The Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan had remained closed to the public for years and so people knew very little about it then. Now, after it’s been open to visitors recently, visitors are finding out the park is indeed a crown jewel for the Himalayan nation given its rich tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems.
Home to thousands of animals, most of which are globally endangered, the Royal Manas National Park falls in the list of the world’s biologically outstanding parks. Located in south-central Bhutan, the park is connected with India’s Manas Tiger Reserve – a UNESCO World heritage site.
Apart from being the oldest national park in Bhutan (it was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1966), Manas is also the conservative showpiece of the kingdom and a genetic depository for valuable plants.
Stretching over an area of 1,057 square kilometers, Manas is home to the Royal Bengal tiger, the Asian elephant, the greater one-horned rhinocerous, the clouded leopard, the pigmy hog, the Himalayan black bear and the nowhere else found golden langur to name a few. The Gangetic dolphin and the pangolin also call the park home.
The river that runs through the park along with its tributaries host three species of rare migratory fish called mahseer – the deep-bodied mahseer (Tor Tor), the golden masher (Tor Putitora) and the chocolate mahseer or katle (Acrossocheilus hexangonolepis).