Considered as the most thriving and prosperous Indian states, Assam is a paradise for all the nature lovers. Known as the land of “Blue Hills and Red Rivers”, it is the gateway to the north eastern states and has been aptly described as the sentinel of Northeast India. It is located in the northeastern part of the country and is bounded to the north by the kingdom of Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh, to the east by the states of Nagaland and Manipur, to the south by the states of Mizoram and Tripura, and to the west by Bangladesh and the states of Meghalaya and West Bengal. The name Assam is derived from the word ‘asama’, meaning “peerless” in the now extinct Ahom language. It is regarded as the pioneer of the tea estates and silk. The Assam Tea and Assam Silk are popular all over India. The state was the first site for oil drilling in Asia. Assam is home to the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, along with the wild water buffalo, pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds, and provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant.
CUISINES OF ASSAM :
RIVER CRUISES :
EXPLORE THE LARGEST RIVER ISLAND: MAJULI - As suggested by the title, Majuli indeed is the world’s largest river island. It is because of this reason that it attracts immense tourists from all over the world. The island is formed by the Brahmaputra River in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Majuli island is accessible by ferries from the city of Jorhat. It is located 20 kilometers from the district of Jorhat in Assam.
ADMIRE THE LUSH GREEN TEA GARDENS: DIBRUGARH - Dibrugarh is known as “The Heart of Assam’s Tea Country”. It is located on the northern-most tip of Assam and is regarded as the original tea country of India. The entire setting of the tea estate dates back to the British era. When in Dibrugarh, do not miss out on a chance to live the high life of a tea estate manager. Painting a picturesque backdrop with a heritage bungalow amidst an expansive emerald green tea estate, stretching as far as the eyes can see, the place is the perfect one to be at. You can even watch a Bihu performance in the evening, while sipping endless cups of Assamese tea.
SPOT ONE-HORNED RHINOS: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK - The Kaziranga National Park is a prestigious national park of India and is situated in the north eastern part of the country in the district of Golaghat and Nagoan in the state of Assam. The park is famous for its one-horned rhinoceroses and has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The best time to visit the Kaziranga National Park is during winters between the months of November to February, as the climate is mild and dry and the chances of spotting rhinos are more.
ATTEND VIBRANT FESTIVALS: BIHU & TEA FESTIVAL - Bihu is the essence of Assam and is celebrated across the state with a tremendous zeal and enthusiasm. There are three Bihu festivals and each of the Bihu festival has its own significance and is celebrated with its own traditions. The Tea Festival of Jorhat in Assam is celebrated in various parts of the state and is all about tea, music and gaiety. It brings about a world of festivity with a warm and traditional cordial reception and offers an excellent package of fun and excitement.
TASTE SCRUMPTIOUS DELICACIES: CULINARY FEASTS - As the month of January commences, the people of Assam gear up for the festivities. Magh Bihu is a time of community and celebration, with plenty of food, including Pitha, Laru, Sandoh and Mah-Korai. The festival of Magh Bihu is celebrated over two days. The first day or the eve is called Uruka. On Uruka, people organize community feasts. On this evening, people from a locality gather and erect makeshift houses known as Bhelaghar and a stack known as Meiji. The whole night, people eat around campfires and sleep in the Bhelaghar. On the next morning on Magh Bihu, people fire the Meiji and pray for a safe hearth and a blissful year. After the rituals, Jolpan and other items made exclusively for the festival are served.
TAKE A CRUISE RIDE: RIVER BRAHMAPUTRA - The Brahmaputra River is one of the largest rivers in the world and rank fifth with respect to its average discharge. The river originates from the Kailash ranges of Himalayas. Explore the exquisite beauty of the mighty Brahmaputra River on Alfresco Grand. Book a river cruise to lose yourself in the serene beauty of this majestic river. There are several private operators along with Assam Tourism who arranges for a river cruise in the Brahmaputra River. However, the price and the packages vary.
UNVEIL THE FACTS OF AHOM KINGDOM: SIVASAGAR - The cultural town of Sivasagar is enriched with historical facts dating back to the Ahom Dynasty. From forts with underground architecture to numerous temples, the place provides various tourist attractions related to architectural marvels, history and culture. Some of the most popular places here include a water tank called Bhorpukhuri along with Joysagar, Ahom Museum, Rudrasagar tank and temples, Gaurisagar tank and temples.
WITNESS THE WEAVER’S MAGIC: SUALKUCHI - Located in the Kamrup district in the Indian state of Assam, Sualkuchi is a census town which is known for its traditional silk textiles. Explore this weaving centre in Assam which has a rich hand weaving heritage. The weaving here is almost exclusively a women's craft, done on the backstrap loom in the home. Each home in Sualkuchi is directly associated with weaving exotic silk fabrics. The main silk that is weaved here is the famous Muga silk.
FOR A RELIGIOUS VISIT: KAMAKHYA TEMPLE - Built and reconstructed multiple times between the 8th and 17th Centuries,the Kamakhya Temple is located on the Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati in Assam. It is one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti in India. The temple celebrates the power of the woman to give birth and is regarded as extremely auspicious among the followers of the Tantrik sect of Hinduism.
EXPLORE ASIA’S OLDEST REFINERY: DIGBOI - Digboi is known as the “Oil City of Assam”. The city holds a historical significance as the first refinery that started here was in the year 1901. Digboi has the oldest oil well in operation. With a significant number of British professionals working for Assam Oil Company until the decade following independence of India
INDULGE IN ADVENTUROUS EXPEDITIONS: RIVER RAFTING & ANGLING - Known as the gem of North East, Assam, is one of the best rafting destinations. There is more to this place other than the picturesque landscapes and scrumptious traditional food. Assam has some of the best rafting tours. The enthralling Brahmaputra River Rafting is where you should head if you want to enjoy any kind of rafting, however, you must also experience rafting in the Kameng river previously known as Bhareli River which is the blissful sojourn of different grades of rapids.
ADMIRE THE ENTICING VALLEYS: HAFLONG - A hidden gem of Assam, Haflong is a dream destination for nature lovers and trekkers. An offbeat place thatreplete with misty mountains and panoramic landscapes. This quaint hill station is perfect for trekking, nature walks and bird watching. It is the headquarters of the Dima Hasao District in Assam. This hill town is the only hill station in Assam, and is one of the least explored places in the state.
SPEND LEISURELY HOURS: PEACOCK ISLAND - Umananda Island, also known as the Peacock Island isthe smallest inhabited river islet in the middle of river Brahmaputra, flowing through the city of Guwahati in Assam, India. Its name derives from Assamese ‘Uma’, another name for the Hindu goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva; and ‘ananda’, which translates to "joy". The island is filled with many legends associated with it. It was known as Peacock Island among the British Colonists who named it so based on its shape. The Island is home to a very rare and endangered species called Golden Langurs who are considered to be highly sacred among the people of the Himalayas.
EXPLORE THE PAST: DHUBRI - The town of Dhubri is the oldest town in the Indian state of Assam. Given its heritage, the town holds a historical significance. The town was established in the year 1883 as the first Municipal Board under the British regime. The town is also an important commercial centre and had a busy river port particularly for jute. Dhubri is called the "Land of Rivers" as it is covered three sides by Brahmaputra and Gadadhar rivers.
WITNESS THE CULT OF VOODOO: MAYONG - Spooky as it may sound, Mayong (also known as Mayang) is a village in Morigaon district, Assam near the mighty Brahmaputra River which is commonly known as the land of black magic, witchcraft and necromancy. The land of Mayong has its stories and folklores that have been told by people and brought down from generation to generation. For those who find the subject of dark arts fascinating, Mayong is gold. No wonder, even with the history of witchcraft, human sacrifice and all things sorcery, Mayong is a very popular tourist destination.
TAKE A RELIGIOUS TRIP: HAJO - A popular place among the people of all the sects of the Indian society, Hajo is an ancient pilgrimage center. Be it Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists, Hajo is a divine holy place for everyone. It is located 24 km away from Guwahati. It is most famous for its Hayagriva Madhava Mandir. The giant ancient turtle in this temple is quite popular. Another prominent building in Hajo is the Pao Mecca Mosque built by Muslim saint Pir Giasuddin Aulia.
KNOW THE TRUTH OF AGNIGARH: TEZPUR - Agnigarh is a hillock located in Tezpur, Assam, India. As per the revelation of the Hindu mythology, the fortress was built by Banasura to keep his daughter Usha in isolation. The name itself is derived from the words 'Agni' (meaning fire) and 'garh' (meaning fortress or wall) in Sanskrit. At present this is one of the most well-known tourist spots in that area. There is a platform on the hill from where you will get a bird’s eye view of the city of Tezpur.
October to April is considered to be the best months to visit Assam. While Assam sweats in the scorching heat during Summers, the state experiences high rainfall and humidity during Monsoon. During October to April, when the weather is pleasant with sunny days and cool nights, the rainfall is moderate, and the paddy fields look resplendent, is the best time to visit Assam.
Assam is approachable by various means of transport,be it railways, roadways or airways. For the convenience of the visitors and locals, every road, railway station, bus stop and the airport are well-maintained by the Assam Tourism.
If travelling by flight, then Assam's Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is the only international airport in the region, and is well-connected with all the major cities in India.
If travelling by train, then, the key railway hubs are Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Jorhat, Tezpur, Silchar, Golaghat and Nagaon. However, Guwahati Railway Station enjoys much importance as it serves as the gateway to the rest of the north-eastern Indian states. If you want to travel by road then National Highways 31 and 37 connect Assam with the rest of India.
The land of aromatic tea gardens with spectacular natural beauty, pleasant climate, gurgling rivers, and jaw-dropping spectacles, Assam welcomes you to its rich heritage and biodiversity which is interspersed in this Himalayan valley and synthesize to make the state a magnificent wonder.
The most popular festival of Assam is Bihu which is celebrated thrice a year in the forms of Rongali Bihu, Kaati Bihu and Magh Bihu. Other than the Bihu festival, the other major festivals of Assam are the Ambubachi Mela, Raas Utsav, Me-Dam-Mi-Phi, and Jonbeel Mela.
Assam is one of the leading biodiversity hotspots in the world. There are many rare species of animals and birds like the Golden Langur, the One-Horned Rhino and a variety of hornbills, amphibians and vultures are found in these forests.
The Ahoms ruled Assam at the time when Mughals were presiding over the rest of India and were deposed by the advent of the British in 1826. After independence, few parts of Assam became part of East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) and the present-day state of Assam was formed in 1962 as various states of the Northeast were carved out of it.
The beautiful state of Assam is located in the North Eastern part of India and borders West Bengal. It shares an international boundary with Bangladesh and Bhutan and has a hilly terrain. A large area of Assam is naturally irrigated by the two major rivers - Brahmaputra and Barak and the hills of the Barail range run between these two valleys. Known around theworld for its fragrant variety of tea, Assam is one of the biggest homes to a majority of India's tea gardens.
The Brahmaputra River is more than just a geographical entity. It has integrated into the culture and society of Assam. On its bank, all the major cities of Assam thrive and provide livelihoods to thousands of people. The river also nurtures the vast number of forests in the state that are teeming with wildlife.
The people of the Assam are extremely friendly. They belong to different tribes and communities. Keeping in sync with the picturesque landscapes and the colourful customs, the people of Assam are a perfect example of unity in diversity.