Capital: Dispur Largest city: Guwahati
Assam is a tourist abode due to its magnificent climate and scenery and also its vast tea gardens that stretches from hillock to the next and further than your eyes can see. Assam is known as the Tea Garden of India and any visitor to this state would be able to feast their eyes in almost any areas they are in. Tea estates abound in the state and you may watch thousand upon thousands of hectares of hills planted with world famous tea plants when you are on the road, rail or air. It is of course not just tea that Assam is famous for as it has petroleum and the well known Assam silks. The state also boasts of some of the finest wild life sanctuary and has unique flora and fauna for naturalists, animal lovers and photographers. From above Assam resembles a large bird taking off for flight with its wings spread. The entire area covers 78,438 square kilometers and is surrounded by the popularly called the Seven Sister States. These are Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya.
More of Assam
Assam is also known as the land of red river and blue hills a sharp contrast here and eye catching colors there in its ambience therefore makes it a must visit for anyone landing in India from abroad. The government has always encouraged tourism which is one of the top revenue earning industry apart from the other revenue sectors like petroleum and tea.
The area is demarcated geographically as the Brahmaputra Valley which is large and very fertile and this may be recalled as the wing of the bird while the tail constitutes the Barak Valley. You will find the North Cachar Hills and the Karbi Plateau on the so called bird’s chest portion.
The biodiversity of Assam is extraordinary and being a convenient stop over for making visits to other neighboring states a very large number of tourists touch down on this place from far and wide. About 35% of the state is covered by forest and the rest by terraced tea gardens, fertile plains for crops, marshy land and hills.
Mythological and recorded history
Although Assam has a very old past civilization as proof of Stone Age relics have been found by archeologists, it has however no evidence of having crossed through the Bronze and Iron age. The recorded history has evidence in the 4th Century Allahabad Pillar where it is inscribed the presence of Kamarupa or Western Assam and Dhanuka or Central Assam. The inscription has been depicted on the Samudragupta’s Pillar which shows that ancient people have recorded the might of the Gupta Empire and the limits of its eastern borders.
Apart from recorded history mythological tales from the Kalika Purana has mentioned the land often. It states that the first ruling dynasty of Assam was Mahiranga Danav and he formed the Danav dynasty. Later on it states he was thrown out by of his throne by Naraka of the Naraka dynasty. The last ruler of the Naraka was killed by Lord Krishna and Naraka’s son Bhagadata fought for Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra.
Assam has three main divisions if you were to look at it from the physiographical way. These are the Northern Himalayas or Eastern Hills, the Northern Plains or Brahmaputra Plains as they are called here and the Deccan Plateau which in the local language is called Karbi Anglong.
Grand tourist sights for holidaying
Assam by virtue of its sceneries and friendly people has become a great tourist attraction and has therefore enticed people from all over India and abroad to take a few days holiday in one of its many resorts, hotels and outdoor camping facilities. The richness of nature abounds here and you will never see a piece of land wasted as the greenery is all pervasive here.
Assam boasts of one of the largest wild life sanctuaries in India and is the home of the famous one horn rhinoceros and other rare birds and animals. The banks of the rain fed and snow fed perennial River Brahmaputra is milder when it enters into Assam from Arunachal Pradesh and therefore better for boating, fishing, sightseeing and relaxing tours.
Guwahati is the capital of Assam and has a splendid airport both for domestic and international airlines and may even serve you as the vantage point of visiting not only the whole of Assam, but the neighboring states as well. You have good hotels and resorts to choose from at Guwahati and you may plan your whole tour of the state from here. Needless to say, the whole tour plan may take more than a week as there are enough tourist spots to last a whole month yet you may be choosy to begin with.
Guwahati offers both sightseeing and religious tourism. If you are religiously inclined then you may visit Kamakhya Temple and Umananda as first two spots and move around Guwahati and see what other religious places are possible to visit in one day. If you are not particular about religious tourism then you may visit Shankardass Kalakshetra or the Assam State Zoo, the latter may suffice as you may see the wild animals sheltered there if you are in a hurry.
Otherwise, you ought not to miss the Chandrapur and Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are in a group or with family members then you may be able to enjoy some of the best scenes by taking a river cruise on the River Brahmaputra. You may get some good guidance from the reception counter of the hotel where you are staying as most hospitality centers in Assam are tourist oriented and friendly.
You must surely take time to visit Kaziranga National Park which is a UNESCO world heritage center and is the home to one horn rhinoceros and other wild and usually not much seen animals and birds.
If you are also interested in some mystery and a place where there is some unusual happenings then you must never fail to visit Jatinga. This is a village located at Dima Hasau which has become famous due to a series of suicide by migratory birds and that too without any particular reason during the months of September and October. They do this by smashing themselves on the tree and buildings. The strange sight has jolted everyone including the tourists and a scientific explanation is yet to be made.
You may also visit Jorhat which is called the tea capital of India and you can enjoy the beauty of the grand tea gardens stretching out into the horizon. If you love such natural scenery then you may also visit Haflong which is the only hill station in the whole of Assam.
But surely not the least in importance is Sonitpur from where you may visit Nameri National Park, Bura Chapon Wildlife Sanctuary, Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, and Orang National Park. Just a little way from Sonitpur is Tezpur which is a small town and has unique culture and history of its own. Suppose you and your group members would like to see something quite different and perhaps keep in touch with the lifestyles of the modern day comforts then you may choose to go to Tinsukia. This place has malls and other city attractions to give you the delight of a city life. You may likewise make a visit to Dibrugarh and its nearby areas for historical values. Further, Dibrugarh has the biggest railway station in Assam and the Rajdhani Express starts off from here.
Some unseen and virgin spots in Assam
If you wish to spot a place in Assam that has not been seen by any other tourist then you may easily look around places which are nestled closely to the River Brahmaputra or the wild life sanctuaries. These spots form an excellent place where you may take great unseen photographs and if you are passing in groups, which you had better, then you may even have a picnic.
The fact is that Assam has innumerous picnic spots and each quite different than the other and may offer you some of the panoramic views of nature. If you are a bird lover then you may spot several new varieties and enjoy a picnic with your friends while doing so. For the over enthusiastic people they may contact the tourism office or their agents at Guwahati and get good information about more strange and mysterious places.
Another unique spots that may not have been seen by several people is to locate them for a trek or picnic on the largest fresh water island called Majuli on the River Brahmaputra. This spot is so unique that you may discover small creatures and birds and even fishes. As stated earlier there is no dearth of unseen spots in Assam and you may simply have fun if you are travelling in groups.
You will also find Assam well connected with the rest of the country by road and rail and even by air.