MANAS NATIONAL PARK
A biosphere reserve, a natural heritage site, Project Tiger Reserve, and Project Elephant Reserve all at the same time is famously known as “Manas National Park”. It is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Manas National park has a stunning collection of flora and fauna and is home to the one-horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic Water Buffalo, Elephants, and of course the big cats- the Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, and the Clouded Leopard.
The stunning beauty of Manas National Park with its gentle grasslands, bending rivers, and the thick forests that are interspersed with gigantic silk-cotton trees is itself an experience worth indulging in.
Right from the time you enter the forest gates in Manas, you can see action, water buffaloes hanging out in the many water bodies that dot the park. In the early morning light, you can see the sunlight bouncing of their wide horns as they give you a rather belligerent and disdainful look and go back to chilling in the water! As you cross a bend in the road, you’ll most likely
bump into a herd of trumpeting elephants.
The Hispid Hare, which is an endangered species and on the IUCN red list is found in Manas National Park and is possibly one of the few places in India where you can see this animal. The hare is usually found in the marshy grasslands, which of course is its natural habitat.
Other enigmatic animals of the Manas National Park are of course the Red-Panda, see more towards the northern fringes of the park in the semi-evergreen habitat. The park is also home to the beautiful Golden Langur.
Birding is great in the Manas park as well. As your vehicle, slowly moves across in the morning mist, you can hear the piercing but unmistakable call of the Abbott’s Babbler. Come March and you can see the Hornbills flapping their way from tree to tree-making for a beautiful sight. March and April is also a great time to see the Bengal Florican- as birders know, this bird has a unique dancing ritual which makes it jump tens of feet in the air as a mating display and then it’s hidden out of view in the tall grass that grows in the park. Now you see me, now you don’t!
Geography and Zones in Manas National Park
Manas National Park is named after the Manas river which flows through it. The Manas river also acts as the boundary between India and Bhutan and joins the Brahmaputra as tributary later on. There are smaller rivers that criss-cross the alluvial plains of the park, which all give the denizens of the park the much needed habitat to thrive.
Manas National Park is divided into three ranges- Panbari, Bansbari- closer to Barpeta Road, and Bhuiyapara near Pathshala. While you can stay at the iconic and idyllic Mathanguri lodge, which is run by the Forest Department, there are few other private resorts nearby which can offer you all the comforts. Please contact the WildTrails team to help you plan a trip!
Best time to visit Manas National Park
November to April are great months to visit the Manas park, but even April and May will be very productive. The weather is pleasant and there is a higher probability of spotting more fauna. The park is open everyday in these six months unless due to exceptional reasons like rain or safety.
Though the park is partially opened in the months of May and October. Since June to September is a monsoon period, the park remains closed.
The best way to get to Manas National Park would be to fly to Guwahati and drive down from there, which is approximately a 3-hour drive. The drive itself is quite nice as one can see bountiful farmlands and small towns and villages with throbbing local markets.
No doubt that Manas National Park is a unique experience and an ideal getaway for friends and families. For amazing trips to Manas contact WildTrails with all contact info
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