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Orang National Park Tourism And Travel Guide
15° C / 59° F
October to April
1 to 1 Days
Situated on River Brahmaputra’s north bank, Orang National Park is a typically swampy with islands and dense grasslands. Spanning the Darrang and Sonitpur districts, the park is abundant with flora and fauna as the other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Assam. It is often called Mini Kaziranga, owing to its similar landscape and is one of the oldest preserved areas in the North East, and still the least known sanctuaries! Known to host the One-Horned Rhino, Wild Buffalo, Swamp Deer, Tiger, Elephants, Pygmy Hogs and several other animal, reptile and endangered avian species, the Orang National Park is also called the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. From a tourism perspective, besides exploring the wildlife here, you can also enjoy the artificial water bodies inside the premises that were built by the local tribes earlier. Here’s a travel guide to Orang National Park and its neighboring areas.
How to Reach
Located about 140km from Guwahati, 68km from Mangaldai and roughly 32km from Tezpur, Orang is just 1 ½ hour’s drive from Mangaldai, with the closest train station being Rongapara and the nearest airport at SaloniBari in Tezpur.
The closest airport to Orang National Park is in Tezpur with an accessible network of buses and cabs to make the onward journey to the Park. To reach Orang from any major city in India, it is best to take a flight to Guwahati and then travel by train, bus or road to Orang National Park. Some of airlines operating flights regularly to Guwahati include Air India, GoAir, Vistara, Spicejet and Indigo.
The nearest train station to Orang National Park is in Salonibari, Tezpur at a distance of about 55km. However, to reach Orang National Park, the easiest way would be to take a train to Guwahati from any part of India and then make the onward journey from Guwahati to Batadrowa Road, a journey of 5 hours by train, with a cab journey of another hour and 44 minutes to Orang.
Orang National Park is well connected to neighboring towns and cities by road and has varied bus services running frequently between the park and other towns. With a number of public transport options available from Guwahati and other areas, it is easy to travel to Orang.
From Guwahati to Tezpur, there are a number of buses plying which stop-over in Orang about 26km from the park. To travel around the sanctuary, jeep safaris are best to get around, arranged for by the Forest Department. You can also travel on the jeeps to villages located on the sanctuary’s fringes.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summers at Orang National Park are rather hot and very humid, making any sightseeing or exploring the wilderness really uncomfortable. The nearby towns have a comparatively cooler climate to their credit, but it is best to avoid the outdoors from April through June.
Monsoons at Orang are relatively humid, with erratic and torrential showers a common sight. This makes traveling in and around the National Park rather difficult. Although the scenic beauty of the entire district is at its best during July through October, the rains can be quite a spirit dampener as well as cancel all outdoor activities.
November through March is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the wilderness, explore the flora, fauna and wildlife at Orang National Park, as the climate is quite pleasant and cold. With temperatures ranging between 21°C-12°C, there are chances of sporadic rainfall, but not much to put life to a standstill. The neighboring towns attract tourists as well as winter destinations to explore and indulge in.
Things To Do
Cruising through the Brahmaputra:
Explore the wilderness of one of the oldest, yet lesser known Wildlife Sanctuaries in Assam, the Orang National Park by taking a river cruise. Organized by the Assam Bengal Navigation Cruise, the river tour’s arranged from one end of the park to the other, making it a complete guided tour.
Guided Wildlife Tour:
Visiting the Orang National Park will, of course, evoke a guided tour of the Sanctuary, which is gloriously placed amidst the marshy parklands and houses some of the most renowned endangered animal species like the One Horned Rhinoceros, the Bengal Tiger, Indian Hog Deer, Wild Boars, Various Snake Species, Civets, etc, in addition to an assortment of avian species. The Sanctuary’s open for entry between 10 and 5 through the day.
An elephant safari at Orang is a popular tourist activity to indulge in. Organized by the Forest Department, you have a much better opportunity to enjoy the tour and meet the wildlife up close and personal, as opposed to a jeep safari, as elephants can venture deep into the forestry, while the tracks for a jeep safari are rather limited. At a cost of INR 300, you can enjoy an Elephant Safari for an hour in the morning or evening as well as see how the young elephants are trained at the Elephant Camp by the river banks of Pasnoi.
Home to over 200 bird species that include the Bengal Florican, Lapwing, Drongo, Sandpiper, Kingfishers, Golden Eagle, Heron, Babblers and more, bird watching is yet another thing to do when visiting the Orang National Park.
Where To Eat
The Orang National Park has limited options for food and it is best to carry your own food when visiting. However, in the local cuisine at small stalls or eating joints, you can give dishes like Laksa, Khar, the usual rice dishes a try. In neighboring areas of Darrang, visit the NH 52 Dhaba at Nh15 Pakabangi Chuburi, where you’d get delicious Assamese Thali along with which you can place side orders for fish, chicken or eggs. The food is lip-smacking and service is quick. Good for all the meals of the day. The duck delicacies are worth a try as well. Then, there’s Khar Khua Dhaba in Boina Oja, Mangaldai, where you’d get a mix of Indian, Asian Cuisines, Café Snacks and Soups as well. If you’re visiting Tezpur, then be sure to explore the eating joints of Spring Valley, Dhaba End Dee's Samaroh and Singpho Shat Gawk there.
Where To Shop
When it comes to shopping, options available in and around Orang National Park are very dim. The next best halt for shopping for souvenirs or gifts to take back home is best sourced from Bamuni Hill markets, Guwahati or Kaziranga National Park marketplace. Since the Kaziranga National Park and Guwahati market areas attract a large influx of tourists through the year, you’d get a huge variety of souvenirs, wooden artifacts, textiles and more here. The traditional crafted Rhinos are a typical keepsake, most tourists are interested in when visiting the National Park at Kaziranga. Wood carving being one of the most authentic and ancient art forms in Assam, to date is all handcrafted and is also eco-friendly. The wood’s sourced from nearby villages where trees are in abundance. In Guwahati, some of the most popular buys include tea leaves, Assam Silk, handicrafts, pickles, singing bowls, handmade toys, Jaapi & Wooden figurines, Assamese traditional jewelry, Phulam Gamusa and traditional masks.