Manas National Park, Assam

 A genuine traveler always prepares for the astonishing surprises from nature. Forests are wonderful reflections that show different faces of nature. Some places are possessed with natural beauty and state of Assam can definitely boast of holding extraordinary beautiful landscapes. Assam is enriched with outstanding flora and fauna that is an abode of variety of animal species and vegetation. Several wild life sanctuaries and national parks are an essential part that forms the Assam State. Many of the forests were declared as reserve forests, wild life sanctuaries and national park with the intention to protect endangered species of animals, birds and conservation of the environment and there by promoting tourism.

Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife sanctuary is a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO in the year 1990. Major attraction of this park is the presence of the river Manas, a prominent tributary of Brahmaputra River that flows through the heart of the sanctuary. The name of the park is a tribute paid to a serpent deity “Manasa”. The parks spreads in five major districts of Assam – Darrang, Udalguri, Chirang, Baksa and Kokrajhar in 950 Sq Km. It is declared as the triple reserve of tiger, elephant and biosphere reserve along with other protective site for endangered species. Different species are found in this park and official records confirms that there are 55 species of mammals including Asian Elephants, Indian rhinoceros, Indian tigers, leopards, Asian water buffalos, black panther, clouded leopard, sloth bears, barking deer, chital, sambar, Asian golden cat, capped and golden langurs. Bird species of more than 450 variety include giant horn bills, serpant eagles, fishing eagles, herons, ospreys, jungle fowls, bee- eaters, magpie robins and endangered Bengal floricon. Reptile population is about 50 and amphibians include 3 species. Endangered species of Assam roofed Turtle, golden langur, pygmy hog and hispid hare are the rare varieties that are not seen in any other part of the world. Before designated as World heritage Site Manas was the hunting reserve area of the Cooch Beher Royal Family of Assam. The declaration of UNESCO was to put and end to the poaching and to preserve wild life. The fruit of the joint effort of the Government of Assam and UNESCO was seen in the increase in the flora and fauna of the reserve that resulted in the removal of Manas Park from the World Heritage List in 2011 with special mention from UNESCO for the commendable efforts for the conservation of wild life. Apart from the animal and bird species there are more than 543 plant species are found in this region.

The administration of the park is governed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest through the State Government of Assam. The Manas River that flows through the western part of the park also serve as an international border between India and Bhutan. The park which widely spread in five districts is divided into three ranges – panbari, Bansbari and Pathsala for the proper management and administration by the Government. Being a place located at a height of 61m to 110m above sea level the climatic conditions varies from minimum of 15 degree Celsius to maximum of 37 degree Celsius. The nearest accessibility to the park is in Barpeta road. As this area is the part of the lower foot hills of the eastern Himalayas, the park is densely forested with fertile land that sustains thick vegetation and wild life that gained the park the name as the rich bio diversity sphere in the world. Deposits of sand stone, lime stone and alluvium enhances the biodiversity of the park. During the period of May and September heavy rainfall happens in this region. Agrang is the only forest village in this region and more than 56 villages also found near by the park along with fringe villages where the villagers live a life that suits the nature without causing any damage to the environment. Due respect given to the nature is the true essence of preservation of environment that makes the Manas park a traveler’s “paradise’.