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Kaziranga Travel Guide

Discussion in 'Assam' started by Debapriya Deb, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is one of the very best, if not the best, wildlife sanctuaries in India. It is home to one of India’s best-known tourism mascots - the famed one-horned rhinoceros. Kaziranga's contribution of 2050 odd rhinos make up more than 70% of the world’s total population of rhinoceros.

    Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, covering approximately 430 square KM area of expansive grasslands, highlands and wetlands. You would be amazed by the rich biodiversity that Kaziranga exhibits. With a mix of wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, groovelands and highlands, it offers a unique habitat for each of the animal and bird species residing at this national park.

    The main attraction at Kaziranga is unarguably the famed one-horned rhino. A jungle safari ride, either on a Jeep or on the back of an elephant, provides the tourists unparalleled opportunities to sight the majestic one-horned rhinos. Kaziranga is not all about rhinos though, you also get to spot as many as 40 major mammal species during your jungle safari. Moreover, Kaziranga hosts a diverse population of 9 amphibian species, 27 species of reptiles and more than 490 species of native and migratory birds.

    Wild elephant, tiger, wild buffalo, clouded leopard, swamp deer, sambar, Indian leopard, hoolock gibbon and wild boar are a few of the animals that make Kaziranga one of the most impressive national parks in India. The park is also the last retreat for the Greater Adjutant Storks - which are steadily diminishing in numbers.

    How to Get There?

    Kaziranga National Park is located on the banks of the Brahmaputra river in the North-Eastern state of Assam. The nearest major city is Jorhat, 96 KM away from the main entrance of the national park at Kohora. Guwahati, which is the largest city in the entire North-East region, is situated at a distance of 217 KM.

    By Road:

    National Highway 37 (NH-37), which connects Guwahati to Roing in Arunachal Pradesh, passes through the Kaziranga National Park. The road is usually in good condition during the winter season, but the flood-affected stretches of the highway can be rugged and slashy in post monsoon season.

    Buses are available from Guwahati, Jorhat and Tezpur town. It takes around 6 hours to reach Kaziranga from Guwahati by bus and the fare is approximately INR 250. Jorhat-Kaziranga distance can be covered in 2.5 hours.

    Alternatively, you can avail taxi service from Guwahati and Jorhat. Approximate taxi fare for Guwahati-Kaziranga route would be around INR 2500, while from Jorhat, it should not cost more than INR 1500.

    By Train:

    The nearest railway station is at Jakhalabandha (Station Code - JKB) 19 KM away from Kaziranga, which is only about half-an-hour's drive. Guwahati-Silghat Town Passenger (55607) passes through Jakhalabandha station. Another option is to board a train to Furkating Junction (Station Code - FKG), which is well connected with Guwahati, New Delhi and Kolkata. The distance of 99 KM from Furkating to Kaziranga can be covered in 2 hours via NH39 and NH37.

    By Air:

    Jorhat is the nearest airport to Kaziranga. It has daily connctivity with Kolkata and Guwahati. Guwahati airport can be a possible alternative which is well connected to rest of the country. You can hire a private taxi to arrive at Kaziranga from Jorhat airport. From Guwahati, you have the options of bus, taxi or train for reaching the Kaziranga national park.

    Best Season to Visit Kaziranga:

    Kazaringa can be accessed only for a duration of 6 months every year. Being a flood-affected area, it is usually cut off from the mainland during the monsoon period. The national park is open to visitors from the 1st of November to April 30th.

    As soon as the park is declared open in November, tourists start to pour in numbers. The winter period between November and January witnesses heavy rush. Although the weather is at its best during this season, Kaziranga gets extremely busy with tourism activities. The high density of human population can adversely affect the probability of animal sightings.

    The best time to visit Kaziranga is when the mad rush gets over, i.e., from mid of February to March end. However, if you are paying a visit in March-April, then be prepared to experience higher temperature.

    Kaziranga Forest Ranges:

    Kaziranga National Park can broadly be divided in to four forest ranges - Central (Kohora), Western (Bagori), Eastern (Agratoli) and Far Western (Burhapahar).

    The Central Range, located at Kohora, is the one that receives highest number of visitors. The chances of spotting wildlife is relatively high in this area due to the easy accessibility.

    The Western range at Bagori is located at a distance of 15 KM from Kohora. It may have the shortest safari circuit in Kaziranga, but at the same time, it has the highest density of rhino population.

    The Eastern range at Agratoli is the longest safari circuit. Situated at a distance of around 30 KM from the main entrance, the Agratoli Range is home to lots of migratory birds species - which makes it the most favorite spot for the bird-watchers.

    The fourth zone, Burhapahar range is a recent inclusion to the vast geographical area of Kaziranga National Park. Being a hilly region, it is considered to be a preferred habitat of wild elephants.

    Entry Fees and Other Charges:

    Entry fee depends on your nationality. Indian citizens need to pay INR 50, while foreigners are charged INR 500.

    For Indian Citizens:

    Standard entry fee for an adult person is INR 50. If you have a digital still camera with you, then you need to shell out another 50 bucks as the camera entry fee. Non-professional video camera attracts an entry fee of INR 500. In case you are a professional potographer and carrying a high-end DSLR, then the entry fee would be INR 500. Entry fee for a professional video camera is INR 5000.

    For Foreign Nationals:

    INR 500 is the entry fee applicable to foreigners. Non professional digital camera and video camera attract additional charges of INR 500 and INR 1000 respectively. If you want to take a professional still camera inside the park, then the fee is INR 2000. Finally, you will be charged INR 20000 for a professional video camera.

    Jungle Safari Options and Applicable Fees:

    Jeep and Elephant Safari are the two available options at Kaziranga National Park. While you can avail both the options at the Central, Western and Eastern ranges, the Burhapahar range offers Jeep Safari only.

    Elephant Safari:

    Elephant Safari is the most exciting part of Kaziranga National Park. Safari on the back of a trained elephant can not only be exciting, but also a favorable mode to sight wildlife from close quarters. Elephants can take you to those places where a Jeep can't go; so you have a higher probability to spot wild animals.

    Elephant Safari is available in three forest ranges - Kohora, Bagori and Agratoli, while at Burhapahar range, only Jeep Safari is functional.

    There are both morning as well as evening safari rides available at Kaziranga. Morning schedule starts from 5.30 AM and ends at 7.30 AM. Afternoon safari timing is between 3 PM and 4 PM.

    For Indian citizens, Elephant Safari ride is priced at INR 450, while it would cost INR 1000 for the foreign nationals. An additional sum of INR 25 is charged for the armed guard accompanying the visitors.

    Jeep Safari:

    Jeep Safari is available at all the four forest ranges. The morning schedule starts at 7.30 AM and lasts till 11 AM, while you can board the afternoon safari vehicle from 2 PM to 4.30 PM.

    The cost of Jeep Safari varies depending on the forest range that you would like to visit. The charges are identical for Indian and foreign travellers.

    Jeep Safari at the Central range (Kohora) would cost you INR 1900. INR 2100 is the price for the Bagori range. Eastern range at Agratoli is priced at INR 2500. Being a remote location, Burhapahar attracts the highest charge of INR 3000.

    An additional INR 300 per vehicle is charged as the road toll, while another INR 100 per vehicle is payable for the service of armed forest guard.

    Major Safari Attractions at Kaziranga:


    With its majestic body and charismatic horn, the one-horned rhinoceros is the star attraction at Kaziranga National Park. According to the latest census, the park is home to 2048 rhinos - which is more than 70% of the world's total rhino population. You can be assured of spotting rhinos on your maiden safari ride at Kaziranga.

    Elephant Safari is the most preferred mode to get close to these seemingly pre-historic animals, but you can be sure to catch them from Jeep Safari as well. In terms of volume, the Central Zone has the highest number of rhinos, but when it comes to the density, Bagori Range occupies the top spot.


    Kaziranga forest has 86 resident tigers - more than any other national park in India. Also the density of tigers in Kaziranga is the highest in the world. There is one tiger in every 5 square kilometers area on an average. However, tiger sighting is less common due to the tall, dense grasslands. The water reservoir at the Eastern Range (Agratoli) is the most likely place to spot the majestic animal.


    According to the latest census, Kaziranga is again the leader here with a count of 1048 wild elephants. The hilly terrain of Burhapahar Range is the ideal habitat for the elephants, but they can be seen anywhere in the park. Elephant sighting is quite common at Kaziranga.

    Wild Buffalo:

    You can see these huge creatures everywhere at Kaziranga. The grasslands on the river bank are their favorite grazing point. Besides the Common Indian Buffalos, Kaziranga also houses a few Wild Asian Water Buffalos - which is considered as an endangered species. The wild buffalos roam around in a group, so it is highly unlikely to miss out on noticing them.

    Other Wildlife Attractions:

    Kaziranga hosts a diverse population of 40 mammalian species, 9 amphibian species, 27 species of reptiles and close to 500 species of birds. Besides the above mentioned attractions, listed below are a few of the animal and bird species that can be easily spotted at Kaziranga National Park during safari rides.

    MammalsAmphibians & ReptilesBirds
    Sloth BearMarsh CrocodileGreater Adjutant Stork
    Indian Grey MongooseGangetic CrocodileBlyth's Kingfisher
    Indian CivetAsian Water MonitorWhite-bellied Heron
    Swamp DeerGrayish-brown GeckoDalmatian Pelican
    SambarRoofed TurtleSpot-billed Pelican
    Golden JackalBrown Hill TortoiseSpotted Greenshank
    Chinese / Indian PangolinGangetic TurtleBlack-bellied Tern
    Clouded LeopardPeacock Softshell TurtleEastern Imperial Eagle
    Slow LorisKeeled Box TurtleGreater Spotted Eagle
    Assamese MacaqueOldham's Leaf TurtleWhite-tailed Fishing Eagle
    Capped LangurNarrow Headed Softshell TurtleRed-headed Vulture
    Golden Langur-Eurasian Black Vulture
    Hoolock Gibbon-Wreathed Hornbill
    orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel-Finn's Weaver
    Barking Deer-Black-breasted Parrotbill.

    Where to Stay at Kaziranga?

    Besides the huge guest house operated by the Assam Tourism Department situated in front of the Kohra bus stop, Kaziranga has lots of decent accommodation options. Budget travellers can get a room for as low as INR 500 per day, while for the luxury seekers, there are a number of lavish resorts available nearby.

    Being the most preferred staying location due to the accessibility factor, the majority of hotels are located in and around the Kohora range. Even the Agratoli and Bagura range has a few decent hotels and guest houses to fulfil your requirement. Listed below are a few of the reliable accommodation options at Kaziranga.

    NoHotelLocationMinimum TariffContact
    1Aranya Tourist LodgeKohoraINR 750(+91) 3776 262 429
    2Sarmah LodgeKohoraINR 900(+91) 99571 66630
    3Kaziranga ResortKohoraINR 1000(+91) 94351 52968
    4Hills N Lakes ResortBagoriINR 1500(+91) 94355 25553
    5Agoratoli Eco Tourism ResortAgratoliINR 2200(+91) 97060 10838
    6Green Reed ResortKohoraINR 2500(+91) 94351 50277
    7Grassland ResortBagoriINR 3000(+91) 22618 41444
    8Resort BorgosKohoraINR 4500(+91) 37762 94111
    9Diphlu River LodgeBagoriINR 5000(+91) 36126 67871
    10IORA - The RetreatKohoraINR 5500(+91) 99571 93550
    A Few Tips:
    • During the winter season, avoid going for the early morning ride as thick fog can lower the level of visibility substantially.
    • It is better to book your Elephant Safari seats on the previous day to avoid long waiting time. Safari trips can be booked in advance from the from the Park Administrative Centre in Kohora.
    • If you are suffering from back-ache, spinal injury or stiff joints, then the Elephant Safari should better be avoided.
    • If you arrive at Kaziranga during the peak season and find it difficult to book safari rides, then consider visiting the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary - which is located nearby. Although much smaller in size compared to Kaziranga, the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of rhinos in the world.
    • All the forest ranges of Kaziranga have decent number of rhinos. In terms of volume, Kohora is at the first position, while Bagori takes the honours as far as the density is in concern. So if you are short on time, then consider visiting Kohora and Bagori first.
    • If you are an omithologist or have serious interest on birds, then you must visit the Eastern range at Agratoli and the Western range at Bagori. The huge natural lake in the Agratoli range is no less than a paradise for migratory birds. A pair of good quality binoculars is a must-carry thing for the bird-watchers.
    • Different forest products and local handicrafts are sold near the Mihimukh entrance of Kaziranga National Park (Central Range). So don't forget to collect a souvenir of your Kaziranga trip.
    Chahal likes this.
  2. princess

    princess New Member

    This looks tempting. Elephant safari is simply wow! Is there any other tourist attractions around Kaziranga? I hope to make it to Kaziranga some day.
  3. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Few other travel-worthy places around Kaziranga are -

    1. Garampani - A hot water spring within a reserve forest area.
    2. Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary - Famous for wild elephants.
    3. Neghereting Shiva Temple - An ancient temple built by the Ahom Kings in the 15th century. The hill-top tample is surrounded by lush green tea gardens.
    4. Deopahar - A place of historical interest located on a hilly terrain, mostly in ruins.

    princess and Chahal like this.
  4. Honest Abe

    Honest Abe New Member

    Fantastic post. Lots of information and sights of interest. This is invaluable for a tourist planning on coming to this region.

    The safaris look splendid. As do the lavish forest areas. Although wrangling with a hippo or tiger is not the idea of fun many have, seeing one in its natural habitat could be a life-changing experience.

    Thanks for this info!

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