Home to the endangered Great Indian one-horned rhinos, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Morigaon district of Assam. The sanctuary is 38 sqkm and, along with Kaziranga National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, forms the three most important reserves for the Indian Rhinos. I am truly astonished to see the number of Wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks in Assam, truly a blessed state. The Assam wildlife is famous among all nature lovers including overseas including its flora and fauna.
Wildlife sanctuaries in Assam
How many Wildlife sanctuaries are presently existing in Assam? I was amazed to hear that there are 18 Wildlife Sanctuaries in the state of Assam. This is so phenomenal and indicative of the biodiversity and variety of unique wildlife found in Assam.
Where are one-horned rhinos found in India?
The state of Assam is the right place to visit in case one wishes to see One-horned rhinos. What is Pobitora wildlife sanctuary famous for? Pobitora is famous for being the home to the most significant number of one-horn rhinoceros. Encompassing the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River, the wildlife sanctuary with a moist marshland is an ideal habitat for wild buffaloes, Rhinos and wild boars. The natural barrier of the refuge is the Brahmaputra River on one side, the Gauranga Beel on the other side and the remaining areas are surrounded by beautiful Assamese Villages, almost 27 in number.
The one-horned Rhinos are declared the State Animal of Assam. Being classified as a vulnerable species and with the largest numbers existing in Assam, it is only justified that the One-horned Rhinos of Assam are tagged as the State Animal of Assam.
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About Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
In 1971, Pobitora declared a reserve forest, and in 1987, it was recognized as a Wildlife Sanctuary. The census states that there are close to 93 Rhinos presently in Pobitora. Along with these, there are also close to 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles. The sanctuary is called “Bharatpur of the East” because of its rich birdlife. Local legends say that the King of Mayong gave the name Pobitora to the forest after his lovely daughter died in her youth.
Pobitora WLS is significant for the long-term conservation of the Indian Rhinos. Adequate protection at the Pobitora WLS, including its dependency on the fragile floodplain ecosystem, is vital. This wilderness is self-sufficient with its equilibrium and is a beautiful example of Nature’s resilient strength and capacity to sustain wildlife when left unchecked by human exploitation. This wilderness appears like an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the human world. Surprisingly, Pobitora is only 45 km from the capital city of Assam, Guwahati. Despite problems, the positive approach of the people of Pobitora paves the way toward mutually agreeable solutions.
Maibong Eco resort Pobitora
There are several resorts near Pobitora WLS. Maibong Eco resort is situated at the main gate of Pobitora WLS. The aspect I loved the most was the essence of the co-existence of wildlife with human beings in its ambience. The resort was founded in 2012 and is headed by Mr Nripen Nath. I loved meeting him and realized his undying zeal for conserving Pobitora and its wildlife. In their way, people like Nripen Nath contribute to improving places like Pobitora. The Maibong eco-resort brings travelers a holistic wildlife experience, from bird watching to venturing deep into the sanctuary to see the wildlife.
Where to Stay
While there are quite a few options that I observed, however, I would sincerely recommend Maibong Eco Tourism itself. You will not be disappointed. ( contact details – 9854612196). I would recommend arriving at Pobitora with a prior booking as, during the season, the place fills up quickly.
Best time to visit
The sanctuary remains open throughout the year except for monsoons. November to February, I would say, are the best months, with Dec-Feb being perfect for bird watching as well.
Permit and Safari Booking
The permits for Jeep safari booking or Elephant safari booking can be done by the resort where one is staying. The safari is generally twice a day, once in the early morning and the other during the late afternoon. Jeep safari price is very economical and also depends on the time duration and sharing basis.
How to reach Pobitora
One can reach Pobitora from Guwahati by road. It is only 45 km away. One can also arrive in Guwahati using the Indian Rail network and then take the road to Pobitora.
What is my blog about ?
My blog focuses quite a bit on nature based places and off beat destinations. India has abundance of these kind of places . Read about the forest magic of Odisha out here or in depth story on the trek to Sandakphu to see the Kanchenjunga up-close.
Going westwards, I would recommend the reader to glance at the beaches of Goa. My recommendation from my stay in the state for over 2 years. I am sure a visit to know about the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway while to the North of the country we have the trek to Kashmir Great Lakes or maybe visit the high altitude lakes of Ladakh region.
My experience of Pobitora WLS
Witnessing the One-horned Rhinos in their natural habitat in such close proximity was a great way to begin my journey into Wildlife experiencing it as close as possible to their natural habitat. I loved my time spent out there. While I was not watching the Rhinos , I was happy checking out the antics of Hornbills and various other birds that were at ease within the sanctuary. The guidance of Maibong eco resort in arranging all the admin requirements went a long way in ensuring I kept my focus on the objective for which I had visited Pobitora. Do try to make a visit to Pobitora , am sure you would love the place.
From waking up early to start the Safari and then witness an amazing dawn in the jungle followed by some amazing sightings to coming back and then spending a relaxed late morning at the grasslands observing the flora and fauna followed by ethnic lunches and then back again in the evening to watch the sun end the day over the horizon as the Rhinos , water buffalo , wild boars and other denizens of the jungle head back to the end of yet another idyllic day at Pobitora. Indeed those few days were an enthralling experience in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.