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Pandu - The River Port

Pandu derives its name from the Pandunath Temple that stands on the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra. In 1586 A.D Raghudev Narayan, the Koch King rebuilt the Pandunath Temple. The Ahom King Gourinath Singha also donated land for the temple in 1707 shaka (1785 A.D) Pandu has been associated with many significant events in the history of Assam. During the region of the Ahom Kings the place assumed strategic importance in terms of defence against external aggression. Pandu was the chief military base during the battle of Saraighat where General Lachit Barphukan defeated the powerful Mughal army by General Ramsingha in 1672.

People also believe that the Pandavas took holy dips in the Brahmakunda of the river Brahmaputra and climbed the Nilachal Hill to worship Goddess Kamakhya before they set on their final journey to heaven. Vashistha in his search for an abode of peace and tranquillity once landed at Pandughat. As the demon king Narakasura encountered him, he continued his journey eastwards and settled at the present hermitage. "Vashisthahram" on the confluence of three hilly springs Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta.

As Pandu was surrounded by extensive fortification (gor), it is also known as 'Gar Pandu. Pandu remains one of the important ghats (river harbours) of the Brahmaputra.

Raibahadur Gunabhiram Barua in Assam Bandhu refers red to Pandu as Paru or Padu which was the main harbour of Guwahati at that time. The boundary of Pandu was the Brahmaputra in the North, Sadilapur in the West, Nilachal hill with Kamakhya Temple at the top in the east and the A.T. (Assam Trunk) Road in the south. This extensive area, comprising people belonging to different castes and communities was the populous Pandu village that has now almost disappeared. Only a few families around the temple of Pandunath now bear testimony to the glory that was old Pandu.

The 41st session of Indian National Congress (A.I.C.C.) was held at Pandu on 26th

December 1926, Mahatma Gandhi also attends the event. Pandu had this moment of glory and celebration to its credit. To quote D.G.Tendulkar, “Guwahati beat all previous records, and in an incredibly short time erected, in the midst of surrounding of natural beauty, on the banks of the Brahmaputra, a city under khadi canvas, Assam bamboo, Assam mud, Assam straw and Assam labour were responsible for the very simple but artistic huts erected for the occasion"(Mahatma, Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi), Vol. II, New Delhi, 1969, P-238).