Declared a sanctuary on October 01, 1928 the forest was designated a World Heritage site in December 1985. The Manas National Park houses a great variety of wildlife, including tiger, Golden Langur, Wild Buffalo, Hispid Hare, Pigmy Hog, Capped Langur, Indian one-horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Gaur, Hog Deer, etc.
The pictorial beauty along with the rare wildlife distinguishes this unique jungle which has been proving to be one of the most famous tourist destinations in north India.
The name 'Manas' is derived from the name of Goddess Manasa, the daughter of Lord Shiva.
Manas Tiger Reserve: Manas Tiger Reserve, the only tiger reserve of its kind in the entire northeast is positioned amidst the mild undulation at the Himalayan foothills. The forest is extended beyond Indian territory to Bhutan.
Manas River: The crystal waters of the Manas River demarcate the international border. For a brief period, some areas adjoining the river path get flooded; the water level subsides as soon as the rainfall stops because of the slope. The dense forest cover often prevents the sunrays from reaching the forest ground.
Biosphere: Manas National Park provides home to a multiplicity of wildlife, including -
- 55 mammalian species
- 36 reptilian species and
- 3 amphibian species
It is regarded as the greatest protected area in India in terms of numbers.
The tiger population at Manas National Park is approximately 80 in number. Apart from the ones named above, capped langurs, hoolock gibbons, Assamese macaques, slow lorises, leopards, panthers, golden cat, fishing cat, marbled cat, binturongs, sloth bears, wild dogs, Ganges dolphins, hog deer, Indian muntjacs, water buffaloes, gaurs (Indian bison), giant squirrels, hispid hare, otters, Indian pangolins, and some 2,000 elephants are also found here. The rare and attractive red panda has been spotted occasionally in the higher elevated portions of the forest. Over 450 species of birds have been recorded, including the Bengal florican, great pied hornbill, wreathed hornbill and few unique species of waterfowls. Reptiles include different species of snakes and the monitor lizards. The Assam roofed turtle was spotted at the Manas National Park as recently as 1989.
Manas National Park is possibly as diverse as a natural biosphere can be. Its vegetation ranges from tropical semi-evergreen forests in the northern parts to tropical moist and dry deciduous forests of the other regions. There are extensive alluvial grasslands in the western region of the National Park, which comprises a variety of different grasses and shrubbery. There is also a considerable variety of aquatic flora along the Manas River.
There are huge things to see and do around the park. The state capital Guwahati is situated 180 km away from this jungle. The place is especially distinguished for the temple of Kamakhya Devi built by king Narnarayan. Other wildlife reserves around the area include Orang and Pabitora. The small town of Hajo, located 25 km from Guwahati, is a sacred place for the Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist community.
Manas National Park offers many to explore for those who look for some adventures in their tour.