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Assam Manas Tiger Reserves
|Nearest city||Barpeta Road|
|Area||950 sq kilometers|
|Governing body||Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India|
Manas Wildlife Sancturay or Manas National Park is Wildlife Sanctuary, Heritage site of the UNESCO Natural World, a Project for the Tiger Reserve, Reserve for Elephant and Assam’s Biosphere Reserve, India. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and is adjacent to the National park Royal Manas which is in Bhutan. This park is famous for the wildlife which is endangered endemic and also rare like the Pygmy Hog, Golden Langur, Hispid Hare and Assam Roofed Turtle. The popularity of Manas is because of its Wild water buffalo’s population. The sight which consists of the earth, aparatis to flora and animal to river is such a wonderful sight and is worth appreciating.
The park has got its name from the River Manas, which got its name in turn from Manasa the serpent goddess. Brahmaputra River’s major tributary is the River Manas, and this passes through the middle of national park.
On the 1st of October in the year 1928 the Manas National Park was declared as a sanctuary which has an area of 360 km². The bioreserve of Manas was made in the year 1973. The Reserved Forest named North Kamrup R.F and Manas R.F. The Raja of Gauripur and royal family of Cooch Behar used this as their hunting reserve. The area got increased in the year 1951 & 1955 to 391 km². In the year 1985 in the month of December this was declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. In order to form Manas National Park both the Panbari R.F and the Kokilabari were added in 1990. Due to the threat of terrorist activities and heavy poaching this got declared in the year 1992 as the world heritage site. In the year 2008 in the month of February the area got further extended to 950 km². The park got removed in the year 2011 on the 21st of June from the World Heritage in danger list & had been recommended for efforts to preserve.
In the National Park’s core lies the Agrang, which is the only forest village. There are 56 more villages around the park apart from this one. Directly or indirectly there are many such fringe villages which are dependent on park.
Best Time To Visit and Weather
The summers here are hot with winters being cold in the Manas Park which depicts a typical tropical climate. In case you are planning to visit in summer then you need to pack cotton cloths and in winters woolen clothes. The park gets an average rainfall of 160 cms, but monsoons have heavy rains, often flooding the park.
Best time to Visit
The months of November to April are the best time to plan a trip to the Manas national park.
Places To Visit
From Manas, Guwahati which is the state capital is just 176 kms away. Formerly called as Pragjyothishpur this is a historical city. This is located on Brahmaputra’s banks and the Goddess Kamakhya’s temple is very famous here, Koch King Naranarayan had built the Shakti worship’s shrine.
Pabitora and Orang Wildlife Sanctuaries
The two sanctuaries of wildlife named Pabitora and Orang are worth visiting. Many species of deer and the rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) are said to be found here in plenty.
The sacred place for all the Buddhists, Muslims and the Hindus is said to be the Hajo town ( 25kms towards west of Guwahati). There is a long stone staircase which leads to the famous temple of Hayagriba Madhava. The Sarthebari village the adjacent Hajo village are known for the bell metal work.
The shrine which is dedicated to the Vaishnavite saint, Sankardeva is said to be near to the Barpeta town.
How To Reach
The nearest airport is at Guwahati at a distance of 176 kms.
The railway station and the nearest town is the Berpeta Road which is just 41 kms away.
Manas also has well connectivity to all the roads which connects it to other towns and cities in the state.
The modes of transportation in the park are the boats and the elephant rides.
Flora And Fauna
The Manas’s Burma Monsoon Forests lies between the Indo-Malayan and Indo-Gangetic’s biogeographical realms borders and forms a part of the Biogeographic Province of the Brahmaputra Valley. The reason for this being one of the world’s richest biodiversity areas is because of its combination of the formation of the riverine succession along with the Sub-Himalayan Bhabar Terai extending to the Sub-Himalayan mountain.
The various kind of main vegetations are
- In northern parts the Semi-Evergreen light Alluvial Himalayan forests.
- The most common of them is the Dry Deciduous forests and the mixed moist of the East Himalayan.
- Low Alluvial Savanna’s Woodland, &
- Semi-Evergreen Alluvial Grasslands of the Assam Valley which covers almost all park’s 50% area.
Most of the which is in initial successional stage is the riverine dry deciduous forest. The moist deciduous forest which is away from the water courses is the moist deciduous forest followed by the park’s northern parts semi-evergreen climax forest. The core zone records a total plant species of 543. Of which 374 species are the dicotyledons (89 trees included) , 139 species are the monocotyledons & 30 Gymnosperms & Pteridophytes.
The common trees of the park are Bridelia spp, Oroxylum indicum, Gmelina arborea, Trewia polycarpa, T. chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Careya arborea, D. pentagyna, Dillenia indica, Sterculia villosa, Bombax ceiba, Actinodaphne obvata, Cinnamomum tamala, Mallotus philippensis, Bauhinia purpurea, S. oblatum, S. formosum, Syzygium cumini, Anthocephalus chinensis, and Aphanamixis polystachya. Species of Leea, Clerodendrum, Mussaenda, Premna and Grewia, and the Bombax ceiba, dominate the Grasslands The Grasslands are dominated by Imperata cylindrica, Phyllanthus emblica, Dillenia pentagyna, Arundo donax, Phragmites karka, Saccharum naranga.
This sanctuary has 380 bird species, 55 mammals species, 3 amphibians species and 50 reptile species. Of these wildlife, 31 mammals are threatened out of the 21 mammals of the India’s Schedule I.
The sanctuaries fauna’s are Clouded Leopards, Leopards, Indian Tigers, Barasingha, Asian Water Buffaloes, Gaurs, Indian Rhinoceros, Asian golden cat and Asian Elephants, Chital, Sambar Deer, Black Panther, Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Sloth Bears, Smooth-coated Otters, Hoolock Gibbons, Slow Loris, Assamese Macaques and Golden Langurs.
The park is popular for the endangered and rare wildlife which is not found elsewhere across the globe such as the Pygmy Hog, Golden Langur, Hispid Hare, and Assam Roofed Turtle.
One can find species of birds of more than 450 in the house of Manas.  Manas is also said to have the highest population of the endangered Bengal Florican. The other major birds that can be found here are the Herons, Ospreys, Harriers, Mergnasers, Grey Hornbills, Peid Hornbills, Magpie Robins, Bee-Eaters, Scarlet Minivets, Falcons, Serpent Eagles, Fishing Eagles, Pelicans, Egrets, Kalij Pheasants, Brahminy Ducks, Bulbuls, Jungle Fowls and Giant Hornbills.
The Tiger Reserve of Manas offers shelter to differnt kinds of wildlife which includes 55 species of mammals, 36 species of reptilian and 3 species of reptiles, and hence this makes them biggest area in regards to the numbers in India. The population of tiger at the Manasa Reserve is around 80. There are also Indian pangolins, otters, hispid hare, giant squirrels, gaurs (Indian Bison), water buffaloes, Indian muntjacs, hog deer, Ganges dolphins, wild dogs, sloth bears, binturongs, marbled cat, golden cat, leopards, slow lorises and Assamese macaques are found here along with around 2000 elephants which are found here. In the higher levels of the forest one gets to see the rare red panda which is very attractive. More than 450 birds species are found here like the wreathed hornbill, great pied hornbill, Bengal florican and few other unique waterfowls species. Various kinds of species of the snakes and monitor lizards are included in the Reptiles. In the year 1989 was the Assam roofed turtle spotted. The forest of Manas probably could be as diverse as the natural biosphere could be. The vegetation of this place differs from semi-evergreen tropical forest in northern part to the dry deciduous forests and tropical moist of different regions. In the park’s western region is the alluvial grasslands which are extensively, and this consists of different kinds of shrubs and grass. Along the River of Manas is a good amount of the aquatic flora. Jeep is convenient to move around in the park. Tours are being conducted by The Department of Assam State Tourist which includes the elephant rides and boat trips. And these trips are not only convenient but are also cost effective.
The park is open from dawn till dusk.
Where To Stay
There are two forest lodges which the tourism department maintains and this provides a very comfort stay nearby to the park. The first one being near to the Barpeta Road and the other one at Bansbari. Inside the Mathanguri forest there are two bungalows of the state department. One needs to make provision for food themselves as they don’t has any such provision at their lodges and bungalows. The services of chefs and cooks can be made available for a very less amount.
One can visit Manas at any time without any permits. However, one needs to get permission from the Field Director’s Office to stay in the forest at Barpeta Road.
- The park’s entry fee is to be paid at the range office of Bansbari which is at a distance of 1 km from the Baripada’s entrance gate.
- For Indians Rs. 20/ is the entry fee and for foreigners the fee is Rs. 250/.
- One can visit this park from 5:30 am to 6:30 pm in the evening everyday.
- For the sightseeing of tigers and other striped animals who are predators the Makibana area which is in Bhuyab para is said to be ideal.
- The timings of the Safari are from 5:30 till 10 AM & from 2:30 to 5:30 PM.