General Informations Of Assam
Assam – the land where you find flowers that are exquisitely beautiful, animals that are rare, and a beleagured people that are proud and inviting. It is the land of the mighty river Brahmaputra (the Luit) and the one-horned rhinoceros.
State Capital: Dispur
Languages: Assamese, Bodo, Karbi
State Boundari (East): Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur
State Boundari (West): West Bengal and Meghalaya
State Boundari (North): Arunachal Pradesh
State Boundari (South): MMizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur
Hugging the shores of the turbulent Brahmaputra, Guwahati is the gateway to the enchanting North Eastern India. The Light of the East, Pragjyotishpura, as it was known once upon a time, is said to have been a vast kingdom during the epic period of the Mahabharata. Today, Guwahati is the hub of the region and also its largest city.
Museum – Assam State Museum is 10 minutes walk from the Railway Station.
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00 hrs. during Summer 10:00 – 16:30 hrs. during Winter (Monday closed).
State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden – Situated 5 Kms. from the Guwahati Railway Station. Opening hours: 07:00 hrs. – 17:00 hrs. in Summer 08:00 hrs. – 16:30 hrs. in Winter (Friday closed)
Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra – The Srimanta Sankardeva kalakshetra has been set up as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the greatest integrator of the Assamese society Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra is a multi-Arts complex.
It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists’ Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park. The Kalakshetra has been chosen as the venue for many cultural activities.
Dighalipukhuri, a water body in the heart of the city with boating facilities, cruises on the river Brahmaputra in the ‘Jolporee’, the famous Balaji Temple of Tirupati, Planetarium, the Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra, the Guwahati Oil Refinery, Lachit Barphukan Park and the Guwahati University are places worth visiting.
A natural lagoon and fine picnic spot which is 64 kms. from Guwahati. The lake and its surroundings is an ideal holiday resort with the added attraction of fishing and rowing.
Tezpur, known as Sonitpur (city of blood) of Puranic fame, is associated with the legend of princess Usha, the daughter of King Bana and prince Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna for their eternal love and romance. The great mythological war believed to have been fought between Hari(Lord Krishna) and Hara (Lord Shiva) and as a result the whole city was said to have been drenched in blood, hence the name. Situated on the north bank of the majestic river Brahmaputra, Tezpur town is of magnificient scenic beauty and exquisite archaeological ruins. It is the headquarters of Sonitpur district and is considered as one of the most beautiful towns of the state. Undulated green valleys surrounded by the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, with snow capped peaks of the Himalayas as the northern backdrop, lush green tea gardens and magnificient archaeological ruins have all contributed to make Tezpur a tourist’s delight. Her contribution to art, culture, literature particularly her contribution to the freedom struggle have earned for Tezpur a unique niche in the history of Assam. In 1942, for the first time in entire British India, the tricolour (Indian flag) was hoisted in the police station at Gahpur, a quiet mofussil town under Sonitpur district. Fourteen year old Kanaklata braved British bullets and died holding the national flag aloft.
Attractions around Tezpur
Bamuni Hills – The ruins of Bamuni hill is famous for its artistic beauty. The sculpture remains which dates back to the 9th and 10th century A.D. now lie in the Cole park and Missionary compound.
The Hazara Pukhuri – The large tank preserves the name Harzara Varman in Tezpur. It was excavated in the early part of the 19th century. This is the third largest tank covering an area of 70 acres.
Cole Park – It is one of the most beautiful places in the town. The park which was first established by a British Deputy Commissioner, Mr Cole, is the place for peace loving people. Here one can see the two massive ornamental stone pillars and the sculptural remains of the famous Bamuni Hills. One of the attractions of Tezpur town. This park was first established by a British commissioner, Mr. Cole.
Surrounded by mystic blue hills and evergreen forests, Bhalukpung is situated on the bank of the river Jia Bharali. It is only 64 kms. from Tezpur and is on the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. It is famous for its unique natural beauty, angling and rafting. Far from the madding crowd Bhalukpung is a place of peace and tranquility.It is only 56 kms from Tezpur town. Other attractions of Bhalukpung are a hot spring and an Eco-Camp at Potasil.
This hilly town is the headquarters of the Karbi-Anglong district. Diphu is the centre of Karbi art and culture. The indigenous tribe of karbi Anglong, the Karbis, are well known for their hospitality and colourful culture.
Bhomoraguri A mammoth stone inscription made by the Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan, who planned to construct a bridge over Brahmaputra is seen here. Almost two centuries later, a bridge over Brahmaputra at the same place has now been completed. The 3.05 km. bridge named after the great Ahom general, connecting Nagaon district with Tezpur was opened for vehicular traffic by the then Prime Minister of India Late Rajiv Gandhi on April 3, 1987. A 3.05 km bridge over Brahmaputra named after the great Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan.
Surrounded by numerous Tea Gardens and mystic blue hills, Digboi is a major oil town. A hundred year old Refinery and it’s hundred and twelve year old oil field still exist here. The Digboi Refinery came into being in 1901 as the first refinery of Asia and as the second one in the world. Today, the oil field and refinery are the oldest continuing oil field and refinery in the world. There is also a War Cemetry and Golf Course in Digboi.
Up in the rugged terrains stands Assam’s only hill station, Haflong, where one can see the rainbow down below. It is the district Headquarters of North Cachar Hills. Hilly Assam is a land of sensuousness. A heaven to the senses where one touches the sweetest dream with one’s fingers. The mountains float in the distant sky. The clouds descend and snugly lie below one’s feet. A beautiful lake ‘Haflong Lake’ is located in the heart of the town.
Jatinga 9 kms. from Haflong, is famous for the unexplained phenomenon of migratory birds ‘committing mass suicide’. The migratory birds come during the month of August to November and it becomes the Orinthologists attraction. From the elevated watch tower one can see them yielding to their death wish and their little plumage dropping down. Season to visit is from August to April. Other attractions include exciting trekking in Borail Hills, watching the traditional dances of the Tribals and a visit to the Orchid Garden.
Sibsagar is 369 kms. towards the east of Guwahati and is the headquarters of a district of the same name. It is also a leading tea and oil producing district. The Eastern Regional Headquarter of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission is located at Nazira, 18 kms. from Sibsagar. Modern Sibsagar is a fast developing town.
The highest Shiva temple in India, situated in the heart of Sibsagar, which was the capital of the Ahom dynasty. Sibsagar was the capital of the Ahoms who ruled Assam at a stretch for six hundreds years before the advent of the British. It is a beautiful town located around the huge Sibsagar tank, an artificial lake constructed by Queen Madambika in 1734 A.D. The Shiva dol or Shiva Temple on the bank of this tank is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.
Assam is famous for Majuli, the world’s largest river island. Majuli situated in the midst of river Brahmaputra, is the centre of Vishnava culture.
The total area of Majuli has been steadily decreasing due to strong erosion of the river Brahmaputra. The area of the island has reduced from 2,82,165 acres in 1853 to less than 886 sq. kms today.
There are over fifteen Vaishnava monasteries or satras on Majuli. The major satras are Kamalabari, Natun Kamalabari, Auniati, Garmur, Samoguri, Dakhinpat and Bengenaati. These satras are regarded as the main centres for Assamese art, music, dance, drama, handicrafts, literature and religion etc. Auniati is famous for its considerable collection of Assamese old utensils, jewellery and handicrafts.
Upper Majuli is inhabited by tribes like the Mising and the Deoris and is the centre of a living heritage of colourful costumes and festivals. Plenty of migratory birds of great varieties are also seen here.
Located 32 kms. from Guwahati on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, it is a place where three religions meet – Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism.
It has a large number of temples, the chief among them being Hayagriva-Madhab Temple. There is a belief that this temple contains the relic of Lord Buddha, while a section of the Buddhist hold that Lord Buddha attained nirvana here. Large number of Bhutanese visit this temple every year during the winter season. There is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims here known as Poa-Mecca.
According to mythology, the Pandavas had taken shelter in this region during their agyatvas or the period in hiding. One can see the stone bowl used by Bhima during this agyatvas Top.
Assam produces three unique varieties of silks, the Golden Muga, the White Pat and the warm Eri. Silks grown all over the state find their way to Sualkuchi, 32 kms from Guwahati.
Sualkuchi is one of the world’s largest weaving villages often called the Manchester of the East. The entire population here is engaged in weaving exquisite silf fabrics. A renowned centre of silk production, particularly known for Muga – the golden silk of Assam which is not produced anywhere else in the world.
Festivals Of Assam
Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam characterize the spirit of accommodation and togetherness in the diverse faith and belief of her inhabitants. This perfect fusion of heritage of her numerous races has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestlye of the people of Assam.
The major festivals celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Baishagu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, Baikho, Rongker, Rajini Gabra Harni Gabra, Bohaggiyo Bishu, Ambubashi Mela and Jonbill Mela and so on. The people of Assam also celebrate Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Idd, Muharram, Me-Dam-Me-Phi, the birth and death anniversaries of Vaishnava Saints Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev.
The tribals of Assam have their own colourful festivals like the Kherai Puja of the Bodos, the Baikhu and Pharkantis of the Rabhas, Ali-ai-ligang and Parag of the Mishing tribe, the Sagra-misawa wansawa and laghun of the Tiwas
Bihu: Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.
Three Bihus are celebrated in a year: Bohag Bihu which augurs the wish for a good harvest because this is the time when farmers start sowing, Kaati Bihu which is observed to mark the cutting and binding of grains and Magh Bihu which marks the season of harvesting of grains
Me Dum Me Phi: The most important Ahom festival which deserves mention is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi, i.e., the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January and helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery are also taken out on the occasion
Wildlife Of Assam
Kaziranga, Manas, Dibru Soikhowa, Nameri, Orang
Pobitora, Sonai Rupai, Bura-Chapori, Laokhowa, Pobha or Milroy, Chakrashila, Bornadi, Garampani, Gibbon, Nambor, East Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong, Pani Dihing, Deporbeel, Bordoibum Beelmukh, Bherjan-Borajan-Padumoni, Morat Longri, Amchang