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The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Assamese district of Morigaon, 50 kilometers to the east of Guwahati. This sanctuary, which spans more than 38 kilometers, is distinctive due to the large number of rhinos that are protected there. The two other significant reserves for the preservation of Indian rhinos are Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park. Pobitara is one of these reserves. Its marshy swamplands provide the ideal habitat for wild buffalo, rhinos, and boars alike. Jeep safaris navigate through the rough roads that have been specially built for this purpose. With 200 migratory birds, 81 rhinos, and some interesting reptiles, this Sanctuary is a must-visit on any wildlife enthusiast’s bucket list. The sanctuary offers both jeep safaris and elephant safaris.
Morigaon District, Assam, India
2 hours from Guwahati airport
November to March
WHAT TO SEE
Mammals: Asiatic buffalos, golden jackal, wild boar and feral water buffalo. Barking deer, Indian leopard and rhesus macaque
Birds: Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Green Billed Malkoha, Oriental Turtle Dove, White Breasted Water hen, Black necked Stork, Asian Koel, Grey headed Lapwing, Little Cormorant, Lesser Adjutant, Spotted Dove
Legend has it that the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is named after the late teenage daughter of King of Mayong. The sanctuary was once only a forest with a lot of rhinos living in it; in 1971, it was turned into a reserve forest to protect the rhinos. It later attained the designation of a wildlife refuge in 1987. Given the necessity to safeguard the Indian rhinoceros, it was a crucial choice. There are 81 Indian Rhinoceros to roaming freely as of a 2006 census, and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary serves as their safe refuge. A visit to the Sanctuary almost assures sightings of the Indian Rhinoceros. Because of the ever-increasing density, some of them also end up being translocated to Manas National Park, for better caregiving.
Apart from rhinos- the Park’s prime attraction, the park also inhabits Asiatic buffalos, wild bears, leopards, etc. While the wildlife alone is extremely interesting to observe, you’re in for a lot more when you visit the Sanctuary. It is also an ideal tourist spot for bird-watching. With more than 2000 migratory birds, the place is heaven-sent for birders. You’ll find many residents as well as migratory birds such as the Indian pied Hornbill, Osprey, Hill Myna, Kalij Pheasant, etc.
The Pobitora National Park, known as the “Bharatpur of the East” for its enviably diverse wildlife, is home to reptiles such as the Indian Python, common Monitor Lizard, Indian Tent Turtle, and the Indian Cobra. Any ornithologist would be happy to see the birds here because there are so many because of the location beside the water. The Pobitora National Park is a popular destination for birders from all over the world thanks to its combined population of more than 86 species of resident and migratory birds, including the Grey Hooded Warbler and the White-vented Myna. Almost extinct bird species like the Greater Adjutant and Nordmann’s Greenshank are also protected by it.
Enjoy the jeep safaris or ride on an elephant to explore the park. Either way, you’re going to have loads of fun. But if you choose to go on the elephant safari, there are more chances of you being able to get closer to the Indian Rhinoceros. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of an elephant safari, the jeep safaris await you.