Assam is one of the incredibly beautiful states in India that is blessed with extraordinary legends, myths and natural beauty. Conservation of environment is a significant state policy undertaken by the Government of Assam that has become a prominent source of tourism promotion. Kaziranga National park is a renowned reserve forest and wild life conservation area situates in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts in Assam. The origin of the name Kaziranga attributes to several legends, folklores, historical records and even to particular variety of animals. The most common belief is that the place was named after the disappearance of lovers, Kazi and Ranga in the forest. In “karbi “ language the forest is also meant as land of red goats. The recognition of this forest can be traced back to the period of colonization in India. Mary Curzon the Wife of Lord Curzon who was the viceroy of the India took the initiative to protect this forest area and rhinoceros species in 1904. By 1908 the forest area was extended to the banks of river Brahmaputra and was designated as reserve forest. From 1916 to 1938 it was known as Game as game sanctuary where hunting was permitted. In 1950 it was renamed as Kaziranga and hunting was prohibited. The official designation of National Park was given in the year 1974. It was declared as world Heritage site by UNESCO in 1985. Currently the extent of this reserve forest is 430 sq kilometers.
This forest withstands several natural and man made disasters. The unpredictable nature of river Brahmaputra results in frequent floods that adversely affect the life of humans and animals. In the year 2005 the centenary celebration was held were the descendants of the Lord and Lady Curzon were given due tributes for the great movement initiated by their ancestors. Today Kazi Ranga national park is the major area where one horned Indian rhinoceros species are protected and also breeding area of various types of animals and birds in the natural habitat. The population of the rhinos in this park had outnumbered several natural wildlife parks in the world. The park has the great population of 1,855 Rhinos, 1,666 Asiatic buffalo, 1,940 elephants, 468 swamp deer and vast population of other smaller animals including herbivores and carnivorous categories. Boars, sambar, guar, Wild Boar, Asian elephant also forms the significant part of this park though it was intended as the protected area for the Indian Rhinos. One the remarkable features of this wild life reserve forest are the extensive bird population consisting of rare varieties of bird populations, like water birds, predators, migratory birds and rare species of sparrows. The land is fertile with thick vegetation including various types of trees and grass due to the presence of river Brahmaputra.
The administration of this wild Life park is under the State Government of Assam controlled by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India. The Forest Department of Government of Assam headquartered at Bokakhat directly controls the administration of the park. Director of who has the designation of the Chief Conservator level officer is the head of the park and Divisional chief executive officer has the administration duty in the park. The subordinate officers rank include forest range officers. There are five major ranges under the administration forest range officers in Burapahar, central, Baguri, eastern and northern bank. In addition to the financial aid from the central and State government, funds from the World heritage fund, other governmental and Non governmental organizations nationally and internationally is also utilized for the administration of the park.
The visitors are subjected certain restrictions inside the park for preventing any harm caused to the animals and for avoiding animal – human conflicts that might end up in disasters. Viewing the park, birding, riding on jeeps and tamed elephants with experienced mahouts are the main allowed visitors activity in the park. Observatory towers are also available for over view of the park. Hiking is prohibited and during monsoon season the park is closed. Private Resorts and government authorized lodges are available and Kaziranga National park is indeed a nature lovers and travelers delight.