My friend Imran, who is among Assam’s finest home-grown naturalists, and a charming and big-hearted fellow to boot, tells Naturetrek clients an Assamese story to explain how the rhino came to have a horn. Lord Krsna (commonly, though less correctly, spelled Krishna), the eighth incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, was a great general. He grew tired of his warriors, mounted on elephants, being easily picked off by archers, so he sought an alternative steed which would stand out less obviously in the landscape. He came upon the rhino which at this time had neither armoured skin nor horn. To prepare the rhino for battle he fitted it with fine armour but, having done so, he found the animal to be too cussed and willful to be trained. Losing his temper with the sullen beast he hurled his pointed shoe at it and the shoe lodged at the tip of the rhino’s nose. The rhino ran away to the forest, newly armoured and sporting a splendid new horn.
However its remarkable appearance is explained it is a privilege to see these superb and highly endangered animals in such numbers in Kaziranga.