All over Assam

22nd Apr 2015
Photo of All over Assam 1/5 by dibya
lost in time, the ahom kingdom
Photo of All over Assam 2/5 by dibya
it's all about nature, nature and nature
Photo of All over Assam 3/5 by dibya
Seeking a serene place?
Photo of All over Assam 4/5 by dibya
the lush green tea gardens
Photo of All over Assam 5/5 by dibya
view from one of the floating resturants

As Assam enjoys an unique climate with sub-tropical monsoon and rainfall, the varied physiography gives one the experience of different landscapes and habitats. The best times to visit the state is October-April before the onset of monsoon. This season was special because the major festival of the Assamese -the Rongali Bihu has just finished but the Rang(colours) of the celebrations was still in the air. The Assamese people are sweet, simple and Soft-spoken, so no matter whatever season you visit, you are sure to receive their warmth and love.

Guwahati is the gateway to the seven sister states of North East India and believe me it's a beautiful city. Though the streets are a little jammed due to traffic, the city has many a destinations worth visiting. It's well connected by air, roadways and railways to other parts of the country. I started the day by visiting the Kamakhya temple above the Nilachal Hills and the view of the city from above is alluring. The river Brahmaputra flowing through the city makes the view complete. One place to be visited is the Shankardev Kalashetra, Panjabari which like the awesome platter portraying all the cultural diversities of the state. For the seekers a must visit is the Umananda temple of Shiva and Parvati. To reach the temple one has to cross the Brahmaputra river and that in itself is a beautiful experience. If you have an evening to yourself, please visit one of the Floating Restaurants over the river in Fancy Bazaar.

Photo of Guwahati, Assam, India by dibya
Photo of Guwahati, Assam, India by dibya

Srimanta Shankardev and Madhavdev were social reformers who established Vaishnavite sites called Namghars/Kirtanghars which were institutions to preach and practice culture. This is one place that receives less number of tourists. Only during the Indian festival of Holi this place is crowded when in this place Doul-Utsav is celebrated. Barpeta is famous for these Naamghars which have a serene environment and the evening and morning prayers(called "Prasang") from these Naamghars gives the entire neighborhood a feeling of bliss.

Photo of Barpeta Satra Namghar (কীৰ্তনঘৰ), Badarpur, Barpeta, Assam, India by dibya

Physically Assam is divided into Barak Valley and Brahmaputra Valley in the name of the two major rivers of Assam.To reach Jatinga one can take a bus to Haflong which is located in Barak Valley from Guwahati. The raw and untouched nature of the Jatinga Valley is what adds on to its beauty and to any Nature Lover this place is gets captivated as pictures in mind. There is literature available the fact that there an be as many as 200 species of birds both local and Migratory that can be viewed from here. The strange phenomenon of Birds getting captivated in the valley draws many researchers and ornithologists to this place.

The rain from the previous night had washed and made the place look fresh. I had taken a Night Super Bus from Haflong to Bokakhat to reach Kaziranga nationnal park, by the time we were approaching the place it had been morning and the first rays of the sun were on the beautiful tea gardens on one side of the road and on the other side of the road was the forest. The sight was very captivating. Though its the One horned Rhino that makes the place famous, the wild buffaloes, Asiatic Elephant, Tigers, Swamp Deer and various species of birds are what the Kaziranga can boast of. The outdoor activities that can be enjoyed here are Elephant Safari through the National Park and also boat ride in Dhansiri river which is a tributary of the Mighty Brahmaputra. Best time to visit the Park is in between November to April. There are many guest houses and Resorts that have come up in Kaziranga for the tourists. But to get the feel of the place and also to know more about the lives of the people in living close to this Word Heritage site living in one of the home stays would be the best idea. Apart from that there has been few initiatives taken up to promote Eco Tourism in this part so there are resorts where one gets to enjoy a totally organic way of living, dining and enjoying nature.

To reach Majuli, one needs to take a Boat (Ferry) Ride from Neemati Ghat in Jorhat. It is the biggest river island in the world. The best time to visit this place in October- November when there is the festival of "Ras" when there would be fairs(mela) and Masked Bhaonas for the public. Assam has been the a place where the Bhakti movement in 14th and 15th century flourished and gave rise to the beautiful cultural practices of the place. Like Barpeta, in Majuli too Both Shankardev and his disciple Madhavdev stayed for a long time and spread the "Satriya Culture". To do the same they established Satras which are institutions where they practiced Plays called "Bhaona" or "Ankiya Naat", devotional songs called "Borgeets" and dance called "Satriya Dance". it was through art and culture they tried to preach ideals of Neo-Vaishnavism among the masses. the famous satras are- Auniati Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Gurmur Satra.

Sivasagar was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom that ruled Assam for a period 600 years. Even after long years of colorful reign the kingdom blurred out over time but the beautiful monuments of those times stands still to prove the legends. The Joi-dol, Shiva-Dol, Rong Ghor, Kareng Ghor, Tolatol-Ghor are some of the epic structures that need not be missed.

Photo of Sivasagar, Assam, India by dibya

Digboi is a small township in Tinsukia district that is planned and well maintained. It holds historical importance as it was where first oil well was discovered in 18th century and since then the Oil refinery was established. it has museums and parks that portrays well the significance of this discovery. Also Tinsukia shares boundaries with Arunachal Pradesh, that way the journey of travelling All over Assam would not have been completed had this beautiful township not been visited.

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