Kaziranga National Park In Assam, home of the one-horned rhinos, reopens for tourists after the monsoon
Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) in Assam is spread across five districts of the state – Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong. Although world renowned for being the home of the one-horned rhinoceros, it is also a habitat for the Royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, wild buffalo as well as many other wildlife species, and over 125 different types of birds, which number in their thousands across the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Closed for the monsoon since May, it recently reopened to visitors. The national park was formally opened for the forthcoming season in late September by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma along with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation. Sadhguru drove the safari vehicle with the minister sitting beside him. “It is a matter of great joy to open the park for tourists,” he told reporters.
To mark the occasion, the chief minister and Sadhguru also unveiled statues of three rhinos in the Minimukh area of KNPTR. In a historic event last year, Assam had consigned a stockpile of almost 2,500 rhino horns to the flames in September to send a strong message to poachers. The statues that were unveiled at the reopening were created using ashes from the burning of this stockpile. Sarma said, “The rhino statues thus created are an attempt to immortalise the efforts and dedication of those who selflessly protect Assam’s pride, the great one horned-rhinoceros.”
The day also saw the chief minister, on behalf of the state government, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Sadhguru, representing the Isha Foundation, on the sustainable use of soil for agricultural practices.
Sadhguru has also urged people to come to Assam to enjoy its wildlife, emphasising that eco-tourism, done sensitively, would help in the development of the Northeast region. “Tourism is one of the easiest industries to develop and also the most eco-friendly one,” he is quoted to have said, citing the example of African nations who have harnessed the potential of nature for tourism. “It engages a lot of people without ripping the land apart.”
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