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Assam Orangwildlife Sanctuary
The Orang Wildlife Sanctuary of Assam is a fairly small and new addition to the pristine wildlife reserves of the North-East India. Popularly associated with the Kaziranga Reserve, the Orang Wildlife Sanctuary is only a little over 78 sq km, hence the name ‘Mini Kaziranga’.
The whole Sanctuary is grassland with an unnoticeable slope. The area of the Orang Park comes into two districts of Assam, Sonitpur and Darrang. Its southern boundary is described by the mighty Brahmaputra River and also on the East. Human habitation practically surrounds the Sanctuary and artificial deterrents, like trenches describe the boundaries between the protected area and these villages.
Besides the fauna of the region, the rich plant life is well documented and is of great interest to scholars and enthusiasts alike.
The history of the Orang Wildlife Sanctuary is rich indeed. The earliest mentions of the region are of a human settlement, which during an epidemic decided to shift to another place. Later, after the arrival of the British, they first officially marked the region and named it Orang Game Reserve.
After Independence, in 1985, the status was changed officially to that of a Wildlife Sanctuary. Again, in 1999, the status was again changed and today it is officially the ‘Oranga National Park’.
The Government had attempted to change the name of the reserve before 1999 but it met with much opposition and the idea was dropped.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The Ornag region is essentially a flood basin for Brahmaputra River and the Monsoons are generally very heavy. The climate in the winter and early summer is pleasant. The best time to visit the Orang Wildlife Sanctuary is between October and March.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is at Saloni (almost 87 km), one can also arrive at the Guwahati Airport (140 km). The Orang Park can be accessed easily by road after checking out of the Airport.
The Saloni Railway Station is 90 km from the Orang Town and is well connected to rest of India via Guwahati.
The Orang National Park is very close to National Highway 52, from where one can directly reach the park that is only 15 km away. The Tezpur (32km) – Orang (12) Route is always more convenient for non-local visitors.
The low-lying grassland and the flood terraces of the Orang Wildlife Sanctuary attract birds of all kinds and migratory birds from as far as the Americas have been spotted here. The Park is famous for the largest population of Bengal Floricon, which is a highly endangered species, together with it the park is home to about 222 species of birds.
Amphibians include common varieties of frogs and seven of turtles and tortoises. The monitor lizard is fairly common in these parts. Snakes include the Indian Rock Python, Cobra and Krait.
Perhaps the most celebrated member of the Orang National Park is the One-Horned Indian Rhinoceroses. The Pygmy Hog is also a protected species, kept in captivity and restricted area because of its critically endangered status. Apart from these, Tiger, Elephant, Gangatic Dolphin and Hog Deer are animals of the Orang region.
In true Kaziranga spirit, Elephant Safaris in Orang Wildlife Sanctuary take visitors straight into the natural habitats of the animals, with safety and without disturbing the animals.
Where to Stay
The Orang National Park provides a dormitory and two separate rest hose bungalows for visitors’ stay, which are much in demand and have to be booked well in advance.
- The Orang National Park observes strict entry timing and visitors are not allowed inside the park besides 7.30-9.30AM and 2.00-3.00PM.
- All visitors are needed to obtain visit permissions from the Regional Forest Office located at Mangal Doi.