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North East India Tour Package
The Wildlife Sanctuaries are a landscape of hills and forests and breezes, on prosperous patches of grassland, where you could open your eyes to the chirping of birds in the morning, or the singing of animal species, or the swaying of the flora around you! What a wonderful escapade on the North-East Wildlife Holiday Package, which would cover a few forestlands in that region to entice your appetite to take a few days off to be embedded in nature’s lap, away from the complexities of urban life! You could take a few or all the options available, even with their synchronised similarities, in this particular area, and rest assured that you would come back enamoured by this grand experience!
It would be sensible to begin with the Orang National Park, also known as mini-Kaziranga, a quick drive from Guwahati , the gateway to the North-East, which sprawls on both sides of the mighty Brahmaputra river, and the drive way goes through the bumpy country road just a little better than a riverbed, winding past several newly sprung villages. The park, having been declared as a National Park, is a small enclave enclosed with lush wilderness, a beautiful collage of trees, tall grasses from which occasionally rhinos emerge to show off the `armour-plated’ bodies, but never cease to munch on the grass to satiate their enormous appetites! Orang’s terrain is similar to Kaziranga,such as swampy grasslands with landlocked beels, or wetlands, and slightly higher woodlands stretching away from the river. The terrain slopes gently from north to south covered with natural forest vegetation like bombax ceiba, dalbergia sisoo, sterculia villosa, trewia nudiflora, zizypphus jujuba, litsaea polyantha and other non-aquatic grassland species. This park is a homing ground for thousands of migratory birds in the winter. The high grass and overgrown woody stretches line unexpectedly smooth forest tracks. Every now and then curious hog deer stare at visitors approaching, waiting until the last minute to disappear into the jungle. Acres of new, brilliant green grass slide away from the track, scattered white fluff from bursting simul or silk cotton pods catching the afternoon light and glinting like snowflakes. Startled wild boar dash off into the bushes, frightening clusters of deer. Orang is known to have a high density of tigers and you can see that at least the prey base is quite prolific. Elephant rides are arranged into the terrain that is not accessible by jeep, offering intimate glimpses of untouched wilderness. This National Park is an important habitat of the Bengal florican.
Assam’s famous one-horned rhinoceros can be seen at the spacious Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden. Panoramic views are to be had by trekking to the peaceful temple of Goddess Bhubaneshwari at the peak of the Neelachal Parvat. Taxis are available from the Kamakhya Temple. Continue charming yourselves on this North-East Wildlife Holiday Package!
Your next landmark would be the Manas National Park, which is situated in the Barpeta district of Assam along the Bhutan foothills, and has an exotic feel to it, with an exhilerating dense forest and the blue hills looming in the distance. Home to the tiger, elephant, wild buffalo and gaur, as also that golden langur and red panda, Manas has been classified as a World Heritage Site. It is shelter to rare species such as mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, wild water buffalo, leopard, pigmy hog, swamp deer, sambar, hispid hare, fowl, bulbul, brahminy duck, Indian Grey hornbill and roofed turtle. It is also an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve, as there are elephant rides, walks, tea plantations and village visits.
Move on to the Nameri National Park which offers some pristine patches of forest that you can explore on foot, old giant trees, a beautiful Himalayan river and a resident population of elephants. The Park has a majestic canopy and a hike in the forest here reveals many of its wild secrets, elephants, bison, Himalayan black bear, hornbills and the shy, white-winged wood duck for which the park is famous. Rafting is a gentle experience, organsied on this river, on inflatable rubber dinghies through which you float down the river absorbing the distant hills and the still forest. You could be rewarded by the whir of hornbills in cormorants resting on the rocky island banks. You may get to see a deer or monkey coming for a drink or dream of catching a herd of elephants at play!
It would be fun to opt for a picnic lunch on a mid-river island as a delicious mela is churned out by the boatmen who doubles as cooks, and you could take a walk along the river only to find all kinds of spoor, that of elephant herds avoiding quicksand, the steps of a lapwing, the trademark of pugmarks of a big cat……..authenticating that the jungle is alive and well. On the east bank of the Jia Bhoroli, Nameri’s thick forest cover joins the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal, forming a continuous stretch of the sub-Himalayan forests. The Eaglenest Sanctuary has many bird species including rare tragopan, to keep you attracted on the North-East Wildlife Holiday Package!
Located in the heart of Assam on the bank of the majestic Brahmaputra is the Kaziranga National Park, which is inhabited by the world's largest population of one-horned rhinoceros, as well as mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears, and thousands of birds. It covers a huge area with its swamps and tall thickets of elephant grass making it the most ideal habitat for the one-horned Indian Rhinoceros, and due to countless poaching of this prehistoric survivor, the Kaziranga National Park was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary!
This is the only National Park reserve in India where the rhinoceros can be seen in its natural habitat, also internationally known as the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, a heavily built beast of mammoth proportions, besides the Indian Elephant and as such is considered as a "landscape architect" of its habitat. The land is quite level all over the sanctuary, mostly covered by dense and tall elephant grass. These large stretches of elephant grass are Intermixed by small wetlands left behind by the receding floodwaters of the river Brahmaputra. The park, although quite flat in nature, is set against a backdrop of hills like the Mikir and Karbi Anglong.
The picturesque wetlands have an abundant cover of water lilies, water hyacinth and lotus. The vegetation that breaks the monotony of these grasslands are large clumps of semi-evergreen forest. The Kaziranga Park is mostly covered with elephant size grass, making it a perfect habitation for the one-horned rhinos, Indian one-horned rhinos, tigers , leopards , elephants, barasingha or swamp deer , barking deer , wild boar , para or hog deer, bison , sambar , leopard cats, otters, hoolock gibbons, golden langurs, wild buffaloes, slow loris, pygmy hog, capped langur and bears. Grey headed fishing eagle, Pallas' fishing eagle’, crested serpent eagle, swamp partridge, Red jungle fowl, Bengal floricab, bar headed goose, whistling teal, pelicans, rose breasted parakeets, Black necked storks, adjutant storks, open billed storks, egrets, herons and white wired wood ducks are among the major number of bird varieties visible in the parks. Rock pythons and many more varieties of snakes, monitor lizards and turtles are abundant in the Park.
The first and more preferred mode of travel is on the elephant's back. Elephant rides allow you to get up very close to the wild animals and make you feel totally one with nature due to the lack of any sound of an engine. These rides are taken out thrice in a day from Mihimukh, which is located at a short distance from Kohora. There are only a few elephants available for touring purposes and it is definitely advisable to book your ride well in advance and these advance bookings can be made at the Bonani Lodge at Kohora. Jeep Safaris are also available and can be booked at the various lodges and through local operators, to take tourists on a thrilling ride on the North-East Wildlife Holiday Package!
Another interesting site is spread over a vast area in Arunachal Pradesh, known as the Namdapha National Park, the largest national park of the northeast region. Situated a few kilometres from Miao, the district headquarters on the Indo-Burma border, this Park is also one of the largest wildlife protected areas in India. The landscape altitude rises very high in the snow capped mountains and the ecosystem abounds in many varieties of timber and important rare fauna species include pinus merkusi, abies delavavi, blue vanda and mishimi teeta. The Namdapha Tiger Reserve in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, spread over an area of rugged terrain, is home to feline species such as tiger, clouded leopard, snow leopard, and lesser cats. Primates such as Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, hoolock gibbon, apes besides other mammals, elephants, Asian black bear, Indian bison, deer, birds such as white-winged wood duck, Great Indian hornbill, jungle fowl, pheasant and reptiles also add to the rich fauna diversity. The interiors of the forest are truly magical and once inside, the only places where you will see a good expanse of sky are the campsites as all else are covered by a dark green canopy!
There is a bubbling hot spring called Bulbulia or poong and the area around it is covered by a grey slush that you can smell from afar. The Rani Jheel is a small pond high on a plateau. The forests are dark and deep and there is no habitation inside, so the feeling of immense solitude is overpowering, and trekking with the help of operators is possible.
A few more Wildlife Parks, in this region, are mentioned below as options:
Situated in the Morigaon district of Assam, at a short distance from Guwahati, the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. The sanctuary also protects the Asian buffalo, leopard, wild bear, civet, and various reptiles with some migratory birds.
The Keibul Lamjao National Park is a few kilometres from Imphal in Manipur. Established as a Wildlife Sanctuary, it became a National Park and the whole area mostly comprises of wetlands overgrown with deep floating vegetation called Phumdi. The Loktal Lake, the largest fresh water lake in India, also falls primarily within the park. Brow-antlered deer called sangai in Meitel dialect is particularly popular among the different species of deer that abounds here. Extremely rare lesser cats like the marbled cat, and temminck’s golden cat, Himalayan black bear, Malayan Bear, black eagle, shaheen falcon, great white pelican, bamboo partridge and green peafowl, hooded crane, brown hornbill, wreathed hornbill, great pied hornbill or the great Indian hornbill, constitute the diverse fauna in the Park.
You could venture into the colossal third highest mountain in the world that derived its name from the Tibetan words ' Kanchen' and 'Dzonga' meaning “five treasuries of the great snow". Mount Kanchenjunga is also known as the “queen of mountains” and it is at best seen from the hills of Darjeeling, just like a white wall hanging from the sky. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best scenarios that you could have experienced in life. Kanchenjunga is considered as a mysterious mountain because it is less explored by visitors.
Some small momentos or souvenirs as magnets or posters or picture postcards would be available, and basic necessities may be acquired from the local markets closeby.
Most of the packages are inclusive of stay and meals, sometimes customised according to the needs of the tourists, besides the provision of a few eateries in the markets where you can get by with some foodstuff, snacks, savouries and sweets.
October to March would be the best time to visit these Parks so as to be able to get the optimum advantage of the outdoors. However,in case you just want a respite from the grind of routine life, , it would be worthwhile taking a chance any time of the year, as you could get a fantastic view of the park from your indoor lodges, and spend some rejuvenating time in the green environs, on the North-East Wildlife Holiday Package!