Manas National Park
Lying on the foothills of the Himalaya, Manas is the most stunning pristine wildlife habitat in India, comparable to the best in the world in the beauty of its spectacular landscape.
It is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage (in danger) site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve - a unique distinction. This Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forest Terrestrial Eco-region is also the richest in species of all Indian wildlife areas and the only known home for the rare and endangered Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.
Manas is the closest I have come to seeing paradise on earth in my life - but that was 25 years ago. Today, Manas looks like an aged diva wearing rags, though I think I still caught the familiar sparkle in the eye.
The focus point of Manas National Park is the enchanting Manas River, named after the serpent goddess Manasa. It is the largest Himalayan tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. Coming down the Bhutan Hills from the north, the crystal clear waters of the Manas river runs through the heart of the 500 sq. km core area of Manas Park. The main tourist spot of Mothanguri, on the northern border of Manas with Bhutan, is situated on the banks of this river.
Situated in the north bank of the Brahmaputra river, in Assam, Manas lies on the international border with Bhutan. It is bounded on the north by the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan, on the south by populous North Kamrup district and on both east and west by buffer forest reserves which are part of 2,840 sq. Km Manas Tiger Reserve.
Main attraction :
The dense forest of the Park is a natural home of a wide variety of wildlife – Asian Elephants Indian Rhinoceros, Gaurs, Asian Water Buffaloes, Barasingha, Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Asian golden cat, Capped Langurs, Golden Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Slow Loris, Barking Deer and Sloth Bears. The Park boasts of 380 species of birds, 55 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. Out of 55 species of mammals 31 of them are threatened. Some of the birds spotted in the Park are Bengal Florican(endangered), Giant Hornbills, Jungle Fowls, Bulbuls, Brahminy Ducks, Egrets, Pelicans, Fishing Eagles, Magpie Robins and Grey Hornbills.
The boat rides on the Manas river flowing through the Park is an experience in itself. Jeep safari and Elephant Safari are the exciting ways of journeying through the Park. These safaris are organised by the Park authorities.
How to reach:
Air: The nearest airport is Borjhar.
Rail: Barpeta is the nearest railhead.
Road: Good bus services from Guwahati to Barpeta road which is next to the park boundary.