Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam

The sustainability of human life basically depends on the harmony between nature and man. The environment is a vital factor that promotes every form of life on earth. The natural resources are the true boon that is unfortunately exploited rather than utilization. It is indeed the duty and responsibility of man to protect the nature without causing any harm to its natural balance that maintains life on earth. Many of the beautiful places with extraordinary beauty are subject to destruction in many ways that in turn will only adversely affect the sustainability of life. Only true preservation of nature is the complete remedy for sustainability of life.

Assam is a place blessed with true beauty of nature particularly the ambiance of Himalayan foot hills where many districts of Assam is situated. Praise worthy policies and measures are taken by the Government of Assam to restore and preserve nature in the state. Several areas are declared as reserved forests and wild life sanctuaries for protection of nature in Assam subject to strict governmental rules and regulations. These are favorite tourist spots and Sonai Rupai wild life sanctuary that is a definite destination of a true traveler, researchers, students and nature lovers. Sonai Rupai is located in the Himalayan foothills, abundant in nature beauty and splendid wild life. It has an extent of 220 square kilometers, situates in Tezpur, Sonitpur district in Assam. This area was declared as Wild Life sanctuary in 1998. Department of environment and Forests, Assam has administration in the sanctuary.

The magnificent wild life includes several rare species of flora and fauna. The fauna of this sanctuary has indigenous species of one horned Indian Rhinoceros and Indian Bison. Along with these native species other species of animals such as barking deer, hog deer, Asian elephants, tigers, leopards, wild cats, Lesser cats, Quar, wild boar, squirrels, fox, wild pigs and smaller types of mammals are also found here. Viewing the animals in their natural habitat is a major attraction in this sanctuary. Among these tigers and rhinoceros are enlisted as the endangered species as they were subject to frequent hunting and poaching for the leather and horns. Hunting and any other antisocial activities that are harmful are prohibited here, and visitors are permitted in the timings put forth by the Assam Government rules and regulations.

The fertile land is an abode to several species of plants and trees. Teak, rosewood, sandal and other rare species of large trees are found here. Medicinal plants, herbs are found that are widely used for the traditional medicine preparation by the natives for various ailments that is hard to find any where else. Nature lovers will never miss an opportunity to visit this place for viewing the rare flora that produces refreshing air devoid of pollution that gives memorable experience for city bred visitors.

The sanctuary also has various species of amphibians and reptiles. Pythons and Russell viper are also seen here. Visitors are warned by the authorities to exclude the area where these reptiles are commonly found.

The Ava Fauna includes various species of both migratory and native birds. Horn bill, white winged woo duck and pelican are found here. Large numbers of unidentified species of birds are also seen.

The appropriate time to visit this place is between November and December. Road, rail and air transport can be used to reach here. The nearest airport is Saloni airport, 10 km away from Tezpur and 181 km away from main Guwahati city. The railway station situates in Rangapara 60 kms away from Bhalukpong in Sonitpur district.

There are bus transport form Guwahati, Tezpur 52 kms away from and Dhekiajuli, 30 kms away from the sanctuary. The Forest Inspection Bungalow under the Assam Forest Department and Tourist lodges in Tezpur also provides the accommodation and food. The enthralling views in this protected area will give any one who visits here a pleasurable and learning experience of nature in its true form.