India offers myriad possibilities for a tourist to explore. And it goes beyond the Taj Mahals, Charminar’s, Qutab Minars of the world. Look around and what we have is a treasure trove of splendid forts, monuments to mountains and valleys. Before you venture outside India and gush over the scenery abroad, perhaps it is important to note that there are several hidden gems in every nook and corner of our country we need to take pride in. Some of our rainforests for instance. Rainforests are earth’s oldest living ecosystems, and are incredibly diverse and complex, home to plant and animal species. How about exploring the beauty of the Jeypore Rainforests in Assam?
India’s easternmost rainforest, it lies 60 km southeast of Dibrugarh town in Eastern Assam. Home to various animals, plants and over 107 varieties of orchids, you cannot miss Hollong trees looming around. With a height of 150 feet, they are considered as one of the tallest trees in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The tree flowers during June to July and carries fruits from January to March and its timber is used in constructing houses. Some of the other species of trees found are Ajar, Segun, Nahar, Bohot, and Sam.
There are over 40 rare species of animals, 320 rare species of wild birds which are becoming extinct and more than 150 rare species of snakes. The state’s white winged wood duck can be found here along with seven wildcat species (Royal Bengal Tiger, Clouded leopard, common leopard, golden cat, and marbled cat) and rare types of owls. Also, lookout for elephants, hornbills, leopards, flying squirrels, pythons, spotted deer and langurs. The Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is an important attraction close by.
The Jeypore Rainforest Festival which was started to showcase biodiversity and explore its eco-tourism is an excellent time to visit. Typically, there will be an exhibition of artefacts and cuisines of various communities along with song and dance performances from various ethnic communities of the state.
How to get there
Take rented cars from Naharkatia. Regular buses will take you to Jeypore forests and they are cheap. Buses ply from Guwahati and Naharkatia. It is recommended to visit during the Rainforest festival, which happens during the second week of February. You can also try rafting, camping, trekking, elephant riding, and bird watching.