About Greater One Horned Rhino

Indian rhinoceros
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Indian Rhinoceros

  • Scientific Name

    Rhinoceros unicornis

  • Geographic habitat

    Indo- Nepal terai and Northern West Bengal, and Assam

  • Height

    1.70 m (5.7 feet)

  • Length

    3.50 m (11.7 feet)

  • Weight

    1800 to 2800 kg

  • Population

    >4000 in India and Nepal combined

  • Status


  • Did you know?

    The rhino is the fourth largest land animal

Habitat and distribution

The preferred habitat of an Indian rhinoceros are primarily areas that contain grasslands and wetlands located in the foothills of the Himalayas and the Brahmaputra and Ganges valley.
At present, the species are restricted to small patches in the Indo-Nepal Terai, northern parts of West Bengal, and Assam. Formerly they were extensively distributed in the Brahmaputra and Gangetic valley.
Within India, rhinos are mainly found in the seven Protected Areas viz. - Kaziranga NP, Pobitara WLS, Orang NP, Manas NP in Assam, Jaldapara NP and Gorumara NP in West Bengal and Dudhwa NP in Uttar Pradesh. In addition, a transient population is also observed in Katerniaghat WLS in Uttar Pradesh and Valmiki TR in Bihar, which experience visits of rhinos from adjoining Nepal.


The Indian rhino has a single horn, which is present in both the sexes. It is the largest of all the Asian rhinos. One of the most amphibious rhino species, the Indian rhino is an excellent swimmer. It can run at a speed of 55km/hr for short periods. Though it has an incredible sense of hearing and smell, its eyesight is relatively poor. The average height is about 170cm, with a circumference of 335cm. While a fully grown male rhino weighs around 1800 to 2800 kg, a female weigh approximately 1,600kg. The animal is solitary, though several may occupy the same patch of grassland or water source. Breeding takes place at all times of the year, and the gestation period is about 16 months. The female attains sexual maturity between five and six years and the male between seven and ten years.