The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, a Project Tiger reserve, lies among the foothills of the Bhutan Himalayas, in the far eastern state of Assam. The park, which spreads over 2,837 sq km, is a vast, relatively unspoilt expanse of low-lying sal forests and grasslands. The core area of the reserve lies in Kokrajhar and Barpeta districts, whereas its outlying areas spread over the neighbouring forest reserve divisions of North Kamrup, Western Assam Wildlife Division, Kachugaon and Haltugaon. To the north lies the Royal Manas National Park, in Bhutan.
Initially known as North Kamrup, Manas was designated a wildlife sanctuary way back in 1928 and in 1985, was declared a `World Heritage in Danger’ site. The only tiger reserve in Assam and also famous for the rare golden langur and the red panda, Manas is one of the best-kept national parks in India. It’s home to India’s second-largest tiger population, and although a ride through the park may not guarantee a tiger sighting, you might see some other beauties. Manas’ other denizens include elephants, rhinos, swamp deer, gaur, and more elusive species, such as the clouded leopard, golden cat, pangolin, fishing cat, pygmy hog and leopard. Manas has more than 450 species of birds, of which the great pied hornbill and the Bengal florican are among the leading stars.