India is a paradise for the wild life enthusiasts and adventure lovers. It is a galore of wildlife attractions. Housing 551 wildlife sanctuaries among which 28 are Tiger Reserves, India has achieved a prestigious position in the global map. Assam, the mystical land in the north-eastern part of India is a popular name to the nature lovers. With 6 national parks and 11 sanctuaries, it has a lot of variety to offer to its visitors. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, one of the bio-diversity hot spots in the state is marked for the richness of its flora and fauna.
This national park is one of the largest parks in Assam and north-east India. In fact it is one of the 19 biodiversity hotspots across the globe.
In the year 1986, Dibru and Saikhowa Reserve Forests and some other nearby areas were included and it was declared as a sanctuary. But it was in 1999 that the sanctuary was finally declared as a national park with the final notification area (core area) of 340 sq km. It was originally established with the aim of conserving the habitat of the rare White-winged wood duck.
Area and Location:
Encompassing an area of 340 sq. km. this national park is located in the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River in Tinsukia in the extreme east of Assam. The park is situated at about 13 km to the north of Tinsukia. It is located at an altitude of 118 meter above the sea level.
Flora: The forest area of the Dibru-Saikhowa national park comprises of deciduous and semi-evergreen forests, swamp forests and patches of wet evergreen forests. 21.25% of the national park is grassland, 35.84% is moist mixed forests and 9.50% is degraded forests. You will find the rare tree species like Dillenia indica, Mesua ferra, Salix tetrasperma, Dalbergia sissoo, etc. Many other orchid species are also found.
Fauna: The national park consists of a total of 36 species which include Hog Deer, Gangetic Dolphin, Royal Bengal Tiger, Jungle Cat, Asaiatic Water Buffalo, Capped Langur, Small Indian Civet, barking Deer, Slow Loris, Clouded Leopard, Asian Elephant, Chinese Pangolin, Malayan Giant Squirrel, etc.
2 species of Monitor Lizards, 8 species of Turtles, 8 species of Snakes, 62 different species of fishes and 350 species of birds also make the park very popular among the tourists. The avifaunas include March Babbler, Griffon Vulture, Grey Heron, Yellow Bittern, Bengal Florican, Great Grebe, Jardon's Babbler, Spot Billed Pelican, Graylag Groose, Purple Heron, etc.
Best time to visit:
Dibru Saikhowa enjoys hot summer and cool winter. It enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with an annual precipitation ranging from 2300m to 3800m. November to April remains the best time to visit the sanctuary. As notified by the National Park Authority, the park is open during these 6 months only.
You can avail the accommodation facilities at Gujjan Forest I.B.; but for that you have to make advance booking. Otherwise you can stay in the private hotels in Tinsukia like Hotel Highway and Center Point Tower near the railway station.
How to reach the park?
It is well connected by railway, air and National Highway.
- The nearest airport to the park is at Dibrugarh, which is located at a distance of 40 km from Tinsukia
- The nearest railway station is also at Dibrugarh which is linked with Guwahati by a broad gauge
- Tinsukia is the nearest town which is about 10 km and 50 km away from Gujjan and Dhola entry point respectively. You can take buses, auto rickshaws and taxis from Tinsukia. The park is 500 km away from Guwahati, the state capital.
Some points to note:
- You cannot enter the park before sunrise and after the sunset. Gujjan Ghat and Saikhowa Ghat are the two entry points for the tourists
- You cannot stay in the park at night. Picnicking is also strictly prohibited within the park
Knowing so much about Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, you must feel like visiting the park very soon. So pack your bags and venture into this diversified animal kingdom.