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| Last Updated:: 30/01/2016


(Photograph: Internet)





Assam, the gateway to the land of seven-sisters comprising of the states of , Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, is a land of majestic mountains, mighty rivers, lovely woods, waterfalls, and serene silences. Apart from its breathtaking natural beauty, the area is a place of historic monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, temples and is famous for its religion, especially the mystique of trantricism. , where tea growing is an industry and weaving an occupation with raw and naturally beautiful silks – muga and endi – is a heaven for tourists. With its kaleidoscopic variety, the state has immense potential to develop its tourism sector.


Assam is also counted as one of the prime Eco-Tourism destinations in India. Eco tourism in Assam attracts a large number of nature lovers and animal lovers who love to see the colourful wildlife in their natural habitat. There are five National Parks here; a no of wildlife sanctuaries and two bird sanctuaries for protection and preservation of wildlife in the state. The wide range in Assam's tourism bouquet – tea, river, wildlife, religions, adventure, and culture provides Assam with an unrivalled aura. Lofty mountains and green valleys abound in the state. The dense forests, rich flora and fauna and large waterways provide breathtaking scenes.                 


A wide range of exotic and rare species of fauna, including the famed one-horned Rhinoceros, are guarded in some of the finest wildlife National Parks and Sanctuaries at Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa, Nameri, Nambor and others. Each of them has their uniquely individual beauty and charm. Wild life tourism attracts a lot of foreign and domestic tourists with an appetite for thrill and adventurous encounter with the wild. A rail journey through the dense forests of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park provides a memorable picture. So does a drive through the tea gardens that stretch on for miles together.


Tourism is another attraction for tourists. One of the world's largest rivers, the Brahmaputra, and many other turbulent rivers of Assam offer immense opportunities for adventure tourism. Tourists can enjoy many exciting water sports like diving, swimming, rafting as also the alluring and tantalizing sport of angling and fishing. Assam tea is world renowned and is the brand ambassador of Assam. Modern tourists can have a romantic and exotic experience amid the greens of the tea gardens. Most tea gardens have 18-hole golf courses – another great tourist draw




Assam is fast emerging as a major tourist destination in India with its splendid tourist attractions, with its breath taking scenic beauty, dense forests, green valleys, large waterways, rich bio-diversity and unique art and culture – it has enormous potential for development through tourism.  The number of tourists visiting Assam has been increasing steadily during the last few years and the trend needs to be sustained through the provision of appropriate tourist facilities and services.  There is a good number of accommodation units scattered through out the state.


These units primarily meet the demands of domestic tourists and as such, there is a need for more quality hotels, particularly in tourist destinations like Guwahati, Kaziranga, Nameri, etc.  The unique attractions of Assam are its wildlife sanctuaries like Kaziranga, apart from its cultural attractions: the temples, monuments, art and craft. Accessibility and tourist facilities around these attractions have to be enhanced and marketed aggressively in the national and international markets. As of now, 64.2 percent of the domestic tourists are from within the state, and another 15 percent are from the other North Eastern states. Although it is fine to promote tourist movement within the state from the point of social integration, it is important that efforts are made to attract more tourists from other states in order to improve the tourism earnings from outside the state.


The state also has the potential of attracting more foreign tourists, particularly from those segments of tourists who have a discerning taste for culture, adventure and wild life attractions. Special efforts have, therefore, to be made to improve the requisite infrastructural facilities and strengthening overseas publicity and promotion.  The most potential international tourist markets for India are the USA, the UK, Australia and France. Marketing strategies for these countries need to be drawn up and implemented. Human resource development is another important aspect that needs to be given adequate emphasis within the tourism development efforts so as to improve the quality of services and to ensure that economic benefits of tourism are shared by the local community.


It is also important to develop and implement strategies for enhancing the duration of stay of both domestic and foreign tourists. By and large, tourists are satisfied with various infrastructure facilities in the state. However, there is always room for further improving the infrastructural facilities to provide a hassle free and memorable experience to the tourists. The policy framework and facilitation services in Assam also need to be improved and upgraded for attracting private investment in the tourism sector.It is, therefore, important that publicity and promotion of the tourist attractions of Assam are intensified, particularly in the tourist generating states.







       Photo: Kamakhya Temple                             Photo: Sualkuchi                                   Photo: Hayagriva Madhab Temple


The Assamese Capital City sprawls on the Southern bank of the mighty Brahmaputra, whose northern shore is invisible due to the vastness of the channel. It is the gateway to the North East States and is connected to Delhi and Kolkota by air and to all parts of India by rail and road.

Guwahati features an interesting bazaar, which is the main market of the North East States. Main sights are: -

• The Kamakaya temple: a fine example of Assamese architecture, the temple is known for its

power and enrichment. It is also a wonderful viewpoint.

• Saulkuchi is a silk weaving center famous for its golden colored Muga silk.

• Hajo: a unique pilgrimage center revered by Hindus, Muslims and Buddhist.




The 340-sq Kms Park is located on the South bank of the Brahmaputra 233 kms from Guwahati; it is famous for its 1000 plus, population of one-horned Rhinos. Tigers are also present in sizable numbers. Other attractions include the wild buffalo, magnificent swamp deer, hog deer, wild boar, Hoolak gibbon, Capped Langur, and Badger. Amongst the birds, the Crested Serpent Eagle is common, also the Pallas Fishing eagle, Grey Headed Fishing Eagle, Crane, Great Adjutant Stork, Bengal Floricab, Bar Headed Goose, Whistling Teal and Pelican can be seen in the wild. Jeep and Elephant Safari, is the mode of exploration. Nameri Wild Life & Nature Sanctuary

Located 250 kms from Guwahati and 80 kms from Kaziranga the Park lies astride a 25 kms stretch of river Jai – Bhoroli, it is a treasure house of sub-tropical flora, on the border of Arunachal Pradesh. It preserves, Leopard, Tiger, Bison, Elephant, Wild Boar, Himalayan Bear, capped Langur, Giant Squirrel, and the endangered Hispid Hare, White Winged Wood Duck, Hornbill, and other birds. An Eco camp provides a base for jungle safaris for flora, wildlife, bird watching, boating, rafting and angling, on a catch and release basis, and visit to the Tippi Orchid Research Station.




Manas National Park, a project Tiger Reserve and a World heritage Site, is 176 km north-west of Guwahati. Other animal species of the dense jungles here are the one-horned rhinos, tigers, hispid hare, gaurs, pygmy hogs and rare golden langurs. It's a paradise for birdwatchers for it has a stunning selection of avian life. Manas also offer excellent angling opportunities. You can stay at the forest bungalow at Matunguri inside the forest.



Straddling the lush vistas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Nameri National Park is ideal for a leisurely angling vacation. The mahseer of this region is legendary, particularly the golden masheer. You can also go river rafting. Nameri is also home to the clouded leopard, tiger, Indian bison and capped langur amongst its wild inhabitants.




The Orang Wildlife Sanctuary which is officially known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park is another wildlife arena that is sometimes referred to as the mini-Kaziranga. The sanctuary covers 78.81sq km and is located towards the Brahmaputra's northern banks. Orang is 31 km from Tezpur.

There are also several wildlife sanctuaries in Assam. The Pobha Sanctuary is located in Lakhimpur district and spans an area of 49 sq km. It was set up to protect the water buffalo. The Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the elephant and Indian bison, is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and covers 175 sq km. The Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary is where wild horses can be found; it is also the place that provides safety to the rare winged wood duck and migratory birds. The tiny (70 sq km) Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaon district is inhabited by the one-horned rhinoceros, wild buffalo, swamp deer, ducks, cormorant, etc.

The list doesn’t end here; other wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam are: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary, Barnadi Game Reserve, and Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary.




Majuli, the world's largest river island and accessible only by boat, is situated in the midst of the Brahmaputra River in the district of Jorhat to the east of Sonitpur and 20 km from Jorhat town. It is a pollution-free island currently totaling approximately 700 sq km. Measuring roughly 90 km from east to west and 16 km from north to south Majuli is a natural and cultural heritage site. With its abundant water bodies it attracts many species of birds, both local and migratory, including the pelican, Siberian crane and adjutant stork.

Majuli is a fascinating place to visit. It produces some interesting handicrafts, pottery being one, and has a rich ethnic culture of traditional tribal village life. It is a melting pot of different plains tribes all of whom possess colourful and resourceful identities. The main tribes residing there are the Mising, Deoris and Sonowal Kacharis.

It is also famous for being the centre of the Vaishnava culture in Assam. In fact the Vaishnava sattras (monasteries) were founded by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture in the early 16th century when he took shelter in Majuli and spent a couple of months there. Originally 65 sattras were developed for the propagation of ethics and socio-cultural ideals, but now only 22 remain, the major ones being Auniati, (known for its jewellery and handicrafts), Garamurh (housing a rich collection of ancient weapons), Samaguri (centre for mask making), Dakhinpat (known for the traditional performance of Raasleela), Bengenaati (a treasure house of antiques) and Kamalabari. All the others, threatened by flood and erosion, were relocated to safer places. The sattras are regarded as the main centres for Assamese art, music, dance, drama, handicrafts, literature and religion.

The best time to visit Majuli is during the dry season between October and March.




Sibsagar, sometimes spelled Sivasagar, on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River and headquarters of the district with the same name, is in the northeast of Assam around 370 kms east of Guwahati. It was the ancient capital of the Ahoms who ruled Assam for six hundred years before the invasion of the Burmese and the advent of the British. Formerly known as Rangpur, it is a beautiful town with a rich cultural fabric.

Sibsagar’s main feature, and from which it gets its name, is a huge water tank of over 230 acres constructed by Queen Madambika in 1734 which is at a higher elevation than the rest of the town. On its banks are 3 temples named Shivdol, Vishnudol and Devidol. Shivdol, the most important, is probably the tallest Shiva temple in India.

It is also home to the Rang Ghar, an oval shaped 2-story amphitheatre built in 1746 that served as the royal sports pavilion where Ahom kings and nobles watched games and buffalo fights. On the roof is a design of an Ahom royal long boat on top of which is a decorative pair of carved stone crocodiles.




Set among tea gardens, military cantonments and built around several lakes, Tezpur is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the district of Sonitpur, central Assam, and only a 20 minute drive from Wild Mahseer. With the snow-capped Himalayas as its northern backdrop, this scenic town has a fascinating history.

The name Tezpur is derived from the Sanskrit words teza (meaning blood) and pura (meaning town or city) and it is located on the ancient site of Sonitpur (meaning City of Blood) so named, as legend has it, because of an epic battle fought there between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. It is steeped in mythology and folklore and renowned for its magnificent archaeological ruins and scenic beauty.

Tezpur is the administrative headquarters of the Sonitpur district and largest of the north bank towns with a population exceeding 100,000. It is a commercial, administrative and educational centre and its economy mainly depends on its many Tea Gardens.



Sri Mahabhairab Mandir is an ancient temple located on a hillock in the northern part of Tezpur where King Bana worshipped Mahabhairab, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is a famous landmark and is visited by devotees from all over India. It houses one of the largest shiva linga (stone phallus) in India.



Holeshwar temple is located roughly 7 km outside Tezpur. This is another ancient site dedicated to an incarnation of the Lord Shiva that also houses a shiva linga. It is believed that when one prays earnestly at this temple the prayers will be fulfilled.



1 km east along the Brahmaputra River is the hill of Agni Garh, a famous battlefield featured in the epic Mahabharata which dates back to hundreds of years BC. The Mahabharata tells the story behind the Kurukshetra war and describes the fates of two royal families: the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Agni Garh, meaning rampart surrounded by fire, is one of the most beautiful places in Tezpur. According to legend King Bana imprisoned his only daughter Princess Usha there in a palace surrounded by a rampart of fire to keep her from her lover Prince Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna. Facing the Brahmaputra the hillock provides a panoramic view of both Tezpur and the river.



Da-Parbatiya, a few kilometers outside Tezpur, has within its limits the ruins of the oldest temple in Assam consisting of the remains of a brick temple of Siva from the Ahom period that was erected upon the ruins of a stone temple of the earlier Gupta period, circa 6th century AD. In 1897 an earthquake caused the Ahom brick temple to collapse revealing a door frame from the older structure, 1 of the 3 rare Gupta period architectural pieces in existence in India. It depicts two goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna, holding garlands in their hands standing at the foot of the door-jambs which are decorated with beautiful ornamental foliage carvings.



Cole Park, established and named after a Commissioner of Assam under British rule and renovated in 1996 by Mr Bhanu, Deputy Commissioner of Tezpur, is a centre for many recreational activities and sports. Now named Chitralekha Udyan, it has a horseshoe shaped lake with rowing and paddle boats, a restaurant and an open air stage. The park is home to 2 massive ornamented stone pillars and sculptural remains of the famous Bamuni hills dating back to the 9th and 10th century, which are a major attraction.



A beautiful 45 minute drive from Wild Mahseer, through tea estates towards the Thakur Bari Planters Club in north central Assam is Rangapara, a town with a population of 18,800. At the famous monastery there guests can meditate and listen to tantric hymns.





Surrounded by numerous tea gardens and mystic blue hills, Digboi is a major oil town. It is located south of the Brahamaputra River in Tinsukia, the most northeastern district of Assam. In 1901 the first oil refinery in Asia and second in the whole world was built there and today Digboi’s oil field and refinery are the longest producing in the world.




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