Assam is north of Bangladesh
Assam is probably best know for its tea, which dominates the economy, producing half of the tea grown in India. India is the world's largest producer of tea. The main inhabitants of Assam are the Bodo's, the Assamese, the Bengalis and Nepalese.
Assam is the Gateway to the north east of India, through the city Guwahati with its airport. The mighty Brahamaputra river that has its origins in Tibet runs through the breadth of Assam, through rich fertile lands, of rolling plains and dense forests. Much of the flat land is used to grown rice.
It is also the home of the rare one horned Indian rhino and other rare species on the verge of extinction. There are strong groups of people who are doing their very best to protect these species in Assam.
With the exception of Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.
Assam has a number of excellent Wildlife Parks with a strong movement to protect the threatened wildlife and habitat, especially the Indian one horned rhino.
We travelled to Assam with People's Trust for Endangered Species, a wildlife charity who have been funding research into conservation of threatened species such as the one horned rhino, Asian elephant and leopard.
The more famous parks we visited were:-
- Kaziranga National Park (430 Sq Km) - famous for
the one horned rhino
- Manas National Park (500 Sq Km) - Assam's largest protected area, where the local villagers have formed a cooperative to protect its forest and wildlife. It is well worth a few days visit staying at the Eco-Tourism camp run by the local villagers, to see all their hard work and their anti-poaching patrols.
- Nameri National Park (200 Sq Km) - famous for the white winged duck. Also you have to walk on foot in the park as no vehicles are allowed.
- Orang National Park (78.8 Sq Km) - on a flat river delta area on the edge of the Brahamaputra with One horned Indian rhino, elephant, leopards, fresh water dolphins, tiger, birds, ...
- Porbitora Wildlife Sanctuary (38.8 Sq Km) - High densities of One Horned Indian Rhino and bird life.
Assam is bordered to the north and the east by the Kingdom of Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Along the south lie the provinces of Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Meghalaya and to her south-west, you will find Bengal with Bangladesh on the west. Before partition Bangladesh was part of Assam.
We were entertained by the local villagers, performing the Bihu dance one of the traditional Assamese dances, generally performed during Bihu Festival.
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