Friday, February 18, 2011

Wild Elephants at Kaziranga National Park,Assam.

It was our privilege to be one with nature in this vast paradise of wilderness, popularly known as the Kaziranga National Park, a UN world heritage site. It is located in the North-eastern state of Assam, India. To name a few animals which calls this home - One-horned Rhinos, Wild Buffalos, Elephants, Royal Bengal Tiger, Swamp Deer, Barking deer, Leopard, Jackal, Turtle, Tortoise, the winged varieties are a bird watchers delight. This forest lies in the flood plains of the river Brahmaputra, in the monsoon season the river often overflows and floods the grasslands, when animals migrate to higher grounds. It has its usual share of human and wildlife conflicts with villages skirting the forest edge, Elephants often cross path with human habitat and create havoc. A national highway cuts through the forest disrupting movement of wildlife. Inspite of all odds, this forest thrives and is haven to wildlife and lifeline for people like us who detest the concrete jungles. Before we entered the forest gates I wished I could site wild elephants which have long eluded me. This post is dedicated to the pachyderms sited during our visit.
We had hired a jeep from the forest department to tour the forest. Our team constituted our lady guide (a wild life enthusiast), car driver and our family of four including our daughters aged 4 and one all of 9 months. Though we had sighted a large variety of animals that evening we were little low as we had not sighted the elephants and light was fast fading and we were on our way back. Just then we heard an elephant from very near. Our vehicle came to a halt but the noise of the engine had scared them away. Though we could hear them they were out of sight in the dense vegetation. Even after a wait of 15-20 minutes with engine switched off the elephants did not find it wise to break cover, we moved ahead and decided to wait again at a distance. Soon enough we saw the herd leader (matriarch) sniffing in the air to check for any danger, within the next few minutes a herd of elephants appeared and crossed the vehicle tracks with a baby elephant in tow, to our sheer delight. No so for our younger daughter though, who decided to scream, as the vehicle had stopped which did not seem interesting to her anymore. Some choco-corn flakes did the trick and was quiet again.

Next morning we sited these two male elephants taking stock of each other with some posturing.

Another herd decided to cross the tracks, the matriarch takes stock of danger, if any, before the herd crosses.

See my teeth! Can your tooth paste produce so much of shine:)

You better be scared!!

Another elephant just appears.And poses for a pic.

This one appeared too close to us for comfort...

Would be back soon with few other posts from our visit.


  1. Brilliant! i am so glad you were able to see these elephants like you had so wished for.

    They really are quite smaller than their cousin the african elephant. And the ear shape so different too. I would love to visit the Kaziranga National Park someday, i think i would wish to see the tiger the most. i love the big cats.

    Great post Shantana!

  2. Hi Shantana, SO good to hear from you.. It's been a long time!!!!! Your trip sounds incredible. I would love to do that...You were truly 'up close and personal' with the elephants, weren't you??? WOW--how neat!!!!!

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Now that was close!
    An amazing experience Shantana, and one you will always remember. Magnificent animals.

  4. So glad to hear from you. I cannot believe the baby is 9 mos old now. Time flies! I know this was thrilling to take the tour and see the elephants. The baby elephant is especially cute. I forget just how huge these animals are. Your photos are incredible as always. All my best to you and your family.

  5. Hi Shantana, How exciting! A wonderful experience for you all and what magnificent creatures they are. I looked through the photos twice, they are fascinating. The elephant at the end was so close!

  6. Wow! Fantastic elephant photos! How wonderful that you were able to see so many of them. It must have been an incredible experience. It looks like you had a lovely trip. It's good to hear from you again and I hope you'll find time to share more photos from your vacation.

  7. Wow for sure a privilege to see these animals and to be able to take so nice pictures. Beautiful!

  8. Hi Shantana,
    They are wonderful animals and what a privilege to see them.
    Thanks for posting the images of them.

  9. Fantastic elephant series! I saw a lot of documentaries about Kaziranga NP, it seems to be a great place for wildlife photography. Elephants are always a pleasant sighting, but sometime is better to keep a safe distance especially when they have babies.

  10. Hey Shantana,

    I so enjoyed this post. Those baby elephants are adorable. The pics are great! Thanks for sharing such a fun looking adventure with us.

    Glad to see a post from you too! I just took on a new job and I probably won't get to visit nearly as much as I would like.

    Take care,

  11. Hi Arunava and Shantana: you've a great blog here! This post is especially interesting as we in Borneo also have wild elephants (so-called Bornean Pigmy Elephants) but we rarely see them at all.

    Secondly I am writing to ask if I may re-post your photo of the elephants crossing the road in my fun Blog ( If I have your permission I'll of course credit you with the photo in my post. I still haven't photographed any elephant crossing a road yet!

    My regards and Happy Blogging!

    Joe Pan (Dragonchaser)