PLACES OF INTREST

GUWAHATI

‘The  light of the east’ is the gateway to the Assam and to the  entire Northeast region. Straddling the banks of the Brahmaputra, this former capital of Kamrup Kings(when it was ancient pragjyotishpur) is a crowded, busy river-town and a major commercial hub for the region. Surrounded by the paddy fields and ancient rain forests, Guwahati is home to many temples that date back to vedic and puranic times.

The kamakhya temple dominates the life of Guwahati, as much as does the great Brahmaputra River. One of the most rivered shrines of the hindu faith, the temple is located on Neelachi Hill. The temple offers grandstand view of the Brahmaputra and its surroundings. The reigning deity here is goddess parvati (sati). Legand has it that the body of sati was dismembered and is believed that of the pieces of her body which were scattered across the land, her Yoni fell on Neelachal Hill. The temple here is also called Yoni Pith and is said to be a tantric centre. The shrine finds mention in the inscription of king Samundragupta’s pillar at Allahabad. A rush of devotees throngs the temple during the Ambubachi Puja.

Amongst some of the other holy places in Gwahati is the Bashishta Ashram dating back to the time when the great sage Vashishta visited this spot on the confluence of the Sandhaya, Lalita and Kanta streams, and set up his ashram here. The Nabagraha temple on chiranchal Hill, is an important centre for study of astronomy and astrology. Located in Jorpukhuri, the Ugratara temple is dedicated to an incarnation of goddess Kali. The Dirgheshwari temple is dedicated to an avatar of goddess Duega. The Ashvaklanta Temple offers superb views of the city against the Brahmaputra River.

A River Cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra is a wonderful opportunity to get a feel of this legendary river. catch

The ferry traveling between Sukheswar Ghat North Guwahati of travel a little more stylishly in one of the state tourism – run vessels top it off with a trip to Sualkuchi (an hours drive away) to explore the dazzling world of Assam silk.

HAJO

Situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra. 32 km from Guwahati . Hajo is the meeting point of the muslim Buddhist and Hindu faiths. The Hayagrib Madhab Temple here is said to containa relic of Buddha. One school of Buddhism believes that Lord Buddha attained Nirvana here. Numerous Bhutias congregate at the shrine in winter. An Iraqi prince who became a preacher called pir Giasuddin Aulia established a mosque in Hajo in the 12th century. While visiting the place to spread the word of the prophet. The mosque is often referred to as Poa Mecca- being fourth in the line of sanctity to the shrine at Mecca Hajo”s. bell – metal work is renowened and you can buy some interesting artifacts made by the local craftsmen.

The  Madan Kamdev archaeological site has temples dating back to the 10th – 12th century.  There’s an ancient Vaishnav Monastery and shrine of Mahadeb Deva at Barpeta 137 km away.  Bordowa 134 km is the birthplace of the Vaishnav reformer of Assam, Sri Sankardeva.

 Darranga 100 km and close to the verdant Bhutan border is a delightful location of the famous Bhutia Fair in winter.  The deive takes you along vast tracts of tea gardens.  Bhairabkunda 137 km, on the border of Bhutan and Arunachal Paradesh, is a popular picnic spot.

TEZPUR

The city of Blood’ (as a result of the great mythological war fought here between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva), Tezpur is 174 km away from Guwahati.  It is the Sonitpur of the old days.  You’ll enjoy delightful views of the Brahmaputra River at dawn … then watch the flurry of activity as the day begins for the boats and vessels lined up near the banks.  The remains of 5th-6th century stone temples have been discovered in nearby Da Parbatia.  The Cole Park, recently developed attraction, is a big hit with visitors.  If you have time, drive down to the Eco-camp near Jai Bhoroli River.  50 km away.  Aneco-venture experiment by the Assam Angler’s Association and the State Forest Department, it allows you a great opportunity to indulge in a spot of angling for the golden Mahseer famous in these waters.

BHALUKPONG

Situated on the Assam-Arunachal border, 250 km from Guwahati, Bhalukpong is another picturesque spot for angling and leisurely picnics.

About 363 km from guwahati, Sibsagar is situated close to the site of charaiadeo the ancient capital of Ahom King (1229AD) who ruled Assam for six centuries. Their rule was consolidated by their domineering presence in the Assam valley and their stiff resistance to the Mughal incursions. In time to their weakened position gave the British the advantage to wrest their kingdom in 1826. A large watertank established by the Queen Madambika in 1734 AD, dominates the city. Strung around it are three temples, the most important of which is the Shivadol (quite possibly the tallest Shiv temple in the country) which is the focal point of the Shivratri puja. Vishnudol and Devidol are the other two temples. Other notable tanks build by Ahoms are the Joysagar, Gaurisagar and rudrasager.

Charaiadeo, 28 km away has a number of burial vaults of king and noblemen, and has a striking resemblance of Egypt’s pyramids. Another capital of the Ahoms was Gargaon (15th century), 13 km away from Sibsagar. The original place has disappeared but Kereng Ghar, the newer place built by king Rajeswer Singha is very much in evidence. It’s a seven storied structure with two floors above the ground and the rest are underground. It also has couple of secret tunnels. At Rangpur (6 km) is another place, the Talatal Ghar, build by king Rudra singha in 1699 AD.

The Ahom museum contains relice from the period of Ahom rule. Amongst these are the plethora of swords, clothes, manuscripts and sundry artifacts.

HAFLONG

Assam is only hill station, Haflong is 325 km from Guwahati. Its picturesque and unspoiled environs are perfect to stay. Jatinga, close by  is reputed for the bizarre phenomenon of the annual mass suicide by birds. No answers have been found to this mystery.

MAJULI ISLAND

Best approach by Jorhat, Majuli is the world’s largest inhabited island. It is also the focal point of Vaishanava culture. Majuli is renowned for its important satras (Vaishanava monasteries). For the Assamese, this place is particularly revered as Sankardeva, the 16th century leader of Vaishanava revivalism, established the satras. Majuli is home to Mishing tribe who migrated from Arunachal. they are assam’s only riverine tribal community and they make some astoundingly beautiful shawls and blankets which are also used as wall hangings.