In Assam, the wildlife you get to witness is nothing short of mesmerizing. The giant elephants to the one horned rhinos and plenty of avian species found in the state, keep animal and nature lovers hooked. However, you need not venture into dense forests to experience wildlife while touring Assam. Head to the beautiful Orang National Park and the experience will be mind blowing.
Nuances of Orang National Park
Located in Sonitpur and Darrang districts of Assam, Orang National Park comprises of an area spanning 78.81 sq km. It was reportedly inhabited by tribes who abandoned the region owing to an epidemic. The sanctuary was set up in 1985 and later in 1999 it was given the status of national park.
The park’s north side is marked by the mighty Brahmaputra River. Dhansiri and Belsiri rivers also border the park and they join Brahmaputra. Its landscape resembles that of Kaziranga National Park and so it is often referred as ‘Mini Kaziranga’. There are a few man made water bodies inside the park’s territory which were probably dug up by the tribes. It has a typical subtropical monsoon climate.
Related: Must visit National Parks of Assam
How and when to visit
The best time to visit this park is between the months November to April. It is situated not far from Guwahati and Tezpur. You can use NH52 which connects both cities to the park and bus services are available. The nearby rail station is Rangapara.
For accommodation, there is a forest dormitory near the park. The forest department tourist lodge is small and requires advance reservation. You may also choose to say in Tezpur, where decent hotels are available.
Related: Amazing Historic Caves of Assam
Flora and Fauna
At the Orang National Park, you will find a lot of mammals and other animals. The most prominent ones are the critically endangered Pygmy Hog and Great Indian One Horned Rhino. Apart from that, the region is also home to species like Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Rhesus Macaque, Leopards and Small Indian Civet etc.
There are about 50 species of fish that can be found here. You can also spot the rare river dolphins on Brahmaputra River that borders the park. Occasionally, otters can be spotted in water bodies inside the park’s territory.
Orang National Park is frequented by a wide range of migratory birds every year. The Bengal Florican , a threatened species- can be seen here. You can also find species like rudy shelduck, spot billed pelican, black necked stork, wooly necked stork, Green Pigeon etc. Overall, more than 200 bird species has been spotted here.
In the park, you will see swamps and grasslands aplenty. Both non-aquatic and aquatic plants are found in abundance. You may opt for Elephant rides at the park.