Although the etymology of the name Kaziranga is not certain, there exist a number of possible explanations derived from local legends and records. According to one legend, a girl named Ranga, from a nearby village, and a youth named Kazi, from Karbi Anglong, fell in love. This match was not acceptable to their families, and the couple disappeared into the forest, never to be seen again, and the forest was named after them.
According to another legend, Srimanta Sankardeva, the sixteenth century Vaisnava saint-scholar, once blessed a childless couple, Kazi and Rangai, and asked them to dig a big pond in the region so that their name would live on.
Testimony to the long history of the name can be found in some records, which state that once, while the Ahom king Pratap Singha was passing by the region during the seventeenth century, he was particularly impressed by the taste of fish, and on asking was told it came from Kaziranga.
Kaziranga also could mean the “Land of red goats (Deer)”, as the word Kazi in the Karbi language means “goat”, and Rangai means “red”.
Related: A Day in Kaziranga National Park
Some historians believe, however, that the name Kaziranga was derived from the Karbi word Kajir-a-rong, which means “the village of Kajir” (kajiror gaon).
Among the Karbis, Kajir is a common name for a girl child, and it was believed that a woman named Kajir once ruled over the area. Fragments of monoliths associated with Karbi rule found scattered in the area seem to bear testimony to this assertion.