hi, I am from Assam, a land which was always under the weaps of confusion.... like a land of terrorist, jungles and black magic....
Man its not like that check this special bit of info....
I am new to Blogger and I want to start my blog by thanking my birthplace through a touristic vision....
Fast FactsArea: 78,438 sq kmPopulation: 26.6 million Capital: Dispur
ClimateSummer (Mar to June) - WarmMonsoon (July to August) - WarmWinter (November to February) - Cool and Pleasant Clothing:Summer - CottonsWinter - Cottons or light woolens. Languages spoken:Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, English. Best Time to visitOctober to May.
Assam, the mystic land of teaThe largest of the North-Eastern states, Assam, consists mostly of the plains around the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers. A large part of the state is located in the narrow valley that the river has created over the ages. Assam is known for its scenic beauty, with gushing rivers on one side, snow capped mountains on the other and lush forests in between.
Assam was dominated by the Ahom rulers for more than 600 years … until their kingdom fell to the British, in 1826. The state's population includes a startling mix of Aryans, Dravidians and Tibeto-Burmans.
Assam is the gateway to North-East India, best known for its' tea plantations which yield the strong Assam leaf tea, popular all over the world. The whole region remains overwhelmingly agricultural. Assam produces more than half of India's petroleum.
Guwahati is the majestic gateway city to the North-East and capital of the state of Assam. The magic land Assam is a verdant land of the eternal blue hills, a treasure of flora and fauna, a mystic land of tea, the home of one horned rhino"uni-corn", together with a numbers of fairs and festivals. The word Assam is derived from the Sanskrit word "Asom" meaning 'peerless'. The ancient history refers to Assam as Pragjyotishpur, until in 1228, the Ahoms from North Thailand invaded this land and established a kingdom, which came to be known as Assam. So here I was glad to know about the Thai connection with Irene smiling. The irresistible tourist attraction of Assam lies in her immense green stillness, the lush green forest, and the bewildering variety of wildlife.
Assam - A land nestled in myths and mysteries, folk-lores and legends. Assam is almost another world, the Eastern Sentinel, the coloured wonderland of India.
Places of Interest
Assam, as a destination corresponds to a world of contrasts and excitement with each place of the state having something amazing to offer. Some people call it a magic land while others call it a green paradise. The State of Assam is one of the most beautiful regions of India. There is hardly any other state which has greater variety and colour in its natural scenery and in the cultural treasures of the people that inhabit it. Popular Tourist Circuits 1. Guwahati-Shillong-Guwahati2. Guwahati-Kaziranga-Guwahati3. Guwahati-Tezpur-Bhalukpong-Nameri National Park-Guwahati 4. Guwahati-Bomdila-Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh)-Tezpur-Guwahati5. Guwahati-Sibsagar-Jorhat-Majuli-Guwahati6. Guwahati-Hajo-Barpeta-Guwahati 7. Guwahati-Manas-Guwahati8. Guwahati City Tour 9. River cruise on Brahmaputra 10. Brahmaputra by Steam- a steam locomotive driven nostalgia trip(operated by the North East Frontier Railway). 11. Jatinga Steam Safari across the enchanting North Cachar Hills (operated by the North East Frontier Railway).
Guwahati and its surroundings Hugging the shores of the turbulent Brahmaputra, Guwahati is the gateway to the enchanting North Eastern India. The Light of the East, Pragjyotishpura, as it was known once upon a time, is said to have been a vast kingdom during the epic period of the Mahabharata. Today, Guwahati is the hub of the region and also its largest city.
Straddling on either banks of the river Brahmaputra is the busy, bustling and crowded city of Guwahati
MuseumAssam State Museum is 10 minutes walk from the Railway Station. Opening hours: 10:00 - 17:00 hrs. During summer 10:00 - 16:30 hrs. during Winter (Monday closed).
State Zoo-cum-Botanical GardenSituated 5 Kms. from the Guwahati Railway Station. Opening hours: 07:00 hrs. - 17:00 hrs. in Summer 08:00 hrs. - 16:30 hrs. in Winter (Friday closed)
Srimanta Sankardeva KalakshetraThe Srimanta Sankardeva kalakshetra has been set up as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the greatest integrator of the Assamese society Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra is a multi-Arts complex.
It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists' Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park. The Kalakshetra has been chosen as the venue for many cultural activities.
A grand exposition of the culture and life of people of Assam. It is a multi-arts complex which has been chosen as a venue for many cultural shows.
Other Attractions around Guwahati:Dighalipukhuri, a water body in the heart of the city with boating facilities, cruises on the river Brahmaputra in the 'Jolporee', the famous Balaji Temple of Tirupati,Planetarium, the Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra, the Guwahati Oil Refinery, Lachit Barphukan Park and the Guwahati University are places worth visiting.
A water body in the heart of Guwahati which has boating facilities and recreational activities.
Chandubi LakeA natural lagoon and fine picnic spot which is 64 kms. from Guwahati. The lake and its surroundings is an ideal holiday resort with the added attraction of fishing and rowing.
The place is easily accessible by bus from Guwahati.The best season to visit is from November to April.
SualkuchiAssam produces three unique varieties of silks, the Golden Muga, the White Pat and the warm Eri. Silks grown all over the state find their way to Sualkuchi, 32 kms from Guwahati.
Sualkuchi is one of the world's largest weaving villages often called the Manchester of the East. The entire population here is engaged in weaving exquisite silk fabrics. A renowned centre of silk production, particularly known for Muga - the golden silk of Assam which is not produced anywhere else in the world.
HajoLocated 32 kms. from Guwahati on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, it is a place where three religions meet - Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. It has a large number of temples, the chief among them being Hayagriva-Madhab Temple. There is a belief that this temple contains the relic of Lord Buddha, while a section of the Buddhist hold that Lord Buddha attained nirvana here. Large number of Bhutanese visit this temple every year during the winter season.There is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims here known as Poa-Mecca.
According to mythology, the Pandavas had taken shelter in this region during their agyatvas or the period in hiding. One can see the stone bowl used by Bhima during this agyatvas. Other tourist destinations in Assam:
MajuliAssam is famous for Majuli, the world's largest river island. Majuli situated in the midst of river Brahmaputra, is the centre of Vishnava culture. The total area of Majuli has been steadily decreasing due to strong erosion of the river Brahmaputra. The area of the island has reduced from 2,82,165 acres in 1853 to less than 886 sq. kms today.
There are over fifteen Vaishnava monasteries or satras on Majuli. The major satras are Kamalabari, Natun Kamalabari, Auniati, Garmur, Samoguri, Dakhinpat and Bengenaati. These satras are regarded as the main centres for Assamese art, music, dance, drama, handicrafts, literature and religion etc. Auniati is famous for its considerable collection of Assamese old utensils, jewellery and handicrafts. Upper Majuli is inhabited by tribes like the Mising and the Deoris and is the centre of a living heritage of colourful costumes and festivals. Plenty of migratory birds of great varieties are also seen here
Majuli, world's largest river island is home to the seat of Vaishnavite culture in Assam.
SibsagarSibsagar is 369 kms. towards the east of Guwahati and is the headquarters of a district of the same name. It is also a leading tea and oil producing district. The Eastern Regional Headquarter of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission is located at Nazira, 18 kms. from Sibsagar. Modern Sibsagar is a fast developing town.
Sibsagar was the capital of the Ahoms who ruled Assam at a stretch for six hundreds years before the advent of the British. It is a beautiful town located around the huge Sibsagar tank, an artificial lake constructed by Queen Madambika in 1734 A.D. The Shiva dol or Shiva Temple on the bank of this tank is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.
The highest Shiva temple in India situated in the heart of Sibsagar, which was the capital of the Ahom dynasty.
HaflongUp in the rugged terrains stands Assam's only hill station, Haflong, where one can see the rainbow down below. It is the district Headquarters of North Cachar Hills. Hilly Assam is a land of sensuousness. A heaven to the senses where one touches the sweetest dream with one's fingers. The mountains float in the distant sky. The clouds descend and snugly lie below one's feet. A beautiful lake 'Haflong Lake' is located in the heart of the town
Jatinga 9 kms. from Haflong, is famous for the unexplained phenomenon of migratory birds 'committing mass suicide'. The migratory birds come during the month of August to November and it becomes the Orinthologists attraction. From the elevated watch tower one can see them yielding to their death wish and their little plumage dropping down. Season to visit is from August to April.
Other attractions include exciting trekking in Borail Hills, watching the traditional dances of the Tribals and a visit to the Orchid Garden.
A typical landscape of Assam
DigboiSurrounded by numerous Tea Gardens and mystic blue hills, Digboi is a major oil town. A hundred year old Refinery and it's hundred and twelve year old oil field still exist here. The Digboi Refinery came into being in 1901 as the first refinery of Asia and as the second one in the world. Today, the oil field and refinery are the oldest continuing oil field and refinery in the world.There is also a War Cemetry and Golf Course in Digboi.
TezpurTezpur, known as Sonitpur (city of blood) of Puranic fame, is associated with the legend of princess Usha, the daughter of King Bana and prince Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna for their eternal love and romance. The great mythological war believed to have been fought between Hari(Lord Krishna) and Hara (Lord Shiva) and as a result the whole city was said to have been drenched in blood, hence the name.
Situated on the north bank of the majestic river Brahmaputra, Tezpur town is of magnificient scenic beauty and exquisite archaeological ruins. It is the headquarters of Sonitpur district and is considered as one of the most beautiful towns of the state.
Undulated green valleys surrounded by the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, with snow capped peaks of the Himalayas as the northern backdrop, lush green tea gardens and magnificient archaeological ruins have all contributed to make Tezpur a tourist's delight. Her contribution to art, culture, literature particularly her contribution to the freedom struggle have earned for Tezpur a unique niche in the history of Assam.
In 1942, for the first time in entire British India, the tricolour (Indian flag) was hoisted in the police station at Gahpur, a quiet mofussil town under Sonitpur district. Fourteen year old Kanaklata braved British bullets and died holding the national flag aloft.
Attractions around Tezpur:
Bamuni HillsThe ruins of Bamuni hill is famous for its artistic beauty. The sculpture remains which dates back to the 9th and 10th century A.D. now lie in the Cole park and Missionary compound.
The Hazara PukhuriThe large tank preserves the name Harzara Varman in Tezpur. It was excavated in the early part of the 19th century. This is the third largest tank covering an area of 70 acres.
Cole ParkIt is one of the most beautiful places in the town. The park which was first established by a British Deputy Commissioner, Mr Cole, is the place for peace loving people. Here one can see the two massive ornamental stone pillars and the sculptural remains of the famous Bamuni Hills
One of the attractions of Tezpur town. This park was first established by a British commissioner, Mr. Cole
BhalukpungSurrounded by mystic blue hills and evergreen forests, Bhalukpung is situated on the bank of the river Jia Bharali. It is only 64 kms. from Tezpur and is on the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. It is famous for its unique natural beauty, angling and rafting. Far from the madding crowd Bhalukpung is a place of peace and tranquility.It is only 56 kms from Tezpur town.
Other attractions of Bhalukpung are a hot spring and an Eco-Camp at Potasil.
DiphuThis hilly town is the headquarters of the Karbi-Anglong district. Diphu is the centre of Karbi art and culture. The indigenous tribe of karbi Anglong, the Karbis, are well known for their hospitality and colourful culture.
A 3.05 km bridge over Brahmaputra named after the great Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan
BhomoraguriA mammoth stone inscription made by the Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan, who planned to construct a bridge over Brahmaputra is seen here. Almost two centuries later, a bridge over Brahmaputra at the same place has now been completed. The 3.05 km. bridge named after the great Ahom general, connecting Nagaon district with Tezpur was opened for vehicular traffic by the then Prime Minister of India Late Rajiv Gandhi on April 3, 1987.
The first of a series of articles on national parks in Sarawak, you will never hear enough of the word 'ecotourism'. Bako National Park should be your first stop if you are planning a trip to one of the many national parks in the state. Bako has a unique set of geological and climatic conditions.In a tiny area of 10.6 sq miles (27.4 sq kilometers), you can find seven distinct ecosystems compressed within the relatively small space.Despite its size, the Bako National Park is home to a
vast variety of flora and fauna and this is so thanks to the many distinctive ecosystems. The park is a well-maintained location; therefore exploring it by foot is easy. There are good trail systems and great animals to watch. Having been a protected piece of land since 1957, Bako promises an array of fun and adventure.
Located just 24 miles (37 kilometers) from downtown Kuching (Sarawak's capital city), your starting point to the national park begins at Kampung Bako. To reach the park's headquarters at Telok Assam, you must first take a half hour boat ride. Along the way, you will see numerous wooden houses on stilts from the riverside villages and also fishermen tending to their fish traps. Once you reach the HQ, you will soon realize that you are headed towards the heart of wildlife. Even the few wooden chalets and rest houses are surrounded by virgin jungle. Although you may be highly excited and can't wait to jump straight in and explore the park, I would advice that you take a trip to the park's information center first before doing anything else. This place can fill you in with all sorts of required information and it is also here that you will get to learn more about Bako's bio-diversity and some of the attractions that you will get to see along your route. The information center will also be a good spot to check out the numerous available routes and the time taken to complete each track. Please be aware that each route will offer you through different sceneries, some through the thick dense forest with all its unique wildlife, some through the white sandy beaches and of course, some that will allow you to view the interesting flora. The best times for a trekking session are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. At about 7 am, you will be greeted with troops of the long-tailed macaque monkeys. These monkeys will be around the area most of the day. Used to seeing humans, these monkeys are tame and enjoy loitering around the area. You will also get to see the silver-leaf monkey that usually congregates in big groups around the chalets and along the Telok Assam route. Not necessary to venture far, you will also get to see the plantain squirrels, bearded pigs, snakes, flying lemurs and a number of lizards. One of the country's largest lizards, the water monitors, is also spotted hanging around the jetty and near the rest houses. Smaller creatures can be found at the mangrove forest at Telok Assam. Hidden within the complicated network of aerial roots of the mangrove trees are creatures such as hermit crabs, sky-blue fiddler crabs and mudskippers. If you are a lover of birds, the mangrove is a good place for viewing Bako's bird life. So far, there have been a recorded 150 species of birds found at Bako including the state bird of Sarawak - the hornbill. Here, you will also get to see the birds such as the velvet-fronted nuthatch, racket-tailed drongo or ruby-cheeked sunbird. Such birds are a rarity and definitely, they are not of your garden sparrows variety!
The highlight of this trip is when you get the opportunity to encounter the Proboscis Monkey, a rare and protected animal found only in Borneo. Out of 6,000 monkeys left in the wild, about 1,000 of them are found in Sarawak and about 150 of them lives in Bako. If you want to catch sight of this rare monkey, head on down the Teluk Paku or the Telok Delima trails. They can be seen either during the wee hours of the morning or the hours before dusk. Patience and silence are the virtues here. To seek out these Proboscis Monkeys, one must be quiet and still? and you might just catch sight of them. One of the most popular trails at Bako is none other than the Lintang Trail. It is highly recommended for those who want a rainforest experience. The trek will take about 3 ½ hours and will show you the full glory of Bako's vegetation. Another popular trail is the Telok Pandan Kecil trek, which will lead you to Bako's best beach. A short walk of 1 ½ hours, you will be rewarded with a refreshing swim at the end of the walk. Scenery at Bako National Park is simply breathtaking and awesome where the jungle canopy can rise to 40 meters in height! Although some climbing may be tough and steep, yet the walk will prove to be enjoyable, nonetheless. The Bako National Park emits a kind of Robinson Crusoe feel and you will feel yourself in the thick of nature and very much in tune with your surroundings. Each trail promises a difference. It all depends on what you really want
ADVENTURE IN ASSAM:
'Brahmaputra' one of the largest River systems in the world, flows through Heart of Assam. With its numerous tributaries offering a wide range of water based adventure sports.
Angling in Assam
The river Jia Bhoroli, Kapili and Manas are the best places for angling. The Jia Bhoroli River is home to the fierce game fish the "Golden Mahseer", or tiger of the Himalayan Rivers. An annual Angling competition is regularly held at Jia Bhoroli where a number of anglers both from outside the state as well as abroad participate every year. Angling is so popular a sport here that there is an organised body by the name 'Assam Bhoroli Anglers Association' which organises this sport in the month of November every year in collaboration with the State Forest Department. Eco Camp situated at the fringes of the Nameri National Park is an avid camper's ideal getaway.
River Cruise in Assam
The turbulent rivers, the mystic blue hills, the savage terrains and serene countryside beckon the adventurers to Assam. Challenge the Brahmaputra, one of the four largest rivers in the world and cruise down the mystic river from Ninging to Dhubri.
Boat Racing in AssamBoat racing is a very popular sport of the state. People very often organize boat racing during festive occasions at places like Hajo, Saulkuchi, Barpeta, Guwahati etc. The involvement of the masses in this sport can be compared with the snake-boat racing in Kerala.
River Rafting in AssamThe mighty river Brahmaputra and its turbulent tributaries like Manas, Jia Bhoroli and Kapili offer immense scope for River Rafting. The fiery rapids in these rivers fuel the spirit of adventure in you.
WILDLIFE IN ASSAM:Kaziranga, land of the famed One Horned Rhinoceros
Kaziranga National Park is spread over an area of 430 sq. kms consisting of dense forest, rugged reeds, marshes and shallow pools. Elephant grass grows up to a few meters making it an ideal grazing ground for the famed One Horned Rhinoceros. One can take Elephant Safari to the central range of the National Park which is predominantly grasslands. Elephants move in a group through the grazing ground so close that one could have the feeling of being c a wild one. Wildlife to be seen in the central range is Rhinoceros, Herd of wild Asiatic buffalos & Elephants, naughty Languor's and deer's. A jeep safari can be taken to the eastern range of the Park, which is a thick jungle with water bodies making it ideal for watching bird life. Some of the rare species to be found in Kaziranga are Indian Bison, Swamp Deer, Sambar, Hog Deer, Sloth Bear, Tiger Leopard, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Hog Badger, Capped Langur, Hoolock Gibbon, Jackal, Goose, Hornbill, Adjutant Stork, Ibis, Cormorant, Egret, Heron, Fishing Eagle, and a lot more. A number of migratory Birds can also be seen during winters.
Manas, Tiger Den
Tucked away in the foothills of Bhutan. This Tiger Reserve of Assam is one of the most Magnificent National Parks of India. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Covering an area of 519.77 sq. kms is one of the Dense, Most wild and least frequented National Parks. It is also famous for its unique biodiversity wooden platform. Some rare species found here are Wild Boar, Swamp Deer, Golden langur, Rhinoceros, Tiger and Hundreds of Winged species.
Nameri National Park: The last house of White winged Wood Duck
Nestled at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, Nameri National Park covers an area of 200 Sq. Kms. With river Jia Bhoroli bifurcating the park, it is the most scenic of all the national parks of Assam. Its in the eastern border of Assam in the valley and mountainous Arunachal Pradesh, Nameri is home to some of the endangered species like white winged wood duck, Sloth Bear, Tiger Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Sambar, Gaur, Indian Wild Dog, four varieties of Hornbill and many other winged species.The other reason Nameri is famous for, is the herds of elephants. The park have a high density of elephant population and due to lessening of forest cover, they sometimes invade human inhabited villages, which have attracted the attention of wildlife conservationists worldwide.
Jia Bhoroli river of Assam is famous for the Mahseer angling, since the time of British. This perennial river enters Assam in the plains, near Bhalukpung after swirling through the rugged mountains of Arunachal. It is home of the Golden Mahseer- The Tiger of Indian rivers and a catch for any angler. H.S. Tomas wrote in his book, 'The Rod in India’ ...”Pound to Pound, the Mahseer is superior in sporting qualities to the lordly Salmon of my Native land." Being in the National Park, only game angling (tag and release) is allowed during season from October to April. Besides elephant ride and angling on the river, the Eco Camp itself offers a golden opportunity to live with the nature.
Other National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam
Nature has ungrudgingly blessed Assam with an abundance of scenic grandeur. A wealth of rarest and near-extinct species of wildlife are found in Assam, which includes Golden Langur, Hoolock Gibbon, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare, White-Winged Wood duck, Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Swamp Deer, Gangetic Dolphins etc. Moreover, during season flock of resident and migratory birds make Assam their natural habitats.Dibru-Saikhowa National ParkThe Dibru-Saikhowa National Park lies in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia District. It is 13 kms from Tinsukia Town, which is 483 kms from Guwahati. It covers an area of about 340 sq. Kms. Of seven parts in the park one part is wetland and the rest are mainly glass land and dense forest. The main attractions of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park are the semi-wild horse (Feral) and the white-Winged wood duck. Other animals are Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Sambar, Slow Lories, Asiatic Buffaloes, Capped Langur, Gangetic Dolphin, Indian Wild Dog etc. More than 250 verities of local and migratory birds are also found here.
Orang (Rajib Gandhi) National ParkCovering an area of 78.81 sq. kms Orang National Park is a miniature Kaziranga. It is situated in the north bank of river Brahmaputra. Sixty percent of the sanctuary is grassland. The animals to be seen in this park are the great Indian one-horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Tiger, Sambar, Barking Deer, Pangolin, Hog Deer, Civet cat, Otters, and Wild Boar etc. Various species of birds including Pelican, Cormorant, Graylag Goose, Large whistling Teal, Great Adjutant stork, King fisher, King vulture have also found this park as their ideal habitat.
Other Wildlife Sanctuaries
· Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
· Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary
· Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary
· Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary
· Pobha Or Milroy Sanctuary
· Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary
· Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary
· Gorampani Wildlife Sanctuary, Golaghat
· Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
· Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary
· East Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary
· Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary
· Panidihing Bird Sanctuary, Sibsagar
· Deeporbeel Bird Sanctuary, Guwahati(Proposed)
· Bordoibam Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji(Proposed)
Festivals in Assam
Assam being a land of composite culture reflects a chain of festivals of different tribes throughout the year.It's as if people cross the threshold to come together with festive abandon and momentarily forget their tough lives. The perfect fusion if heritage of tribes and sub tribes has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals. The major festival of Assam is Bihu in three forms, viz.Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu in April, Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January and Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu in October/ November. Rongali Bihu is celebrated by most of the races that inhabit there in their own colors and names. Thus parallels of Bihu among the races are Baisagu for Bodo Kacharis, Baikhu for Rabhas, Ali- Ai -Ligang for Misings, Bohhaggio Bishu for Deoris. Contemporaries of Magh Bihu are Nara-siga Bihu of Miring, Pushy Par. or Tushu Puja of tea tribe of Assam. Other community festivals of Assam are Rongker of Karbis, Rajini Gabra and Harni Gabra of Dimasa tribe. The simplicity of Assamese people is reflected in their celebration. Festivals take place in a communal way, usually in a Namghar or in open space. Bamboo sticks and banana leaves are profusely used and rather than offering cooked food, nutritious food such as sprouted grams and fruits are offered during worship.
Bihu is Assam's one of the most important festivals. Cutting across the bars of class and caste, it celebrated by all and sundry. There are three such festivals in Assam: in the months of 'Bohaag' (mid April), 'Maagh' (mid January), and 'Katik' (mid October). The "Bohaag Bihu" (also called as "Rangali Bihu" or the Festival of Merriment) marks the beginning of the New Year - the seeding time. The "Kaati Bihu" (also called
as "Kongaali Bihu" or the Festival of the Poor) marks the completion of sowing & transplanting of paddies. The "Maagh Bihu" (also called as "Bhogali Bihu" or the Festival of Food) marks the end of the harvesting period. Of all the three the Bohaag Bihu is the period of greatest enjoyment, marking the arrival of spring season.
The Rangali Bihu is a dance festival. The highlight of this dance is a group of young boys and girls, dancing in separate groups with drums beats & pipes. On its eve, the womenfolk clean the clothes and prepare special Bihu delicacies like 'Chira' & 'Pitha'. The men folk collect necessary items like 'Tara Pogha' (ropes for the cattle) and vegetables like raw turmeric, brinjal, gourd etc. Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu (derived from the word 'Bhoga' meaning eating or enjoyment) is celebrated when the harvesting is over. It is a harvest festival. On the eve of Bihu day, called "Uruka", women prepare rice cakes and other refreshments. The most significant part of this day is the building of 'Meji' and feasting at night. The whole night is spent in feasting, merry - making dancing and singing. Kati Bihu or Kangali Bihu (Poor Bihu) is celebrated at the time when paddy seedlings begin to grow. In the evenings, offerings are made to the 'Tulsi' plant. Little earthen lamps ('Diyas') are lighted at its feet and puja's are offered to God for improved yield of crops. The significance of this Bihu is more in the villages, where farmers go to their respective fields and light "Akash-Banti" or 'sky-lamp' hanging from a tall bamboo, to ward off pests and other insects.
GOLFING IN ASSAM:
Wild life sanctuaries, beautiful Tea Gardens, white waters for rafting and set amongst them the enchanting golf courses of the country. Most of these are the legacy of British who built it to enhance their lifestyle while managing the Tea Gardens. This is why grandeur of king's lifestyle reflects in the location of golf courses in Tea Gardens. Unknown to the world, are these hundreds of acres of lush green plantations of Tea, which produce the finest cup of tea for the world. Little known to the world is also the lifestyle of the tea garden managers, living in bunglows spreading over acres of land and lush lawns with trappings of the Raj. Rose wood dated furniture adds grandeur to the ambience. The effort now is to give a taste to the golfers from all over the world- the taste of luxury and lifestyle while enjoying golf at a course, set amidst the most enchanting countryside. With existing small air strips, it is possible for tourists to directly fly to Guwahati International Airport and charter a small aircraft straight to the tea garden, saving a lot of travel time. There are 20 golf courses within 200 kms. The courses on offer range from hilly, undulating and the standard ones. The known ones being Digboi Golf Club, Margherita Golf Club, Thakurbari Golf Club, Biswanath Golf Club and Jorhat Gymkhana Golf Club. The courses have natural greens, as there is plenty of rainfall and groundwater available. There are good club houses for post a golf session that serves everything with luxury. Living in a Tea Estate in countryside and playing golf is comparable to a holiday in France Vineyards. A greater value for money tour is blending golf tour with a few world famous circuits of this region.