ASSAM

ASSAM

The state lies astride the mighty Brahmaputra River, whose lush 700 Kms valley is sandwiched between the Himalayan foothills of Arunachal Pradesh, in the North, and the hills and plateau of Meghalaya, in the south. Assam was known as ‘Kamarupa’ or ‘Pragjyotish’ in the period of the Epics. Human inhabitation of this area dates backs to about 2000 BC. The population of Assam comprises a fusion of Mongol-Aryan culture.

The Varman dynasty. Dates back from 400 AD to 13th century. The visit of Huien Tsang is said to have taken place during the 7th century at the time of Kumar Bhaskar Varman. The Ahoms ventured into Assam in about 1228 AD. By the 15th century the kingdoms of Ahom and Koch were established. The Ahom civilization flourished for more than six centuries. In the later part of the 18th century the Burmese invasion, invoked British intervention. Peace was restored by the treaty of Yandaboo in 1826.

The British then set out to organize the administration, transport and communication, constructed roads and Railways. The territories of Assam comprised the entire North East Region. The British aim was to exploit the natural resources. Extensive tea gardens with imported labour were set up and Forests and oil were exploited. The vast region now called Arunachal Pradesh was also controlled by the assam Government.

The Japanese invasion of India via Burma in the Second World War witnessed the development of Assam as a logistic base, for military operations, for the recapture of Burma by the British–Indian army.

After the Independence of India, Assam was subjected to several territorial adjustments. In 1948, The North East Frontier Agency was separated from Assam. In 1963 Nagaland was carved out. Followed by Meghalaya in 1972 and Mizoram in 1987.

Assam is the heart of North Eastern India. It has vast forests, miles of tea gardens, great rivers, wildlife, temples, flora, and a gentle and cultured people full of dance and music, who are adept at silk weaving and other crafts.

The highlights of Assam are:-

GUWAHATIWILD LIFE PARKSMAJAULISIBSAGARDIBRUGARH

 

The Assamese Capital City is the gateway to the Northeast. It sprawls on the Southern bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River, whose northern shore is invisible due to the vastness of the channel. It features an interesting bazaar, which is the main market of the North East States. Main sights are the Kamakaya temple. A great view point, known for its power and enrichment.

Saulkuchi is a silk weaving centre famous for its golden coloured Muga silk. Hajo is a unique pilgrimage centre, which is revered by Hindus, Muslims and Buddhist.

The World heritage Kaziranga National Park, comprises 340 square Kilometer is located on the South bank of the Brahmaputra, 233 kms from Guwahati. It is famous for its 1000 plus, population of one-horned Rhinos. Other attractions include the wild buffalo, magnificent swamp deer, hog deer, wild boar, Hoolak gibbon, Capped Langur, and Badger. Amongst the birds, the Crested Serpent Eagle is common, also the Pallas Fishing eagle, Grey Headed Fishing Eagle, Crane, Great Adjutant Stork, Bengal Florican, Bar Headed Goose, Whistling Teal and Pelican can be seen in the wild. Jeep and Elephant Safari, is the mode of exploration.

Apart from Kaziranga Assam has a string of exotic wildlife Parks , namely Manas, Nameri, Dibru- Saikhowa and Gibbon.
Jorhat is famous for its tea gardens. A stay at one of the colonial bungalows in a tea garden enables the visitor to relive the days of the British “Raj”. It is also a convenient staging point for visiting Majauli Island and Gibbon Wild Life Sanctuary.

Majauli is famous as the world’s largest river Island. But it is really more interesting for its 22 satras – Hindu Vaishnava monasteries, that are also centres for the arts. At the satras on Majauli, Lord Vishnu is worshipped through dance dramas re-enacting the stories of the Mahabharata, with music and poetry. To visit the monasteries and witness the satriyya dances, and explore the tribal villages, an overnight stay is required.

Stay at community run tribal habitat offers a chance to peep into their culture and explore the shoreline of the island. Entry and exit from Majauli is by ferry- an experience to remember.

Sibsagar is famous for its 18 th Century temples. This was the ancient capital of the Ahom Dynasty which ruled the Assam Valley for over 600 years. The town dedicated to Lord Shiva is strewn with ancient ruins. The artificially created Sibsagar tank, built in 1734, spreds over 257 Acres. It has on its periphery the 33 meters tall Shiv-Adol Temple, The Vishnudol temple, and the Devidol temple.

Around the town you can visit Talat Ghar- the 18th century seven storied palace with three underground floors. The nearby oval shaped amphitheatre called the Rang Ghar. 13th century ruins are located at Charaideo.

Dibrugarh, similar to Jorhat, is also a centre of the heritage tea industry. The “Raj “ period tea gardens have some lovely Chang bungalows built on stilts , where you can stay. An added attraction is a visit to the Buddhist Tai-Phake Tribal Village, the Tai-Phake Tribal Village, and Dibru Saikhowa National Park.
Guwahati, Jorhat and Dibrugarh are all connected by rail, road and airways.

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