As we had mentioned in our first post for 2010, we had visited the Kaziranga national park located in Eastern India during the year-end holidays. The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River in the far North East of India in the state of Assam. Kaziranga national park covers an area of approximately 430-sq-kms with its swamps and tall thickets of elephant grass making it the ideal habitat for the Indian Rhinoceros. Formerly, extensively distributed in the Gangetic plains, today this endangered species is restricted to small habitats.

The Indian Rhinoceros is known to be the largest of the Asian Rhinos. Though these massive giants have poor eyesight, they are known to be fast runners and can run at speeds of up to 55km/hr!They are also good swimmers and are blessed with an excellent sense of hearing and smell. The average height of this mammal is about 5ft. 8 in. (170cm) with a girth of 11ft (335cm) and a fully grown male rhino weighs around 2000 – 2500kg! However, all these stats pale when one comes face to face with one of these hefty giants.

We were just about 15 minutes into our first ever jeep safari in the Kaziranga national park and we were fortunate to have had our first close encounter with the Indian Rhino. Though they have a poor eyesight, this massive mammal’s fierce stare is absolutely spine chilling! Here’s a series of Rhino pictures from this encounter. I was shooting at 600mm focal length with the D300, 300mm f2.8 with 2x TC while S was shooting at 200mm focal length with the D80, 18-200mm, f5.6.