Manas National Park
Manas National Park is one such wild life retreat in India that has the ability to hold a visitor spellbound. It is amongst the few foremost wild life parks in India, which is under the watchful eye of the Project Tiger. With its unique topography, rich flora and fauna and more interestingly its distance from human habitation, Manas offers the perfect setting to experience the wilds in there purest forms.
Spread over 519 sq. km of sheer greenery, on the northern bank of Brahmaputra River in Assam, this scenic wild life park reflects a fine fusion of Indian, Ethiopian, and Indo-Chinese influences in its magnificent bio-diversity. The park is mainly drained by the picturesque Manas River that demarcated India from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
While the core park area is a pristine wild life abode, the additional area is a collection of eighteen reserve forests. Being an excellent abode to the dwindling tiger species, Manas became the center of attraction for the wild life protectionists and in 1973 it was converted into a Tiger Reserve, with Manas Sanctuary as its core. Later the sanctuary was extended by adding several forest reserves surrounding the area. In 1990 Manas finally achieved the title of a National Park. Along with being a world natural heritage site, it has been also declared as a biosphere reserve owing to its beauty and importance to the environment.
Today the Manas National Park boasts of some of the rare wild life species including the tiger. A vast, relatively un-spoilt expanse of low-lying sal forests and small meadows in midst of thickly forested hills criss-cross by a network of rivulets, streams and drains mark the unique topography of the park. Imagine the sight of a large number of deer grazing in some small glades of grass interspersed by mixed deciduous forests or have a look at the wild buffalos from the safety and serenity of a boat on river Manas. The more daring can opt for an elephant ride into the densest areas of the forest or take a jeep ride to the danger zone, where you will encounter the king tiger himself.
The major wild inhabitants of Manas include are the tigers, elephants, the rare one horned rhinos, wild buffaloes, leopards, clouded leopards and the amazing black panthers. Manas is also home to endangered animal species like the Hispid Hare and the Pygmy Hog. The gaurs, swamp deer, capped languor, golden languor, Assamese macaques, slow loris, smooth Indian otters, sloth bears, barking deer, hog deer Chital and sambar are among the other inhabitants of the jungle that you will come across while exploring the park.
Manas is also a favorite abode for many local and migratory birds. Some important birds found here include the jungle fowl, bulbuls, pelicans, pheasants, fishing eagles, serpent eagles, egrets, falcons, bee eaters, herons, mergansers, harriers pied hornbills and different species of hornbills.