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.

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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.

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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.

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Visit these Restaurants in Guwahati for Ethnic Assamese food: My personal favorites!

Assamese cuisine is a burst of different rich flavors which is light on your palate at the same time. For many of you gahori manxho, xhar, aloo pitika might be synonymous to ethnic Assamese cuisine. But the variety which Assamese cuisine offers is unimaginable unless you see and savour it yourself. From locally grown herbs to local produce, local variety of fish and unique cooking techniques, ethnic Assamese cuisine is too good to resist. If you want to taste the flavors of Assam then visit these restaurants in Guwahati which gives you the perfect taste of ethnic Assamese cuisine.

To know more about the popular ethnic Assamese delicacies read my blog post Top 10 most popular ethnic Assamese dish.

Parampara Paradise

This is one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Guwahati serving authentic ethnic Assamese cuisine. Located in Silpukhuri, the restaurant has a very cozy ambience with great seating arrangements. It can accommodate large groups comfortably, and satisfy your taste buds giving you the best experience of Assamese flavors.

A typical thali in Parampara Paradise
Source: tripadvisor.in

Parampara thali is their meal speciality served in bell metal dishes. You will be served a welcome drink which depends on the seasonal availability of fruits or vegetables. Gooseberry or local lime soft drink is served as a welcome drink with this thali along with 13 other food items which includes Assamese speciality like khar, pitika, kharoli, khorisa, kuhudi, fish tenga, steamed fish, pigeon or duck curry, dal, rice, mixed vegetables, mahor guri and traditional dessert of hurum (puffed rice) with thick cream and jaggery.

The restaurant offers not only thali or meal but also a-la-carte menu. The ethnic Assamese menu ranges from duck, pork, chicken and pigeon to a variety of locally available fish and a variety of vegetarian options as well.

Parampara Paradise
Source: tripadvisor.in

The restaurant is currently following all protocols as directed by the government. While maintaining social distancing the restaurant is temporarily offering self-service and food is being served in disposable plates. Tables are being set 6 feet apart, staff is properly equipped with masks, face shields and sanitizers, the premise is sanitized everyday before opening and after closing.

The address of this restaurant is:

Parampara Paradise, Maniram Dewan Road, Krishna Nagar, Silpukhuri, Guwahati- 781003, Assam.

Mising Kitchen

Located in the heart of the city at Hengerabari, Mising Kitchen offers ethnic Assamese cuisine along with Mising cuisine. The restaurant is not very spacious but certainly is guest-friendly and homely. In fact, this is my personal favourite when it comes to taste and value for money.

Interior of Mising Kitchen
Source: magicpin.in

The few times I went there to dine I have witnessed full house of diners who come hungry and leave content. The restaurant offers ethnic Assamese as well as Mising cuisine which gives food lovers different options to choose from. They even serve thali specially for kids catering to their small appetite and choice of food.

The restaurant offers Normal thali with a choice of chicken, pork, duck, fish and even paneer. Like all Assamese thalis, the platter includes a variety of dishes from khar, pitika to curry and dessert.

Mising Kitchen
Source: justdial.com

The address of this restaurant is:

Mising Kitchen, House no. 24, 1st floor, Near Public Health Chariali, Hengrabari Road, Ganeshguri, Guwahati, Assam.

Gam’s Delicacy

Talk about beautiful interiors, spacious dining, awesome flavors, Gam’s Delicacy has it all. The first thing that caught my eyes on entering this restaurant for the first time was their unique furniture and bamboo decor. Located just below the Ganeshguri flyover in the heart of the city, this restaurant attracts a lot of customers. They also operate another unit located just opposite the ISBT and Balaji temple in Garchuk, Guwahati. One can easily arrange any kind of family functions or social meetings here given the space the restaurant offers.

Gam’s Delicacy, Garchuk unit
Source: tripadvisor.in

The restaurant offers Fish, Pork and Chicken thali with a variety of 14 items. For example, a typical pork thali will include Joha rice, yellow dal, Green veg/herbs fry, Pork curry, Pork with black dal, Pork boil, Pork patot diya (wrapped in banana or Tora leaf), Pork khorika, aloo pitika ( mashed potatoes), kheer, green salad, pickle, mint chutney and lentil chutney served in brass metal dishes and bowls.

Duck, pigeon and mutton varieties are available as part of their a-la-carte menu along with a variety of other ethnic Assamese dishes. Local varieties of fish and vegetables are available cooked with different local ingredients and herbs.

Gam’s Delicacy city unit
Source: sentinelassam.com

The addresses of the 2 units of this restaurant are:

Gam’s Delicacy, Krishna Market, GMC ward no. 44, G.S.Road, Ganeshguri, Guwahati, Assam.

Gam’s Delicacy Restaurant, Betkuchi, Opposite Maniram Dewan Trade Centre, NH 37, Garchuk, Guwahati, Assam.

Heritage Khorikaa

Heritage Khorikaa is the brainchild of Assam’s celebrity chef Atul Lahkar. He is a self-made and self-taught man, learning authentic cuisines directly from the locals over the years. He is a curious mind, always experimenting with ingredients and flavors. His restaurant is very popular because of his proud association with celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Sanjeev Kapoor among others as well as for his great culinary skills.

Chef Atul Lahkar and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in front of Heritage Khorikaa
Source: quicklisting.in

Located at Chandmari, the restaurant serves flavoursome authentic ethnic Assamese food. The restaurant offers a Vegetarian thali or meal with around 10 to 12 items and a choice of different meat and fish to choose from. Pork, Duck, Pigeon, Chicken and different varieties of fish are available on the menu. Khorikaa meaning barbeque, among other popular dishes, is their speciality as the name suggests.

The only time I tasted their flavoursome food left me craving for more. Their highlight seems to be the a-la-carte menu rather than the thali, which leaves a lingering taste on your palate of that special dish you savoured. I hope to visit this restaurant soon for another gastronomic experience.

Interiors of Heritage Khorikaa
Source: justdial.com

The address of this restaurant is:

Heritage Khorikaa, GNB Road, Behind Goswami Service Station HP petrol pump, Chandmari, Guwahati, Assam

Maihang

Maihang, I guess, is the largest operating restaurant chain in Assam with two branches in the city, and a few are outside Guwahati. The new outlet of Maihang was recently opened in Hengerabari in the city, which gives a very traditional vibe on entering because of their unique decor and plush interiors.

The table with Maihang, the traditional serving dish on display.
Source: maihang.in

The restaurant offers 2 thali or meal options- Maihang veg thali and Maihang non-veg thali. The rest are in their a-la-carte menu. The vegetarian meal includes 11 items like Joha rice, yellow dal, black dal, aloo pitika/bengena pitika, seasonal mixed vegetables, green vegetables fry, xhar/bor tenga, green veg boil, kharoli, baby potato fry, herbal chutney. In the non-veg thali a few of the veg items have been replaced by the non-veg varieties. For example, if you choose a fish thali you will get fish pitika, murighonto, fish tenga curry and fish fry.

The usual delicacies of duck, fish, pigeon and pork are available cooked with a variety of different ingredients and different styles. The restaurant gives utmost importance to healthy food and hygiene. They boast of their til chicken ( chicken cooked with black sesame seeds) as their signature and most popular dish.

The interior of Maihang
Source: maihang.in

The address of this restaurant is:

Maihang, Public Health tiniali, Lichubagan, Hengerabari Road, Guwahati, Assam

Rang Ghar front view

Ranghar – The Tai-Ahom Heritage Monument

Sahityarathi Laxminath Bezbaruah had composed this beautiful song back in the days when Assam was not economically sound. But the poet firmly believed that we, the Assamese, can never be poor.

Ami Asomiya, nohou dukhiya

Kihor dukhiya hom?

Hokolu asil, hokolu ase

Nubuju nolou gham.

Sankare dile bishudh dharam,

Lachite baahut bol

Sati Joymotir satitwa tezere

Asomi aai probol.

Bajok doba, bajok sankha

Bajok mridang khul.

Asom akou unnatir pothot

‘Jai Aai Asom’ bul.

Yes, Assam has a very rich cultural heritage which is much precious to every Assamese. The language, literature, religion, custom, tradition, values which have been passed down from our ancestors is what makes us rich. Economically we are gradually growing too, but socially and culturally we never were and never will be poor.

Historic Sivasagar bears testimony to this rich cultural heritage of Assam in general, and Tai- Ahom cultural legacy in particular. And standing tall is the Ranghar, one of the earliest pavilions of outdoor stadia in the Indian sub-continent.

Ranghar

Ranghar was first constructed during the reign of Swargadeo Rudrasingha with bamboo and wood. It was later re- built with brick by Swargadeo Pramatta Singha in AD 1744 – 1750.

Ahom kings and nobles watched various activities like buffalo fights and other sports mainly during the Rongali Bihu festival from this amphitheatre. They would sit all high and mighty enjoying the fun down at rupohi pathar. Ranghar, in my opinion, therefore became more like a symbol of power and majesty of the Tai Ahom royalty.

Keeping with this tradition Ranghar comes to life once a year during Rongali bihu. Day long cultural programmes are held and people come from far and wide to experience this colourful event.

Ranghar is a popular tourist attraction of Assam. I too have visited Ranghar several times ever since my childhood. But my most memorable visit was the school field trip to Sivasagar when we were in 7th standard. Our school used to organise trips for students every year for all the classes. The lower classes were not taken to trips but allowed to picnic in school campus. But, if I remember correctly, from 5th standard onwards students were taken on day long short trips.

beautiful ranghar and its surroundings
Beautiful Ranghar and its surroundings

Source – commons.wikimedia.org

I loved these trips but at the same time was always nervous because I suffered from motion sickness. I knew very well that such bus trips would make me sick and I could barely enjoy. But I always ended up signing for these trips for the mere joy of going together with friends. Planning started several days ahead of the actual trip on the lunch menu, games to play and other stuff. Playlists of songs were finalised to be played on the Walkman. Breakfast was provided by school but we had to carry our own lunch boxes. This planning was the real exciting part of the entire trip.

In school ours was a crazy group of seven friends and we called ourselves Rainbow group. Back in those days to own a camera was a luxury and only a few of us could afford it. I don’t quite remember who among us carried a camera but we did manage to take a few pictures. And I am very sure most of my school buddies still cherish those beautiful moments and pictures as well.

Me and my child Nevaan in front of Rang Ghar
Me and Nevaan in front of Rang Ghar

This year, in the month of April, I revisited this historic monument to create memories with my 3 months young baby. As we were travelling for the first time with our baby from Guwahati to Ledo, a distance of 522.9 kms, we decided to take a break at Sivasagar for a night. It was an exhausting journey with a baby and two fur babies. After taking a good rest for the night we went to visit Ranghar, Talatal ghar and Shivdol early next morning. The charm and glory of this town and the historic Ranghar will never fade.

Sivasagar should be a must visit destination in your bucket list. It has much to offer when it comes to historic monuments, and most villages in Sivasagar will give you the real thrill of raw Assamese village life. And trust me Spring is the best time to visit Assam when nature is at its best.

Xaj Pani – The Drink of Assam

What is Xaj Pani?

Xaj Pani is a name known to almost everyone from Assam, a culturally rich state from Northeastern part of India. But for those who have no idea what it is, do read further. Also, if you already know what it is, how about a little revision?

Xaj Pani is Rice Beer made of fermented rice and a mix of rare species of herbs. However, the process and ingredients to make it differ from household to household.

Xaj is known to be the drink of the Ahoms and plays an important role in their socio-cultural lives. But nowadays Xaj is not distinctive of the Ahoms people only. People from other ethnicities and communities also relish and even prepare this at their homes irrespective of it being an Ahom dish. Xaj has become more like the “Drink of Assam”.

Xaj Pani offered in a bowl
Xaj Pani – Drink of Assam

Source – assamtribune.com

When and where do you drink Xaj Pani?

Xaj Pani is offered by the Ahom community to their forefathers to please them and seek their blessings. Special ceremonies are held during childbirth, marriage, and even funeral. These are called Na- Purushor Hokaam or Mritakar Hokaam meaning ceremonial offering to the forefathers. Since Xaj is the main element in these ceremonies, we also call them Xajor Hokaam. It is believed that such rituals ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the family with the blessings of the forefathers.

Apart from these ceremonies, Xaj is also prepared during Bhogali Bihu, the harvest festival, and during Rongali Bihu as well by people of these communities. This is offered as a welcome drink to guests during Bihu along with other varieties of mouth-watering delicacies.

First experience with Xaj Pani

From a personal standpoint, I have been a part of quite a few of these ceremonies, and in my opinion, these ceremonies are very elaborate.

My first experience as I remember was during Na- khua which is basically the meal after the first batch of harvest comes in. Normally during Na-khua, people get together to organize a feast with the fresh harvest of paddy. People arrange such feasts according to their convenience after the harvest is done.

Xajpani offering
Source: Runjun Konwar Gogoi

My experience with Na- khua was a little different. Our Na- khua was organized at home and guests were invited along with Tai Ahom purohits.

Around two weeks prior to the set date, my late father-in-law made arrangements to ferment the rice adding some seeds (unknown to me). He chose the Bara chawoul, a sticky variety of rice, steamed it and added the secret ingredient. He then left the mixture to ferment for a few days. I saw that he added little water after 3 – 4 days without touching the mixture. This I believe is done to keep the mixture moist.

On the day of Na- khua, he strained the mixture at first and then added water to the mixture. The initial liquid obtained is called Rohiand the final product after adding water is called Xaj. We then gave some offerings to our forefathers. Among many other special items/offering made was Xaj. Prayers were offered and rituals were performed, after which the purohits drink Xaj. Only after the rituals were complete, others sat for their feast. Xaj was later served to everyone present.

Why Xaj Pani is so important?

Xaj is one of the most favorite drinks in Assam. It is naturally loaded with a variety of probiotics and has great therapeutic values.

Till now Xaj Pani was a household drink, but very soon this will hit the market as Heritage Alcoholic Beverage. Some reliable official sources say that an MoU has been signed for this purpose between Assam Agriculture University and a private organization giving production rights to the latter. A pilot project has already been initiated to mass-produce Xaj Pani with standardized ingredients and process.

Great! When should I visit Assam to taste this awesome drink?

If you are planning for a trip to Assam, do visit during Rongali Bihu, which falls around mid-April, as it would be the best time to visit and personally witness the rich culture of Assam. People of Assam will always welcome you with open arms and warm hearts.

The scintillating song of the cuckoo, the gorgeous green nature, the reverberation of the traditional Dhol in the distance, the mesmerizingly beautiful dancing muses will make your heart flutter.

The warm hospitality that you will receive here would make you feel at home. And what more than a glass of our heritage Xaj to cheer you up.

Cheers to this unique TASTE OF ASSAM!

India’s longest bridge – Dhola Sadiya bridge

In Assamese we have a very popular song sung by the exponent of folk and traditional music of Assam, Late Shri Khagen Mahanta:

” Ma ami Sadiyaloi jamei, Ma ami xotphul khamei.

Bandhim ami bandhim Ma kesa patot lun.

Ma sai thaka sun…”

I remember listening to this song in the radio many a times in my childhood. Sun kissed sunday afternoons, we would all sit on the grass anxiously waiting for our special sunday lunch, and the melodious tune in the distant radio would waver our hearts to wander into the wilderness. In the song a child assures his mother that one day he would definitely visit the distant land of Sadiya to satisfy his curiosity about that place. He has heard a lot about the exotic flowers that grow in abundance there, and longs to eat those. He even expresses his desire to go further and bathe in the Tsangpo river which originates in Tibet and create memories of a lifetime. Allegorically the song captures a child’s eternal curiosity to explore for himself the world unknown, something which is distant yet appealing to him. Sadiya is a place located in the farthest border region of Assam and communication was very difficult in the earlier days because of lack of transportation. So to go to Sadiya meant to cross all obstacles and march forward just like the journey of life and reaching it meant achieving success. But in the present scenario it takes hardly a few minutes now to cross the Lohit river to reach Sadiya. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra, has made communication to Sadiya and Arunachal Pradesh much easier now.

DSC_0254

The bridge is 9.15 km in length and is the longest in India till date. It has been named after the music maestro of Assam who had gained worldwide recognition, Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika as ‘Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu’. It connects Sadiya town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam. The bridge has reduced the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to one hour. From Tinsukia town it takes around one and a half hour to cover the 63.7 kms distance to the bridge via NH15 and NH115.

After covering 82 kms from Dhola one would reach Rowing in Arunachal Pradesh which is one of the most attractive destination for tourists. The charm of riding your own bike across the bridge, appreciating the beauty of the green mountains( snow covered in winters) at the distant horizon, the eternal blue of the Lohit river,the kiss of the light breeze on your face is a very refreshing experience in its own way.

DSC_0255

The Dhola Sadiya bridge is a must visit not as a destination but as the beginning of an adventure to the luscious green Mountains, the snow covered lakes, the beauty and simplicity of the local villages. Its people, their food, culture and way of life are worth the experience. The bridge defies all barriers and paves the way for a stronger political, economic, cultural and social Assam.

Pic courtesy: Swarnav Borgohain @ https://www.instagram.com/i_mkaku/

The Best Gift from my Dad

When I was quite young, my dad gave me a gift…..a poem. It was an invaluable piece of advice from a father to his young daughter who had yet to experience life. I feel proud to say that I remember it till date by heart and feel happy to share it with you all.

Plain living and high thinking,

That’s what should be your aim in life.

Never daunted but ever ahead,

That’s how you can win in strife.

That’s only my advice

To you my little daughter

What more can you expect 

From your dearest father.

father3

My father used to write revolutionary poems in his youth. As a kid I remember he narrated for us lines from Shakespeare’s plays and we were like, ” Wow, dad is so good in literature.” Inspite of his vernacular educational background, it was dad whom we looked upto, or run for help with our English homeworks and assignments, especially grammar. He was like our proof reader, our editor. Even today I am scared to show my write ups lest he finds some mistakes. So inspired by my dad here is my first poem ever:

ILLUSION

O’ blithe soul!
The envoy of peace
How blessed you are, indeed!
The blue sky is all yours, all birds your cohort,
And a carefree and blissful life you live.
Athwart the sea, over the mountains,
Beyond the horizon you fly,
Praising His creation, cursing man
You utter- fie human fie!

pigeon2

Indomitable, unstoppable, fiery you are
Unlike me, trapped in life’s mire.
I take a leap….fall…and lurch.
They consider me to be fluky
And are in praise at my fate
But they fail to see the sting,
Which i suffer and hate.

pigeon

How i wish to fly like you!
to explore the splendor all through
to feel the breeze and touch the sky
and sing songs of love true.
But dreams are a sham
And man a mere marionette
His fate is in submission
And life an illusion!

Thank you! Hope you like it! Please try and overlook my mistakes, if any.

Pic courtesy: Google

Talatal Ghar – The epitome of Tai Ahom architecture

The most interesting memory I have of Talatal Ghar is one that gives me an eerie feeling. Actually Talatal Ghar was used as the location of a very hit Assamese movie “Anthony mur naam” and the song concerned is “Ei rati jui jwole”. In the scene set at midnight there’s this woman, clad in a white saree who lures a group of armed policemen with her mysterious movements around the palace. This woman, disguised as a spirit, has someone to protect and hence lures the policemen away with her singing. There’s something uncanny about the song and its melody which gives you the chills. Somehow this scene is deeply rooted in my memory and my brain automatically associates Talatal Ghar with eerieness. Though in reality this is far from the case.

Talatal Ghar in Sivasagar district of Assam, also known as the Rangpur Palace was built as a military base. It has three storeys that are under ground( currently closed for tourists) and four above the ground, and thus the name “Talatal”. The underground storeys had two tunnels which linked the Dikhow River and the Garhgaon Palace and  served as easy access and secret routes during wars. Present day Talatal Ghar has only the ruins but the architecture has a lot to say about the Ahoms.DSC_1061

HOW TO GET THERE:

Well guys, we do have airports here, the nearest being Jorhat Rowriah Airport. It’s a domestic one though with only Jet Airways and JetKonnect flights. However, you can take a rental cab from there to Sivasagar which would take you around 90 mins. If you are the adventurous type then hire a bike, though I am not very sure if any bike services are available there. However, I am here to help always and would update you on that.

If you have arrived at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati you can do the same but it would take you longer from Guwahati to Sivasagar, about 6-7 hours. There are also train services available to Sivasagar from Guwahati and Shatabdi Express( GHY to DBR) is a good option which currently runs on alternate days. From Guwahati the options are more. We have quite a few cab services which you can self drive also. Bike rentals are also available from Guwahati. So I would personally suggest you to land at Guwahati and then go on about the other plans.DSC_1094

ACCOMODATION:

Obviously you have to hold for a night or two at Sivasagar and there are quite a few hotels here. Hotel Shiva Palace is a good one with both restaurant and lodging. But it would be awesome if you could homestay at a native’s place which would expose you to our people and our food. Would update you on homestay soon.

Talatal Ghar is a must visit for those who love archaeology and architecture. And like I already said it would serve as a very good location for movies, music videos, photography and the likes. It is unnecessary to give you further details because you have to come and explore it yourselves.

Pic courtesy: Swarnav Borgohain@ https://www.instagram.com/i_mkaku/