5 Lesser-Known Known Wildlife Destinations In Assam

The north-eastern state's big and small sanctuaries house some of the most endangered species of animals such as golden langur and the Bengal slow loris
Assam is a birder's paradise
Assam is a birder's paradise

Kaziranga and Manas national parks in Assam are known for its wildlife. The state also boasts of a rich flora and fauna. We know about the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tiger and the pygmy hog, thanks to the popular wildlife parks in the state. But, what about the endangered golden langur, or the Bengal slow loris? Yes, they are in Assam too. Its lesser-known wildlife parks are home to these beautiful species, which not many know about.

Deepor Beel

'Beel' in Assamese means lake. Located in Kamrup district, this is a permanent freshwater lake, and a wetland listed under the Ramsar Convention. One of the largest lakes in the Brahmaputra Valley, the wetland serves the neighbouring indigenous villages.

Conservation measures have been going strong for the lake because of its status as an important source of livelihood -- fishing. It is a haven for 219 species of birds, including more than 70 migratory birds. The lake is also an Important Bird Area and this has been supported by large congregation of globally threatened and endangered species like spot-billed pelican, lesser adjutant stork, Baer's pochard and Siberian cranes.

How To Reach: Deepor Beel is around 8 kms from the main city of Guwahati. You can easily get a taxi from the airport and the railway station to reach the wetland

Deepor Beel is one of the largest lakes in the Brahmaputra Valley
Deepor Beel is one of the largest lakes in the Brahmaputra Valley

Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary, located 25 kms from Nagaon, has recorded over 225 species of birds, most important one being the critically endangered Bengal Florican. The sanctuary is not only important as an active birding site, but is also home to around 39 species of fishes and nine species of amphibians. The sanctuary is also known for its great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, water buffalo, civet cat, wild boar and hog deer, among other wild animals.

The pleasant weather from November to April is perfect to visit the wildlife sanctuary. You can enjoy bird and butterfly watching, natural trails and trekking routes or just soak in the scenic beauty of the landscape while floating around the Brahmaputra in a houseboat.

How To Reach: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is 162 kms from the sanctuary. The Nagaon railway station is 19 kms from Laokhowa. By road, the Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary is 25 kms from Nagaon; it is 148 kms from Guwahati.

The endangered golden langur is found in western Assam
The endangered golden langur is found in western Assam

Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary

An important sanctuary as it is the second protected habitat for the endangered Gee's golden langur, also known as golden langur, in India. This sanctuary straddles both Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts.

Thirty species of mammals such as leopard cat, Bengal fox, Chinese pangolin, Asiatic jackal, Indian pipistrelle, Indian flying fox, short-tailed mole and rhesus macaque have been spotted in the sanctuary. Trekking and bird watching are popular activities in the sanctuary. The ideal time to visit is from October to March.

How To Reach: Kokrajhar, around 6 kms from the sanctuary, is the nearest town. Guwahati is around 222 kms away. Hire a vehicle from Kokrajhar to get to Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife reserve is located in Morigaon district, just 30 kms from Guwahati. The sanctuary has a dense population of the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. But that's not the only reason why this place is gaining attention. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also a part of Mayong village, a village well-known for the ancient practices of witchcraft and black magic.

The sprawling 38.85 sq km area provides grasslands and wetland habitat for the Indian rhinoceros. The sanctuary is open throughout the year except during monsoons. November to March is the best time to visit as you can see migratory birds.

How To Reach: Guwahati railway station is 42.9 kms away and Guwahati airport is 72.8 kms from the sanctuary and the most convenient way to reach here is by hiring a taxi.

Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary

The Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary is is the only sanctuary in India named after a primate
The Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary is is the only sanctuary in India named after a primate

This evergreen forest in Assam's Jorhat district is a protected area. The Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary is dedicated to hoolock gibbons, India's only gibbons, the Bengal slow loris, northeast India's only nocturnal primate, and wild elephants. The name 'Hoollongapar' comes from the hoollong trees that dominate the forest.

How To Reach: It is 22 kms away from Jorhat and only a five-minute ride from Mariani railway station. Although open throughout the year the best time to visit is from June to July and February to March.

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