Friday, October 23, 2009

manas- a national park in north east india-scrapbook of a trip

Ref: 2542/2009
2, September 2009

Dear Participants,

I am sure you have booked your tickets by now, for reaching Guwahati, and while you prepare for the camp, I give below more details about the camp.

Dates: 1st Batch: 10-14 October 2009

2nd Batch: 15-19 October 2009

3rd Batch: 20-24 October 2009

4th Batch: 25-29 October 2009

Group Leaders: Mr. Isaac Kehimkar and Mr. Nikhil Bhopale

Accommodation: Three-sharing

Weather: Warm weather. There are chances of occasional rains.

Reporting: Meet on day ONE at Guwahati at 8.00 a.m. (morning) at Hotel Mayur in the lobby (Tel: 0361-2734855 to 61), Phaltan Bazzar, opposite Guwahati railway station for departure. Travel to Manas for Lunch. Return on day FIVE after breakfast to reach Guwahati. You are requested to arrive at Guwahati before day ONE and leave Guwahati on day Six.

What to carry: COTTON CLOTHES (shades of grey, brown, or khaki), SHOES (all weather), COTTON SOCKS, RAIN COAT, SWEATER, INSECT-REPELLENT, MEDICINES, CAP, TOWEL, TORCH, WATER BOTTLE, NOTEBOOK & BINOCULARS. Travel with light baggage. Please try to accommodate all your belongings in a single ruck-sack or bag

Should you require any information, please contact us at Hornbill House at 22821811 or contact Mr. Isaac Kehimkar at 9987449251 or Mr. Nikhil Bhopale at 9819330222.

With best wishes,

Yours Sincerely,

Isaac Kehimkar

General Manager (Programmes)

BNHS Manas National Park Nature Camp 2009


DAY 1: Pick up from Hotel Mayur at 08.00 AM. Drive to Manas Maozigendri Jungle Camp for lunch. Nature trail in the forest. Discussion before Dinner.

DAY 2: Morning tea. Birdwatching in the forest trail near camp. Breakfast on return. Safari to Bengal Florican habitat. Field lunch at Panda Conservation Camp. Post lunch safari to Thanganmara Conservation Area. Dinner at Camp.

DAY 3: Early breakfast at Jungle Camp. Safari to Bhutan border via Alabari Hornbill point. Return to Jungle Camp for lunch. Post lunch safari in the forest trails / to Dwaimari Rabang. Discussion and Dinner.

DAY 4: Early breakfast at Jungle Camp. Full day safari to Mothanguri including field lunch. Optional elephant ride or rafting. Return to Jungle Camp. Dinner.

DAY 5: Morning Tea. Birdwatching. Breakfast at Jungle Camp. Transfer to Guwahati

The Manas Trip

The Manasbyhimalayas Haiku
Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 26 October 2009

Manas Nature Trip
Flying past Himalayas
Jagged snow splashes!

From Bengaluru
Arrive well fed in Delhi
On way to Manas!

Long wait at Delhi
Wander around the airport
For three hours and more

Guwahati flight
Delayed by threequarter hours
Relished Rajma Rice

Come fourteen thirty
Left side windowa six
Fly past Himalay!

Evening touchdown
After jagged snow splashings
The Borjhar Airport

Arrived in Manas!
Infinite diversity!
Absolutely pure!

Manas wonderland!
Blue mountain backdrop Bhutan's
Comfy niche Boros!

Vanas of Manas
Life's infinite variety

My log

9th October 2009

0330: Got up and got ready by 0500 and departed in a Meru Cab(Rs 620/- at Rs 15/- per Km) for Bangalore International Airport and reached it by 0545 and cleared by security by 0625 and took the flight by 0725 and had a good flight and arrived at Delhi by 1010. Ate Rajma Rice at Delhi Airport and was waiting for delayed flight to Guwahati delayed –new leaving at 1420 wishing 1345 hrs- a delay of 35 mts. Earlier at security at BIA had idli vada and sambhar rs 90/- and coffee Rs 20. In the jet flight I was also served free breakfast but Jet Konnekt to Guwahati does not give free food. It offered snacks at cost. Arrived at Borjhar Airport Guwahati and took the Assam Road Transport Bus to Paltan Bazaar for rs 85 which broke down on the way and was put into another suburban bus service and landed in front of Mayur Hotel and booked a single room for Rs 290 with Rs 500 deposit.

10th October 2009

In the morning instead of leaving by 8 AM we left considerably late because of bad arrangement of transport by concerned transport agent at Guwahati. Finally one vehicle carried all our luggage while we left in three vehicles. We arrived at Manas Maozigendri Eco-tourism Society Jungle Camp at Kokilabari at 1200 noon. We had our lunch at 1300 and in the meanwhile spotted Gold Fronted Chloropsis a number of times and a number of them on the trees in the Jungle Camp-Core Area.

1515 Nature Trail near the Jungle Camp in local trail.

1520: Spotted Hoary bellied squirrel:

and some birds were spotted: Crested serpent eagle:

Changeable Hawk Eagle,

Jungle Myna(See Wikipedia),

Shrikes(Grey,Rufous backed etc)(

Woodpeckers(Black rumped flameback),

Gold fronted chloropsis(green leaf bird) ,

Number of species of butterfly.

Grey Pansy,

Glassy Tiger,

Glassy Tiger,

No discussion before dinner.

11th October 2009.

Early breakfast at Jungle Camp. Safari to Bhutan border via Alabari Hornbill point. Return to Jungle Camp for lunch. Post lunch safari in the forest trails / to Dwaimari Rabang. Discussion and Dinner.

0600 :


Emerald dove;

Pink bellied roller-$ bird

Skater in rivulet(Jungle stream)

Bed of lilies-tavare like leaves(purple-pink)

Pond: hydrilla-aquatic plant withjutting out roots for breathing.

Jerdon’s Baza : bird of

White throated bull bull.

Chestnut angle butterfly skipper-Issac

Barking deer crossing the road with loud bark,

Red Helen Butterfly(B)

Red Helen

Small branded swift-B,

Tiger hopper B,

White rumped Shama,

Common flat-B,

Grey pansy B

We are in area where clouded leopard with two babies were introduced

Ashy wood swallow bird

0815: Call of blue throated barbet,

Dropping of Rhesus Macaque(not shown)

Banded leach B

Mushroom on the trail

Watersnow flat B

Oriental turtle dove bird

Grassland: Sikhram grass(in Boro) as given by Rustom

Bhutan Cikada(The hum sound of an ungrounded radio system)

Great Windmill(B)

Tawny Raja Butterfly lost in the wilderness!

Haplanthus Plant

Common garden lizard(caught by the scruff of the neck by Nikhil Bhopale)

Sea Gull Butterfly

Sullied Sailor B

Burmese Lascar

Grey Capped Pygmy Woodpecker

Black winged stork

Silverline B

Sherpang Tree(Boro)

Bauhinia five petal lobed flowers Photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar

Fluffy Tit B
Photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar

Kormang(Boro) Grass

Black Capped Langurs jumping from tree to tree-a fantastic sight

635: Collared Falconet

Sangrema Boro for Fire Fly

12 Oct 09
Morning tea. Birdwatching in the forest trail near camp. Breakfast on return. Safari to Bengal Florican habitat. lunch at Jungle Camp. Post lunch safari to Thanganmara Conservation Area. Dinner at Camp

600-645 Lesser Adjutant Stork(LAS),

600-730 Stone Chat,

600-731 Lesser Cormorant,


600-732 Flock of LAS on a tree, Ashimon plant,

600-733 Toro Tasho Harom Shield Plant,

photo by Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 12 Oct 2009

600-734 Cypress Sage Plant, Red Berries,

600-735 Little Hyacynth,

Little Hyacynth in the fresh water marshes in the grassland near the Bengal Florican Habitat, Manas,Photo: by Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 12 October 2009

600-736 Wild Ginger,

Wild ginger on the hedge, the last surviving habitat of the grassland, photo by Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 12 October 2009

600-737 The hedge is the last surviving habitat of grassland(Issac Kehimkar), Great Windmill B,

600-738 Spider plant Commelina, Akkalkada Compositae,

600-739 Zitting Cisticola,

820 Amur Falcon,

Pied Harrier,

Seida Atibdafor, Seida Acuta, 0840: Wild Ginger,

1305: Long Legged Buzzard,

Black necked stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork(High Up in the Sky), Trees full of Orchids.

1420: Blackrumped flameback in the Jungle Camp

We then went on a gypsy ride to take a chance to sight elephants at Thanganmara Conservation Area.

1520: Black winged kite

File:Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) in Kawal WS, AP W IMG 1681.jpg
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1620: Upland Buzzard

Orange tailed awl B

Bongaon: We saw elephants and they trumpeted to high glory

The barking deer barked very loudly.

The evening trip to market. Made phone call home and spoke to my wife. All OK.

I bought a colourful bag boro hand made for Rs 150/-. Also I bought a book on Manas(Rs 650/-).

13 October 2009

DAY 4: Early breakfast at Jungle Camp. Full day safari to Mothanguri including field lunch. Optional elephant ride or rafting. Return to Jungle Camp. Dinner.

0640: Collared

0700: Green billed

0725: Eurasian Collared Dove Eurasian

656 x 443 - 49k

Sound of elephants

Gypsy breakdown

1345: Malayan Giant Squirril


This and the photo below was taken on the way to Muthanguri by Ramaswami Ashok Kumar(BREAKFAST AT DOIMARI RANGE). In the photo below we see that the rest house at Doimara Range uses pv cells as there is no provision of grid electricity. What is being dried is a collection of Parijatha flowers used in the preparation of a chutney.

Below we are posing in front of a pagoda like tree at Doimara after a sumptuous breakfast.

Posing before a Shigun(Boro for Sagwan,tectona grandis) at Doimara en route to Muthanguri.

An idea of the thick vegetation on the way to Muthanguri from Doimara.

The above shot is on the way to Muthanguri from Doimara Range Camp. See the striking view of the 80% forested mountainous region of Bhutan in the background.

Photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 10-14 Oct 2009: (13th October 2009 about 9 AM)

Tell tale pugmarks on the way to Muthanguri:

What denseness on the way from Doimara to Muthanguri:

Another picture of the jungle on this route:

The purity en route to Muthanguri:

The leach en route:

The wilderness of manas en route to Muthanguri from Doimara:

The biome of veg in Manas en route to Muthanguri:

1400: Two wild boars near the road

1430: Collared Falconet

Arrived at 1430 at Mothanguri and looked at the view of Manas River and enjoyed the lovely scene with the Bhutan mountains as the backdrop and had lunch and had my Agra petha distributed.

A serene majestic Manas River with the Bhutan Mountains as the backdrop-as seen from Mathanguri Guest House-Photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 13 October 2009.

Posing before Manas as seen from Mathanguri Guest House-13th October 2009.

The dense biome at Mathanguri, Manas National Park,13th October 2009; photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar

What a huge earthworm! Photo by Ramaswami Ashok Kumar-Mathanguri

Manas-Muthanguri-What a climax? Or a succession?

Listen-Mani Ecology and Biogeography of the Indian Subcontinent:
Natural History of Manas
The Burma Monsoon forests of Manas lie on the borders between the Indogangetic and Indo-Malaysian biogeographic realms and is part of the Brahmaputra Valley Biogeographic province. The combination of subhimalayan Bhabar Terai formation with reverine succession leading upto Sub-Himalayan mountain forest makes it one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world.
Main Vegetation Types.
Subhimalayan light alluvial semievergreen forests in the northern parts.
East himalayan mixed moist dry deciduous forests(the most common type).
Low alluvial savanna woodland.
Assam Valley semi evergreen allvial grasslands which cover almost 50% of the park.
Riverine dry deciduous forest- early successional stage, replaced by moist deciduous forest away from water courses, which is succeeded by semi-evergreen climax forest in the northern part of the park.
There are in the CORE ZONE 543 plant species (374 are dicotyledons of which 89 are trees); 139 mono cotyledons; 30 are pteridophytes and gymnosperms.
Aphanamyxis polystachia;
Anthocephalus Chinensis;
Sygium cumini;
S. Formosum;
S. Obladum;
Bauhinia purpurea;
Mallotus philippensis;
Cinnamomum tamala;
Actinodaphne obvata;
Bombax ceiba;
Sterculia villosa;
Dillenia indica;
D. Pentagyna;
Caryea arborea;
Lagerstroemia parviflora;
Terminalia bellerica;
T. chebula;
Travia polycarpa;
Gmelina arboria;
Oroxylum indicum;
Bridilia spp.

The Grasslands are dominated by:

Imperqata cylinarica;
Saucharum naranga;
Phragmytes karka;
Arundo donax;
dillenia pentagyna;
Phyllanthus emblica;
Bombax ceiba;
and species of Chlerodendrum, Leea, Grewia, Premna and Mussaenda.

Annual Average Rain 3330 mm; Altitude: 40-200m amsl.
Min temp 15C;
Max 37C;
Area 950 km^2;
Estd 1990; Governing body MOEF,GOI.

The data given here is patchy. For a full treatment for the new arrivals refer to:
Thakur S.2007. Manas National Park: A Pictorial Handbook. Red River. LBS Publications.Guwahati,Assam,India. Rs 650/-

A beautiful cool jungle streamlet ,Nature Trail,Jungle Camp,Kokilabari(14 October 2009).

Butterfies ,Nature Trail, Jungle Camp, Kokilabari,14th October 2009.

What graceful earthworms in Manas doimara to Mathanguri 13 Oct 2009.

From Doimara to Muthanguri 13 October 2009 Tell tale pug marks 0945 AM.

The forest biome on way to Mathanguri from Doimara in the North of the Park, 13 October 2009.

Another area of the dense biome same region same date and about the same time.

On the way to Mathanguri,13 October 2009, from Doimara. Around 11 AM.

Poor Issac, is sweating, who ever expected this in clear weather- we lost the opportunity to go early to Mathanguri and see the Royal Manas Wilderness and the golden langur! And so much more. Well we saw what it is to be caught in the midst of the northern part of the Jungle core! Ashok, dont go far! What with the tell tale pug marks! Can we have everything in life? Well almost at Manas! The big surprise! At the end a banded krait killed by our passing jeep near Kokilabari! Just ruminate: Bison,Wild Boar, Kavath, the most luxuriant forests, the beautiful grasslands, the buffalo, the elephants, the birds inclusing Jerdon's Baza and the lesser Adjutant-so many of them ona tree, the butterflies, the capped langur, the rhesus langur, the peacocks, the barking deer with the barks, the tell tale pug marks, yes the gold fronted choropsis, the haplanthus, the shield plant with flower and fruit, and the great Manas river with the Bhutan mountains in the background! And then my flight from Guwahati to Delhi on the F3 window seat enjoying the splendid snowy jaggedness of the himalayas in the mellow afternoon sun! Truly the purity of manasbyhimalayas! And in the night at kokilabari the walk to the village reveals an illuminated spectacle of fire flies(Sangrema in Boro) and when you see the sky we see the in the city never to see spectacle of the milky way, the stars and the planets gallery!

Just as in Classical music our styles they go on and on I have to:

Red based Jezebel butterfly-photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 14 October 2009

Look at the Bael fruit tree in Kokilabari, Manas:

Many other birds like the hoopoe, the bearded bee eater,white throated fan tail flycatcher, even they say they spotted the paradise fly catcher, the nightjar, the puff throated babbler,the black headed oriole gave us an eyeful.

On the 14th of October detailed log on the day of the Assam Bandh called by teachers.

Jungle Trail near Jungle Camp.

Teku flowers.
Black headed oriole.
Spotted dove.
Bearded Bee Eater.
0700: Juvenile Grey Shrike.
0700: Jerdon's Baza at close range.
Puff throated Babbler.
0705:Juvenile barking deer sighted. It barked loud.
0720: Wild Boar sighted.
0725: Glassy Tiger Mating.
0725: Call of the Iora.
0727: Mud puddling: Brown King Crow Butterflies.
0730: Kushingra(Boro for a type like cricket)'s nest.
0735: Jungle fowl.
0736: Nigger Butterfly.
0745: Forward trek ends. Return begins.
0747: White throated fantail fly catcher.
0750: Tetu Oryxylum-flowers had opened in the night.
0805: Green Billed Malcova in flight- a spectacular view spreadagled wings.
0810: Red based Jezebel.
0845: Black winged cuckoo shrike in flight.
After this after breakfast at 1030 we left for a visit to the village near the Jungle Camp at Kokilabari.
First the market: We went into the handloom craft shop with with weaving rooms with typical hand weaving machines:

Photo Ramaswami Ashok Kumar 14 October 2009.

In this shop many BNHS members made purchases of sheets, bags, sherwanis while I purchased a colourfully artistically woven waist-coat. See pictures in the typical village farm house below.

The Manas Maozigendri Eco-tourism Society boarding and lodging facilities were perfect!
An unforgettable nature trip.
Thanks BNHS.

Further reading for conservation of Manas.

1. Datta, A.2007.Threatened Forests, Forgotten People,pp 165-209 in Making Conservation Work. Eds. Shahabuddin G. and Rangarajan M. Permenent Black. Rs 595. " Long term conservation success will be hampered by exclusivist policies that alienate local communities who usually bear short term costs"


  1. Wow! I love the photos of the wild ginger. Did you pull any out to see the roots? Also, was the guest house right on the Manas river bank? Looks beautiful.

    Which animal were the pug marks from?

  2. very nice documentation... a must visit place... the second (wet) pug marks photo is the best!! as also the panorama across the river...

    very cool!