Kaziranga National Park

The Kaziranga National Park is widely considered to be far and away Assam's standout tourist site. This massive expanse of flat grasslands is home to a dizzying array of flora and fauna, making it high on the itineraries of wildlife-lovers heading to India. One species you'll find lacking in the Kaziranga National Park Assam are humans; the park is a widely untouched piece of naturally stunning land, and aside from the tour guides who help visitors experience its delights, the park belongs to the animal kingdom.

The land itself is a swampy mass of backwaters and grasslands that covers approximately 150 square miles. Kaziranga wildlife thrives here; there's a significant population of water buffalo, tigers, leopards, and even Ganges dolphins here. However, if there is one species that Kaziranga National Park Assam is famous for above all others, it's the Great Indian One-Horned Rhino, of which there are said to be around 1,800 living on the land.

Visitors who come to appreciate the Kaziranga wildlife inevitably clamor for a sight of these massive armor-plated mammals. While rhinos are well known for their aggressive instincts, it's possible to get up close to them when on the back of an elephant, as the rhino comes lower in nature's pecking order. As a result, tours are conducted around the Kaziranga National Park on elephant-back; take one of these tours, and your chances of seeing a rhino are impressively high. If you want to experience the Kaziranga wildlife on display at the park, try to plan your trip for the winter, preferably between November and April. The summer months are either incredibly hot or incredibly wet and therefore don't make for very comfortable wildlife touring.

The state of Assam, where you'll find the Kaziranga National Park, is simultaneously one of the most naturally beautiful and least-visited areas of India. Assam is a remote state, found in the far northeast corner of the country, and consequently many visitors decide against traveling far away from the India's major cities and especially from the splendors of the Golden Triangle tour, which includes Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. It's also a state that is occasionally beset by political unrest, meaning it's important that you check with the tourist office and your national embassy before planning a trip here. That's not to say that visiting Assam is not possible, however. Those who do make it out here tend to wax lyrical on its hiking possibilities, eco-tours, and cultural tourism opportunities, not to mention the friendly nature of the locals. Just be prepared to encounter fewer tourist amenities than in other parts of the country.

Places of interest close to Assam include the hills of Sikkim, the tea plantations of Darjeeling, and the cultural productivity of Kolkata. Bhutan is also close by, though you'll be lucky to gain access to this mystical country, which is famously one of the so-called happiest nations on earth, as it's largely closed off to foreign visitors. If you're looking to head to another country after visiting the Kaziranga National Park Assam, going east would probably be a better bet, where the beaches and hill tribes of Thailand, Cambodia, and the rest of Southeast Asia await.

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