Assam has a plethora of human uninhabited land, which has been established as numerous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Sonai Rupai is one such protected area that has been named a wildlife sanctuary in 1998. The sanctuary covers about 175sq km of land. The sanctuary falls under the jurisdiction of Tezpur district. This one is actually a low altitude area located near the foothills of Himalayas in Assam, offering splendid view of the mountain ranges and the indigenous wildlife.
How to reach.?
The nearest airport is Saloni, which is just 10km away in the district of sonitpur. The nearest railway station is at Rangapara, which is 60 km away, also in the district of Sonitpur. From the railway head, there are motorable roads up to Sonai Rupai. Other motorable roads connect Sonai Rupai to major highways near the sanctuary, which in turn connect to major Indian cities.
When to go?
The months of November to March are ideal for a visit to Sonai Rupai. Temperatures never drop below 5 degrees Celsius in winter, but the humidity is extremely low. During the summers the temperatures reach up to 37 degrees Celsius. This is a particularly good time to spot wild animals near the water bodies. The monsoons are hostile with heavy rain and high humidity.
This place is well renowned in the area for its population of Indian Bison and elephant. You can’t get enough of the great one horned rhinoceros once you spot it in its natural habitat. Apart from these the sanctuary also boasts some serious population of tigers, lesser cats, quar, wild boars, hog deer and barking deer. Among birds white winged wood duck, pelican, hornbill and others are found here. Python and Russell’s viper are two significant reptile species that exists here. The flora at Sonai Rupai is quite exquisite and a melodious sight. The varieties of trees and plants are rich and very enlightening.
The park is having location just right at the Himalayas. This makes it possible for adventurers to go on trekking trips up the hills that fall within and in the vicinity of the sanctuary. There are some trekking trails which require an armed guide or forest official accompanying you. This is for your protection from any potential conflict with the local wildlife that may occur. There are also some water bodies within the park. These are lakes- natural and man-made. These serve two purposes, one is for fishing and another is for wildlife observation. Obviously, since this is a small water body there are small fish in those waters and since they are no part of food chains or endangered, regulated fishing for sport is legal. These water bodies are hotspots to spot the predators in the sanctuary. Camouflaging cabins and observation decks are available to tourists for this purpose.
The forest inspection bungalow in tezpur is the place to stay if you are planning a visit to Sonai Rupai. This place has all the basic amenities and tourists are very comfortable. Overnight stay accommodation arrangements are not yet available within the park and camping is not available. No prior permission is required to gain entry to the park. The sanctuary is open to all!