"If India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, the remote North East of that country is its Hidden Jewel" …Tony Howard …Tony Howard

Manas National Park

Tucked away in the foothills of Bhutan. This Tiger Reserve of Assam is one of the most Magnificent National Parks of India. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Covering an area of 519.77 sq. kms is one of the Dense, Most wild and least frequented National Parks. It is also famous for its unique biodiversity. But then we always liked to explore off the beaten track. We were game for the adventure awaiting us at Manas.

Early morning we drove 135 kms from Guwahati to reach Barpeta Road, a small commercial town located in the fringe of the National Park and last place to get our necessities before we registered with park Authorities office here and drove through 60 kms of jungle roads. Passing first through inhabited villages, lush green vegetation of the most fertile region of the state and than through Tea Estate and finally through Dense Rainforest on a deserted road, serpentine Manas River flowing on our left. We came across a Royal Bengal Tiger crossing over the Road, probably in search for its prey and than came across a few deer's, Bison, Asiatic Buffaloes and most visible of them Golden Langur, one of the near extinct species and found only in this part of the world. It was dusk when we reached the Dak Bunglow atop a hillock on a raised wooden platform. Two old forest department guards who told us tales of the tigers man the guesthouse.

In the middle of the night Irene woke me up to listen to the Roar of the Tiger somewhere nearby. Seeing our lights on the watchman came and consoled us by saying it's the tigers that come to drink water everyday from the nearby Manas River. It was hardly around few meters where we could see five of them were playing.

We spent next two days exploring the jungles of Manas National Park on an Elephant Malati, a female with its Mahout Boro. Both seemed to understand each other and were hospitable to us showing us around to the interiors of the dense forests. We came across a Pigmy Hog, a near extinct species, with only a few hundred still living in the jungles of Manas.

Some rare species found here are Wild Boar, Swamp Deer, Golden langur, Rhinoceros, Tiger and Hundreds of Winged species.

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