Travel Guide

Brahmaputra: Lifeline of Assam

Sunset in the Brahmaputra river

Revered and respected, the Brahmaputra is the most important natural feature of the state. Originating in Tibet as the Tsangpo,  it journeys eastwards for hundreds of kilometres before breaking through the Himalayas. Then known as the Siang, it traverses 300 km of the fostered hills of Arunachal Pradesh before it is met by the Luhit. From this union is born the Brahmaputra-----the only river in the country to be named after the son of the Lord Brahma.it now regales passage of almost 800 km in Assam. Sweeping southwards beyond, Dhubri, it then enters Bangladesh moving powerfully towards the Bay of Bengal.  
But at times, the most revered and respected Brahmaputra causes annual floods in the Assam Valley.

The Historic Bridge
The historic Saraighat bridge stands on the river Brahmaputra. Sarai was a small village where the old abandoned N.F. Railway station of Amingaon was located. Saraighat Bridge is at Jalukbari in kamrup District connecting north and south bank. It is the first rail-cum-road bridge on this mighty river. The bridge opened for traffic in October 1962 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This is a double decker bridge of 1492 meters length.

The Great Battle
This area is known for the famous battle between the Ahomes and the Mughals. The Battle of Saraighat took place in 1671. The Mughals led by the Kachwaha king, Raja Ramsingh I gave a brave fight with the Ahoms under the then General Lachit Borphukan on the Brahmaputra river at Saraighat. The Ahoms thrashed the Mughals with mighty terrain, relentless diplomatic negotiations to buy time, guerrilla tactics apart from psychological warfare, military intelligence. The Battle marked an end to the major attempts by the Mughals to extend their empire in to Assam.

Pandu Port
Another must-see place in Guwahati is the Pandu port. The word is derived from the Pandunath Temple on the bank of the Brahmaputra. Raghudev Narayan, the Koch King rebuilt the Pandunath Temple in 1586 A.D. according to history, the Ahom King Gourinath Singha also donated land to the temple in 1785 A.D. Pandu was the chief military base of the Ahoms. During the battle of Saraighat, General Lachit Barphukan defeated the powerful Mughal army by general Ramsingha in 1672.

It is also believed that the Pandavas took holy dips in the Brahmakunda and climbed the Nilachal Hill to worship Goddess Kamakhya before they set on their final journey to the heaven. Vashistha, the leading hermit also landed at Pandughat when he was in his search for an abode of peace.
 

Communication Network

Reaching Guwahati gets easier with the accessibility of a variety of transportation options. Following are the various alternatives of transportation access in Guwahati:

To reach Guwahati by Air: The Gopinath Bordoloi Airport is located at 23 km from the city and connects Guwahati to major Indian cities by air. Guwahati is connected by air to the major cities of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal, Agartala, Aizawl, Dibrugarh and Jorhat. Delhi and Kolkata are just one and a half hours away from Guwahati.

To reach Guwahati by Rail: The Paltan Bazaar Railway Station in Guwahati is an important terminus on the North-East Frontier Railway. It is well connected with all the major cities of India.

To reach Guwahati by Road: Guwahati is the hub of the road network to the north eastern region and to centers west of Assam. The distance between Guwahati and Kolkata is 1151 km and between Darjeeling and Guwahati is 627 km.

Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil, also spelt Deepor Beel it is located to the south-west of Guwahati city, in kamrup district of Assam. It is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputa River, to the south of the main river. It is also called a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed the lake in November 2002, as a Ramsar Site for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.

The name Deepor Beel is stated to be derivative of the Sanskrit word 'Dipa' which means Elephant and the Beel means wetland or large aquatic body in Assamese language, inhabited by elephant. It is considered as one of the largest Beels in the Brahmaputra valley of Lower Assam, it is categorized as representative of the wetland type under the Burma Monsoon Forest biogeography region.

The Dipor Bil is reported to provide, directly or indirectly, its natural resources for the livelihood of fourteen indigenous villages (1,200 families) located in its precincts. Freshwater fish is a vital protein and source of income for these communities; the health of these people is stated to be directly dependent on the health of this wetland ecosystem. A member of Deepor Beel Fishermen’s Cooperative Society has succinctly stated:

.It is claimed that Beel was an important dockyard of the Tai-Ahom as well as the Mughals. The medieval history reports of Ahom-Mughal conflicts. It is also stated that Kampitha and Rambrai Syiemship (the supreme political authority is known as the Syiemship in Meghalaya had control over this area.

It is located 13 km South West of Guwahati on the National Highway (NH. 31), on the Jalukbari-Khanapara bypass, alongside its north western boundary. PWD road skirts the northern fringe of the Rani and Garbhanga Reserve Forests on the south. The National Highway 37 borders the beel on the east and north-east and the Engineering College Road on the north. Also, minor roads and tracts exist in the vicinity of the beel. The Beel is about 5 km from the Guwahati Airport (GNB Int. Airport). Broad Gauge Railway line skirts the lake.

The Beel is bounded by the steep highlands on the north and south, and the valley formed has a broad U-shape with the Rani and Garbhanga hills forming the backdrop. The geologic and tectonic history of the region provides the links to the hydrology and channel dynamics of rivers and pattern, and intensity of land use in the area. It is commonly stated that the beel together with those adjoining it are an abandoned channel of the Brahmaputra system.

Dispur - Assam's capital, the Seat of Power

Prior to the year 1973, the capital of Assam was at Shillong (now the capital of Meghalaya after being carved out of the erstwhile Assam). Dispur is the seat of Government of Assam. The Assam Secretariat building is located in Dispur along with the Assam Assembly House and the State Emergency Operations Centre. Both the G S Road and The Assam Trunk Road passes through Dispur. It is also in Dispur that the Tea Auction Market is located. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) is one of the busiest tea trading facilities in the world. The world famous Assam Tea is the primary commodity auctioned here. The Centre is also known for auctioning the largest volume of CTC tea in the world! The ancient township of Jatia is located near Dispur.

Paradise on earth

Have you ever been to Assam? Hemmed in a beautiful range of hills and vallies Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the region speaks volumes of historic tales. Guwahati in Assam is the password to access the north east stands tall beside the most revered and respected Brahmaputra. Known as the Pragjyotishput, the ancient city is flanked by the Nilachal hill along with Chitrachal, Narakasur, is still shining in the golden pages of what Hiuen Tsang wrote. Besides, the city was the principal place of the Ahom General Lachit Borphukan who defeated the Mughals in the historic battle of Saraighat in 1671.     

Till 10-11th century AD, the city remained under the Pala dynasty. It further remained a strategic outpost for the Koch. But the charm started falling with the decline of the Kamata Kingdom.

People in place

Guwahati, as of now, is the residence of 809,895 (2001 census) people with the rapid growth of its demography. The figure stands at 9, 63, 429 if the provisional census of 2011 is to be believed. The census report suggests 52 per cent males with 48 per cent female population in the city. The average literacy rate stands at 91.11 per cent.

People and politics  

Crucial Lok Sabha constituency: Guwahati commands pride in the country’s political arena. The Gauhati Lok sabbha constituency consists of altogether assembly segments. These are  Dispur, Guwahati East, Guwahati West, Jalukbari, Boko (SC), Chaygaon, Palasbari, Barkhetry.
 

Shraddhanjali Kanan

 Shraddhanjali Kanan is one of the most popular parks in Guwahati, at RG Baruah Road, opposite of State Zoo. For its green-fresh environment along with its popularity Shraddhanjali Kanan is well known as the Best Park of Guwahati.

If you are thinking of enjoy some pleasant breezy environment, you may visit Shraddhanjali Kanan. The park is developed to match the design criteria of some foreign recreational parks. The park is seen full of people all the day especially on the weekends.

Things that you can see in here are:

  • Water fountains
  • Disco water fountain lights
  • Rough green surfaces
  • Games and amusement facilities for children
  • Hanging ship

Tags: Dating Place in Guwahati, Park, Amusement

Srimanta Sankardeva Kalashetra

 The Srimanta Sankardeva Kalashetra has been conceived as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam, of its diverse ethnic groups and sub-groups who have created the cultural mosaic which is the essence of the state in all its beauty and splendor. Named after the great unifier of Assam and one of the greatest integrators of the India society of the fifteenth century, Srimanta Sankaradeva, the Kalakshetra attempts to capture and convey the essence of the great seer’s spirit, who preached the message of unity in diversity, sang the song of glorious Bharata-Varsha and the universal brotherhood of man. The institution attempts for the preservation, restoration, research, promotion and development of the rich cultural heritage of the diverse ethnic communities inhabiting Assam. It is situated in Panjabari area of Guwahati, Assam. It includes a cultural museum, library and various facilities for preserving, demonstrating and performing cultural items, besides a children's park. In addition to being Northeast India’s largest cultural congregation, it is also one of the major tourist spot in Guwahati. . Built in the 1990s, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. There are eateries, places of worship, emporiums and open air theatres within the sprawling Kalakshetra premises.

It is governed by a body of executives, selected by the Assam Government's Cultural Department and is headed by a Director of the Assam Civil Service or Indian Administrative Service cadre. The Kalakshetra is divided into several complexes. The CentralMuseum exhibits the articles used by different ethnic groups of Assam. The museum also houses several cultural objects of the state within it. The open-air theater can accommodate 2000 people and hosts cultural programs in its premises. Traditional dance and drama performances are conducted in this theater. The Kalakshetra also has the Artists' Village, which replicates the village society of Assam. The Sahitya Bhavan is the library in the Kalakshetra, which has a huge collection of rare books and manuscripts. It is a repository of the literature of the region. Another section of the art complex is the Lalit-Kala Bhavan. It is the center used for exhibitions and workshops on art and culture. A heritage park is also a part of the huge complex of the Shankardev Kalakshetra. Now a cable facility is also available inside the park to commute the tourists. Nice view of the hills of Shillong plateau can be seen from the fields of Kalakshetra. The museum provides you a summary of Assamese Culture.The Bhupen Hazarika museum is another attraction of Kalakshetra.

The Kalakshetra houses number of structures and buildings abiding with the ethnic Assamese designs. A replica of the Rang Ghar (an Ahom Amphitheatre in Sivasagar district of Assam), is positioned in the entrance corridor to the main CentralMuseum. The CentralMuseum preserves some of the traditional articles, or artifacts of Assamese culture. The open air Theatre, with a breath taking view of misty mountainous range of the Khasi Hills in eyes vicinity, is a regular venue for a wide variety of cultural events and 2000 audience can enjoy the shows from the gallery seats. What can be termed as the major attraction in the Kalakshetra is an ArtisticVillage. This village portrays the village life of Assam in the liveliest of form through life like statues and model thatched huts. The majority of urban children, who are now deprived of experiencing a village life due to massive urbanization, can increase their knowledge of their roots through a virtual tour of the village. The Sahitya Bhawan is an archive of Assamese texts and literatures and provides a good reference for any scholar gathering information on Assam or the related North Eastern states. The Lalit Kala Bhawan offers a world class exhibition space for arts and sculptures.A walk through the HeritagePark gives a feeling of contentment and satisfaction to any nature's child. The Kalakshetra quite often holds various workshops of dramaturgy, cinema and other performing as well as visual arts. Beside these a candid eye for beauty can always spot the various murals on the center's surrounding walls. These murals depict various war moments, Bihu dances and other Assamese iconic representations.

 

Address:        

 

Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra

Panjabari, Guwahati 781037, Assam

 

Phone No: 0361-2332665

Fax No: 0361-2330269 (Tele fax)

Email:   kalakshetra@rediffmail.com

 

Website: http://kalakshetra-assam.gov.in

The Brahmaputra

The Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river, also called Tsangpo. It is one of the foremost rivers of Asia. From its origin in North-western Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo River, it flows across the southern Tibet to break through the Himalayas in great gorges and into Arunachal Pradesh (India) where it is known as Dihang. It flows southwest through the Assam Valley as Brahmaputra and south through Bangladesh as the Jamuna (not to be mistaken with Yamuna of India).

In the vast Ganges Delta it merges with the Padma, the main distributory of the Ganges, then the Meghna, before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. The Brahmaputra is about 1,800 miles (2,900 km) long. The river is very important for irrigation and transportation. The average depth of the river is 124 feet (38 m) and maximum depth is 380 feet (120 m). The Brahmaputra also causes annual floods in the Assam Valley. This happens when snow in the Himalayas melt. It is navigable for most of its length. The lower reaches are sacred to Hindus. While most rivers on the Indian subcontinent have female names, this river has rare male name, as it means "son of Brahma" in Sanskrit (“Putra” means "son").