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A THRILLING TRIP TO MANAS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Nestled at the base of Bhutan-Himalayas range in the north-east state of Assam, Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. The complete vicinity of Manas Park falls under five different districts of Assam including Darrang, Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar and Udalguri. Such wide expanse clearly indicates the extent of areas and density to which the entire Wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of. The natural abundance of Manas National Park houses several endangered flora and fauna, which turned this park to an exciting holiday destination amongst the visitors.

Manas Entrance

The rich landscape of majestic Manas is known for its diverse wildlife including Assam roofed turtle, Pygmy Hog, rhinoceros, Hispid Hare and many other endemic wild animals that pull plenty of tourists here from all over the world. Apart from its rare wildlife, a blend of tropical bush, picturesque knoll and alluvial grasslands have also made this thrilling park a beautiful paradise on the earth that one must visit.

In order to explore the variety of species, tourists flock this dense abode of wildlife from various parts of the sphere. It is reported that Manas Wildlife Sanctuary boasts more than 550 different species including 50 species of reptiles, 450 species of birds, 55 species of mammals and some other species of amphibians. Besides, around 1000 plants species can also be observed here in the entire lush bush environs of the park. Some of the prominent plants species that you can spot here include Low Alluvial Savanna Woodland, Bombax ceiba, Mussaenda, Phragmites karka, Anthocephalus Chinensis, Terminalia Chebula, Oroxylum Indicum, Syzygium Formosum etc. Nevertheless, leopard, elephant, panther, tiger, water buffalo, red panda and golden langur still remain the key attractions in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Climate:

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary experiences a semi-tropical climate throughout the year, which is a blend of hot and humid summers, with intense rainfall in monsoon and a mild winter. The minimum temperature in Manas is 15oC and the maximum temperature here in summer climbs up to 37oC with more than 74% humidity. In monsoon, the dense bush of Manas faces heavy rainfall, and the average yearly rainfall reported here is around 333cm. During winter, you can enjoy a pleasant climate in Manas, and the temperature lies somewhere around 25oC.

Best Time to Visit Manas:

Though, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a place that can be visited all year round. But, the best time to visit here is from the month of October to March, when the climate becomes idyllic for expedition and the fauna activity can best be revealed that time.

Things to do:

A voyage to any Wildlife Sanctuaries remains curtailed unless you get into some adventurous activities there. To make the excursion more exhilarating, the forest officials of Manas arranges various adventurous Safari activities for the visitors. Nothing could offer you a better vista of a tranquil green forest than Elephant Safari around Manas. This can best be enjoyed between the months of October and April. Visitors can avail the elephant Safari at Bansbari.

Safari Activities in Manas

Apart from a delightful elephant ride in the jungle, the officials also cater Jeep Safari for the visitors. And the best part of such rides can be felt when your daring activities turns more thrilling after keeping a close eye on tigers, leopard and other wild animals from the Jeep. Experiencing such thrilling activities not only holds your breathe amidst the woods, but it further also lets you enjoy a safe ride on the other side. Visitors can enjoy this super thrilling Jeep Safari from Sunrise to sunset. Nevertheless, most of these safaris can be availed from 9AM to 12PM (in morning) and from 2PM to 5PM (in afternoon).

In addition, one can also enjoy the white water rafting at Manas River. So, don’t restrain yourself from being a part of the most adventurous Safari around the deep forest of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sites to Explore:

Apart from experiencing the Safari activities, Manas National Park has lot more nearby attractions for exploration. Here comes the key tourist pullers in Manas:

#The summer palace of King of Bhutan: This requires prior permission to reach the Palace of King of Bhutan. To do so, you need to hire a boat for crossing the Manas River. Once you cross the Bhutan side, you further need to walk merely one kilometre to reach the summer palace of King of Bhutan. The royal palace is taken care under the observation of a watchman. After spending hours amidst the dense woods, visiting the palace of King of Bhutan is altogether a different experience that one can have.

The summer palace of King of Bhutan

#Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society: This particular area is like a surprised package that keeps you clueless till you access and explore the terrain to the most. Maozigendri is basically an Eco-tourism Society located in the park, which was set up by the aboriginal Bodo tribe of Assam. The local inhabitants amaze your visit here with their traditional blend of music, handloom and luring textiles. During your visit to this society, you will come to see various colourful textiles being woven by the village women. The aboriginal Bodo tribes of Assam are quite generous by nature and they may even offer you for a night stay in the forest. If you happen to spend some time with the local inhabitants there, you will get to know various traditional tales about the place. The villagers often ask the visitors for foot safari around the society. During winter, you will get to see many villagers going out in group to pluck the tea leaves.

Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society

#Bird Watching: Abundantly blessed with endangered wildlife, the dense woods of Manas offers you a wondrous bird viewing spots in the Park. The key birding sites here are located at Kokilabari (east) and Alabari (northeast side). Manas National Park boasts around 450 species of birds including Bengal Florican, Egrets, Magpie Robins, Ospreys, Falcons, Jungle Fowls, Herons and many more. A blend of soothing environs and melodic sounds of the birds will take you to a different zone of imagination amidst the jungle.

Bird watching in Manas

Entry Fees:

Being one of the adventurous tourists pulling sites, accessing to the National Park incurs certain amount of fees or charges. For Indian visitors, the entry fee is INR20 and for every foreign tourist the entry fee to the National Park is INR 250. On the other hand, performing the Safari activities also cost you certain charges. For elephant ride, INR 1,100 will be charged against each Indian visitor, while the foreigner will be charged INR 2,100 per person for the same. Similarly, Jeep Safari also involves certain charges. Depending on the total time spent on Jeep Safari (half/full day), group of person and types of visitor (Indian/foreigner), the charges may range between INR 3,000 to INR 6,000. Likewise, based upon the type of visitors and number of person the charges for river rafting will range between INR 7,000 to INR 12,000/person.

Manas pathway

The visiting hour in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is between 5:30AM to 6:30PM. Photography is allowed in the park in return of certain charges. Indian visitors need to pay INR 50 and INR 100 for carrying still and video cameras respectively. On the other hand, foreigners have to pay INR 250 for the same.

Visitors who are driving of their own, need not have to worry much in finding a parking space in Manas. The park authority facilitates the visitors by proving them enough parking spaces. For Indian tourist, the parking charge  is INR 20 and for foreign nationals the charge is INR 250.

Keeping aside all the daring activities and wildlife sightseeing, the place also has many other attractions in and around. Some of the nearby sites that tourist love to explore with equal enthusiasm are Kaziranga, shrine of the Vaishnavite reformer, Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GATC) and Siliguri .

Food in Manas:

The only place to full your stomach amidst the jungle is Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society. Here you will find some small camps with aboriginal cuisines. The local inhabitants of this society mostly prefer taking rice with fresh vegetables and meat. For non-vegetarians, rice with chicken, fish and pork could be a luscious eatable to try in the national park. After meal, the Bodos offer their visitors a traditional drink called ‘Zu Mai’, which is made of rice. The forest department also caters some guest houses here for the visitors where they can try good food at reasonable rates.

Interesting facts about Manas:

Manas National Park without a second thought is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries that we get to see today in India. Blessed with natural profusion, the park has some interesting facts that you should know before exploring the place in particular:

  • The inhabitants of Royal Bengal Tigers in Manas are quite rich. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary boasts the world’s largest population of Bengal Florican.
  • This park is equally famous for the Hornbill.
  • In Manas, you will get to observe two major biomes namely; forest biome and the grassland biome.
  • In entire Bhutan region, Manas River is the largest river, and the river flows from Bhutan and assembles with river Brahmaputra at Jogighopa in Assam.
  • Manas National Park was established in 1985 and it was named after the great river Manas; and today the park is a world heritage site.
  • The Manas National Park is being named as the Elephant Reserve, Biosphere Reserve and Tiger Reserve.

Getting there to Manas:

Visitors travel from all over the world to witness the natural galore of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary filled with endangered wildlife. Thus, reaching here is not a matter of concern for the visitors. The following are the important means of commutation towards Manas:

By Air: The nearest airport to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, which is situated around 180Kms away. By flight, Guwahati is well-connected to most of the major cities in India. From airport, visitors can hire a cab that will take them to the national park. From Guwahati airport, it will take 4-5 hours time to reach Manas.

By Rail: Located merely 32Kms away from the national park, the nearest railway station is Barpeta Road. From railway station, you will find cabs and taxis to reach the park.

barpeta road railway station

By Road: Roadway connectivity between Manas and all major cities of Assam is conveniently accessible. You will get regular conveyances from some of the adjoining locations like Barpeta, Johrat, and Guwahati to reach Manas. In addition, road connectivity from some other places such as Darjeeling (around 466Kms), Siliguri (around 386kms), Kaziranga (around 403Kms) and Shillong (around 287Kms) is also quite often. Various State transport buses are also there to reach you till the national park. The NH 31 from Guwahati connects Barpeta Road from where you can easily reach your destination.

Note: In order to commute within Manas National Park, visitors can hire cab and auto from Barpeta or nearby township. Additionally, the forest officials also provide jeep and elephant rides to rover around the park area.

Places to Stay:

Being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the picturesque nature and rousing wildlife of Manas offer some beguiling experiences to its visitors. This is the reason every year the Wildlife Sanctuary experiences good numbers of footfalls. This further leads to the requirements of some good staying options as well for the tourists.

Bansbari Lodge

Though, one cannot expect a swanky accommodation in the national park. Yet, with prior booking you can go for some rest houses that run under the forest department. The quality of food and ambience inside the rest house is quite satisfactory. Additionally, some reasonable lodges are also available near Barpeta town that visitors may try.

Here are two such staying options provided for your convenience:

#The Bansbari Lodge

Address: Manas National Park, Barpeta-Manas Road,

Barpeta, Assam 781301

#Musa Jungle Retreat

Address: Gyatigaon, P O Barengabari,

Bansbari, Assam 781315

So what are you waiting for? Come out with your next holiday plan and explore the biodiversity of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary. Take home some eternal memories amidst the green thick bush of Manas.

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