Hello dear readers, hope you are fine and eagerly waiting for the weekend. Well last weekend was quite an extended one with Monday as a holiday for me. I hope it was for you too. In my last post I had mentioned about an exciting trip we were planning, so finally our trip was a successful one. We visited Manas National Park, a Tiger Reserve Project in Assam. It is also UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. It lies on the foothills of the Bhutan-Himalayas. It is an abode of endangered wildlife like the pygmy hog,golden langur, hispid hare and large number of wild bufffaloes and more importantly a tiger and elephant reserve.
Ultimate Guide to Manas National Park- Part-I
So we started our journey on Saturday 25th April, we took our car and our driver, I had half-day school on Saturday so my husband picked me up right from my school where I teach, its also on the same way. Manas National Park is located in Barpeta district of Assam. Manas is 176kms, the National Highway 31 joins Barpeta Road which is around 22kms from the entry point to Manas National Park. From Guwahati So we drove till Bhawanipur of Barpeta District, then took right turn from the police point through Salbari and keep on driving till you Reach the main gate. It is the shortest way to reach from Guwahati. Since we took our own driver, we stopped here and there and took help regarding the direction from few local people. They are quite helpful.
We had already booked our cottage inside the park. We stayed in Florican Cottage.There are other accomodation also inside the park of which BIRINA, BANSBARI, SMILING TUSKER ELEPHANT CAMP, SIKHIRI COTTAGE, MUSA JUNGLE RETREAT, MANAS VIEW JUNGLE RESORT. But make sure to do your bookings beforehand.You can check this page for contact details HERE. There are many more resorts/hotels to stay in Manas National Park, also sharing a list of all the available accommodation. You can also stay in Barpeta town but I am sure than you are going to miss the thrill and those late night strange sounds coming from the jungle, firing sounds to scare away elephants or wild animals if they come within human habitation, and all these added to the excitement of staying inside the jungle. We started from Guwahati at 12:00 pm and reached our cottage at around 3.30pm, it was a non-stop drive. It was drizzling, the weather was chilly and quite windy and all these added more to our road trip. after we reached all activites were already over because the park closes at 5.30, We had lunch, they prepared simply rice and dal (pulses) for us. We relished on our food. We took some rest after that. We had booked two rooms in the cottage, each room at Rs1700 so total we paid Rs3400 for the rooms. The whole trip along with car fuel, hotel rent, food cost , jeep safari costed around Rs.12000(approx). It is little expensive but I assure you its worth the bucks you pay!!
The river Manas flows through the park and splits into two streams , one of which flows downstreams and known as the river “Beki”, the river was just around 300mtrs from our resort, so on the day we reached, almost the whole evening we spent enjoying the cool breeze of the river, it was slightly drizzling and the weather was altogether spellbounding!
We also went for a walk around the resort and inside the fencing we could spot peacocks and deers roaming about in the restricted area. The strange sounds of unknown birds and may be animals created the perfect aura for what we came into the National Park. I found the National Park a little bit less commercialized, it was not crowded unlike what I found in Pobitora and Kaziranga, tourists were there but quite less in numbers and the best part is that you can visit the place any time of the year, although the local people told us the best time for spotting animals and birds are from November to Early March, when they burn down the long growing grasses that cover major part of the jungle area. Almost half of the forest area is covered by Grasslands of Terai and Bhabar type and its also abundant in trees like sisso, simmul,Gamari, etc. After these tall grasses are burnt wild buffaloes, bisons, deers, elephants could be spotted in groups grazing. We were not lucky though as by the time we went the grasses grew taller.
There was not much to do in the night, as were restricted to remain outdoors after 5.30pm, so we had early dinner at around 9:00 pm and went to bed. Our jeep safari was early in the morning next day at 6:00am. We got ready, had tea and light breakfast and were ready to hit the jungle roads. will see you guys soon in my next post with my experience of jeep safari in Manas National Park.