240km away from Guwahati’s Bordoloi airport lies the Rhino land of Kaziranga. While Rhino seekers can divert themselves to the nearby Pobitora (45km away) for a quick dekko, the awe is only felt in the Rhino swagger territory of Kaziranga. And for that, you need to be here.
Kaziranga is overflowing with Rhinos. Not for nothing does it claim to hold 2400 odd of this species, or two-thirds of the world’s population. You will be extremely unlucky not to sight one while driving through the roads leading to Kaziranga. We were not; we even saw large deadly snakes on the main road.
The road to Kaziranga isn’t that hunky dory though. After you cross Nagaon (from where Kaziranga is still 120km away), the four-lane divided highway reinvents itself into a 2-lane free for all vehicular slugfest. You need to be accelerator – brake – clutch till you atleast go beyond the Tezpur junction and then slowly the stupidity of a 2 lane national highway gives in to the amazing greenery and breeze that makes Kaziranga a pleasure drive for the last 35kms. Lots of stay options, including an Assam tourism hotel over a hillock, means that the place is thriving with camera dotting tourists throughout the season. We found Assam Tourism places to be well stocked and most frequented.
700 sq. km, circumscribed by the mighty Brahmputra, and fed by the rivers Mora, Diphlu and Dhansiri makes up the jungle that Lady Curzon coaxed her husband to create what is now called Kaziranga. Even during the peak summers, there was enough water within Kaziranga that makes it fantastically bio-diverse.
Jeeps and Canters are not the only modes of Safari here at Kaziranga, though most of us are used to jumping into these vehicles automatically. It is claimed (though I heavily dispute it for not having seen one) that Kaziranga also has tigers, which is perhaps why these jeeps still exist. There exists a very funny safari option which is named as the Elephant Safari.
Around 6 tourists are strapped onto the Elephant’s hump and then the animal is let loose in a definitive section of the jungle, with only a teenage (and sometimes a boy) mahout for your defense. The animal goes through stupid sloppy terrains and the mahout pleasures himself from the agony of such discomfort the tourists and elephants go thru for the next 1 hour; all in the name of spotting Rhinos.
Despite that, Kaziranga makes a lot more sense. The place is very happy; its green and breezy with waters abound which makes it very pretty. Rains spray a further mist of happiness and sunshine (though people are wary of the winds they produce). It’s a quick dash from Guwahati (4 hours one way) and the only place where Rhinos and at times elephants outnumber humans.
Tigers and Lions are not the only majestic animals.Rhinos and Tuskers too make up for an excellent wild site. Why not go see it?
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