Assam is the largest among the north eastern states of India. It is the central state in the North-East Region and serves as the gateway to the rest of the Seven Sister States. Assam is full of rarest flora and fauna, picturesque scenic beauty of hills, rivers and rolling plains, and its colour full culture of fairs, festivals. The mighty Brahmaputra river flows through Assam creating the world’s largest river island named Majuli. Assam is known for tea, flora and fauna, the one horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife. There are four national parks Kaziranga, Nameri, Dibru – Saikhowa, Orang, two major wildlife sanctuaries Pabitora and Manas and a lone bird Sanctuary known as Deeporbeel.
Assam is the largest producer of Timber and Tea in the country and has the oldest Oil Refinery in India. Other than Timber and Tea, Assam is also endowed with Perolium, Natural Gas, Coal, Lime Stone etc. Assam is a land of myths, mysteries, lores and legends. It is one of the most forested States of India. Assam is also known for its handicraft items made in cane, bamboo, bras etc.
Places of Interest in Assam:
Guwahati is the largest city in Assam and also in the entire North East of India. With a population of a million, Guwahati is the gateway to the North East. The city is situated on the bank of famous Bramhaputra River, in Kamrup district of Assam. It is one of the fastest growing cities in India and during the last few decades the city has experienced unprecedented spatial expansion and steep rise in population.
Sightseen of Guwahati:
Situated right across the Cotton College in Guwahati, the Nehru Park is a very popular tourist attraction. The park is named after the first prime minister of India – Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Take a quiet stroll among the lush greenery of the park or just sit back and relax. The park consists of statues and ponds. The park also boasts of a musical fountain which plays after dark. You can enjoy snacks and cold drinks at the restaurant located inside the park.
The religious village of Hajo is situated on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River. About 30 kilometres away from Guwahati, Hajo is an ancient pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. There are quite a few temples in Hajo and all enjoy the reverence of their devotees. Most famous is the Hayagriva Madhava Temple atop the Monikut hill. Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrims seek solace at this scared stone temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Hayagriva Madhava Temple is also known for its exemplary architecture. Other historically and religiously important temples in Hajo include the Madan Kamdev Temple on Dewangiri hill and the Kedareswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
One of the most sought after attractions in Guwahati, the Guwahati Planetarium aims to spread awareness about astronomy. The planetarium organizes daily shows sky watching sessions and special programs to educate the people about astronomy, universe and its mysteries. Projected on a dome-shaped screen in a hall, the daily shows are held in three languages – English, Hindi and Assamese. Besides the shows, you can also attend one of the several workshops, conferences, quizzes and seminars that the planetarium organizes. Children in particular would love the displays and the show about the twinkling stars and the far away galaxies.
White and beautiful, the Sri Sri Rukmini Krishna Temple is situated on a hillock near Ulubari Junction. The temple is surrounded by greenery on all sides and provides a peaceful sanctuary from the dust and noise of the city. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Rukmini. Inside the temple, you will find beautifully attired idols of Lord Krishna with his wife Goddess Rukmini Spend some time in this tranquil temple meditating and praying to the powerful deities.
The Umananda Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in Guwahati. The temple is located on the Peacock Island which itself is situated in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra River. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple sees a large influx of devotees during the festival of Shivratri. King Gadadhar Singh of the Tai-Ahom dynasty commissioned the building of this temple in 1694 AD. The temple is adorned with magnificent engravings and sculptures depicting the craftsmanship of the local Assamese artisans.
Basistha temple, located in the south-east corner of Guwahati city is a Shiva mandir constructed by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1764 along with gift of land 835 Bighas for the ashram. The history of the Basistha Ashram where the temple is located dates back to the Vedic age. According to legend the ashram was founded by the great saint Basistha (Vasishtha).
Established in 1957.The largest zoo in North-eastern India . Located in the heart of Guwahati city, capital of the state of Assam, N.E. India.Occupies an area of 1.75 sq.km of which c.110 h.a is natural forest. Assam State Zoo and the Botanical Gardens housed within the zoo. The exquisitely landscaped Gardens was established in 1982. A home to diverse species of herbs, palms, shrubs and conifers, it spreads over an area of 85 hectares. One of the main attraction of this place is the Orchid house which boasts of a collection of more than 40 varieties of rare orchids gathered from the entire North East region of the country.
The Navagraha Temple of the nine planets is situated atop a hill named Chitrasaala in east Guwahati. Housed in a red beehive shaped dome, this is an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy clubbed together. The central ‘Shiva-Linga’ is encircled by nine others representing the nine planets of the solar system. Also known as the ‘Abode of Surya’, this temple of the nine celestial bodies, symbolized as Lingas are each covered with a colored garment, with the center symbolizing as the sun. The nine planetary gods namely, Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu and Ketu enshrined in this temple represent the ancient wisdom of a cultural past.
Situated on top of the scenic Nilachal Hill is the sprawling complex of the much revered Bhuvaneswari Temple. Tourists and pilgrims travel long distances to visit this important place of worship for the followers of Hinduism. Bhuvaneswari temple is also noted for its panoramic views of the surroundings and city below. This ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhuvaneswari and is one of the most important places of sightseeing in Guwahati. Located close to the Kamakhya temple (also located on the Nilachal Hills); this temple is dedicated to the “Goddess of strength”—Durga. Like the famous Kamakhya temple, Bhuvaneswari Temple is also an important venue for the Ambubachi fair and celebrates it on a large scale. The tranquil surroundings of this beautiful temple inspire tourists to spend hours in its well maintained complex. The stunning views of the lush green valley are an important highlight of this temple. The spiritual atmosphere blends well with the mesmerizing natural beauty of the landscapes.
Ugratara Temple is an important Shakti shrine, located in the eastern part of the Guwahati city, in Uzan Bazaar. The temple serves as an important pilgrimage center of the state and attracts tourists from far and wide. It was constructed in 1725, by King Shiva Singh of Ahom Kingdom. He also excavated a tank, known as Jorepukhuri, in the east of the temple. However, the present temple has undergone a number of renovations and modifications, after its upper section was destroyed by a devastating earthquake.The residing deity of the Ugratara Temple is Goddess Ugra Tara, who is considered to be another form of Goddess Parvati. The legend has it that the temple was constructed on the very spot where the naval of Sati fell on the earth, after her death. Hence, the place is considered to be an important shakti shrine in India and is regarded as very sacred by the thousands of devotees who come to visit the place every year. The temple is also connected to Buddhism and related to Eka Jata and Tiksna Kanta of the Buddhist pantheon.The main festival celebrated in Ugratara temple is Navaratri or the festival of nine nights. During this time, devotees from far and wide come to offer their prayers and seek blessings of the Mother. An important ritual observed during the festival is the sacrifice of animals, like bulls, buffaloes, wild boars, goats etc. There is also another ritual of offering one’s own blood to the Mother. However, an interesting fact is that, generally, the females of all the species are exempted from sacrifice.
Sukreswar Temple is perched on top of the Itakhuri hills at Guwahati in the state of Assam. Legend has it that, that Sage Sukra had his hermitage on this hillock and he used to worship his Lord Shiva in this temple. Originally dating back to the 18th century, the temple is believed to have the largest Shiva lingam or phallic emblem in India.The Kalika Purana identifies the hillock as Hastigiri hills due to its shape like the hump of an elephant. Constructed by the Ahom ruler Pramatta Singha in 1744 AD, the Sukreswar temple is located on the southern bank of the mighty Brahmaputra. The adjacent embankment is used for holy bathing and performing rituals. It is believed that the dead gain peaces if the post – death rituals are performed here. A flight of steps lead down from the temple complex to the river. Saraighat Bridge forms the backdrop and the river provides a magnificent view of sun set.
Janardana temple, located near the pristine surrounds of Shukleswar Ghat, attracts pilgrims and tourists with its stunning views of the river Brahmaputra and Shukleshwar hillocks. This ancient temple houses an idol of Buddha in its main hall and is believed to have been established way back in time, before the 17th century. The temple has a distinct style of architecture and its structural/spiritual attributes reflect the characteristics of Buddhism and Hinduism alike. Located right in the heart of the throbbing city of Guwahati, the Janardana temple provides some amazing views of the prodigious Brahmaputra and the lush green landscapes around.
Sri Purva Tirupati Balaji Mandir was consecrated in the year 1998 in the immediate presence and with the benign blessings and guidance of Their Holiness Pujyasri Sankarcharya Swamijis of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam to usher in an era of peace and prosperity in North East India. The Temple is located in Betkuchi, Guwahati. The Complex, located on two acres right on the highway to Shillong, has a clean environment and is a sight to watch with lawns surrounded by blooming coconut trees,ashoka trees, flowers of various hues and colours, plantains & bouganvilleas. Adding to the beauty is the chain of hills all around the temple, reminding one of the Balaji temple at Tirupati.The Temple of Lord Balaji has a Rajagopuram (70 ft. in height), A Maha Mandapam, an Ardha Mandapam, and the Sanctum. Between the main entrance and the Temple is the Dhwajastambham (Flag pole) which is 60 ft. in height and is made of single Sal tree and brass from the exterior.The main deity is of Lord Balaji . It is carved out of a single stone weighing 4 tonnes and and the features, the smiling face, ornaments carved on the stone with Sankha (conch) Chakra and Four arms (one Abhya Hastam showering blessings, and the other on the hip). The Utsava Murthy comprises of Lord Balaji, his consort, Ubhayee. Nachiars and Chakrathalwar are carved out of metal. As in Tirupati, Goddess Padmavathi (Avatar of Mahalakshmi) blesses from an adjacent temple. On the directive of His Holiness Sri Sankaracharyya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Guwahati being the seat of Goddess Kamakhya, a temple has been built for Goddess Durga. She has 8 arms, bearing the Sankha, Chakra, knives,bows and arrows. The bow is made of stone which, when tapped produces metallic sound. Garuda, the Vahana of Lord Balaji, has a separate temple.A Yagasala has been built in traditional style to enable devotees to perform Yagnas of their choice. The Gopurams are constructed as per the shilpa shastras and are in the South Indian architectural style. These magnificient Gopurams range from eight feet in the Ganesh Temple to 70 feet in the Rajagopuram. The temple is well illuminated at night.The recently built Auditorium is another charming attraction with its exquisitely designed statues and well-planned interiors. The view of the auditorium in daylight and with illumination in the night are both splendid.
Located in the heart of Assam and bounded by the Mikir Hills on the South and the mighty Brahmaputra river on the north Kaziranga National Park has the largest concentration of the One Horned Rhinos in the Indian Sub Continent. This is the first National Park in Assam and is spread over an area of 400 sq. km. The Kaziranga National Park houses around 15 species of India’s threatened mammal’s species. The best known and famous resident is the One Horned Rhino. Apart from One Horned Rhinos, Kaziranga National Park is also natural habitat of wild Buffaloes, Wild Boars, elephants, Barasinghas (Swamp & Hog Dear), leopards, Tigers, Hoolock Gibbons, Capped Langur, rock Python and Monitor Lizards. Kaziranga National Park is divided into 4 ranges, the Agoratoli range in the eastern part, The Kohora range covering the central part, the Baguri range in the western part (with highest rhinoceros density) and the Burhapahar range covering the additional area attached to the Park.
Located in a distance of 176 Kms from Guwahati.at the North-Eastern state of Assam at the foothill of Himalaya this beautiful park declared a sanctuary on 1928 and became a National Park in the year 1990. The park is home for some of the most endangered wildlife species which cannot be found anywhere else. These include the Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog. There are 55 species of mammals recorded in the sanctuary. The list includes tiger, Elephants, Indian one-horned Rhinoceros, Gaurs, Asian Water Buffaloes, Barasingha, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Asian golden cat, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Slow Loris, Hoolock Gibbons, Smooth-coated Otters, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Sambar Deer, Chital etc. Manas National Park also houses 50 species of reptiles, and 3 species of amphibians. The park is divided into three ranges. The western range based at Panbari, the central at Bansbari, and the eastern at Bhuiyapara.
At a distance of 230 kms from Guwahati and well connected by road. The Nameri National Park is situated in the Sonitpur district of Assam. With an area of approx. 210 sq. kms, the area announced as a sanctuary in 1985, and in 1998 it was listed in the status of a national park of Assam . Nameri is home to some of of the endangered species like white winged wood duck, Sloth Bear, Tiger Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Sambar, Gaur, Indian Wild Dog, four varieties of Hornbill and many other winged species. The other reason Nameri is famous for, is the herds of elephants. The park has a high density of elephant population.
Orang National Park is situated at a distance of 32 kms from Tezpur with an area of 78.80 sq. kms. The forest was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1985 and later as a National Park in 1999. The Orang National park is the home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The tiger population is estimated to be quite large here. The other major animal, the Great Indian One Horned Rhino is also quite substantial in number. The other main animal species in the park include Asiatic elephant, hog deer, wild boar. Small mammals like civets, leopards, hare and porcupines.
This very famous temple of mother goddess “Kamakhya” is a very holy place situated just at outskirts of the city and on the top of Nilachal hill. Numerous devotees come to visit this temple from part of all over India and other’s country also.
Dibrugarh is a beautiful town as well as the district in Assam. It is the centre of tea industry in Assam. The place is also known for production of Assam Silk. Apart from the tea industry, Dibrugarh is also known for its oil and natural gas reserves. Tea garden tours & a cruise in the Brahmaputra River are the main attractions for tourists here. The town is the gateway to the three tea producing districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar.
The first bird sanctuary in Assam situated in a wet land covering huge area. Varieties kind of bird’s form tropical and sub Himalayan area and many of migratory birds can be found here. It is a place of special attraction for bird watchers.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Marigaon district of Assam. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of about 39 sq. km. Pobitora was declared a reserve forest in 1971 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1987. It is famous for one-horn rhinoceros. The Sanctuary is also home to a large number of migratory birds. Major wild life sighted in the forest include Asiatic Buffaloes, Wild bear, Civet cat, Leopard, monkeys etc.
Situated 326 km east of Guwahati, MAJULI is the largest river island in the world. Majuli is in Jorhat district of Assam. The place is the nerve centre of Assamese Vaishnavite culture. The Majuli island has one hundred and forty four villages with a population of 150,000. Majuli is an ecological hotspot and is home for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Apart from a large number of resident avifauna, many migratory birds from Himalaya and beyond visit here during the winter months. Greater Adjutant Stork, Pelican, Siberian Crane and the Whistling Teal are among some of the more common varieties of birds found here.