Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

Manas National Park is about 176 kilometer from Guwahati, the world heritage site, Manas National Park lies just in between Kaziranga and Jaldapada. Make a trip to Manas National Park - a world heritage site, one of those few places that have the ability to hold a visitor spellbound, the main reason being the 540sq km of diverse topography and rich flora and fauna. The lifeline of the Park, Manas River forms a natural boundary between India and the
Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. In the lower stretches of the river basin, small clusters of trees dot vast stretches of sand.This kind of topography is home to small herds of wild buffaloes and fishing birds that fly screeching over the river in search of prey. Move a little away from the bank and you will enter a thick jungle of broad-leaved trees, where even sunlight fails to make its way to the ground. On the other side of the jungle, majestic herds of elephants wade through swamps and tall elephant grass (although in comparison to the other National Parks, it is very difficult to spot the elephants here). There are nullahs, or streams, hillocks; almost everything that you would wish to see in a Manas National Park situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. Just make a holiday trip to Manas National Park.

Manas National Park enjoys a very special status in terms of wildlife in the sub continent for two reasons: it has a much longer visiting season and it is home to twenty-two of the subcontinent's fifty-four endangered species. Some like the hispid hare and pigmy hog are found only here. Yet, unlike in Kaziranga, where sightings are very common because of open spaces and swamps, in Manas a visitor may not come across too many animals. By taking up a holiday trip to Manas national park to sight the wild at such close quarters that often the visitor is left spell bound. Make a trip through the gravel road from Barpeta to Manas National Park during the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening. Drive past the Bansbari tea estate and as you enter the open grassland, look out for the extremely rare species of the hispid hare. This is an elusive rabbit-like animal, about 47 centimeters in length. The back and the tail are dark brown and the breast is whitish in colour. After a sharp turn, you might find an extremely alert pair staring directly into the headlights of your jeep.

Wildlife Attractions

Another species that deserves a special mention is the golden langur. This beautiful animal is 48 to 50 centimeters in length and the tail adds another 75 centimeters to it. The colour of its coat changes with each season. During winters, when the body needs to absorb more heat, the colour of the coat is light golden or deep yellow. It gradually changes to off-white as the hot summer
months are round the corner. The face, however, remains black all through the year. For those interested in big mammals,Manas National Park has a deep pocket.It has a considerable population of rhinos (although much less in numbers than in Kaziranga), elephants, wild buffaloes, gaurs, swamp deer, sambar, hog deer and barking deer. Besides these animals, cats form a sizeable group in the Park. Going by the last count, there were 80 tigers, clouded leopards and golden cats. Inspite of such a large number of tigers, sightings are very difficult and sometimes possible due to sheer happenstance. Wild Buffaloes make an interesting subject for photography, but take care while shooting, as the animal is quite weary and can attack without any provocation. In fact, wild buffaloes are known to drive even tigers away.

Safari

The best way to commute inside the Manas National Parkis on trained elephants that can be hired from the Mothanguri at the rate of 20$ per visit for foreigners. Each safari lasts three hours. Under normal conditions, the elephants leave from Mothanguri at 0900-1200 hrs in the morning and at 1400-1700 hrs in the afternoon.

Boats are also available for hire from the forest beat officer at Mothanguri. Each boat can accommodate 2-8 people (excluding the pilot) and the ride lasts 4-8 hours.