Rhino, Wild elephants, Swamp deer, Wild buffaloes, wild boars, Tigers n many more n to several Birdsà Indian Roller aka the Neelkanth, owls, eagles, Jungle fowls, pelicans, egrets n many more.
~ Two rivers Bramhaputra n Tiflu flow across it n more than a dozen lakes add to its beauty n charm.
~Two types of safarisà Jeep Safari n Elephant Safari are available to explore the jungle. Booking for these can be done through the resort where you are staying. Jeep safari costs 1000 INR per jeep n Elephant safari 350 INR per person (for Indian residents)
~Jeep safari is conducted on an open gypsy with a guide. In the jeep one goes to the inner areas of jungle n can see the wild life in its natural surroundings but at a distance through binoculars. Our guide was carrying a pair of binoculars but I’m not too sure if it’s a standard part of arrangement, so it’s advisable to carry your own…without binoculars you would miss out on a lot. It goes without saying that the drive through the jungle is breath taking. Jeep safaris are conducted twice a day. 9 a.m. n 2.30 p.m. A convoy of 6-7 jeeps travels together with one armed guard per convoy. We spotted the Neelkanth, Rhinos, Wild elephants (a big group was crossing the road just in front of our jeep), swamp deer, wild buffaloes, pelicans, jungle fowls n fresh water turtle etc. Our guide was pretty knowledgeable about the wild life n could sense animals n birds far away. The jeep n the guide were booked through ‘Wild Grass’ resort (more about that later) where we were staying put. The entire drive took around 3.5 hrs. We started at 2.30 just after the lunch n came back at 6 p.m. to be greeted with Tea n piping hot samosas on the house to everyone’s delight…we enjoyed the snacks n tea in the open portico amidst the totally awesome weather n chirp of birds, n overlooking an amazing landscape with beauty all around.
~ Elephant Safari is available twice a day at 5 a.m. n 6 a.m. …. the elephant takes you deep in the actual jungle where you literally come face to face with wild animals. Elephants also go in a convoy of 6-7 elephants with 2 to 4 person seated on each. Again an armed guide accompanies the convoy. Baby elephants also come along with their mothers. Our elephant was a male called ‘Podinaa’. We also got to know about ‘ Babu’ n his mom ‘Padmini’. The elephant driver aka mahaut was very friendly n smiling. The duration of the ride is one hour. Riding on an elephant back amidst elephant grass which grows taller than an elephant n spotting several wild animals is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
~ We spent 1.5 days in n about Kaziranga. We left Jorhat at 11 a.m. and reached ‘Wild Grass’ Resort at 12.30. The resort is set amidst natural surroundings n it’s beauty cannot be fully described in words nor be captured by camera. It is built in old British style architecture n looks very serene, grand n zen like at the same time. The rooms are elegantly furnished with cane furniture which is ubiquitous in assam..cane chairs, can lamp shades, cane hangers n cane wastepaper basket. The wild grass offers you an ambience away from the maddening rush of the city, forget about TV, Internet & Telephone the room doesn’t even have tube lights…relax n let go in the soft ambience provided by four cane lamp shades. The resort has numerous varieties flora n fauna…here I heard the sound of the cuckoo for the first time. The various complimentary freebies provided by the wild grass resort add to your delight…during lunch n dinner soups (yummy Assam soup) n desserts are offered free of cost n the evening tea n snack are also on the house. The staff is courteous n well trained. In the evenings there is an open air tribal Dance arranged at the resort. The dance is either Bihu, the Asamese folk dance or Jhoomar, The Tea Estate folk dance. On the evening of our stay they had Jhoomar dance lined up. Ihad great fun dancing along with the Tribals n other guests.I just fell in in love with wild grass n can’t recommend it enough. Overall the entire experience was out of the world n we came back happy, refreshed n bubbling with new energy n excitement
Amazingly Melodious Song of Cuckoo Bird recorded at Wild Grass
In which I shake legs with Assamese tribals at Jhoomar Dance