Five less known National Parks in Northeast

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The North-Eastern states are known across the country for its vivid bio diversity, and thus always been the hotspot for tourists from across the world. We bring to you the five most diverse national park/biosphere reserve/wildlife reserve spread across states of the region.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Assam

Dibru Saikhowa National Park

Photo Credit : Awesomeast.com

It is one of the largest national parks cum biosphere reserve in Assam and one of the nineteen bio-diversity hotspots in the world. The main attractions of the park are the white wood ducks and the bright colored wild horses also known as feral horses. This park is surrounded by the Brahmaputra and the Lohit rivers in the north, and the Diphu river in the south, hence very rich in fish diversity. There are two entry points to the park- Guijan Ghat and Saikhowa Ghat. Dibru-Saikhowa is spread in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam, Tinsukia being the nearest town. One can reach the park either by air, rail or road.

Air: Mohanbari Airport (Dibrugarh), 40 kms from Tinsukia.
Rail: Dibrugarh Railway Station, which is well connected to the capital city, Guwahati.
Road: One can commute to Tinsukia via Dibrugarh, and take an auto, or rickshaw to the park.

The park is kept open from November to March for the visitors by the authorities. However, a written permission is mandatory for entry to the park, which can be collected from the divisional officer. Entry after sunset and before sunrise is strictly prohibited. Night halting and picnicking inside the park is not allowed as well.

Where to stay: Gunjan IB in the park premises provide lodging facilities to the visitors, however advance booking is necessary. Hotels are also available in Tinsukia.

Contact Details: Gunjan IB, Divisional Forest Officer, Wild Life Office, Tinsukia District.
Tel: 0374-331472, 0374-333082

Orang National Park, Assam

Orang National Park

Photo Credit: Flicker (https://www.flickr.com/photos/msandrine/)

Orang National Park is also known as mini Kaziranga or Rajiv Gandhi national park owing to its rich and diverse variety of wildlife it supports. Major attractions of the park are the famous one-horned Rhinocerous, along with Tigers, Leopard, Elephant, Sambhar, Barking Deer and the Ganges Dolphin. The avifauna population like white pelicans and the Bengal Florican is breathtaking.

Located in the Darrang and the Sonitpur districts, Orang is in a distance of 500kms (approx) from Guwahati. Tezpur, being the nearest town to the park (60kms approx.), can be used as the base to stay. The town is well connected by air (Salonibari airport) and road to the capital city, Guwahati.

Where to stay: There are two lodges inside the park which offer night stays maintained by the forest department, though without food. While the government lodge can accommodate upto 40 people, the tourist lodge can list around 16 people. However, advance booking is necessary.

Contact Details: Divisional Forest Officer, Mangaldai Wildlife Division, Mangaldai, Darrang
Tel: 03713- 230022, 03712- 282379.

Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh

Namdapha Tiger Reserve

The Namdapha Tiger Reserve in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh is the only reserve to house four species of big cats- the tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard. It is also home to India’s only ape- Hollock Gibbon. The high heels of Namdapha is home to many beels(natural lakes), which attract migratory birds and other water fowls.

How to reach: The headquarter of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve is in Miao, which is in a distance of 110kms from Tinsukia. Visitor’s are advised to take the Guwahati-Dibrugarh-Tinsukia route, from where they can catch Arunachal Pradesh State Transport buses to Miao. Just make sure to reach Tinsukia during the day, as buses for Miao leave by the afternoon. However, while Indian visitors would require an Inner Line Permit, foreign nationals would require a Restricted Area Permit to enter Arunachal Pradesh. These documents are issued by The Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. An application mentioning the purpose of visit and other details need to be posted to The Resident Commissioner of Arunachal Pardesh at least two months in advance. The visitor is also advised to inform the Field Director at Miao about the purpose of visit and all.

Accommodation: Visitors can stay in Miao, or in Deban, a village 27 kms from Miao. Miao has a Circuit House, an Inspection Bunglow and a Transit Lodge to serve the visitors. Also, thatched bamboo huts are available for free in places like Haldibari, Hornbil Camp Bulbulia etc.

Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh

Sessa Orchid Sanctuary

Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

Sessa is located in between Bhalukpong and Bomdila towns of Arunachal Pradesh. It is a storehouse of orchids, housing varieties like red panda, pheasants, serow among many others. tourists have an inclination for flowers and orchids will definitely love this place. It is accessible by road, rail and air, the nearest airport being Tezpur, which has a bi-weekly Indian airline flight to Kolkata. The nearest railway station is Bhalukpong, from where one can reach Sessa by bus or taxi. Bhalukpong is also well connected to cities like Itanagar and Tezpur by busses and taxis. Visitors can put up in the Forest Rest House inside the Sessa Sanctuary, located in Tipi. PWD bungalows are also available in Bhalukpong, Dedza and Tenga. The best time to visit Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is from February to May.

Kanchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

Kanchendzonga National Park

This park in the biggest wildlife reserve in Sikkim. The park is named after the third highest mountain peak in the earth, Kanchenjenga, which lies to the west of the park. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, the Kanchendzonga wildlife reserve is truly a travellers delight. The vast Zemu Glacier also lies inside the reserve. The main attractions of the park are the musk deer, the Himalayan Tahr and the snow leopard. No safari is available, and tourists can only explore the park through trekking. Hence, the best time to visit is around March-May and August to November. However, as the reserve lie mostly in a rugged terrain, a vast expanse is still inaccessible and untouched to the visitors.

Kanchendzonga wildlife reserve is 20kms from the nearest town, Chungthan and around 140 kms (approx.) from the capital city, Gangtok. The trekking routs starts from Yuksom, which is in a distance of 145 kms from Gangtok. Visitors can get the permit for trekking from the Wildlife Education and Interpretation centre at Yuksom. The state’s Tourism Department organise treks from Yuksom to Dzongri, (4050mts. from Yuksom), which normally takes two days. The Chief Wildlife Officer grants permission to the visitors for purposes like photography, research or transaction of lawful businesses. However, mountaineers, trekkers and photographers need to pay extra.

How to reach: The nearest airport is Bagdogra, which is 124 kms from Gangtok. Gangtok is also well connected to the rest of the country through rail, the nearest rail station being New Jalpaiguri. There are regular buses also available to Gangtok from places like Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri, Kolkata and Guwahati.

Apart from these five, the north east is also known for magnificent national parks and wildlife sanctuaries like Kaziranga National Park (Assam), Manas National Park (Assam), Balphakram National Park (Meghalaya) and Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary (Tripura).

JayB

A self-described travel enthusiast...

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