Monday, May 29, 2023

Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park UPSC

Kaziranga National Park is a famous wildlife sanctuary located in the state of Assam in northeastern India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve and a National Park. It is known for its incredible biodiversity, particularly its population of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. 


Kaziranga National Park is not only a biodiversity hotspot but also an essential conservation area for endangered species. Its remarkable natural beauty and diverse wildlife make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.


Table of Contents

  • Kaziranga National Park Location
  • Kaziranga National Park History
  • Kaziranga National Park Area
  • Kaziranga National Park Hills
    • Burapahar Range
    • Bagori Range
  • Kaziranga National Park River
    • Brahmaputra River
    • Diphlu River
  • Kaziranga National Park Flora
    • Grasslands
    • Wetlands and Marshes
    • Alluvial Savannah Woodland
    • Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests
    • Riparian Forests
  • Kaziranga National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Big Five of Kaziranga National Park
  • Top Things to do in Kaziranga National Park
  • Kaziranga National Park UPSC Questions


Kaziranga National Park Location

Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. It is located on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra River.


Kaziranga National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport is Jorhat Airport, which is about 97 kilometers (60 miles) away.


Kaziranga National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The closest railway station is Furkating, located about 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Kaziranga.


Kaziranga National Park Nearest Road:

The park is well-connected by roadways and can be accessed via the National Highway 37, which runs alongside the park.




Kaziranga National Park History (What is the brief history of Kaziranga?)

Kaziranga National Park has a rich history that dates back over a century. It is the oldest park in Assam.


Here are some significant milestones in the history of Kaziranga:


Establishment: The roots of Kaziranga's status as a protected area can be traced back to 1904 when Lady Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston and the wife of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, paid a visit to the region. Despite her expectations of encountering the famed single-horned rhinoceros, she was unable to spot any. This spurred her to advocate for urgent measures to safeguard the dwindling species, leading her husband to initiate plans for their protection.


In response to Lady Curzon's passionate appeal, the "Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest" was established on June 1, 1905, encompassing an area of 232 square kilometers (90 square miles). This marked a significant step toward providing a legally protected sanctuary and fostering the conservation of the rhinoceros population.


Shola Forests to Grasslands: The landscape of Kaziranga underwent significant changes over the years. Initially, the park had dense shola forests, but under the management of Mary Curzon, the wife of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, efforts were made to convert the forests into grasslands to support the rhino population.


Kaziranga Game Sanctuary: In 1916,  after further efforts made by different people and activists, it became a non-poaching place and came to be known as Kaziranga Game Sanctuary.


Declared a Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1950, Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was declared a wildlife sanctuary and renamed the "Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary" to provide legal protection to the rhinoceros and other wildlife in the area. The sanctuary covered an area of approximately 430 square kilometers (166 square miles).


National Park Status: In 1974, Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a National Park.


UNESCO World Heritage Site: In 1985, Kaziranga National Park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding universal value. The park was acknowledged for its remarkable biodiversity and its role in conserving the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.


Tiger Reserve: In 2008-09, it was declared as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger. It has a total tiger reserve area of 1,055.894 sq km with a core area of 482.0385 sq km.


Bird Life International: Kaziranga National Park has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International Society as it is home to various species of migrating and inhabitant birds.




Kaziranga National Park Area

Kaziranga National Park covers an expansive area in the northeastern state of Assam, India. The park spans across the floodplains of the mighty Brahmaputra River.


The total area of Kaziranga National Park is approximately 430 square kilometers (166 square miles). This vast expanse of land encompasses diverse habitats, including grasslands, marshes, wetlands, and dense forests. These varied ecosystems support a rich array of flora and fauna, making Kaziranga a biodiversity hotspot.




Kaziranga National Park Hills

Kaziranga National Park have two important ranges, namely Burapahar Range and Bagori Range, which are located within the Nagaon District. 


Here's some information about these ranges:


(1) Burapahar Range: 

The Burapahar Range is one of the prominent ranges within Kaziranga National Park. It is situated in the southern part of the park and falls within the Nagaon District. This range is known for its hilly terrain, which adds diversity to the park's landscape. 


The Burapahar Range is characterized by dense forests and is home to various wildlife species, including elephants, tigers, deer, and numerous bird species. It offers opportunities for wildlife viewing and trekking, allowing visitors to explore the hilly areas of Kaziranga.



(2) Bagori Range: 

The Bagori Range is another important range within Kaziranga National Park that lies in the Nagaon District. It is located in the western part of the park and serves as one of the primary entry points for visitors. 


The Bagori Range is known for its grasslands, wetlands, and forests, which provide crucial habitats for the park's wildlife. It is a popular area for wildlife safaris and offers excellent opportunities to spot the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, wild buffaloes, and other animals.



Both the Burapahar Range and Bagori Range contribute to the overall biodiversity and conservation efforts of Kaziranga National Park. These ranges provide diverse habitats for wildlife and offer visitors a chance to explore different ecosystems within the park.




Kaziranga National Park River

The Kaziranga is crisscrossed by numerous water bodies including the Brahmaputra river, which forms the northern and eastern boundaries. Diphlu River run through the Kaziranga National Park.


(1) Brahmaputra River:

Kaziranga National Park is located in the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River, one of the major rivers in India. The park is situated in the northeastern state of Assam, and the Brahmaputra River flows along its northern boundary.


The Brahmaputra River is a transboundary river that originates in the Himalayas and flows through Tibet, India, and Bangladesh before eventually emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It is one of the largest rivers in Asia and plays a vital role in the ecosystem and livelihoods of the surrounding regions.


Within Kaziranga National Park, the Brahmaputra River influences the park's ecology and supports various habitats. During the monsoon season, the river often floods the park, creating temporary marshes and wetlands. These flooded areas provide essential feeding grounds and refuge for the park's wildlife, including the Indian one-horned rhinoceros and water birds.


The Brahmaputra River also acts as a natural barrier, protecting the park's wildlife from human encroachment and providing a buffer zone. It contributes to the overall beauty and uniqueness of the park's landscape, enhancing the charm of the grasslands, forests, and wetlands that make Kaziranga a renowned wildlife sanctuary.



(2) Diphlu River:

The Diphlu River is a tributary of the Brahmaputra River that flows through Kaziranga National Park. It is an important watercourse that adds to the ecological significance of the region.


The Diphlu River runs along the southern boundary of Kaziranga National Park, adjacent to the Burapahar Range. It serves as a natural boundary, separating the park from the surrounding areas. The river plays a significant role in providing water to the wildlife in the park, particularly during the dry season when water sources may become limited.


The Diphlu River, with its flowing waters and surrounding riparian vegetation, creates a diverse habitat within the park. It supports a variety of aquatic species and provides a crucial water source for the animals in Kaziranga, including the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, deer, and numerous bird species.




Kaziranga National Park Flora

Kaziranga National Park is renowned for its diverse and lush flora, which contributes to the park's unique ecosystem and supports its rich wildlife population. 


Here are some key features of the flora found in Kaziranga:


(1) Grasslands: 

Kaziranga National Park is famous for its extensive grasslands, covering a significant portion of the park. These grasslands are dominated by various species, including elephant grass (Saccharum ravennae), spear grass (Heteropogon contortus), and bluestem grass (Andropogon spp.). The grasslands provide important feeding grounds for herbivores and offer ideal habitat for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.


(2) Wetlands and Marshes: 

The Kaziranga National Park features numerous wetlands, marshes, and swamps, which are crucial for the park's ecosystem. These areas are dominated by aquatic plants such as water lilies (Nymphaea spp.), lotus (Nelumbo spp.), and various species of reeds and sedges. They provide nesting sites for birds, breeding grounds for fish, and habitat for amphibians and other aquatic species.


(3) Alluvial Savannah Woodland: 

This type of woodland is found in the higher areas of the Kaziranga National Park and is characterized by mixed deciduous tree species. Trees like Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), elephant apple (Dillenia indica), and Indian rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) are common in these woodlands. They provide shade and shelter for wildlife.


(4) Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests:

Kaziranga National Park also hosts patches of moist mixed deciduous forests, primarily in the higher regions and around the hills. Trees such as Indian mahogany (Toona ciliata), Indian gum tree (Liquidambar formosana), and Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium) can be found in these areas.


(5) Riparian Forests:

Along the riverbanks and near water bodies, riparian forests thrive. These forests are composed of trees like Indian fig tree (Ficus benghalensis), Indian almond tree (Terminalia catappa), and riverine grasses. The riparian forests provide habitat for several bird species and offer a source of food and shelter for animals.



The varied flora of Kaziranga National Park contributes to the overall biodiversity and supports the complex web of life within the park. It provides essential food sources, shelter, and nesting sites for a wide range of animals, making it a vital component of this unique ecosystem.




Kaziranga National Park Fauna (Kaziranga National Park Animals)

Kaziranga National Park is renowned for its remarkable and diverse fauna, including several iconic and endangered species. 


Here are some of the prominent animals found in Kaziranga:


Mammals:

  • Royal Bengal Tigers
  • One Horned Rhinoceros
  • Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes
  • Swamp Deer
  • Indian Elephanis
  • Wild Boars
  • Hog Deer
  • Gaur
  • Sambar
  • Indian Muntjac
  • Leopard
  • Fishing Cat
  • Other Lesser Cats
  • Large Indian Civet
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Hog Badger
  • Hoolock Gibbon
  • Capped Langur
  • Assamese Macaque
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Sloth Bear
  • Gangetic Dolphin


Birds:

  • Bengal Florican
  • Hornbills
  • Osprey
  • Baza
  • Pelicans
  • Waterfowls


Reptiles:

Kaziranga National Park is home to a wide variety of reptile species, including both venomous and non-venomous snakes, lizards, and turtles. 


Here are some of the notable reptiles found in the park:


  • Indian Rock Python
  • King Cobra
  • Common Krait
  • Indian Cobra
  • Assam Roofed Turtle
  • Bengal Monitor Lizard
  • Assam Garden Lizard




Big Five of Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is renowned for its own set of iconic and impressive species. Here are five prominent animals that are often considered the "Big Five" of Kaziranga:

  • Tiger 
  • One horned Rhino
  • Wild Buffalo
  • Swamp Deer
  • Elephant


(1) Tigers:

Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world.


(2) One horned Rhinocerous:

  • The Kaziranga National Park hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses. 
  • Rhinos are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.
  • A total of 2,613 Rhinoceros  were counted in the 2018 census.


(3) Wild Water Buffalo:

Kaziranga National Park has the largest population of the Wild Water Buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population.


(4) Swamp Deer:

Kaziranga National Park is the only population of the Eastern Swamp deer.


(5)  Asian Elephant: 

The Asian elephant is a magnificent and intelligent creature found in Kaziranga. These gentle giants roam the park's forests and grasslands, adding to its charm and biodiversity.




Top Things to do in Kaziranga National Park

When visiting Kaziranga National Park, there are several activities and experiences that allow you to make the most of your time and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and wildlife of the park. 


Here are some of the top things to do in Kaziranga National Park:


() Jeep Safari: 

Embark on a thrilling jeep safari through the park's designated zones. Accompanied by experienced guides, you can explore the grasslands, forests, and wetlands while spotting various wildlife, including the iconic Indian one-horned rhinoceros, tigers, elephants, deer, and numerous bird species.


(2) Elephant Safari: 

Opt for an elephant-back safari, a unique and traditional way to explore  Kaziranga. Mount an elephant and traverse the park's terrain while getting up close to wildlife. This activity offers a different perspective and allows for better visibility in the tall grasses.


(3) Bird Watching: 

Kaziranga National Park is a bird watcher's paradise, with a rich avian population. Grab your binoculars and venture into the park to spot numerous resident and migratory bird species, including the great Indian hornbill, fishing eagle, Bengal florican, and many others.


(4) Nature Walks:

Take guided nature walks within the park, accompanied by knowledgeable guides who will provide insights into the park's flora, fauna, and ecosystems. These walks allow you to appreciate the smaller details of the park, such as the diverse plant life, butterflies, and insects.


(5) Explore the Interpretation Centers: 

Visit the various interpretation centers within the park to learn more about the wildlife, conservation efforts, and cultural significance of Kaziranga. The centers provide educational exhibits and information about the park's history and biodiversity.


(6) Visit the Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park:

Located near the park entrance, the Orchid and Biodiversity Park is a haven for plant enthusiasts. Stroll through the park's well-maintained trails and discover a stunning variety of orchids and other native plant species.


(7) Enjoy Local Cuisine and Culture: 

Immerse yourself in the local culture by sampling the delicious Assamese cuisine and experiencing traditional dance and music performances. Interact with local communities to learn about their way of life and traditions.




Kaziranga National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Kaziranga National Park?

A. Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.


Q. Kaziranga National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Kaziranga National Park is famous for Tiger, One horned Rhino, Wild Buffalo, Swamp Deer, Elephant etc, animals.


Q. Kaziranga National Park is situated/located in which state?

A. Kaziranga National Park is located in the state of Assam, India.


Q. What is Kaziranga National Park famous for ? (Why Kaziranga Ntional Park is famous?)

A. Kaziranga National Park is famous for Tiger, One horned Rhino, Wild Buffalo, Swamp Deer, Elephant etc.


Q. Kaziranga National Park is located in which district?

A. Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.


Q. What to see in Kaziranga National Park?

A. Tiger, One horned Rhino, Wild Buffalo, Swamp Deer, Elephant etc.

Q. What is the total area of Kaziranga National Park?

A. The total area of Kaziranga National Park is 430 square kilometers (166 square miles)


Q. Which river passes/flow through Kaziranga National Park? (Which river flows in Kaziranga National Park/Kaziranga National Park is located on which river?)

A. Diphlu river passes through Kaziranga National Park.


Q. When was Kaziranga designated a national park?

A, In 1974, Kaziranga was designated a national park.


Q. When was Kaziranga declared as tiger reserve?

A. In 2008-09, Kaziranga was declared as tiger reserve.


Q. Is Kaziranga National Park a Ramsar site?

A. No.


Q. Which river crosses Kaziranga National Park?

A. Diphlu river crosses Kaziranga National Park.


Q. Which National Park is known as Big Five?

A. Kaziranga National Park is known as Big Five.

Q. What are the Big Five of Kaziranga? (What is Big Five in Kaziranga National Park?)

A. Kaziranga National is famous for the Big Five namely:

  • One horned Rhino
  • Swamp Deer
  • Wild Buffalo
  • Tiger
  • Elephant


Q. What are the 3 ranges in Kaziranga?

A. Ranges in Kaziranga are:

  • Kaziranga Range
  • Eastern Range
  • Western Range
  • Burapahar Range


Q. What is the oldest name of Kaziranga National Park?

A. Kaziranga Game Sanctuary is the oldest name of Kaziranga National Park.


Q. What are the 4 zones of Kaziranga? (What are the 4 parts of Kaziranga National Park?)

A. 4 zones of Kaziranga are:

  • Central Zone or Kaziranga Zone
  • Western Zone or Bagori Zone
  • Eastern Zone or Agaratoli Zone 
  • Burapahar Zone


Q. Which park is known as Mini Kaziranga?

A. The Orang National Park is known as Mini Kaziranga.


Q. How did Kaziranga get its name?

A.  The name Kaziranga was derived from the Karbi word Kajir-a-rong, which means "the village of Kajir" (kajiror gaon).

Kaziranga National Park

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