I came to know from a publication of Assam government, that apart from Kaziranga National Park, Assam has more than five national parks. These include :
- Manas National Park,
- Dibru Saikhowa National Park,
- Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary,
- Nameri National Park,
- Orang National Park,
- Hollongapar Wildlife Sanctuary,
- Dehing Patkal Wildlife Sanctuary,
- Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary.
I decided to go to Manas because I was very impressed by the beautiful scenery of Himalayan foothills with Manas river flowing. Brochure also said that we may see rhino and elephants. I was eager to one horned rhino at least once in my life time. When I expressed my desire to see rhino, travel agent insisted that I also visit Kaziranga. He said he will stake his life that I shall see rhino.
He chalked out a plan whereby we shall first visit Kakoijan and Manas on the western Assam. Then we shall move to Kaziranga in at the centre of the state and to Guahati. I did not realise how big a state Assam was, till I saw the map. Brahmaputra river splits the state roughly between northern and southern parts.
Our travel plan included going west ward from Guahati in Kamroop district and crossing Brahmaputra river at Goalpara district. We crossed over into Bongaigaon district and spent a night at Abhayapuri. We watched golden langurs and moved eastwards. At Barpeta town of Barpeta district, we left highway to reach Manas National Park. Afterwards, we moved eastward again crossed Nalbari, Darrang and Sonitpur districts. At Sonitpur we crossed Brahmaputra river again to reach Nowgaon district. We moved further east to reach Kaziranga in Jorhat district.
On the scheduled date, we took a flight to Guahati from Delhi. At Guahati we were booked at Baruah Bhavan, a heritage house. Owners live on the ground floor. First floor of the house with 6 rooms have been converted into a guest house. Guests must remember Baruah Bhavan is not a hotel. Guests have to request their meal in advance and indicate their preference for veg or non veg meal. Guests must also adhere to rules and regulations of the guest house. We had our dinner and breakfast at the guest house.
Situated at Ujanbazar area of Guahati, Baruah Bhavan is a traditional Assamese bungalow. It is 23 km from airport and located at the heart of the city. Gauhati high court is within walking distance. So is residence of chief justice. Baruch Bhavan has some old style furnitures and mirrors. Unconfirmed sources claim one mirror was used in movie Parineeta.
Though cost of staying was included in our package. I found out that one night stay in the guest house costs less than 3000 rupees. Meals cost extra. Room comes with a TV, air conditioner and attached bath. Service is polite and efficient.
|Our Room at Baruah Bhavan|
|Living / Dining Room|
After staying one night at Baruah Bhavan, we moved on with our journey.