Dehing Patkai is a hidden gem located in the heart of Upper Assam. Spanning over 600 square kilometers, this landscape comprises three large blocks of lush forests and several smaller fragments, making it a haven for biodiversity and wildlife. The Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve and the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, with a total area of 111 km2, serve as a testimony to its significance as an elephant habitat.
The landscape is a true testament to the beauty of nature and has earned the nickname “The Amazon of the East.” The name “Dehing Patkai” originates from the Dehing river and Patkai hills, and the lush forest is classified as a lowland Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest.
Things to See
Dehing Patkai, located in the northeastern region of India, is a wildlife sanctuary that should be on every birdwatcher’s itinerary. With over 330 recorded species, including the Long-tailed Broadbill, Scarlet Minivet, and Green Magpie, it’s a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
Whether you’re an experienced birder or a novice, a walk through the forest will gift you with the opportunity to spot a wide variety of birds, such as the Sultan Tit, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, Blue-winged Leafbird, and Maroon Oriole, as well as occasional woodpeckers and flycatchers.
In addition to birds, Dehing Patkai is also home to several primate species, such as the Slow Loris, Assamese Macaque, Stump-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque, Rhesus Monkey, Capped Langur, and Western Hoolock Gibbon. Visitors may also have a chance to spot small mammals such as the Marbled Cat, Asian Golden Cat, Leopard Cat, Binturong, and Malayan Porcupine, which have been recorded via camera traps.
Things to Do
For a unique experience, head to Maguri Beel, a large wetland formed by the merging of the Lohit and Dibru tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. This important winter migratory ground is home to several waders and grassland birds, including the Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and Red-headed Trogon, which can be seen in good numbers.
During a boat ride across the marshy lake, you can get close-up views of grassland birds, raptors, and waders. It’s worth noting that while the wetland is called “Maguri Beel” (which translates to “catfish lake” in the local language), catfish are no longer present due to overfishing.
Staying at Dehing Patkai
If you’re planning to visit Dehing Patkai National Park, you can stay at one of the forest guest houses managed by the state forest department in Soraipung, Jeypore or Digboi. The Jeypore Guest House, also known as Inspection Bungalow, is a popular option located just 2km from the sanctuary entry gate, by the Dehing river. This British-style bungalow offers two rooms at a tariff of ₹300 per night.
However, it can be difficult to secure a room at one of these guest houses. To book your stay, you will need to email the District Forest Officer in Dibrugarh, whose contact details can be found here.
If you’re unable to find accommodation at the state-run guest houses, you can opt for private stay options in Digboi, Duliajan, and Tinsukia. Do keep in mind that these alternatives will require you to start your journey an hour early to reach the park on time.
How to get to Dehing Patkai
The closest airport is Dibrugarh Airport (IATA Code: DIB), which is approximately 103km away from the park. You can get there by driving for about 2.5 hours via NH315, or about 3 hours via NH215 and Duliajan-Digboi Road.
The nearest railheads are New Tinsukia Junction (NTSK) and Dibrugarh (DBRG), both of which are approximately 104km away from the park.
Dehing Patkai is well-connected to Dibrugarh by NH315 and NH215.