Manas National Park (MNP)
Manas, at the base of foot hills of the Bhutan-Himalayas in the state of Assam, with unique biodiversity and landscape is one of the first reserves included in the network of tiger reserve under Project tiger in 1973. In 1985, the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary was inscribed as World Heritage Site. In 1989, Manas acquired the status of a Biosphere reserve.It extends over an area of 2837 Sq. Km from Sankosh river in the west to Dhansiri river in the east, with a core area of 500 Sq. Km. of the National park, which declared in 1990. The average elevation of the area is 85 m above mean sea level. The river Manas flows into the national Park from the gorges of Bhutan and split into two major streams of which the main water course comes out of the National Park about 30 km downstream is known as ‘Beki”. The peace and tranquility of Mothanguri tourists site on the bank of river Manas close to Bhutan is the rarest gift of the nature and in its finest form. There is no insurgency in the park as reported by most of the uninformed sources. With the coming of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), a peacefull situation has prevailed over the entire park. In the past, bad law and order situation was utilized by the organized smuggling gangs to operate inside. Now, there is no need of fearful attitude to step in the park. Such imaginary fears are not necessary for visiting Manas. About the half of the Park is covered by Grasslands of Terai and Bhabar type, the riparian areas have colonizing grasslands and woodlands of several species. The thick woodlands are called Eastern Moist Deciduous Forests of various types. The undergrowths are very thick. There are more than 650 species of Angiosperms alone. The commonly seen trees are the Simul, Oxi, Sissoo, Khaie, Gamari, etc. Manas is the only landscape in the world where pristine Terai Grasslands are seen merging with the Bhabar grasslands interspersed with diverse habitats ascending to Semi-Evergreen forests and then to Bhutan Himalayas. The Biodiversity is very rich here. The last population of the Pygmy Hog survive in the wilds of Manas and nowhere else in the world.
elephant bathing manas
Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society (MMES)
Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society (MMES), a community based society for Conservation and Ecotourism established on 13th December 2003, emerged as a conservation messiah in Manas National Park as witnessed by many Community People at a time when Manas was rampantly depleted. The Emergence of MMES is an era of transition of mindset from TERRORISM to TOURISM in the Area. The Society has been doing relentlessly for a Sustainable Conservation and Responsible Ecotourism in Manas and adjacent areas. Sustainable Conservation and Ecotourism for poverty alleviation is the main motto of MMES. MMES has been launching motivation as well as awareness campaign for Conservation & Ecotourism development with a series of workshops and trainings in the related fields since its inception. During the turbulent period of Bodo Mass Movement for demanding Bodoland there was rampant poaching of wild animals and felling of trees in Manas National Park. In those days there was no trumpeting of elephants, barking of deer, roars of tigers and chirping of birds in jubilation. But still the pristine beauty of Manas was not totally tarnished and there were wild denizens to keep their generation. Meanwhile, some of the local youths and activists of All Bodo Students Union did not loss their heart and decided to launch efforts to restore the former glory of Manas through a issue in their local unit of Chapaguri Koklabari Anchalik Committee of All Bodo Students Union and consequently they raised the demand in the meeting of their District Committee (BDC/ABSU) to urge their Central Leadership to place the issue of conserving Manas National Park and making it an International Tourists Spot at the negotiating table while the latter were negotiating with the State and the Central Government to resolve the Bodo Issue. Consequently while the Bodo Accord was done on 10th February 2003 the issue of Restoration of MNP and making it an International Tourists Spot was incorporated as one of the special packages. Enthusiastic with this success story local ABSU youths did a lot more to conserve MNP and under the initiative of CKAC/ABSU, Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society was formed on 13th December 2003 and entrusted to look after Conservation and Ecotourism issues in and around Manas.
Precisely MMES is…..
A legally registered society under Societies Registration Act-XXI of 1860.
Deals in conservation & Ecotourism.
Consists of ABSU workers, Ex-poachers, Ex-timber fellers, former BLT cadres (initially) and local community of the fringe area of Manas.
Runs with the following organizational sections:
(a) Board of Patrons with a Chief Patron. (b) Board of Advisers with Legal Advisers. (c) Cabinet Body (d) Executive Body (e) Conservation Body (48 nos. hard core volunteer till date) (f) Ecotourism Body (20 nos. members till date) (g) General Body (250 nos. general members till date)
Patrolling inside Manas Maozigendri
Aims & Objectives of MMES….
(a) To conserve Manas Tiger Reserve with Special Preference to its core zone & to restore the past glory of Manas and make it free from Endanger Tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Achieved) (b) To promote Manas National Park into an international ecotourist spot. (Achieved) (c) To establish Manas Maozigendri Conservation & Ecotourism Model. (Achieved) (d) To preserve the most ideal traditions and cultures of Boros. (e) To motivate and create awareness towards Conservation of Nature and Environment amongst the people. (f) To bring about a Socio-Economic and Educational development in the fringe villages of MNP through Ecotourism and Community Tourism. (g) To promote Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Concept across the Globe (g) To develop Network and Co-operation among the like minded NGOs throughout the World. (g) To rehabilitate the Ex-Poachers.
The Story of Maozigendri
Maozigendri is the name of a rivulet that flows down through the eastern most part of Manas National Park (MNP) under Bhuyanpara Range at Koklabari Forest Reserve, now unanimously known as Manas Maozigendri Area. The name has been collected from a reliable source, an elderly local individual, Dr. Chilarai Uzir and accordingly the history goes like this ------------ In the mid seventeenth century the present Manas Maozigendri Area (Koklabari Forest Reserve) was inhabited by solely Boro Kacharis. The large dimensional area was covered with a big village installation called Thanki or Thaki. A collector executed the Administration of the area. He and his people strongly believed themselves to be the descendant of Divine Race. It is manifested that Dongsa Uzir was on a treaty with the then king of Bhutan who was killed in the battle fought against the British Rule. As per the treaty, Dongsa Uzir joined the battle but was imprisoned after being vanquished. It was in the year 1876. Since then the British Rule executed the people bearing Uzir title. The mass with the title Uzir either changed their titles or fled from their homeland to other parts to save themselves from the iron rule. The period showed the complete downfall of Dongsa Uzir’s reign. The existence of human beings and their habitations in the Reserve Forest is evident from the fact that the local of the fringe villages is discovering many ancient remnants from the area. Even the Govt. records read the forest area with and without human population weighing the actuality of human existence in the area. Like Thaki Non-K, Bargaon Non-K, Kokilabari Non-K, Karubaha Non-K are to name a few. The Forest areas are known by the Boro names like Uzirbari, Thaijoubari, Leoasara, Theklai, Thangwnmara, Maozigendri, Rabang (Rumbang), Agrang Burwi, Ladang Bwrai. Ladang Burwi, Tharaibari, Bibarbari etc. This emphasizes the dominant feature of Boro population in the area from the time immemorial. The collector, Dongsa Uzir, during his regime across his so called kingdom constituted many departments and cells for convenient governance and employed able officers and astute employees in those units. There was a department where maintenance of household chores was to be well served. In the search for adroit lady the collector came across a pretty but rather short and pot-bellied young lady named Maozi. Subsequently she was made the officer of the unit. She was assigned to supervise the working of other women. Her works impressed the collector so much that he called her ‘Gendri’ out of love and affection. ‘Gendri’ is the Boro feminine word for pot-bellied while ‘Gendra’ is masculine. Thus Maozi was lovingly called Maozigendri by Dongsa uzir. So Maozigendri earned the respect and dignity of the royalty. Interestingly, all the washing and cleaning were done in the rivulet that flows pass the palace. The rivulet became, literally, the bosom friend of the workingwomen. Maozigendri played the important role…….guiding and supervising all the manual works. The days multiplied into years, no matter what, she remained loyal to the collector. Her maneuver of perfect loyalty and discipline came to an end one fateful and unloving day when she was found lying death on the bank of the rivulet. The fact of her death shook the kingdom and more so the collector was most touched emotionally that took his sentiment whirling after her soul in wilderness. There was stillness in the kingdom. The collector made the first move by announcing that the rivulet shall be named Maozigendri for the everlasting memory of Maozi, the royal attendant of Dongsa Uzir. Till today she is remembered by the local people for her noble deeds and the society stands high and firm to execute her duty of nobleness and love by sustaining conservation and Ecotourism for tomorrow.
Bengal Florican Manas Maozigendri