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IN PICS: Assam's Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary opens for tourists

Last updated on: November 8, 2011 08:23 IST

IN PICS: Assam's Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary opens for tourists

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K Anurag in Guwahati

As the autumn has set the stage for the winter to rule the atmosphere in the picturesque North East India's hills and valleys, enchanting destinations in the region are ready to welcome visitors in the coming tourists' season. K Anurag reports.

While the captivating rhino abode in Kaziranga National Park was thrown open for the tourists on October 28, three days ahead of the schedule, two other most-visited wildlife protection areas -- Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Manas National Park -- in the state were opened for tourists from Saturday.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of the rare one-horned rhinos on the planet. The 38 square kilometers park with a core area of 22 square kilometers have 84 one-horned rhinos s per the last headcount carried out in 2009.

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Image: A Great Indian one horned rhino at the Pobitora Wildlife. Pobitora is famous for the highest density of Great Indian One Horn Rhino within 42sqkm.

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IN PICS: Assam's Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary opens for tourists

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Already migratory birds of different hues have started flocking numerous wetlands in the park that is located about 35 kilometers away from the heart of Guwahati city and well connected to the arterial National Highway 37.

A few lush green tea estates and several ethnic villages on its fringes added value to the destination making it a heady package of one-horned rhino, ea estates and ethnic culture.

Declaring the park open for tourists, Assam Tourism Minister Rockybul Hussain informed that Pobitora had started attracting more and more tourists and the revenue earning from tourists have increased at least 16-fold since the year 2001.

The picturesque and sprawling Manas National Park spread over about 1000 square kilometer in western Assam bordering Bhutan Himalayas too was opened for tourists this morning by the Deputy Chief Executive Member of Bodoland Territorial Council, Khampa Borgoyari in presence of senior forest and wildlife officials.

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Image: A wild buffalo

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IN PICS: Assam's Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary opens for tourists

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A large number of tourists including several visitors from abroad set their feet inside the park on the opening day while all the travellers nests in and around the park are booked for coming days.

Words hardly suffice to describe that beauty and grandeur of a sprawling landscape called Manas National Park that converges to the banks of a majestic Manas river that cascades down from the Bhutan Himalayas.

The atmosphere inside is usually serene which is interspersed with occasional chirping of birds and gurgling sounds of the stream flowing by. The ubiquitous peacock would often crisscross your way.

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Image: Visitors enjoying an elephant safari at Pobitora

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation World Heritage Committee in its 35th conference held in Paris in June this year has decided to restore the World Heritage status to Manas National Park in view of the improved wildlife protection measures and regained resources.

 

The tag was removed in 1992 as the park was facing major devastation due to social turmoil and insurgency in the area at that time.


It is a unique wildlife protection area in the country which has got five different conservation status -- tiger reserve, world heritage site, biosphere reserve, national park and an elephant reserve. Manas is arguably the only wildlife habitat which harbours more than twenty Schedule I species as listed in the Wildlife Protection Act of India.

 

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Image: Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussaini at Pobitora

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IN PICS: Assam's Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary opens for tourists

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Because of the pressure from tourists, the most visited Kaziranga in Assam had to be opened on October 28 before schedule. Famous for its treasure trove of over 2,000 one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga Park also home to highest number of endangered tigers in the region.

Located along the NH 37, the park is very well connected to the rest of the country through road, rail and air.

Meanwhile, tour operators and the government of Meghalaya are expecting an increased flow of visitors to numerous scenic destinations in Meghalaya ( the abode of cloud) including Shillong, Cherrapunjee (Sohra), Mawsynram, Upper Shillong etc. Already people are thronging the annual Shillong Autumn Festival organised for three days since yesterday by Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum both in Shillong city and Orchid Lake Resort at Umiam in Borapani off Shillong.

The carnival organised in collaboration with Meghalaya Tourism Department has showcased colourful ethnic culture of all the eight Northeastern states to mark the beginning of a hectic tourists' season ahead.


Image: Thousands of Lesser Whistling Teal at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

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