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Things To Do In Manas National Park
Home to some exotic wildlife that lives in perfect harmony and one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world in the far away land of the North East, Manas National Park is a little gem waiting to be explored. It holds the distinction of a biosphere reserve, a Project Tiger and Elephant Reserve and a world heritage site, all at the same time. A place where one finds nature at its best, tourists can indulge in a number of activities. Manas National Park has quite a lot of things to do, from elephant safaris to bird watching, river rafting to tribal village tours. Read on for more details.
Perhaps the most ideal way of exploring a forest and sighting wildlife is on a jeep safari. Manas National Park is the natural habitat of more than 20 rare and endangered species of animals and a safari on a jeep presents an opportunity to sight some of them. You are sure to see the Assam roofed turtle and Pygmy hogs, along with the hispid hare. There are different safaris covering the Central and Eastern Ranges of the forest. The safari timings are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Elephant Back Safari
Elephant safari is another interesting mode of transport within the national park. These animals have access to areas within the park where even jeeps are not allowed. An elephant back safari can lend a different perspective of the park. These safaris generally happen early in the morning around 6:00 am and 7:00 am.
This activity is for the more adventurous hearted people who are looking for that adrenaline rush. The slow water of River Manas that flows past the national park enables rafting. It is a 35 km journey that takes the rafters through the deciduous forests. More than 400 species of birds have made these deciduous forests their home. An adventurous ride on the deep azure water of Manas River is an experience of a lifetime and should not be given a miss.
It is no surprise that an area with such rich biodiversity and avi fauna is home to hundreds of rare species of birds that one does not come across frequently. It has the largest population of Bengal Florican in the world, an endangered species. Some of the birds that one comes across here are Great Hornbill, Great Adjutant, Black-tailed Crake, Swamp Francolin, Rufous-necked Hornbill etc. The chirping of the birds fill the air and one can spend hours watching them in action and capturing them on the lens. Manas National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise and the place to be for budding bird photographers.
Studying the Nature of Vegetation
For students of bioscience and biologists, Manas National Park offers itself as a case study. A biosphere reserve and part of the Brahmaputra Valley Biogeographic Province, the national park offers a rare opportunity to study the two major biomes that it represents, the forest biome and the grassland biome. The park has four types of vegetation covering 50% of the land. Hundreds of plants species are found here and it is an absolute delight and a paradise for studying vegetation, biodiversity and different forest types.
Visiting Tribal Village
One can come across some local Bodo villages within the premises of the sanctuary. Tribal communities like Ragu Bil and Ghatigaon live in harmony in these villages. It is an opportunity to watch tribal people, their culture and daily activities from close proximity. You can also participate in their music and dance sessions which are a delightful experience.
Touring Tea Plantations
Assam and tea plantations are synonymous and a trip to any part of Assam without a tour of these lush green gardens is unthinkable. There are a number of such plantations just outside the premises of the national park. There is the Fatemabad Tea Estate situated close to the Bansbari Lodge where one can take a tour through the beautiful sprawling gardens.
Eating in Manas National Park
Once inside the national park, the options for eating out get rather limited. There are a handful of places where one can visit for food. There are the Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism camps where all meals are served and the cuisine is completely local. Rice, vegetables, pork, chicken is all part of the menu and similar to what the Bodos eat. You might give ‘Zu-Ma,i’ (rice-wine) a try. It is a favourite drink of the Bodos.