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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 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.