Golaghat/Nagaon (Assam), Jan.21 (ANI): Assam's Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is seeing a huge influx of tourists, domestic as well as foreign, suggesting that the militant threat in the area is on the wane.
It is listed as one of the most visited sanctuaries and national parks of Asia.
Home to some rare species like one-horn rhinoceros and wild elephants, the park attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.
In 2009 more than 13.5 lakh people visited the park. The tourist arrivals increased to 17 lakh in 2010.
Baljit Kaur, a tourist, said: "I really liked the national park. It is extremely beautiful here."
Joykumar Singh, another tourist, said: "It is a lifetime experience for me. The forest is really beautiful and I got to see many rhinos, elephants and other animals. It was a great experience."
L. Bhadana, another tourist, said: "We have never seen so many animals at one place. I feel great after coming here. The park is really beautiful."
The newly started evening safari, other than the traditional jeep safari and the boat cruise along Bramhaputra, has attracted more tourists.
Trained guides and elephants escort the visitors during their safari and every measure for the visitor's security is taken care of.
The park is open from 7 am to 10 pm in the night. The jeep association runs more than 140 cars for the tourists, which sometimes is not enough, clearly reflecting the popularity of destination among the people.
The park generates employment for hundreds of youth in the region.
Punen Gogoi, the president of the Jeep Safari Association, said: This year many tourists are coming to the park and this is generating a lot of business."
Diganta Borah, a jeep driver, said: "We earn our living through this and we try to satisfy our visitors as much as possible. And, with every passing day, the numbers of tourists is increasing."
Hari Prasanna, an entrepreneur, said: "This season has been good, as insurgency has gone down. And this will boost business not only in Assam but also the entire northeast. It will help business to a large extent."
Utpal Das, a tourist, said: "It is very calm here and there is no problem. Everyone can come here and the security systems are good here."
This oldest park of Assam is spread over an area of 430 square kilometers, along the River Brahmaputra in the North and the Karbi Anglong hills in the South. It was declared a national park in 1974 and a world heritage site in 1985. (ANI)