Chasing the Unicorns (Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam)

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It is often said that the story of the unicorns originated when travelers from across the world visited South Asia. The influence that drove the fabrication of the mighty beast: pure, mystical and magical, was the sighting of the one-horned rhinoceroses. The visitors were surprised when they first saw it but the only canvas for documentation was their minds.  As these travelers returned home and shared stories of these magnificent animals, listeners were in awe. And slowly, as the stories moved through time and space, people’s imaginations took the description to the next level. Their imagination gave birth to the concept of Unicorns.

One of the characteristics which was often kept intact and is even today considered true relates to the powers that the Unicorn’s horn possesses. The horn is said to have many healing powers and is also believed to be the antidote to many terminal diseases. No wonder, these beautiful creatures are still poached. Just as a unicorn would loose its pride if its horn is taken, a rhinoceros does too and it dies. Only a few places over the globe have been able to protect them allowing their numbers to grow. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam is one of these few places. One of the few places where you will still be in awe as you spend your day chasing the unicorns.

Why you should visit: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is very close to Guwahati and you can reach in less than a 2 hours drive. It is probably the best place to view the one-horned rhinoceros in its natural habitat. Besides having the largest density of rhinoceros, the sanctuary is also home to leopards, wild buffaloes, wild boars and beautiful foxes. The sanctuary is also home to 375 species of birds, and is visited by a variety of migratory birds in the winters. Being close to Mayong, the land of blak magic also adds to the magnetism of the place.
Things to do: See rhinos, here, there and everywhere. See some of the best sunsets. Take the elephant safaris for rhinos and jeep safaris for birding. Enjoy the best of Assamese food.
Pobitora Sunset

 

Best time to visit: Although you are 100% sure of sighting the one-horned rhinoceros through the year, the winters make the park a different experience. These is because the sightings increase manifold. In addition, the migratory birds add to the energy of the place. November to March is ideal for Pobitora.

Accessible from: Pobitora falls in Morigaon District of Assam and is just 50 Kms from Guwahati.

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Something extra: Although there are a number of accommodations available near the sanctuary, Silent Rocks which is around 10 km is a beautiful place to stay in. In addition, Mayong, a group of villages nearby have a lot of stories to offer. The name may have originated from the word Maya, or maybe from “Ma or ongo,” depicting the sacred parts of Shakti. Referred to as the land of black magic, the villages in Mayong and their inhabitants hold a certain air of mysticism. It is not surprising that when the Mughals sent more than a hundred thousand horsemen to capture the region, all of them vanished without a trace.

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