Assam's Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site and the last home of the unique one-horned rhino as well as the wild Asiatic elephant, reopened for the winter season on Monday amid a large inflow of Indian and international tourists.
Director of the national park Surendra Nath Buragohain declared it open at a function held at Kohora range on Sunday, while sub divisional officer of Kaliabor Om Prakash opened it at the Bagori forest range. Assam's minister for cultural affairs Bharat Chandra Narah was also present at the opening function at Kohra.
The park was reopened with the elephant safari of 14 elephants from the forest department and 16 privately-owned elephants.
The park is one of the major tourist attractions in this part of the world. As many as 5,657 foreign tourists and more than 72,000 national tourists visited the park last year. The park collected more than Rs8,00,000 in revenue last year. The number of visitors in 2008-09 has doubled compared with that of the previous year.
Apart from the one-horned rhino, the park's major attraction, it is also home to numerous migratory birds and also one of the last natural habitats for the Royal Bengal tiger.
Water bodies along the River Brahmaputra are being spruced up (probably to welcome tourists rather than the migratory birds which they come to see). Our feathered friends, some from as far as Siberia, will start coming from early next month.