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.

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.

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.

Bogamati picnic spot

Best Picnic Spots Near Guwahati to Enjoy Time with Close Ones

The year end picnic, get-together parties and day trips are all we wait for after toiling hard the entire year. The festivities of the last few months of the year with Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, Kali Puja, Christmas reaches a new level with these year-end picnics. The excitement of stepping into a new year while being grateful for the passing year is always so great.

Dhola-Sadiya bridge
Dhola-Sadiya bridge
Source: https://instagram.com/swarnav_borgohain12?igshid=vpbmm5gglb12

This year is about to end too but the pandemic is ongoing. Picnic would be rare this year, but that doesn’t stop us from going on day trips with family and friends while following the mandatory safety precautions. Many are already out and about, but those with kids and elderly are still being cautious. But these picture perfect locations near Guwahati are ideal for nature lovers, and kids too will enjoy to the fullest.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is first on the list because it is nearest compared to the other locations on the list. Situated on the southern banks of the river Brahmaputra in Morigaon district, it is about 48 kms from Guwahati city and takes around 1 hr 45 mins to reach there.

Haduk hanging bridge, Pobitora
Haduk hanging bridge, Pobitora
Source: https://instagram.com/imabdulgani?igshid=1rct8yh111uo5

The main advantage of this location is that you don’t have to travel too early which otherwise becomes a little difficult with kids. Start your ride comfortably after your brunch and you could easily reach there for an elephant safari or jeep safari. The Sanctuary is open from 7am to 4pm throughout the year but the best time to visit is from November to March. The elephant safari timings are 6.30 am/ 7.30 am and 2.30 pm. The jeep safari timings are 6.30 am and 3 pm. Bird watching is another activity you can enjoy as Pobitora is home to more than 2000 migratory birds.

Elephant safari at Pobitora
Elephant safari at Pobitora
Source: https://instagram.com/kangkana_21?igshid=s2x0dut411o9

Pobitora is home to world’s highest density of one-horned rhinoceros and therefore you can definitely view a rhino during your safari. Spread across 38.83 sq kms if area, the Sanctuary is divided into forest, grassland and wetland. Apart from rhino the other animals spotted here are leopard, wild boar, barking deer, wild Buffalo etc.

Pro tip : On your way back to Guwahati enjoy a sumptuous dinner at any of the resorts in Sonapur which will complete your New year end outing.

Chandubi Lake

Chandubi Lake
Chandubi Lake
Source: https://instagram.com/nip_jr?igshid=bdlxgpj57rmo

Chandubi lake is a natural lake located at the foot of Garo hills surrounded by Assam and Meghalaya. It falls under Rabha Hasong Autonomous council, Kamrup district and is at a distance of 64 kms from Guwahati city which takes around 2 hours drive via Rani.

Boats at Chandubi lake
Chandubi lake
Source: https://instagram.com/kabya10?igshid=sz8xdkaeml6m

Rowing activity is available on the lake as you get to enjoy the picturesque surrounding. During winters many species of migratory birds can be spotted in the lake. In the first week of January the Chandubi festival is held every year which showcases local tribal cuisine and folk dance among other activities.

The quiet ambience is exactly what you are looking for this year provided you have to maintain social distancing. Just relax and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

Ukiam

Ukiam
Ukiam
Source: https://instagram.com/neha____das____?igshid=wjcxuxdasvfp

Ukiam is located 73 kms south of Guwahati, at the Assam-Meghalaya border. This place witnesses a confluence of three rivers Drone, Sree, Dilma and is a very popular picnic site. There are 35 small villages in the vicinity which have joined hands to find ways to boost tourist influx to the place. The Drone-Sree-Dilma River festival held for the first time last year received great response. A few more festivals were lined up for this year too but the pandemic came as an obstruction.

The suspension bridge connecting Assam and Meghalaya
The suspension bridge connecting Assam and Meghalaya
Source: https://instagram.com/go_northeast?igshid=187c3fps1i47x

A suspension bridge connects the border towns of Assam and Meghalaya and acts as the lifeline between the two states. The river below is rocky at places, and the surrounding mountains adds to the scenic beauty. Ukiam is a 2 hours 45 mins drive from the city.

Bogamati river

Bogamati
Bogamati
Source: https://instagram.com/ruddygraphy_?igshid=elme5rtk5cqk

Bogamati lies at the mouth of river Barnadi and is located near the Indo-Bhutan border at Baksa district of Assam. The river has vast deposits of white sand and stones and hence the name, Boga meaning white and mati meaning sand.

Aerial view of Barnadi river
Aerial view of Barnadi river
Source: https://instagram.com/rabenc4?igshid=1fhlgyvr69l5h

Bogamati is 93.9 kms from Guwahati city and takes around 2 hours 40 mins of travel time. River rafting at the white waters of Barnadi river is available for tourists. Other activities available are zip lining, trekking, camping etc. You can also visit the nearby tea plantations while you are there and grab a few packets of pure Assam tea.

You can buy best quality organic Assam tea here – Organic Assam tea

River rafting at Barnadi river
River rafting at Barnadi river
Source: https://instagram.com/geeta_4u?igshid=19xvo8jdep4ks

There’s a Buddhist temple up in the hills near the Bogamati picnic spot to reach which you have to climb a fleet of stairs. Bogamati is the perfect getaway this year end and tops my must visit list.

Bhairabkunda

Bhairabkunda is located in Udalguri district of Assam at the border of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. It is about 138 kms from Guwahati city and takes 3 hours 30 mins of travel time.

Bhairabkunda
Bhairabkunda
Source: https://instagram.com/baruahclicks?igshid=c0eq5cbcbghp

Bhairabkunda witnesses the confluence of the Bhairabi River and the Jampani River which originates in Bhutan. In Assam this becomes the river Dhansiri. There’s a Shiva temple nearby which geographically belongs to Bhutan but can be visited by Indians without a visa but only valid ID proof. In fact, one can also visit the nearby Bhutanese town Daifam and purchase wine and alcohol at much cheaper rates.

Bhairabkunda festival
Bhairabkunda festival
Source: https://instagram.com/pratidintime?igshid=gmuad62mvqh

Every year in the month of January the Bhairabkunda festival is organized here to promote tourism. During the festival different adventure sports and cultural activities are organized for the tourists.

Start planning your trip today! But don’t forget to maintain the basic protocols – face mask, hand-sanitizer and social-distancing.

Have you checked reusable cloth face masks with ethnic gamusa motifs. You can buy them here – Gamusa motifs reusable cloth face mask.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park located in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam is spread across an area of 765 sq kms, including a core area of 340 sq kms and a buffer zone of 425 sq kms. Situated on the south bank of river Brahmaputra the Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1997 and an Important Bird Area in 2004.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
Source: https://instagram.com/therizahmed?igshid=1qcsgpbdab603

The Park is bounded by the Mighty Brahmaputra and Lohit rivers in the north, and Dibru river in the south. It is the largest Salix swamp forest in North-eastern India with a tropical monsoon climate. Summers are hot and wet while winters are cool and dry. It mainly consists of moist mixed semi-evergreen forests, moist-mixed deciduous forests, canebrakes and grasslands.

Dibru-Saikhowa
Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/the.lost_boy_journey?igshid=rd4lbsnzz7rh

Compared to Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa is less explored and therefore untouched by the commercial buzz. Guijan ghat and Saikhowa ghat are the two entry points to the Park. There are no roads so elephant and jeep safari are out of question.

Activities available :

Boat rides at Dibru-Saikhowa
Boat rides at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/the_jazzy_land?igshid=6llhj719c4wr

Boat rides and nature trails are the most popular activities here. To take a tour of the park boat rides are the only option, but at places you can explore the trails accompanied by an experienced guide. There’s a huge land mass in the middle of the river which has a gigantic tree with roots and branches spiraling all around. This tree is said to be 120 years old and another major attraction of the park. As your boat meanders along you can view different species of birds, mammals and sometimes river dolphins too.

River dolphin at Dibru-Saikhowa
River dolphin at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/dream.chaser.riku?igshid=1weymey9j0v01

Dibru-Saikhowa is a birdwatcher’s paradise as it is home to many unique species of birds. Bird photographers therefore has a lot of scope here to feed their lenses and ever curious mind. Some species of birds that has recorded over time are Jerdon’s babbler, black-breasted parrotbill, Bengal florican, white bellied heron, black-necked stork, Sarus crane, grey-headed fish eagle, white-winged duck, Indian spot-billed duck, common shelduck etc.

Camping at Dibru-Saikhowa
Camping at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/gori.yashi?igshid=6l9p7sy6oby

Camping and campfire are part of the activities if you stay in the houseboats or eco- lodge. Warming up to the campfire on cold winter nights while enjoying a sumptuous ethnic Assamese meal is an experience you will cherish lifelong. Cultural programs like Bihu dance, husori are sometimes organized too.

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

While in Assam do not miss the opportunity to visit the tea gardens and Tinsukia and Dibrugarh have plenty of these. Offshore you can visit the tea plantations and explore the nature trails. Take a tour around the factory and see for yourself how your favorite Assam tea is processed and take back a few samples as souvenir.

How to get there :

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is only 12 kms away from Tinsukia town. If you are traveling from any part of the country then Dibrugarh Mohanbari Airport is the nearest airport. Cabs are available at the airport which can take you to Tinsukia town or directly to Dibru-Saikhowa. Alternatively you can board a bus to Tinsukia town after you reach NH37 in a tempo. From the town you can take a cab to Dibru-Saikhowa.

Sunset at Dibru-Saikhowa
Sunset at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/arpan_zb?igshid=142wth5gp23mf

If you are traveling by train then you can directly get off at Tinsukia Railway Station and book a cab from there.

Where to stay :

Eco camps, homestays and hotels are available to make your stay comfortable while visiting Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. Each of these offer different level of comfort and your choice depends on the type of experience you need.

Houseboats at Dibru-Saikhowa
Houseboats at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/goutam__kashyap?igshid=zj8nqex0awaj

There are a few house boats available for lodging. These boats take you on a day tour over the Brahmaputra to the forest area. On their return these boats are anchored offshore at Guijan ghat and you can stay overnight too. These are like a package tour with complimentary meals available, and you can enjoy a campfire too. Houseboats give you the most charming experience as you wake up to the view of the calm and serene river with birds chirping.

Eco-camps at Dibru-Saikhowa
Eco-camps at Dibru-Saikhowa
Source: https://instagram.com/wanderpitra._?igshid=1jxiflrjj0pwr

Offshore at Guijan ghat a few eco camps and homestays are said to be available for lodging. You can opt to stay there to get the thrill of camping.

While there a quite a few good hotels and resorts available in and around Tinsukia town for lodging. These provide far better facilities and are comfortable too.

A few good hotels highly recommended are:

Padmini Resort
Source: https://instagram.com/padmini_resort?igshid=hu4iykexcvwc
  • Padmini Resort: Nestled amidst the lush green tea gardens, Padmini Resort is eco-friendly and provides modern luxury comfort. It is spread across a 10 acre plot with landscaped garden, private villa, swimming pool with a bar and a restaurant.
  • Wathai Heritage Bungalow: This is a boutique plantation bungalow at Limbuguri Tea Estate in Tinsukia and around Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. Only 3 rooms are available at this heritage bungalow.
  • Hotel Royal Highness: Located at GNB Road, Tinsukia this is a luxurious 3 star hotel approved by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
  • Aroma Residency: This is a boutique hotel located at Rongagora Road, Tinsukia.
Hotel Royal Highness
Source: tripadvisor.in

Best time to visit :

The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park remains open throughout the year but the best time to visit is from November to March. The season is now, so plan your vacation soon to enjoy the tranquil of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park far from the madding crowd.

Weekend getaways from Guwahati

Best Weekend Getaways from Guwahati

Assam is an ideal location for all travel lovers. You can opt from many beautiful locations depending on your preferences. Get ‘far away from the madding crowd’ and spend an idyllic vacation amidst the greenery of the tea gardens. Relax in an eco-resort while enjoying the flavorsome ethnic Assamese cuisine. Take a safari of the Wildlife Sanctuaries. Dance to the rhythm of the Dhol on the sandy beaches of river Brahmaputra. Create a list of the most exotic things you wanted to do on a vacation to the northeast and check off each item.

To help you out, here is a list of some worthy weekend destinations near Guwahati you would want to visit.

1. Kaziranga National Park:

The first on the list is always going to be Kaziranga National Park. It is a UNESCO world heritage site located across Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Nagaon districts of Assam. This is home to the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Around two-thirds of the world rhino population is found here.

Kaziranga National Park entrance gate
Kaziranga National Park
Source: sentinelassam.com

Kaziranga is an expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broad-leaf forests. The Brahmaputra and three other rivers criss-cross the park in different areas. Kaziranga is also home to many different species of animals. These include Royal Bengal Tiger, wild Asiatic water buffalo, eastern swamp deer, and Asian elephant. These together with the one-horned rhino are known as ‘Big Five‘ of Kaziranga. Few other animal species found here are the Ganges dolphin, Golden langur, Hoolock gibbon, Leopards, Wild boar, Hog deer, Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolin, Golden jackal, Particolored flying squirrel, etc.

Kaziranga is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. Kaziranga is a favourite amongst wildlife lovers. Researchers spend months here to document their favourite animals and birds.

One horned Rhinoceros inside Kaziranga National Park
The One-horned Rhinoceros
Source: tourmyindia.com

How to reach:

Kaziranga National Park is at a distance of 217 km from Guwahati. You can hire a cab from Guwahati for a comfortable ride, or use self-drive cars and bikes. Take an early morning drive via NH 37 to the central park area located in Kohora, Golaghat district. This drive will take you around 4 to 5 hours, depending on how many stop you are taking to savour the fantastic roadside views.

If you are looking for cheaper options, then board a bus from ISBT, Lokhra towards the Kaziranga route. But, a bus ride might take a little longer than a cab ride.

What to do:

After checking into a hotel or eco-resort as per your preferences, you can opt for a jeep safari in the park. After returning, relax for the day and enjoy the night activities hosted by most hotels there. Early the next morning, you can take an elephant safari of the park. Tours start as early as 5 AM. There are three scheduled elephant safari timings- 5 am, 6 am, and 7 am.

After your tour, freshen up and enjoy a sumptuous ethnic Assamese meal in the nearby Orchid and Bio-diversity park. At the same time, you can enjoy the cultural programs there and take a tour of the park. It is house to a variety of species of orchid. After taking some rest, you can opt to return to Guwahati.

Tourists enjoying elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park
Elephant safari in the park
Source: guwahatiairport.com

The park is open from November to April and closes down during the monsoons.

The entry fee is INR 100 for Indians and INR 650 for foreign nationals. Elephant safari is INR 375 for Indians and around INR 2000 for foreign nationals. These rates, of course, may vary a little.

2. Manas National Park:

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary or Manas National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site located in Chirang and Baksa districts of Assam. It is also a Project Tiger reserve, an Elephant Reserve, and a biosphere reserve. The park is known for it’s rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as the Assam roofed turtle, Hispid hare, Golden langur, and Pygmy hog. Manas is also famous for its Wild water buffalo.

Manas National Park entrance gate
Manas National Park
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

How to reach:

Manas is at a distance of around 180 km from Guwahati from where you can hire cabs. It takes approximately 5 hours of off-road drive. If you are looking for cheaper options, travel via train to Barpeta station from where the park is about 22 km away. Check into a cottage or a lodge for a comfortable stay.

What to do:

You can enjoy river rafting on the quiet waters of the Manas river if you are looking for adventure. You can also engage in birdwatching. Jeep and elephant safari are also available in the park. A local village tour or tea plantation tour, along with a sumptuous meal of the local tribe, is a must.

River rafting in Manas river
River rafting in Manas river
Source: htoindia.com

Manas National Park is open from November to April, which are the best months to visit. Besides, in May and October, the park is open partially. The timings of the park are from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm.

3. Tezpur:

Tezpur in Sonitpur district is an ideal destination for travelers who love history, mythology, and folklore. Tezpur is the birthplace of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Phani Sharma. If you are wondering, they are all notable personalities of the cultural scene of Assam.

The famous Baan/ Bana theatre was born here in Tezpur. This town has a wealthy cultural heritage, for which it is also known as the cultural capital of Assam.

Tezpur university entrance gate
Tezpur University entrance
Source: en.wikipedia.org

How to reach:

Tezpur is around 175 km away towards the north-east of Guwahati. The cheapest option to travel to Tezpur is via bus, which costs you between INR 250 to INR 550. The second option is via train, which costs you anything between INR 700 to INR 1000, but the travel time is around 5 hours. If you want to hire a cab, it might cost you around INR 4000 and the travel time is about 3 to 4 hours.

What to do :

On your way to Tezpur, you will come across Kolia Bhomora dolong or bridge over the river Brahmaputra. Make a halt there to admire the beautiful scenery of the mighty river. The bridge, which is 3015 meters long, connects Sonitpur on the north bank to Nagaon on the south bank. Named after the famous Ahom general Kolia Bhomora Phukan, this bridge is best visited during dawn or dusk to witness the sunrise or sunset.

Kolia Bhomora bridge with lighting at sunset
Kolia Bhomora bridge Source: xcellholidays.com

The town of Tezpur is 10 km away from the bridge. Once you reach the city, check into a hotel and head out for your local tour. Some important tourist attractions are Agnigarh fort, Chitralekha udyan, Mahabhairab temple, Bamuni hills, Padum pukhuri, Hazarpar lake, Da Parbatia, Ketakeshwar dewal, and Tezpur University, among others.

According to history, Usha, daughter of Bana Raja, the ruler of Tezpur, fell in love with Aniruddha, grandson of Lord Krishna. Bana Raja sternly objected to the relationship and isolated Usha in Agnigarh, which was surrounded by fire at all times. Later, when Anirudhha tried to take Usha away, there was a war between Lord Krishna and Bana Raja, leading to bloodshed. The name Tezpur, meaning town of blood, came because of this legend.

Nameri National Park and Orang National Park are at a distance of 35 km and 31 km from Tezpur. If you are a wildlife lover, you can opt to take a safari of these parks. If you are an adventurous one, then visit Bhalukpong, the border town of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which is 64 km from Tezpur. Angling is a popular sport here at Jia Bhoroli river. Besides, you can also engage in river rafting. There are many tea estates in and around Tezpur, and you can take a tour of the estates if you like.

Agnigarh fort entrance
Agnigarh fort
Source: en.wikipedia.org

Tezpur is one of the many destinations which has a soothing climate throughout the year. However, between June to September, the region receives moderate to heavy rainfall.

4. Haflong:

Haflong is the only hill station in Assam and is a popular tourist destination. Haflong is a Dimasa word, which means ‘anthill.’ Haflong is located in the Dima Hasao district of Assam and has many offbeat locations that are still less explored.

How to reach:

Haflong is at a distance of 308.5 km from Guwahati, and it takes around seven and a half hours to reach there via roadway. Cheaper options are train and bus services.

Haflong lake overview
Haflong lake
Source: noblehousetours.com

What to do:

After checking into a hotel, visit Jatinga, a site famous for its strange phenomenon of mass bird suicide. It is a 15 mins ride from the main town and also boasts of its orchid diversity. Later take a tour of the city and visit the serene Haflong lake and Haflong hill.

Thuruk, which is 38 km away, is a popular destination for trekking. You can visit this early next morning and do some trekking. After that head straight to Panimur waterfall, another beautiful location 120 km away from Haflong town. This waterfall, formed by the Kopili river, is called the Niagara of Assam. Also, take out time to explore the beautiful valley of Umrangso nearby.

Panimur waterfall in Haflong
Panimur waterfall
Source: theoodlesrainbow.com

The best time to visit Haflong is from October to March. Since it is a hill station, the weather remains pleasant throughout the year, but monsoons are very harsh in Assam.