Kati Bihu

Kongali Bihu is celebrated on the first day in the Assamese month of Kati (mid-October) and therefore also called Kati Bihu. This bihu is associated with crop protection and worship of crops and plants. Kati is a season of short supplies and hence no festivities or merriment take place as such. Kongali literally means dearth or poor. 

Earthen lamp at the paddy fields on Kati Bihu
Earthen lamp at the paddy fields
Source: https://instagram.com/shantanu_chowdang?igshid=ml2azojdhxgv

Kati bihu is one of the three bihu celebrated in Assam, the other two being Bohaag bihu and Magh Bihu. The word bihu has been derived from the Deori word “bisu” which means “excessive joy”. And true to its name, bihu is about merriment and feasting. Kati bihu, however, doesn’t involve much feasting but definitely is joyous because of the hope for a better crop.

During the month of Kati the granaries are almost empty, and the paddy in the fields are in the growing stage. On this day of Kati bihu earthen lamps are lit at the paddy fields as a worship to the Laxmi (crop) seeking blessings in the form of abundance. The lamps lit on the paddy fields are referred to as “Akash Bonti” literally meaning sky candle because these are lit high up in a bamboo pole. Scientifically it is believed that the light of the lamps attract insects which gets burned in the fire. This helps in getting rid of the insects ensuring the healthy growth of the crops.

Earthen lamp near tulsi plant on Kati Bihu
Earthen lamp near tulsi plant
Source: https://instagram.com/_s.h.i.l.p.a_b?igshid=11ok7fqc6u38w

Tuloxir tole tole

Mrigo pohu sore

Take dekhi Ramchandra e

Xar dhonu dhore

Kar ghorot logai saki

Guxhai phure dine rati

O Ram, O Ram

Ram Ram Ram

Every Assamese household nurtures a plant of tulsi (ocimum sanctum) in their courtyard which is worshipped as a form of Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of abundance. On the day of Kati bihu earthen lamps are also lit at the altar of the plant and sing this verse as a prayer. In fact some practice lighting this lamp at the altar throughout the month of Kati which is considered auspicious.

Bhoral, granary
Bhoral, granary
Source: acupofassamtea.com

Assam is an agrarian state and therefore crops, cows and everything associated with cultivation and agriculture is worshipped. Every traditional Assamese rural household has a granary which stocks the harvest where earthen lamps are lit during kati bihu in the evening. 

Apart from lighting the earthen lamps in the evening, an offering of maah praxad is made at the main prayer house which is very basic. This includes different types of fruits (usually 5 different types) along with green gram and black chickpeas. The praxad is then served to every family member and guests, if any. The essence of Kati bihu is to keep everything simple and basic because this is not a season of abundance. 

Maah praxad
Maah praxad
Source: https://instagram.com/paris_cookbook?igshid=1ocpsv5v0pjaq

Kati Bihu is basically Laxmi puja where we offer prayers to Goddess Laxmi to bless us with abundance. In Assam we consider the crops as our Laxmi, the one who feed us, since Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the people here. So the rituals revolve around the paddy fields, the granary, the gardens, and the tulsi plant.

A Quick Guide for Travelers to the Industrial Town of Dibrugarh

Dibrugarh is a district in Assam which offers the most unique mixture of tourist attractions. Tea tourism, Wildlife tourism, River tourism are important sectors which have attracted tourists to this small but beautiful town. The tea gardens of Dibrugarh have been one major retreat for travel lovers. The Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow brews some of the best tales with the perfect blend of colonial soul with contemporary spirit.

Jyoti Batsora, Dibrugarh University main gate
Jyoti Batsora, Dibrugarh University main gate

Dibrugarh has also been a major educational hub for students pursuing technical and higher studies. The Assam Medical College, the Dibrugarh University, the Dibrugarh Polytechnic are the most important educational institutions in Dibrugarh.

Jeypore Rainforest
Jeypore Rainforest
Source: https://instagram.com/a_leisure_wanderer?igshid=k9q30ko4x798

Natural and wildlife habitats like the Jeypore Rainforest of Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Jokai Botanical Garden are also important tourist attractions in Dibrugarh. The Bogibeel bridge across river Brahmaputra is recently attracting a lot of domestic and international tourists since it is the gateway to Arunachal Pradesh.

Oil India Limited, Duliajan, Dibrugarh
Oil India Limited, Duliajan, Dibrugarh
Source: sentinelassam.com

But in the recent years there has been more buzz on the industry and resources Dibrugarh has to offer. The Oil India Limited (OIL) located in Duliajan is a very important industry boosting the economy of the State and improving living standards in the region. The Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) in Borboruah, Dibrugarh established in 2007 has converted Dibrugarh into a buzzing Industrial town. This has generated employment in the region and also created means for entrepreneurship and small business.

What to see:

Jagannath Temple

Jagannath Temple, Dibrugarh
Jagannath Temple, Dibrugarh
Source: tripadvisor.in

Located at Chiring Gaon, Khanikar Road is Dibrugarh’s Jagannath Temple which is a replica of the original one in Orissa. This is a major tourist attraction in Dibrugarh and is just beside the newly opened highway which means it’s easily accessible. Rath Yatra is an annual festival organized here with proper rituals and customs. The architecture of the temple and its color are really unique.

Radha Krishna Temple

Radha Krishna Temple, Dibrugarh
Radha Krishna Temple, Dibrugarh
Source: clearholidays.com

Radha Krishna Temple located at Jalan Nagar has always been the major tourist attraction in the town. The white marbled temple, its peaceful location amidst the tea garden is one place where people come to meditate quietly. The temple dedicated to Sri Krishna and his beloved Radha celebrates Jhulan Puja every year on a grand scale.

Bogibeel Bridge

Bogibeel Bridge
Bogibeel Bridge
Source: Swarnav Borgohain

Bogibeel Bridge across the river Brahmaputra connects Dibrugarh with Dhemaji district of Assam. Connectivity between the two districts earlier was very poor and people suffered a great deal. But the bridge has not only improved communication for everyday commuters but also paved the way for smooth commerce and trade. Entrepreneurial steps to promote River tourism have been already initiated in the region with hope for a better future.

Read: Bogibeel Bridge – A Symbol of Hope for a better future

Assam Medical College

Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh
Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh
Source: careers360.com

Assam Medical College established in 1947 has been a boon to the people of Dibrugarh and its neighbouring places. In terms of providing quality education and quality medical services, AMC has great credibility. The college provides undergraduate and post-graduate courses in medicine, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, orthopaedics, cardiology, general surgery, anatomy, pathology, biochemistry, ophthalmology, pediatrics, microbiology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, dentistry, neurology, pharmacology, anesthesiology, forensics, dermatology, plastic surgery, radiology, physiology, psychology and otorhinolaryngology.

Dibrugarh University

Dibrugarh University Administrative Building
Dibrugarh University Administrative Building
Source: educations.com

Dibrugarh University is another important educational institution in Dibrugarh establishedin 1965. Aspiring students from all over the state dreams of studying in this elite institution. The campus is spread across an area of 500 acres complete with the different departments, the administrative building, the library, indoor stadium, boys and girls hostel, dispensary, canteens, professors’ quarters, etc. The University has been accredited with an ‘A’ grade in their last assessment in 2017.

Read: Dibrugarh University – The True Indomitable Spirit

Jokai Botanical Garden

Jokai Botanical Garden
Jokai Botanical Garden
Source: tourmyindia.com

Jokai Botanical Garden cum Germplasm Center situated in the Jokai Reserve Forest is another important tourist place here. This is a storehouse of some of the valuable and endangered species of flora of this region. The various zones of this center include Orchid House, Medicinal and aromatic plants plot, Rainforest specimen plot etc.

Jeypore Rainforest

Jeypore Rainforest, Dehing Patkai
Jeypore Rainforest, Dehing Patkai
Source: ffo.gov.in

Jeypore Rainforest spread across an area of 108 sq. kms is home to 102 species of orchids with many other varieties of animals and plants. This is a very important destination for those who love wildlife. The forest also has the distinction of having seven wild cat species.

Namphake Village

Namphake Village, Dibrugarh
Namphake Village, Dibrugarh
Source: thenortheastwindow.com

Namphake Village is located at Naharkatia, a few kilometers from the main town of Dibrugarh. This is a village which belongs to the Tai- Phake ethnic community. The Tai- Phake have their own separate script and preserved manuscripts. They are mainly followers of Theravada Buddhism and have a very rich history and culture.

How to reach:

Dibrugarh Mohanbari Airport
Dibrugarh Mohanbari Airport
Source: justdial.com

Located at Mohanbari is Dibrugarh’s own airport, Mohanbari Airport with major flights service. The main town is at a distance of 15 kms from the airport and cabs are available for hire at the premises.

Dibrugarh Railway Station located at Banipur has direct train connectivity with all the major cities of the country.

Where to stay:

Hotel Tea County

Hotel Tea County
Hotel Tea County
Source: hotelteacounty.com

Hotel Tea County is a boutique hotel located opposite Chowkidinghee field in Dibrugarh. The bus station is hardly a 5 mins walk from the hotel, and the market a 5 mins drive away. The property amidst tea gardens offers all modern amenities and is a comfortable stay to choose from.

Hotel Nataraj

Hotel Nataraj is centrally located at H.S.Road which is close to the central market. The hotel provides all modern amenities and is in close proximity to some if the major Landmarks of the town.

Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow

Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow
Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow
Source: tripadvisor.in

Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow is a boutique heritage hotel with a history of over 150 years. The tea estate bungalow is perfect for those who want to have a taste of colonial style ambience.

Hotel Little Palace

Hotel Little Palace is located at A.T.Road, Marwaripatty which is just minutes away from the central market. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation and has their in-house restaurant and bar.

How to travel:

Dibrugarh Railway Station
Dibrugarh Railway Station
Source: indiarailinfo.com

Dibrugarh doesn’t have the cab service companies but private cabs are available for booking with private agencies. You can contact the hotel front office for cab bookings.

City bus service has been resumed in the town after a long gap. These cover the major route Banipur-Jokai and Dibrugarh University-Assam Medical College.

Trekker services are available in the town and these ply in huge numbers along the major routes.

Nameri National Park Feature Image

Nameri National Park

Nameri National Park is situated in Sonitpur district of Assam in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. Nameri National Park was declared a National Park in 1998 and a Tiger Reserve in 1999-2000. Nameri shares its northern boundaries with the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh and has an area of 200 sq kms of their collective 1000 sq kms.

Jia Bhorali river, Nameri National Park
Jia Bhorali river, Nameri National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/riyasjameela?igshid=8c3966ixhesx

Jia Bhorali is a major river that flows along the southern boundaries of the park. The river increases the beauty of the park in manifolds. It is ideal for angling, rafting and is one of the many reasons tourists visit Nameri.

White-winged duck
White-winged duck
Source: https://instagram.com/nivedita_kothare?igshid=oav51j40wtgg

The state bird of Assam, the endangered white-winged duck ( Asarcornis Scutulata) is spotted here in the park. 374 species of migratory birds have been recorded in the park in 2005. Ibisbill and Merganser are two species of birds which visit the park every year. The great pied hornbill, wreathed hornbill, rufous necked hornbill, black stork, babblers, plovers can also be found in Nameri National Park. Birdwatching is another activity one can experience in Nameri National Park.

Wild elephant at Nameri National Park
Wild elephant at Nameri National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/shreerangya?igshid=1xb9kmzjycr1

Nameri is home to many wild elephants because of the vegetation types available here. The habitat is also perfect for tiger, leopard, hog deer, sambar, dhole, gaur, clouded leopard, leopard cat, barking deer, wild boar, sloth bear, marbled cat, Himalayan black bear, capped langur, and Indian giant squirrel.

How to reach:

Birds at Nameri National Park
Birds at Nameri National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/twistedshanti?igshid=11i56ksxrdowo

Nameri National Park is around 35 kms from Tezpur, and 204.5 kms from Guwahati.

If you are traveling by flight then Rowriah airport, Jorhat is the nearest airport. Take a connecting flight from Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati to Rowriah airport and then take a cab to Nameri. Or you can choose to book a cab directly from Guwahati.

Rangapara is the nearest railway station for those traveling by train.

Nameri National Park
Nameri National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/postcard_from_the_far_east?igshid=1fzu3yris0gym

What to do:

Nature trails/Trekking at the park

One can explore the park by trekking along the nature trails. You will be accompanied by an armed forest guard for these trails who will take you along the thick forest and dry riverbeds.

Rafting at Jia Bhorali river

River rafting at Nameri National park
River rafting
Source: https://instagram.com/geeta_4u?igshid=19xvo8jdep4ks

Rafting at the rocky waters of Jia Bhorali river is the most popular activity in Nameri National Park. You have to pay a minimal Govt tax of INR 300 plus INR 50 per person. Rafts are made available by the hotels with boatman at the cost of around INR 1200 as boat charges, and around INR 500 as boatman fee.

A trip to Bhalukpong

The picturesque border town of Bhalukpong is only around 26.4 kms away from Nameri National Park. Bhalukpong is a small town in west Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh which is a very popular picnic site.

Tezpur tour

Agnigarh fort, Tezpur
Agnigarh fort, Tezpur
Source: en.wikipedia.org

Tezpur, one of the popular tourist destinations of Asssm is only 35 kms away from Nameri National Park. Tezpur is a town with rich cultural heritage and has many places of tourist interest. There’s history, mythology and folklore related to this beautiful town.

Read: Best Weekend Getaways from Guwahati

Plantation visit

Tea plantations in Sonitpur
Tea plantations
Source: thestatesman.com

Sonitpur is famous for the tea estates, both big and small. Notable among them are Dhekiajuli Tea Estate and Wild Mahseer. Take a tour of these estates, visit their factory and find out how tea is processed. You can taste your favourite tea in the midst of this greenery and even carry a few samples of Assam tea back home. Wild Mahseer with its heritage bungalow offers boutique accommodation to tourists on prior booking.

Read: Tea Gardens: The perfect post-lockdown getaway in Assam

Local village tour

Mishing Village in Sonitpur
Mishing Village
Source: eastmojo.com

Mishing is an ethnic community in Assam with a culture and history of their own. There are a few Mishing villages in Sonitpur. Their customs and traditions are very unique and lively, and their cuisine and dress are their highlight. You can take a guided tour of an ethnic local Mishing village and experience their delicious food.

Where to Stay:

Nameri Eco Camp

Nameri Eco Camp
Nameri Eco Camp
Source: https://instagram.com/jay_wanderer?igshid=ht2nhs2bpv31

Eco-friendly tents and cottage accommodations are provided at Nameri Eco Camp which is the most popular lodging near Nameri National Park. The eco-camp gives you the most natural experience of life in a village with all basic amenities.

White Winged Camp

White-winged Camp also provides eco-friendly tents and cottage accommodations. The hotel also provides jungle trekking and rafting activities.

Wild Mahseer

Wild Mahseer
Wild Mahseer
Source: christinesreviews.com

Wild Mahseer is a tea garden heritage bungalow of the British Assam period spread across 22 acre land. This is like a homestay of the Balipara division of Adabarrie Tea Estate, with 3 rooms available for accommodation on prior booking.

Jia Bhorali Wild Resort

Jia Bhorali has 19 well furnished rooms with modern amenities and provides WiFi connectivity. The hotel is situated at a distance of 40 kms from Rangapara railway station.

Hajo – The Ideal Pilgrimage Hub for Everyone

Hajo, situated on the banks of the river Brahmaputra, is an ideal pilgrimage center for Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist pilgrims alike. Hajo boasts of a great communal harmony with some very popular temples, mosques and pagodas.

In 1992 the Manikut Utsav was first organized in Hajo to uphold communal brotherhood and since then has been celebrated every year. On the first day of Magh the Manikut Utsav is celebrated with a cultural procession starting from sacred Powa Mecca to Hayagriv Madhav Mandir. People of all religions, all communities take part in this procession performing folk dances and songs. The idea behind this is to uphold universal peace and brotherhood.

Hajo Manikut Utsav
Hajo Manikut Utsav
Source: raiot.in

Hajo is a destination for those who loves spirituality, archeology and has great religious beliefs. Many myths and history surround this ancient pilgrimage site and is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year.

Doul Utsav or Holi is another important festival celebrated in Hajo every year during Phagun Poornima, full moon day. This festival is organized for three to five days in the Vaishnav tradition.

How to reach:

Road to Powa Mecca, Hajo
Road to Powa Mecca, Hajo
Source: tripadvisor.in

Hajo is situated at a distance of only 24 kms from Guwahati. You can book a cab from Guwahati or opt to travel by bus.

Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the nearest airport, and Guwahati Railway station the nearest train station.

Places to visit in Hajo:

Sri Sri Hayagriv Madhav Mandir

Hayagriv Madhav Temple
Hayagriv Madhav Temple
Source: asiguwahaticircle.gov.in

Sri Sri Hayagriv Madhav Mandir also known as the stone temple is the most popular temple in Hajo. According to some, Lord Vishnu finally established in the hill of Monikut where the present temple is located. A fleet of stairs up the hill will lead you to the temple. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Vishnu worshipped as an idol carved out of black stone. Some Buddhists also believe that it was in this place that Buddha attained Nirvana. Therefore this is an important place for Buddhist pilgrims as well.

Hayagriv Madhav Mandir
Hayagriv Madhav Mandir
Source: Instagram – Sanjay Sasidharan

According to some historians, the original Madhav temple was constructed by the king of the Pala Dynasty during the 6th century AD. The present structure, however, was constructed by King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.

Holi is a very important festival celebrated here every year. Just like the Doul Utsav of Barpeta, Madhav Mandir doul utsav is also very popular and thousands of devotees and tourists visit Hajo during this festival.

Hajo Powa Mecca

Hajo Powa Mecca
Hajo Powa Mecca
Source: awesomeassam.org

Powa Mecca is a very important religious site of the Muslims built by Mir Lutuffulah-i-Shiraji in 1657. The meaning of the assamese word ‘powa’ is quarter. Powa Mecca therefore is figuratively considered to be the mini version of Mecca. Moreover according to rumours the soil on which the foundation of the mosque was laid was brought from Mecca. The burial chamber of Pir Giasuddin Auliya who was a pioneer of Islam is found here.

Kedareshwar Temple

Sri Sri Kedar Temple
Source: nexplore.org

Kedareshwar temple is located on top of the Madanachala hill in Hajo. This is a Shiva temple and showcases a large Shivalinga made of stone and covered by a large metal bowl. This Shivalinga is called the Svayambhu Linga which is referred to as the Ardhanariswara form of Lord Shiva.

Joy Durga Temple

Joy Durga temple
Joy Durga temple
Source: rgyan.com

Joy Durga temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is another important Hindu temple in Hajo. The idol is in the form of a stone. The temple was built in the year 1777 on the orders of the Ahom king Lakshminath Singha.

Dhoparguri Satra

Dhoparguri Satra
Dhoparguri Satra
Source: famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.com

The Dhoparguri Satra in Barpeta was established in 1587 by the Vaisnavite saint Sri Madhavdeva. The satra has many holy spots such as the Gokrana, Vikrana and the Swargdwar.

Satras are like cultural institutions that preach the life of Lord Krishna and allow young boys to lead a disciplined life in the praise and dedication of the Lord. You can experience the daily lives of the practitioners of Satras in Majuli, which is also popular as The Land of Satras.

Sualkuchi

Sualkuchi silk factory
Sualkuchi silk factory
Source: trawell.in

Sualkuchi, the Manchester of the East, is located at a distance of around 12 km from Hajo. Sualkuchi is a major silk-producing village in Assam. Something which started with a few cottage industries has today grown into a commercial hub producing quality silk products.

Where to stay:

Hotel Atithi
Hotel Atithi
Source: booking.com

Since Hajo is very near to Guwahati city so you can opt to stay comfortably at some good hotels in the city. The list below include some budget hotels in Guwahati city at some prime locations. All these hotels are close to the market and has many restaurants in its vicinity.

Hotel Atithi : Hotel Atithi is located at Paltan Bazaar near Nepali Mandir which is a central location in Guwahati city and has easy access to any kind of transport facilities.

Hotel Nandan
Hotel Nandan
Source: makemytrip.com

Hotel Nandan : Hotel Nandan is located at G.S.Road, Paltan Bazaar which is at a walking distance from Guwahati Railway Station and ASTC bus stand.

Hotel Mayflower : Hotel Mayflower is located at Nehru Road, Panbazar.

Hotel Kiranshree Portico: Hotel Kiranshree Portico is just a few meters away from Guwahati Railway Station and is a very comfortable hotel at a prime location.

Barpeta Doul Utsav: The Festival of Colors

Barpeta is a very popular tourist destination in Assam mainly because of the Satras that are located here. Satras are associated with the ekasarana tradition of Neo-Vaishnavism propagated by Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva in Assam. Satras are like cultural institutions that preach the life of Lord Krishna and allow young boys to lead a disciplined life in the praise and dedication of the Lord.

Barpeta is a combination of two words ‘bor’ meaning big, and ‘peta’ meaning pond. Literally Barpeta means the land of big ponds because there used to be many big ponds previously.

Barpeta Satra Doul Utsav
Barpeta Satra Doul Utsav
Source: https://instagram.com/daxxabhijit?igshid=15vp9qrt27uaq

Barpeta Satra is the main tourist attraction of Barpeta and it is here that the Holi or Doul Utsav is ritualistically celebrated every year with much fervor and enthusiasm. The Doul Utsav, as we call it here, is a very important festival which has great religious and cultural connotation. Thousands of devotees and tourists visit Barpeta during doul utsav to witness this colorful festival.

Doul Utsav at Barpeta
Doul Utsav at Barpeta
Source: https://instagram.com/bhataktiphotographer?igshid=1umg4wkabozho

Holi, celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phagun is called the Deka doul and the festivities continue for three to five days. The first day is called gandhasava or banhutsava when Mahaprabhu Doul Govinda and Kalia Thakur are brought out to the courtyard and rituals and festivities ensue with the burning of the mehdah.

Mehdah
Mehdah
Source: https://instagram.com/an._.anya?igshid=1endx9mckej1c

The second day is called bhar doul when naam prasanga, ojapali, gayan bayan and dhuliya nritya are held at the naamghar by the vaishnavs.

The last day is called phakua or suweri. On this day the Gods are taken out to roam in douls and people offer prayers and throw phaku at the douls of the Gods. Many tourists and devotees take part in this religious and cultural procession singing holi geet and dancing their hearts out.

Bah bhonga parba
Bah bhonga parba
Source: https://instagram.com/holi_at_barpeta?igshid=1lcjssvj7xpku

There’s a tradition called the bah bhonga parba. The legend goes that Mahaprabhu left Laxmi and went to Ghanusa’s house. However on his return he is not permitted to enter the premises and is faced by a hurdle of four bholuka bamboos. The disciples of Mahaprabhu and Laxmi join in a power battle in which the bamboos are broken and Mahaprabhu once again enters the temple premises. The doul of Mahaprabhu after breaking this bamboo barrier walks around kirtan ghar seven times and finally resumes his position inside the monikut.

Doul Utsav, devotees singing Holi geet
Doul Utsav, devotees singing Holi geet
Source: https://instagram.com/nirajvision?igshid=1lawgjuiq6qni

Holigeets sung on the occasion by the devotees are in praise of Lord Krishna. The sound of the dhol, nagara, taal along with the singing reverberates through the satra premises and people transcend to a totally mystical phase. When holi was celebrated for the first time in Barpeta Satra by Mathura Das Burha Ata, it was in the model of vaikuntha or heaven. To this day the true holi spirit prevails and people rejoice in this idyllic place called Paradise, or vaikuntha.

Barpeta Satra Namghar premise
Barpeta Satra Namghar premise
Source: https://instagram.com/theassamesesoul?igshid=1fmb743rr6dgb

How to reach there:

Barpeta is located at a distance of 95 kms from Guwahati city. If you are traveling by flight then Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati is the nearest airport from where you can directly book a cab to Barpeta. If you are traveling by train then Barpeta Town Station is your destination.

Places to visit:

Barpeta Satra

Barpeta Satra
Barpeta Satra
Source: https://instagram.com/aligunjana?igshid=esiserr1lsfo

Barpeta Satra was established by the Vaisnavite saint Sri Madhavdeva in 1583 AD which was earlier known as Barpeta than. After spending 8 years here Sri Madhavdeva passed on the responsibility to Sri Mathura Das Burha Ata and left to learn under Srimanta Sankardev, the pioneer of Neo-Vaishnavism.

Kirtan Ghar, Barpeta Satra
Kirtan Ghar, Barpeta Satra
Source: https://instagram.com/bhargavsuman?igshid=lt2koss25n1l

Kirtan Ghar is the main prayer hall situated at the centre of the satra complex. The three Guru Ashanas are kept here which are associated with the names of Srimanta Sankardev, Sri Madhavdev and Padma Ata. In the bhajghor or monikut the Akshay Bonti has been burning incessantly for more than 500 years now. Behind the asanas are two chairs for burha satriya and deka satriya where they do their day to day activities.

Main entrance of Barpeta Satra
Main entrance of Barpeta Satra
Source: https://instagram.com/aligunjana?igshid=7ng02qc6durt

There are three entry gates to the Satra from north, south and west. The main Satra complex is surrounded by a wall which again can be entered from three gates or batchara. They are Nahati batchara (west side entry), Uttarhati batchara (north side entry) and Dakshinhati batchara (south side entry). On the east flows a small stream or canal prohibiting entry. This area was used for bathing by Sri Madhavdeva along with his disciples and is known as the khatkhati ghat.

Sundaridiya Satra

Sundaridiya Satra
Sundaridiya Satra
Source: holidify.com

Sundaridiya Satra was established by Sri Madhavdeva in 1570 AD and he stayed here for 14 years 6 months. Some of his best literatary works were composed here which includes Chordhora, Namghosa, Bhakti Ratnakar. Paal Naam and Thio Naam were also created here. Three guru asanas are placed here in the name of Srimanta Sankardeva, Sri Madhavdev and Sri Badula Ata.

Ganakkuchi Satra

Ganakkuchi Satra
Ganakkuchi Satra
Source: https://instagram.com/atnagid_b?igshid=lc50uvpw3vze

Ganakkuchi Satra is another spiritual destination in Barpeta. Sri Madhavdeva founded this satra and is visited by thousands of devotees from around the country. Many sachi puthis composed by Srimanta Sankardev have been preserved here.

Dargah of Syed Shahnur Dewan

Syed Shahnur Dewan was the disciple of the Muslim Sufi saint Ajan Shah. This dargah is an important shrine for the Muslims and devotees visit to offer prayers. The dargah is a symbol of Sufi philosophy and Islamic brotherhood.

Manas National Park

Manas River at Manas National Park
Manas River at Manas National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/cryptic_x?igshid=1wh3gnhwi074z

Manas National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biostar Reserve located at a distance of around 42 kms from Barpeta.

Manas is a very popular tourist destination and this year too there has been a huge influx of tourists during the holiday season. Manas is definitely one perfect destination post lockdown to clear your mind and enjoy the calm serene environment.

Read: Best Weekend Getaways from Guwahati.

Where to stay:

Hotel Mayur, Barpeta
Hotel Mayur, Barpeta
Source: tourmyindia.com

Hotel Kabyashree: Located in Naamghar link road, Hotel Kabyashree is a budget hotel with 15 rooms.

Hotel Mayur: Located in College Road, Pathshala the hotel is at a distance of around 35 kms from Barpeta. The hotel has 20 rooms with decent amenities.

Prashanti Tourist Lodge, Barpeta
Prashanti Tourist Lodge, Barpeta
Source: justdial.com

Prashanti Tourist Lodge: This is a budget hotel with all basic amenities such as room heater, attached bathroom, hot/cold water with medical assistance and 24 hours room service etc.

Hotel Diya Disha: Hotel Diya Disha is a decent budget hotel in Barpeta providing basic amenities like TV, telephone, attached bathroom with power backup, room service and medical assistance etc. The hotel has an in-house dining option too providing delicious Assamese cuisine along with other cuisines as well.

A Quick Guide for Travelers to Guwahati City

Guwahati is a major city in Assam with many tourist attractions and places of interest. This makes it a desirable travel destination for most travel lovers. Guwahati is well connected by flights and trains from the rest of the country so you can travel hassle free. But it’s always confusing for those who are visiting for the first time to decide what to see and do. So here’s a list of the places you should definitely visit while in Guwahati.

Places to Visit:

Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple is the most popular tourist destination in Guwahati. This is a Hindu temple of the Shakti cult situated on top of Neelachal hill near Maligaon. Ambubachi Mela and Durga Puja are the most important festivals observed here every year. During these two festivals tourists and devotees visit in thousands, and even on a daily basis a large number of devotees visit to offer their prayers to Goddess Kamakhya.

Kamakhya Temple

Read my blog post on Kamakhya Temple to know more about this religious place.

Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra

Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra is another popular tourist attraction in the city. This is actually a cultural centre where artists come together to conceive, create and perform their respective art forms. There’s an open space with a stage where shows are organized, a mini amphitheater, two museums, a children’s park among many other facilities.

Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra
Source: https://instagram.com/deep.jyoti.gautam?igshid=egvnls1kzvp

The Kalakshetra is spread across a huge area and many cultural programs are organized here over the year. It also witnesses a large number of tourists throughout the year.

State Zoo cum Botanical Garden

Spread across an area of 432 acre Assam State zoo is the largest in the entire North-eastern region. Located off R.G.B.Road in the city the zoo witnesses a large footfall throughout the year and is popular with kids. The zoo is home to 113 different species of animals and birds from around the world.

Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden
Source: tripadvisor.in

The State Zoo however is temporarily closed for quite some time now.

Accoland Water Park

The first of its kind amusement and water park in the North-East. Accoland witnesses a large number of visitors every day, especially during the summers because it’s vacation time for schools. Located at Rani in the outskirts of the city Accoland is popular with kids and makes an ideal family destination.

The Pirate Ship at Accoland Water Park
Source: https://instagram.com/hadwt_?igshid=1rmfae6wdb09m

The Park is, however, temporarily closed following the protocols of Covid-19.

Saraighat Bridge

The Saraighat Bridge is the first rail cum road bridge over river Brahmaputra with a length of 1492 meters. The Bridge is known to connect the North-East India with the entire country. This is two-tiered bridge built around 1962 by Hindustan Construction Company. The Bridge also connects north Guwahati with the rest of the city.

Saraighat Bridge ( Old and New)
Source: https://instagram.com/showing_unseen?igshid=jep3ojq7ocdz

A new Bridge has been built beside to the original bridge which was inaugurated in 2017.

Science Museum

Regional Science Center is a non formal science education destination located at Jawahar Nagar, Khanapara. Many science based interactive activities can be enjoyed here along with science shows, science movies. The museum was built to promote, enlighten and educate people about pre-historic times, and science and technology.

Regional Science Center
Source: tourmyindia.com

Summer camps are organized here for kids which include a lot of fun activities based on science. Basically the Guwahati Science Museum is a fun place for kids to visit.

Purva Tirupati Balaji Temple

Balaji Temple located at Ahom Gaon, Lokhra is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara. The architecture of the temple is unique and the calm peaceful ambience is very unlike other Hindu temples in Guwahati.

Balaji Temple
Source: https://instagram.com/corner_to_discover?igshid=s33s8zp696vd

Also do read my blog post on Popular Hindu Temples in Guwahati for more information

Brahmaputra Waterfront and Cruise

Brahmaputra is the main river of the region and cruising over it would be a very good experience. Also you can enjoy its beauty by sitting in the park on the banks while adoring the magnificent statue of Bir Lachit Borphukan standing tall amidst the water.

River Brahmaputra with the statue of Lachit Borphukan
Source: https://instagram.com/binoybgogoi?igshid=14r7es2u72961

Mighty River Brahmaputra is the main source of life for most of the people in Assam. Read my blog post Mighty River Brahmaputra: The Metaphor of Life to know more.

Dighali Pukhuri and War Memorial

Dighali Pukhuri has been a very popular tourist attraction. It is actually a man-made lake in the heart of the city. Legends say the lake was created by King Bhagadutta of Pragjyotispur by digging a canal from the river Brahmaputra. This was later used as a naval base during the Ahom reign.

Dighali Pukhuri and War Memorial
Source: https://instagram.com/xhobdo?igshid=pk6owh62buc7

A War memorial has been recently built beside the lake. Activities like rowing and boat rides are available in the lake. Assam State Museum, Handique Girls College, Guwahati High Court are located on the three sides of the lake.

Read: Best Picnic Spots near Guwahati

Where to Shop:

#1 Fancy Bazaar

Fancy Bazaar is like Delhi’s Sarojini Market, you can find everything here at much reasonable prices. The mantra to shop here is bargain. This is a huge area with shops at every alley. The pavements are also thronged with makeshift shops which have some of the most trendy items one can ever imagine. There are quite a few shops dealing in Assam silk, Muga, Eri clothes.

Fancy Bazaar, Guwahati
Source: https://instagram.com/narenphotography?igshid=dblxj9wpm7ul

Fancy Bazaar is the best flea market in Guwahati surrounded by Panbazar and Lakhtokia. From high end shops to a bazillion small shops Fancy Bazaar has it all. This area is also a Street food paradise.

#2 City Centre Mall

City Centre Mall is a hub of all the high-end stores with a food court, PVR with five screens, Gaming zone, salons and restaurants. Some of the popular brands in this mall are Hamleys, Apple store, MiniSo, Marks & Spencer, Aldo, Barista, Chumbak etc.

City Centre, Guwahati
Source: https://instagram.com/prashantsingha?igshid=1e3ri6znulnu4

City Centre is the most popular hangout place in Guwahati specially with youngsters.

Apart from these there are many other malls like Guwahati Central, Central Mall, Roodraksh Mall, and stores of Pantaloons, Reliance, Vishal Megamart, Max etc. But Fancy Bazaar is undoubtedly the best place to shop.

Mode of Transport:

ASTC city bus
Source: theguwahatitimes.info

#1 City Bus Services

City Bus service is definitely the best and cheaper option to travel within the city. You can board a bus every 5-10 mins at all major locations. But be sure to read the route which is written on the body of the bus or ask the conductor to confirm.

#2 Car Rentals

There are many rental companies which rent out cars if you fulfill their requirements. You can even opt for a self drive car. They have a fixed rental charge and it also depends on the type of car you choose.

#3 Autos

Auto services are available with no fixed rates. You can book an auto from anywhere but should be able to negotiate the rates which is a must anywhere across India.

Guwahati Auto
Source: https://instagram.com/lifeinatake?igshid=15ww4bu4topmc

#4 Cab Services

Uber and Ola cab services are available in Guwahati city too and you can avail their services as per their alloted rates.

Budget hotels in Guwahati:

Ginger Hotel
Source: booking.com

Ginger Guwahati: Located at VIP Road, Upper Hengerabari the hotel offers airport transfers and has an in-house restaurant and coffee shop.

Gateway Grandeur: Located centrally at G.S.Road, Christian Basti the hotel has easy access to the shopping malls, hospitals, restaurants and all modes of transportation.

Hotel Royale de Casa
Source: tripadvisor.in

Hotel Vishwaratna: Located at A.T.Road which is the business hub of Guwahati, the hotel is also closer to Fancy Bazaar and Guwahati Railway Station.

Landmark Hotel: Located at B.Barooah Road, Ulubari the hotel is very close to the Indoor Stadium and some of the major tourist attractions like Dighali Pukhuri, Assam State Museum etc.

Landmark Hotel
Source: searchguwahati.com

Kiranshree Portico: Located centrally at Paltan Bazaar Kiranshree Portico is very close to Guwahati Railway Station and Paltan Bazaar market.

Royale de Casa: Located at Beltola-Basistha Road the hotel offers luxury accommodation with in-house restaurant and bar facilities.

7 Types of Pithas and Ladoos to Celebrate Magh Bihu

Magh Bihu is one of the most anticipated festivals in Assam celebrated in the month of January. This is a harvest festival marking a lot of feasting and festivities. Magh Bihu is therefore also called the Bhogali Bihu literally meaning “to enjoy”. Magh Bihu festivities in Assam normally lasts for at least a week marked with visits to near and dear ones.

Pitha Ladu Platter
Pitha Platter
Source: https://instagram.com/being_parash?igshid=1k7irgw7z45xc

Read my blog post on Magh Bihu for details on this harvest festival of Assam.

Magh Bihu is celebrated with a feast on the night of the Uruka day, the lighting of the Meji the next morning followed by an extensive meal which includes traditional jolpaan and a variety of pitha. There’s no end to the types of pitha one can prepare but there are a few basic pithas that are prepared during Magh Bihu. Let’s prepare this pitha platter for Magh Bihu by following these simple steps.

#1 Til Pitha

Til Pitha
Til Pitha
Source: https://instagram.com/paris_cookbook?igshid=aa0laswt2t7o

The ingredients required are bora saul (sticky bora rice), gur (jaggery), and til (black sesame). The rice is soaked for about 2 hours, drained and left out to dry a little. Finely powdered rice flour is made by pounding the bora rice in a dheki (pic included) or khundona (pic included), strained, and kept aside covered with a lid. The filling is prepared by roasting the black sesame first and then grinding it to obtain a coarse powder. Then add jaggery and mix properly.

Dheki
Dheki
Source: https://instagram.com/hrittick_rajkhowa_?igshid=1sa2svnhoiv99

Next start by heating an iron tawa (preferable). Add a big spoonful of rice flour on the pan and spread it out in an oval or round shape. Put a little bit of the black sesame mixture in the centre of the pitha. Now slowly roll up the pitha from one side and allow it to steam on the tawa for a while. Flip the sides and let it turn crisp.

Pointers:

1. Don’t let the rice flour moisten, therefore cover properly with a lid.

2. Timing is everything in preparing crispy til pitha, so don’t be too slow nor too fast in rolling the sides.

#2 Narikol Pitha

Narikol Pitha
Narikol Pitha
Source: https://instagram.com/dolee_talukdar?igshid=1o83obmjkwzr9

Narikol Pitha is prepared in the same manner as til pitha except for the fact that the filling here is that of coconut (narikol). For the filling grated coconut is roasted and a little sugar is added to obtain a sticky mixture.

#3 Ghila Pitha

Ghila Pitha made with sticky bora rice

Ghila pitha or tel pitha is made in quite a few different ways. Some make it with only sticky bora rice which makes them chewy, some prefer using normal rice flour while some mix both the variety of rice flour. You can choose according to the availability and your preference.

Rukoni
Rukoni

Wash and soak the rice for about 2 hours, drain the water and let it dry for another hour or so. Now pound the rice to obtain a coarse powder. Add a little water to the jaggery to dissolve it, and a pinch of baking soda. Add this to the rice flour and make a dough. For flavors you can add orange zest, grated coconut also according to your preference or even black sesame which are all optional. Now make small balls out of the dough and flatten them. In a deep pan add mustard oil and allow to heat, now add the flattened rice balls and deep fry in high flame. Flip both sides to cook evenly.

#4 Narikol Ladoo

Narikol Ladoo
Source: https://instagram.com/flavors.hometown?igshid=13qqa768r1009

Start by grating a coconut in a mixer. Traditionally we used to grate it in an iron rukoni which literally looked a bird (pic included). Add sugar (about one-third of the quantity of grated coconut) and cardamom powder for flavour. Mix it well and fry the mixture on medium flame while stirring continuously. After about 15 mins check the mixture to see if it binds properly, then put off the flame and start making the laddoo immediately. If the mixture cools down then it will turn hard and binding won’t be possible.

#5 Til Ladoo

Til Ladu
Til Ladoo
Source: https://instagram.com/thefamishedbachelor?igshid=1jjmwsbhm1xr

Start by dry roasting the washed and dried black sesame on a pan for about 5-6 mins while stirring continuously and then keep it aside. Add almost equal amount of jaggery on the pan, add half cup of water and allow it to dissolve while cooking in low flame. After about 6 mins check the mixture by dropping a few drops in water. If it does not dissolve then your jaggery mixture is ready. Turn off the gas, pour the roasted black sesame and mix properly and immediately start making the ladus.

#6 Hutuli Pitha

Hutuli Pitha
Hutuli Pitha
Source: https://instagram.com/gitashree_homecook?igshid=x7dgwt6gda41

Wash and dry the black sesame first. Then dry roast the sesame on a pan with cardamom until they splutter and leave an aroma. Grind the sesame to obtain a coarse powder, add jaggery and mix properly. Keep this mixture aside. This is the same mixture like the one we use for til pitha.

Khundona
Khundona

Mix equal quantities of joha rice flour and sticky bora rice flour, add a pinch of baking powder and mix. On a pan add jaggery and little water and allow it to dissolve. Strain the water and add it to the rice mixture slowly to knead a dough. Make small balls from the dough , flatten it and add a little of the jaggery sesame mixture prepared earlier and wrap it up in the form of a hutuli (a musical instrument of Assam which is like the shape of the crescent moon). Prepare all the balls in the similar manner. Now heat mustard oil in a pan and deep fry the pithas on medium flame by flipping sides and cooking evenly.

#7 Tekeli/Ketli Pitha

Tekeli Pitha
Tekeli Pitha
Source: https://instagram.com/foo_dprints?igshid=8mn1vznjis2f

Start by mixing little quantities of water to the rice flour to moisten the mixture. You can use milk also in place of water. Mix this properly without allowing it to stick. Strain the mixture in a saloni or strainer with bigger holes. Now take a little amount of this rice mix and put it on the inside lid of a kettle, add little jaggery and grated coconut and again pour a little of the rice mixture. Now cover the mixture and the lid with a clean thin cotton cloth. In a kettle bring about two-third water to boil, now put the lid with the pitha on the inside and steam for 5-6 mins. Take the lid out, remove the cloth and take the steamed pitha out of the lid.

Ketli or Tekeli Pitha making process
Ketli or Tekeli Pitha making process
Source: https://instagram.com/shouvik_dhar?igshid=5l431tk9d09e

These are the most basic varieties of pitha you can make for Magh Bihu. However the list goes on if you want to create more. As you can see there are also a few basic ingredients which are sticky and normal rice flour/ powder, jaggery, black sesame and coconut. You can create a variety with these ingredients by either steaming or frying. Try preparing these at home and happy eating!

5 Best Hotels and Resorts at Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park, the world heritage site and home to the famous one-horned rhinoceros is a very important wildlife destination in Assam. It attracts a lot of foreign as well as domestic tourists who visit to explore, to document or for pleasure. The area therefore is a buzzing hub of resorts, Eco-camps, lodges, homestays and hotels. There are many options to choose from across diffrent categories based on your budget and preference.

The resorts mentioned in this list provide you the best of services to make your trip all the more memorable while in Kaziranga. These are the best in terms of luxury, comfort, security and amenities but can be a little expensive.

1. Resort Borgos

Resort Borgos, Kohora
Resort Borgos, Kohora
Source: makemytrip.com

Located near the Kohora range of the Kaziranga National Park, Resort Borgos offers 4 star accommodation with luxury and modern facilities. Situated in the village Sildubi the Resort has some of the best views of the forest and the surrounding landscape. On entering the resort you can get a hint on what lies ahead of you, the driveway through the well maintained green garden leads you to the gorgeous wood carved entry bearing the name of the resort. This area has fine wooden decor and a flight of stairs lead you to the reception and lounge area with beautiful decor.

Room interior of Resort Borgos
Room interior of Resort Borgos
Source: yatra.com

The Resort has a total of 56 rooms under the categories of Executive, Executive Deluxe, Luxury Deluxe and Suite. The prices for these rooms range anything between INR 6700 to INR 25000 subject to changes. But one can get better deals from any of the online travel sites.

Resort Borgos Garden area
Garden area
Source: yatra.com

The Resort provides both Elephant and Jeep safari. The rate of Elephant safari per person is INR 1250 for Indian nationals and INR 2500 for foreign nationals. Kids below 3 years can ride for free! The Jeep safari covers four ranges: Western, Eastern, Central and Burapahar range. The rates of the rides differ according to the range you choose and total number of persons. Further there is also a difference of price between Indian and Foreign nationals.

Resort Borgos Swimming pool area
Swimming pool area
Source: justdial.com

The Resort has a common swimming pool, kids pool, fitness center, spa and massage center, recreational activity centre among other facilities. The resort also have a golf course nearby. WiFi is available for guests within the Resort premises. There’s an in-house multi-cuisine restaurant and a bar for guests to indulge in their favorite food and drinks.

Resort Borgos entrance
The Entrance
Source: goibibo.com

Resort Borgos hosts memorable events like weddings, conferences, birthdays etc. for clients and the services they provide are truly class apart.

2. IORA, The Retreat

IORA The Retreat
IORA The Retreat
Source: kaziranga.co.in

Located off NH 37 near Kohora, IORA The Retreat is another luxury resort near Kaziranga National Park. The Resort is built in a 20 acre area with beautifully landscaped gardens and surrounded by tea plantations. The Resort offers 4 star amenities and luxury services. There’s something unique about the beautifully styled cottage type rooms which catches your eye as soon as you enter the Resort.

IORA The Retreat room interior
Room interior
Source: iorahotels.com

IORA The Retreat has 42 spacious rooms under the categories Supreme and Luxury rooms. There are 4 thematically arranged suites namely Keteki, Patkai, Wild Silk and Camellia. The suites are equipped with a living room, two balconies, reclining chairs, while work desk, LED TV, Mini fridge, coffee maker, free WiFi and 24 hrs room service are available for all the rooms.

IORA Poolside with Bhatbaan restaurant and recreational center
Poolside with Bhatbaan restaurant and recreational center
Source: iorahotels.com

The Resort has a well maintained swimming pool, kids pool, Spa center, Gym, Recreational center, Play area for kids, outdoor dining space among other facilities. There are two separate halls for business meetings and weddings namely Borsora with 250 seating capacity and Blue Orchid with 150 seating capacity. The Resort has an in-house souvenir and handloom shop too.

Traditional Assamese meal served at Bhatbaan
Traditional Assamese meal served at Bhatbaan Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQsjWKWhBEO/?igshid=af8gzmi5tyiv

IORA has two in-house restaurants, one purely ethnic called Bhatbaan and the other is multi-cuisine. Bhatbaan serves the best of Assamese cuisine in the most sumptuous way, a meal you will relish forever. Part of the sitting arrangement also is traditional. Bhatbaan is my personal favorite when it comes to Assamese cuisine served in the most attractive and hygienic way.

The Reception, IORA
The Reception, IORA
Source: iorahotels.com

The Resort provides Jeep safari to Kaziranga National Park and also has provisions for other outdoor activities. Traditional Bihu dance and husori are arranged for the guests with campfire as part of the entertainment.

3. Summit Green Village Resort and Spa

Summit Green Village Resort and Spa
Summit Green Village Resort and Spa
Source: booking.com

Located at the foothills of Karbi Anglong hills, in Jakhalabandha Summit Green Village Resort and Spa is at a distance of around 41 kms from Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park. A huge statue of King Kong welcomes you to this resort as you drive down NH 37.

The Summit rooms interior
Rooms interior
Source: agoda.com

The Resort has 14 rooms under the categories Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe. The rooms are well furnished with all the basic amenities like AC, geyser, WiFi etc. The price ranges from INR 1500 to INR 5000 subject to changes.

Kholong, the restaurant
Kholong, the restaurant
Source: booking.com

The in-house restaurant Kholong is artistically designed like a cave which gives you a jungle like experience. The restaurant serves Indian, Continental and Assamese cuisine.

Inside the Summit resort
Inside the Resort
Source: agoda.com

The Resort provides jeep safari, bird-watching tours, tea garden visit and other activities. The guests can relax in the calming environment of the resort and experience the best of what nature has to offer. There’s a children’s playground, fishing pond, garden, game room, convenience store and a souvenir shop as well.

4. Landmark Woods

Landmark Woods, Kaziranga
Landmark Woods, Kaziranga
Source: tripadvisor.in

Built on an area of 15 acres, Landmark Woods is located uphill amidst beautiful mountains and landscaped gardens, and at a distance of around 25 kms from the Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park. The Resort offers heart warming services and provides you with comfortable accommodation.

Rooms interior of Landmark Woods
Rooms interior
Source: booking.com

The Resort has 25 well furnished rooms under the categories Luxury, Deluxe, Suites and Pent Suites. All the rooms are equipped with modern amenities like satellite TV, AC, ensuite toilets, coffee maker etc.

Swimming pool at Landmark Woods
The Swimming pool
Source: yatra.com

The common facilities of the Resort includes a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, banquet hall, conference room, video room, indoor sports and free WiFi. For outdoor activities you can indulge in biking, fishing, boating or exploring local villages and the nature trails.

The Resort manages tour packages and wildlife safari for the guests, both jeep and elephant safari.

5. Infinity Resort

Infinity Resort
Infinity Resort
Source: booking.com

Built amidst a bamboo Grove, a betel nut plantation and other herbs garden, Infinity Resort totally gives you the feel of Assam. The beauty of the Resort is enhanced by its unique Assamese styled chang bungalow and the lake. The Resort is located at a distance of only 7 kms from the Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park.

Rooms interior of Infinity Resort
Rooms interior
Source: infinityresorts.com

The Resort has 16 guest cottage rooms with high sloping roofs, traditional handmade walls, tall flood proof stilts and furnished with bamboo furniture. The basic amenities of AC, refrigerator, mini bar, coffee maker, work desk and hot water are provided in the rooms, with free WiFi.

Swimming pool at Infinity resort
The Swimming pool
Source: tripadvisor.com

There’s an in-house multi-cuisine restaurant with indoor dining area as well open deck seating arrangement. Indulge in the mouthwatering delicacies while appreciating the beauty around. Other facilities include a swimming pool, biking, fishing, boating, bird-watching, nature trails and personalized wildlife safari.

Assam is currently open for tourism, and world heritage site Kaziranga National Park is attracting a lot of domestic tourists. All protocols laid down by the Govt. are being strictly followed by the Resorts to keep Covid-19 on check. So feel free to check in!

Majuli near Jorhat

Jorhat : The Complete Holiday Package This Winter

Jorhat, known as the cultural capital of Assam, was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. Jorhat is a very important tourist destination in Assam and famous for its sprawling Tea-Estates and colonial style heritage bungalows. Jorhat is a complete holiday destination because of the variety it offers. From Naamghars to Maidams, Waterfall to Wildlife Sanctuary Jorhat has it all and winter is the best time to experience it.

Local Tourist Attractions

There are many significant places in and around the town one should definitely visit while in Jorhat.

Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar
Source: https://instagram.com/debasishdebuphotography?igshid=g1lmxd9m3nue

1. Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar : Established in 1461 by the Neo-Vaishnavite saint and reformer Sri Madhavdeva, Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar is a very important religious site in Assam. Sri Madhavdeva kindled an earthen lamp back then which has been burning till today as the priests dutifully refuel it as and when required. During the entire month of Bhadra, naam prasanga is held three times daily and devotees visit in huge numbers to offer prayers.

Tocklai Tea Research Center
Source: tocklai.org

2. Tocklai Tea Research Institute : Established in 1911 Tocklai Tea Research Institute was funded by the tea industry, subsidized by the Govt. of India, and the States of Assam and Bengal. Research on all aspects of tea cultivation and processing is carried out at the Institute. Research on tissue culture of modern tea and its medicinal benefits are also carried out here.

3. Jorhat Science Center and Planetarium : Jorhat Science Center and Planetarium was inaugurated in 2013. This was developed by National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. It has a thematic gallery on ‘Story of Oil’, ‘Fun Science’ on general principles of Science, a fully automated computerized Planetarium and a Science Park.

Lachit Borphukan Maidam
Source: allaboutassam.in

4. Lachit Borphukan Maidam : This is a memorial stone built in the memory of the great Ahom general Lachit Borphukan. This is actually the burying ground of this brave general which has now been developed into a park with the marble mausoleum as the main attraction.

5. Gymkhana Club : Jorhat Gymkhana Club is a sports venue built in 1876. Horse race, lawn tennis grass courts, swimming, billiards, polo, golf  cricket etc. has been successfully hosted in this property since then.

Siukapha Samannay Kshetra
Source: justdial.com

6. Siukapha Samannay Kshetra : Situated in Mohbandha near Jorhat and Dergaon, Siukapha Samannay Kshetra is a memorial built in the memory of the first Ahom King Swargadeo Siukapha. There are several things of interest and of historical significance in this place.

7. Burra Sahib Bungalow or Kaziranga Golf Resort: Kaziranga Golf Resort is a heritage tea estate bungalow located at a distance of around 18.4 kms from Jorhat. You can either choose to stay here for an extremely rejuvenating  experience or take a tour of this beautiful property which has its own golf course.

Kaziranga University
Source: kazirangauniversity.in

8. Kaziranga University: The Kaziranga University is a private university established in 2012. The university provides courses in Engineering, Management, Computing Science, Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Basic Sciences. Located in Koraikhowa which is around 16 kms from Jorhat Town, the University has a state-of-the-art infrastructure and well maintained campus.

Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
Source: tripnetra.com

9. Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary: Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary has been renamed as Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in 1997. This is an isolated protected area with evergreen forest located at a distance of around 21 kms fromJorhat Town. India’s only ape family the Hoolock Gibbon is found here.

There are a few places of great tourist interest in Assam which can be accessed from Jorhat in a day-trip.

1. Majuli Island

Ferry ride to Majuli
Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Majuli Island, the riverine island on the river Brahmaputra, is a very important spiritual destination in Assam. This is the land of the Satras, the famous Raas Mahotsav is celebrated here every year and the magnificent mask making craft is one of the many attractions of Majuli. These are the reasons people want to visit Majuli island. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach this island from Jorhat via Neemati ghat in a ferry. Once in Jorhat be sure to visit Majuli Island, spend a day at the Satras.

To know more about Majuli Island read my previous post: Mesmerizing Majuli.

2. Kaziranga National Park

Located at a distance of around 112 kms from Jorhat is the world heritage site Kaziranga National Park, the most visited wildlife destination in Assam. It takes around 2-3 hours to reach Kaziranga from Jorhat which means you can make a day trip to this amazing place, take a safari, have a hearty meal and still have enough time in your hands.

Kakochang Waterfalls
Source: https://instagram.com/syed_khalid_hussain_official?igshid=196jpyg8sl0cc

3. Kakochang Waterfalls

Kakochang Waterfalls is situated between Kaziranga National Park and Bokakhat. This is a less explored waterfall but with really scenic landscape. While on your visit to Kaziranga from Jorhat you can quickly explore this location on your way back.

4. Sivasagar

Shivdol and Sivasagar pukhuri
Source: en.wikipedia.org

The Tai-Ahom heritage town Sivasagar is located at a distance of only 58 kms from Jorhat. Sivasagar is a very important and popular tourist destination in Assam because of the rich history it has. Ranghar, Talatal Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Sivdol, Charaideo Maidam are some monuments of great tourist interest located in Sivasagar.

Read my post on Sivasagar city to know more about this historical place.

Railway track passing through Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
Source: https://instagram.com/photographers_of_india?igshid=x0a11gvzlnam

How to Reach Jorhat

Jorhat has its own airport, the Rowriah airport which has few very important connected flights from Delhi and Kolkata.

For those traveling by train there are two stations – Jorhat Town and Mariani Junction.

Where to Stay :

There are many options to choose from for lodging in Jorhat. You can choose to experience the grandeur of a heritage tea estate bungalow, British inspired bungalow, boutique hotel or even a modest one. But Tea Estate Bungalows surrounded by lush green plantations is what Jorhat is popular for.

Kaziranga Golf Resort
Source: https://instagram.com/shahanaparviz?igshid=uefh1beqvg9q

1. Kaziranga Golf Resort : This is a heritage Tea-estate bungalow which will give you a rejuvenating experience. The extensive area overlooking the tea garden is a treat to the eye. The resort has a Golf course too. It is located at a distance of 19 kms from the main town.

Thengal Manor
Source: https://instagram.com/ranjitksingh?igshid=qlrd7ny7w620

2. Thengal Manor : Located in Jalukanibari, Jorhat Thengal Manor is a colonial style mansion. This used to be the residence of tea planters Siva Prasad Barooah and Sashi Prasad Barooah and their family which was converted into a heritage hotel in 1965. There are only 4 double bedrooms and 1 single bedroom available here for accommodation.

Chameli Memsaab Bungalow
Source : https://instagram.com/framingjorhat?igshid=1a7tbmu3n68n7

3. Chameli Memsaab Bungalow : Chameli Memsaab Bungalow is a two-storeyed chang bungalow built over a three acre area of Chinnamora Tea Estate. There are quite a few room options to choose from across diffrent categories. This property is popular because the hit Assamese movie ‘Chameli Memsaab’ was shot here.

Banyan Grove
Source: blessingsonthenet.com

4. Banyan Grove : This is a three star heritage hotel built in Gatoonga Tea Estate with colonial style decor. There are 7 spacious rooms available for accommodation here.

5. The Manor: The Manor is a boutique hotel centrally located in Jorhat Town which offers comfortable accommodation. The hotel has its own restaurant cum bar.

Hotel Gulmohar Grand, Jorhat
Source: oyorooms.com

6. Gulmohar Grand : Centrally located in Choladhora, Hotel Gulmohar Grand offers comfortable accommodation with modern amenities. There’s an in-house coffee shop and restaurant to indulge in great food.

7. Hotel Paradise : Located in Malow Ali, Hotel Paradise is a good budget hotel which provides great service. The hotel has its own restaurant which is popular for ethnic Assamese food and has many other facilities as well.

Tea plantations
Source: https://instagram.com/sarmamonoj?igshid=18ocyrce4k22f

Assam boasts of its tea gardens and estates and tea tourism is an important and upcoming sector here. Jorhat is popular because it exactly caters to this aspect of Tourism and foreign tourists love to explore this. So one should definitely plan a colonial style stay in these heritage bungalows on your next visit to Jorhat, and explore the beauty of this town in style.

Mesmerising Majuli: The Land of Satras

Majuli is the riverine island in the mighty Brahmaputra and is the largest river island in the world. The beauty of the landscape, the green paddy fields, the meandering kutcha roads, the blue water of the Brahmaputra, the humble village life will leave you mesmerized once you set foot on the island. Majuli will give you the much needed calm and serene vacation which we all deserve after the stress and anxiety 2020 gave us.

Ferry ride to Majuli
Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Majuli Island has 144 villages and is the first island to be made into a district in India. Initially it had an area of 880 sq kms but due to erosion the island now is shrinking with each passing year. The island is multi-ethnic and hence boasts of a rich and colorful cultural heritage.

Majuli
Source: theculturetrip.com

Satras of Majuli and the Satra Culture:

Majuli was one of the nerve centres of the Neo-Vaishnavite movements during the heydays. It was here that Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva met his foremost disciple and apostolic successor Madhavdeva for the very first time. This event is referred in the history of Neo-Vaishnavite movement as Manikanchan Sanyog.

Young disciple at the satra
Source: easternvoyages.com

Satras are actually temples as well as cultural centres of Neo-Vaishnavism culture. In these Satras which are actually institutions, young boys are taught to lead a disciplined life in the praise and dedication of the Lord Krishna. They are also taught art and literature as a part of making a scholar out of them. The songs and dances initiated by Srimanta Sankardeva such as Borgeet, Bhatima, Jumora, Chali, Palnaam, Sattriya etc. are taught and promoted here in the Satras. The Satras consist of a large prayer hall facing the simple shrine, surrounded by dormitories and bathing tanks for monks. Guests can stay over if they want where they can take part in the worship rituals and witness the traditional bhaona and other cultural performances.

Sattriya dance performance
Source: indusscrolls.com

The first satra was established by Srimanta Sankardev here in Majuli in the 15th century. Since then sixty-five satras have come up for the propagation of ethics and socio-cultural ideals. Out of all only twenty-two remain now, while others have been shifted to different places. The main reason being flood and erosion which takes a devastating toll during monsoon.

Gayan Bayan performance
Source: adventurerivercruises.com

The main existing satras in Majuli now are:

  • Auniati Satra
  • Dakhinpat Satra
  • Garamurh Satra
  • Kamalabari Satra
  • Bengena-ati Satra
  • Shamaguri Satra

The Craft of Mask Making:

The art of Mask making of Majuli
Source: photocontest.smithsonianmag.com

During the bhaona performances if the artists wore masks of the concerned character they are portraying, people could relate more easily. So taking this into consideration Srimanta Sankardeva started the art of mask making. But over time this art was losing its popularity until the Satradhikar of Samaguri Satra revived this art and took it to the global stage. Today this mask making art of Majuli is renowned worldwide and people come especially to study and document this.

Masks used for bhaona performances
Source: discovernortheast.in

Hemchandra Goswami, a master of the craft, added a new dimension to this mask. He introduced the movement of the jaws of these masks which moved in tandem to the movement of the jaws of the artists. This made the masks look more life-like. These masks are made of bamboo and a special type of clay. First the structure is made out of bamboo which is later filled with clay and then painted.

Raas Purnima and the Raas Mahotsav of Majuli:

Traditional bhaona performance
Source: vajiramias.com

Raas is an Autumnal festival celebrated in the Satras of Majuli on the full moon day of Aghon or Kartik month. Hence this day is popularly called Raas Purnima in Assam. Raas-leela, according to Hindu scriptures is actually the tandava dance of Lord Krishna performed with Radha and 1600 gopis. During this festival a host of cultural programs are arranged, along with dance and symposium, prayer sessions etc. but the main attraction being the Ankiya Naat, a type of one act play performed through dance. This festival attracts a lot of domestic as well as International tourists every year. Raas Mahotsav is the main festival of Majuli.

How to reach there:

Nimati ghat, Jorhat
Source: https://instagram.com/devanga.nath?igshid=mgzvl1eumkq

Majuli is accessible from Jorhat via Neemati ghat. Ferry services are available from Neemati ghat, which is 14 kms from Jorhat Town and takes around 40 mins to reach. Take a bus or hire a taxi to reach the ghat and then board a ferry from Neemati ghat to Kamalabari ghat in Majuli Island. The ferry ride takes around 3-4 hours.

Bogibeel Bridge, Dibrugarh
Source: https://instagram.com/pransu.bharali?igshid=q7wlot11hfye

Majuli is accessible from Dibrugarh via Bogibeel Bridge which takes around 5 hours. Bus services are available from ASTC bus stand in Dibrugarh town directly to Majuli.

You can also book a cab from Dibrugarh to Majuli and the travel time would be almost same.

Where to stay:

All accommodation available in Majuli are eco-friendly, meaning they are either bamboo cottages or thatched houses. There are quite a few options to choose from. These accommodations are decent and comfortable but one should not expect the luxury of a hotel or a resort.

Okegiga Homes, Majuli
Source: tripadvisor.in
  • La Maison de Ananda
  • Okegiga Homes
  • Enchanting Majuli Resort
  • Dekasang Resort
  • Hotel Srimanta Sankardev
  • Ayang Okum River Bank bamboo cottage
  • Ygdrasill Bamboo Cottage
  • Risong Guest House
  • Jonki Panoi Bamboo Cottage by WCH
  • Mahabahu Bamboo Cottage
  • Majuli Eco Camp
  • River View Bamboo Cottage
Mahabahu Bamboo Cottage, Majuli
Source: booking.com

Best time to visit:

October to March are the best months to visit Majuli. Most of the festivals and drama performances are organized during this time, especially the famous Raas Mahotsav of Majuli. The climate during these months are mild and moderate with temperatures ranging below 20°C.