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Manas National Park Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
November to February
3 to 4 Days
Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (180 kms)
Barpeta Road Railway Station (22 kms)
Located in the North Eastern state of Assam at the foothills of the Himalayas and close to the India-Bhutan international border is the Manas National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a Tiger and Elephant Reserve and an important Biosphere site, assuring a truly enchanting experience. The pristine beauty, the magical landscape and the wildlife has given tourism in Manas National Park a major boost. Here is a snippet of travel guide to visit the park.
How to Reach
Manas National Park is fairly well connected with neighbouring areas and important cities of the country.
The closest airport to Manas National Park is Guwahati International Airport situated 180 km. It is a 5 hour drive from the park. Guwahati is well connected with major cities of India and has public and private carriers operating regular flights to and from other north-eastern cities. From the airport, tourists can hire a taxi to reach the national park.
Barpeta Road Railway Station is the closest railhead to Manas National Park, located a mere 22 km from the site. Barpeta can be reached by trains from Guwahati.
National Highway 31 connects Barpeta with Guwahati, which is 22 km from Manas National Park. This is the main entry point of the park. There are regular buses plying between Guwahati and Manas Park. Cabs and taxis can also be hired to reach the park.
Getting by in Manas National Park:
Jeeps safaris, elephant and boat rides are the means of transportation within the park. As a national park, public or private transportation is not allowed within its premises.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer (March to May):
Summer is the best time for sighting of wild animals. Initiative is taken during this time to burn down elephant grass to reduce chances of forest fire. This helps to clear the forests and allow better spotting. However summer months are hot and humid, making safaris uncomfortable.
Monsoon (June to September/Mid-October):
The entire state of Assam including Manas National Park receives torrential rainfall during monsoon. Major part of the state remains flooded. The park remains closed from June to September.
Winter (November to February):
Winter is the preferred time for a trip to Manas National Park. It is mild and pleasant making moving around easy and comfortable. It is the best time for sighting birds as hundreds of migratory birds flock to Manas, seeking respite from the harsh winter of the mountains. Spotting of wild animals however is less compared to summer months. This is because after the monsoon rains, the forests tend to become rather dense.
Things to Do
Go on Jeep and Elephant Safaris:
A trip to a forest without taking a safari is never complete. Jeeps and elephants are the only modes of transportation within the premises of the national park. It is the best way to sight animals from close proximity. They cover different ranges of the forest. Jeep safaris are normally carried out twice, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Elephant safaris normally happen early in the morning.
Go River Rafting:
Manas National Park does not disappoint the more adventurous people who love to live life on the edge. They have the option of going river rafting in the slow waters of River Manas winding through the deciduous forests. It is rather exciting and something to try for even the less adventurous lot.
Manas National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The magnificent flora and fauna of the region has made it home to several rare species of birds. It also attracts migratory birds who fly all the way down from the mountains. Indulge in some bird photography and take back some wonderful shots of these beautiful avian creatures.
Visit Tribal Village:
There are a number of Bodo villages to be found within the national park. One can take time out and visit these tribal people and get an opportunity to see their day to day activities, culture and art from close proximity. It is a delight to watch them engage in music and dance.
Tour Tea Plantations:
A visit to any part of Assam is incomplete without a visit to the beautiful tea plantations. Manas National Park also boasts of a number of plantations located just outside its premises near Bansbari Lodge also known as Fatemabad Tea Estate. A leisurely stroll through the lush garden in the afternoon is perfect for soaking in the calm and serene surroundings.
Engage in Study of Vegetations:
For those who are inclined towards study of plants and flora and fauna, Manas National Park provides an excellent opportunity. A biosphere site, the park boasts of four major types of vegetations and two major biomes that it represents; the forest biome and the grassland biome. The entire region is endowed with hundreds of species of plants. It is a delight for plants lovers.
Tasting Bodo Cuisine
There is so much more to do in Manas National Park apart from going on safaris and spotting exotic birds. It is an opportunity to interact with the Bodo tribes and get a taste of their delectable cuisine and music. Eateries here offer authentic Bodo dishes. Grilled silk worm is one of their delicacies. Pork and chicken form a major part of their cuisine. The Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism camps serve all meals and the cuisine is completely local.