Located in the southern part of the eastern Himalayas in Assam. It is bordered by the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal. The state also shares its borders with two countries, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Assam is surrounded by green meadows, the gigantic Brahmaputra river, hills, tea gardens and also an abundantly diverse rich flora and fauna. A prestigious part of the seven sisters, Assam is also well-known for its vibrant culture and traditions.
Culture: The state of Assam follows a unique blend of culture. It includes the Indo Burmese, Mongolian and Aryan influences. The natives of Assam are referred to as Asomiya.
Language Spoken: Asamiya
Traditional Dress: The women wear motif-rich Mekhela Chador or Riha Mekhela. The men wear suria or dhoti. Over it they drape a chadar known as Seleng.
Folk Music: The classical folk music of Assam has been divided into Borgeet and Ojapali. Borgeets are a collection of lyrical songs that have specific ragas.
Craft: Assam has always been flooded with talented artists. Some of the products that you will easily be able to spot products made out of cane and bamboo. Some of them have also been created out of metals such as Bell-metal and brass. Assam also houses one of the areas with a large variety of wood and timber that are used in a lot of handicrafts. Other than this Assam is also famous for producing, masks, jewellery and traditional paintings.
Festivals: One of the most important festivals of Assam is Bihu. It is a set of three important Assamese festivals.First is Rongali or Bohag Bihu that is celebrated in April. The other Kongali or Kati Bihu is celebrated in October and Bhogali or Magh Bihu in January. The Rongali Bihu is considered as the most auspicious.
Folk Dance: The folk dances of Assam include the Bihu and the Bagurumba, the Bhortal, the Satriya and the Ojapali dance.
Cuisine: The staple dish of Assamese includes rice. They are known to majorly consume fish, chicken, duck and pigeon and pork. Some of the famous preparations of food consist of Machor Tenga, Patot Diya mas, dried fish and many more.
Major Occupation: Agriculture
Places to Visit in Assam
1. Kaziranga National Park
The Kaziranga National Park in Kanchanjuri, Assam is one of the most famous tourist spots around the world as it is popularly known for housing the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The park stretches up to an area of 430 square kilometres. Surrounded by a bundle of greenery, the park is famous for inhabiting around 2,200 Indian one-horned rhinoceros, that account for two-thirds of the total world population. The park is located near the edge of the Golaghat and Nagaon district. The Kaziranga National Park was announced as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. It is well known that the wife of Lord Curzon of Kedleston (Former Viceroy of India), Mary Curzon visited here but was unable to witness any one-horned rhinoceros. Therefore, she requested her husband to take measures that will help safeguard these species. So, in 1905 the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created that stretched up to an area of 90 sq mi. Not only one-horned rhinoceros, but the national park inhabits many elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deers too. In 2006, the Kaziranga National park was declared as a Tiger Reserve. Apart from animals, the park is also a great spot for encountering some bird species such as the white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck, black-necked stork, Asian openbill stork and many more. One of the most stunning added features of the Kaziranga National Park is its sheer closeness to the magnificent Brahmaputra river. Tourists will also be able to spot a varied form of vegetation such as the alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests. The Kaziranga Park remains closed from May to October every year. Hence, the best to visit here is between November and April.
2. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Adjudged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular Biosphere Reserve of Assam. The sanctuary extends up to an area of 2837 sq. km that consists of the Sankosh river, Dhansiri river and 500 sq. km area of the National Park. Descending from the gorges of Bhutan, the river Manas splits itself into two. Its refreshing waters come out of the National Park, which is popularly referred to as the Beki. The park is surrounded by a blooming fauna, a beautiful landscape that includes numerous hills, grasslands and forests. Also regarded as a Tiger Reserve, the park is home to the second-largest tiger population of India. Not only tigers, but it also inhabits a large number of wild water buffalos. One of the prestigious reasons due to which the Manas National Park is known is for inhabiting the maximum number of endangered species from India that have been listed in the IUCN Red Book. You can choose to spot the rhinos and tigers by taking an elephant ride that is arranged from Mathanguri for visitors to Manas. The best time for you to visit the Manas National Park is between October to December.
One of the most important cities of Assam, Jorhat is an incredible tourist spot to visit in Assam. It is the second-largest city of Assam. It was previously named as the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom in the late eighteenth century. The city has numerous Assamese monuments, mosques, tombs and more, that let you in on the state’s enormous history. It is also widely known for being the tea capital of India. Hence, a must-have experience for every tourist is to sip on their bright coloured teas and enjoy. Do not forget to grab some of these teas back home as souvenirs. Tea plantation is also the main agriculture of the people of the city. Hence, a glimpse of the tea plantations acts as a great experience to witness as a tourist. There are a total of 135 tea gardens that are free to visit in the city. Apart from this, there are many tourist attraction sites too, such as Thengal Bhawan, Raja Maidam, Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar. The Dhekiakhowa Bornaamghar is a famous religious spot of Assam. It was established by Lord Shiva who kindled an earthen lamp that has been burning since 1528.
The largest and popular city of Guwahati is one of the incredible spots to visit in Assam. It has been derived from the Assamese words, Guwa that means Areca Nut and Haat that means market. It is surrounded by the enormous Brahmaputra river and the Shillong Plateau. Guwahati also houses the capital of the state, Dispur. The history behind the formation of Guwahati that many believe to be true states that it was built by the demon king Narkasura. A magical aura is said to be engulfed around the city. This is believed to be true due to it being the ancient ‘Kamrup’ that is the birthplace of Kamdeva, the God of Love. Guwahati houses various temples such as the Kamakhya temple, Umananda Temple, Navagraha Temple and Basistha Temple that are worthy of visiting. The Kamakhya temple is known to be the most sacred among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship in the world. Built-in the 10th century by the Koch king, Naranarayan, the temple has a common practice of offering an animal to gain blessings of the Goddess. Another famous temple is the Navagraha temple. It is known to be the temple of the nine planets. Apart from religious spots, you should also opt to visit the incredible Guwahati Zoo which is the largest natural zoo in the country. Apart from this the State Museum, Anthropological Museum, Forest Museum, and Cottage Industries Museum are also a great place to visit for someone who is looking to learn a little more about the culture and history of Assam.
5. Majuli Island
An offbeat location for you to set off to while touring Assam is the beautiful Majuli Island. The island has been regarded for being the biggest river island in the world. It is surrounded by the waters of the River Subansiri and River Brahmaputra. The island has been regarded as the cultural capital of Assam ever since the 16th century. The place is popular because it provides you some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, which most people opt to look for in their choice of destination. The place is also surrounded by ample greenery which leads to some clean air for your and zero pollution. One of the greatest ways to enjoy this place is to visit it during its festival seasons. The festivals of the Majuli island are extremely vibrant and lively to witness. One of the most prominent festivals to witness is the Raas Purnima where one gets to see incredible dance performances which are based on the lives of Lord Krishna. Other popular festivals include Paal Naam and Bathow Puja.
6. Kakochang Waterfall
Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, the Kakochang Waterfalls are one of the most stunning creations of nature to witness. Surrounded by the plantations of coffee and rubber, the waterfalls leave one with a mesmerizing view. The waters from the waterfall fall from the top of the hill and gather in a natural pond which is magnificent to look. The waterfall is the perfect spot for you to sit and enjoy a picnic with your gang of friends where you will also spot numerous tourists enjoying the view and the sun. One of the other views that you will be able to spot the ancient ruins of Numaligarh. The waterfalls act as a perfect pit stop for many bikers and solo travellers, who wish to take a breather by sitting and admiring the Kakochang Waterfalls. It is a half-hour drive from the Kaziranga National Park. One of the greatest ways to enjoy here apart from a personal picnic setup is to take a dip into the pond. Many people love taking a dip or swimming in the water for a perfect encounter with nature. The best time to visit the Kakochang Waterfalls is during the post-monsoon months as the heavy rainfall leaves the place with abundant water.
Dibrugarh is regarded as the largest city of Assam. It has been lauded for being the budding industrial hub of the North-East part of India. Named after the river Dibru, the city is known to be the headquarters of the Dibrugarh district in the state of Assam, India. It has been included as one of the main cities of Assam that have received urban development aid from the Asian Development Bank. The beautiful city of Dibrugarh is connected with two other tea-producing districts, Tinsukia and Sivasagar. These three districts combined entail for more than half of India’s tea production. This is the reason why Dibrugarhhas been given the title of the ‘Tea City of India.’ Other than this, oil and timber production is also done in a large way in and around Dibrugarh. The city is rapidly becoming a popular destination for various businesses all over the country and the world.
Dibrugarh is also famous for housing the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. The only rainforest of Assam is also prestigiously known for being a prestigious elephant reserve. The sanctuary has rich and diverse flora and fauna which makes it magnificent to witness. Some of the species that you should definitely look out for include the pig-tailed macaque, hoolock gibbon, capped langur, Asiatic elephant, black panther, tiger, black bear and clouded leopard. The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary hosts around three hundred bird species, fifty forms of mammals and around twenty kinds of butterflies, leaving you with ample ground to explore. Another paradise to witness in the city is the Joypur Rainforest. The forest has over a hundred varieties of Orchids and trees that range up to a height of 50 meters. The forest also inhabits many animals such as elephants, hornbills, leopards, flying squirrels, pythons, spotted deer, and langurs.
8. Umananda Island
Umananda Island is the smallest river island in the world. It is known for providing a peaceful land for both man and the wildlife to exist without disturbing the other. Surrounded by the waters of the magnificent Brahmaputra River, the island provides you with one of the serenest spots to enjoy and experience. The Umananda island is also popularly known as the Peacock Island. It got this name after its peacock-like shape, by some British Colonists. The Island is also home to _ãÄGolden Langurs_ã_ who is an endangered specie. They are considered extremely sacred and auspicious among the people of the Himalayas. According to popular history, Umananda Island was the place where Lord Kamdev (Lord of Love), was burnt by the third eye of Lord Shiva. This happened because Lord Kamadev disturbed Lord Shiva’s meditation by calling it a Bhasmchal. A large number of devotees visit the island for its popular Umananda Devi Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered highly auspicious. It was built by an Ahom King of Assam in the 16th century. The temple was slightly hampered by a massive earthquake in the 18th century but was soon revived by a merchant. Visit here between October to May, as the monsoon period leads to the rising water levels of the River Brahmaputra.
Silchar is the second largest town of Assam. It is surrounded by the state of Manipur, Mizoram and the neighbouring country, Bangladesh. The town is considered as one of the most stable places because of which it has been given the name of ‘Island of Peace.’ It is also one of the most developed spots of the state of Assam as it has its own airport and also facilitates higher education for its inhabitants. Silchar is one of the most beautiful locations to witness due to which many people choose to flee over the weekend from its neighbouring states, Manipur and Mizoram. Apart from this, Silchar is also known for housing many shrines that were constructed during the British period. Currently, Silchar earns through the trading of tea, rice and many more agricultural produced products.
Silchar has many tourist spots in and around that are worthy of visiting. One of the most beautiful spots to admire and enjoy is the famous Dolu Lake. The lake is one of the most picturesque spots to witness and capture. It is also a popular peaceful spot to sit by and relax. Apart from it, there are numerous places worth visiting in and around the town such as Khaspur, Maniharan tunnel, Bhubaneshwar temple, Salganga, Janiganj Bazar and many more.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Assam is during the winter or summer season as the weather is enjoyable and bearable for touring. During winters the state’s weather is quite pleasant. The summer season is also very pleasant and refreshing to visit. However, avoid visiting in the monsoon season as the state experiences heavy rainfall during those months. Hence, plan your trip to Assam accordingly.