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5 MUST VISIT PLACES IN ASSAM

Written by Pratyosh Gogoi

 

  • KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

 

One cannot claim to have visited Assam without making a trip to the Kaziranga National Park. Designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, the park hosts two-thirds of the world’s Great One Horned Rhinoceros. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world. Take a safari ride in a jeep or on an elephant and jump into the wilderness with the beauty of the Brahmaputra beside you and the vivid wildlife you can witness nowhere else on the planet. The resorts add to the ambience of your stay, and you will dine beside the innocuous rhinos on most of your visits to the dinner table.

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  • HAFLONG

 

With the sobriquet “Switzerland of the East”, Haflong is the only hill-station in Assam. The birthplace of the game of Polo, Haflong is a paradise for every nature lover. With picturesque valleys and the greenery of Assam to mesmerise you, you cannot but be mesmerised by the place Haflong is. The major attraction is the Haflong Lake located in the heart of the town. Considered the perfect place to haul the best profile pictures, one can indulge in leisure sporting activities or go for angling. The mysterious suicides committed by birds at Jatinga in Haflong still is a phenomena not understood.

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  • KAMAKHYA TEMPLE

 

Situated on the Nilachal Hill in the western part of Guwahati, Kamakhya Temple is a major tourist attraction of North-East India. Dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, it is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. The main attraction of the temple is the annual festival called the Ambubachi Mela which is celebrated for three days during the monsoon season, in the Assamese month of Ahaar (mid-June) and sees the confluence of lakhs of devotees from all parts of the world.

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  • SIVASAGAR

 

A town in Upper Assam, Sivasagar (formerly Rangpur) was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788. The Ahoms, considered as one of the longest ruling dynasties in the world ruled uninterrupted for over six centuries till they fell to the Burmese in 1819. Most of their architecture and heritages are now confined in Sivasagar. From Joysagar, the biggest man-made lake in the country to the iconic amphitheatre Rang Ghar, Sivasagar is the storehouse of Ahom architecture. Add to that the magnificence of the over 100 feet tall Shiva Dol, one of the most sacred temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, and you are looking at engineering marvels that have baffled people for a long time now.       

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  • MAJULI and UMANANDA

 

One cannot but connect the river Brahmaputra with Assam and the river will welcome you with two distinct natural marvels. Majuli, a proposed UNESCO World Heritage site is the cradle where the culture of Assam grew and evolved. One of the largest inhabited riverine islands in the world; it is famous for the Vaishnavite culture and the Shatras that are the only propagators of the religion started by Srianta Shankardeva several centuries back. A centre for mask-making and the only place in the world to still use the Harrapan methods of pottery; Majuli is the place where the renaissance of Assamese culture took place. Situated in the heart of Brahmaputra, one can witness never to be seen sunrises and sunsets on the river-banks ad take some memorable ferry rides and if luck strikes, catch a sight of the endangered river dolphins. Umananda, on the other hand is the smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. Often referred to as Peacock Island due to its shape, it is said Lord Shiva created this island for Parvati’s happiness and pleasure and Shiva is himself said to have resided here. One cannot miss Shivaratri on this island which attracts devotees from all parts of the country.

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About the author

Pratyosh Gogoi

Pratyosh is currently pursuing his Masters in English from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Someone who lets his pen speak for him; he is an ardent debater, writer and traveller. Hailing from Assam, he brings in a touch of the oriental in his write-ups. None of his close friends leave without a poem on a tissue when out with him.

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