The land of the One Horned Rhino
Termed as the land of “Blue Hills and Red River” Assam is the gateway to the north eastern states and has been aptly described as the sentinel of Northeast India. Seven Indian States and two countries Bhutan and Bangladesh, surround Assam which is also close to India’s international borders with China and Myanmar.
Assam is surrounded by hills, major rivers such as Brahmaputra & Barak and its tributaries, thick forest, tea gardens which enhances the scenic beauty of Assam. Infact the mighty Brahmaputra river of Assam is the only male river in the country.
The state is dotted with monuments of 600 years old Ahom dynasty; the longest ruling single dynasty in Indian history. It was one among the very few dynasties that could not be conquered by the Mughals. Assam is the home to various ethnic tribes and groups, each having its own cultural heritage and unique features in its socio-cultural life including customs, religious belief, language, culture, way-of-life, food, songs, festivals including Bihu, Baishagu, Rongker & Chomangkan Festival, Bishu, Baikho, Ali-Aye-Ligang, Me-Dum-Me-Phi, Ambubachi Mela and many more.
Assam is a home to Five National Parks and 18 Wildlife sanctuaries, the highest concentration in India, are host to 25 percent of India’s floristic wealth and enormous faunal diversity. The famous Kaziranga National Park is located in the Golaghat district of Assam is home to largest population of world’s one horned rhino species, Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo and Eastern Swamp Deer, wild elephants as well as Migratory birds. This National Park has also the highest density of tigers. Manas National Park, also a world heritage site, is a constituent unit of the Eastern Himalayan Bio-Diversity Region; one of the two biodiversity “Hot Spot” in the country. The mystery of the birds’ suicide at Jatinga Dima Hasao District, is a subject of interest of all nature lovers and researchers.
The state is endowed with more than 600 tea gardens which gives soothing view to the eyes as one travels down to upper Assam. Around 20 tea gardens in Assam have developed and maintained golf courses within the garden area and a few have polo fields. The Jorhat Gymkhana Club is the oldest golf course in Asia and the third oldest in the World.
Located in the Nilachal hills in the western part of Guwahati, Kamakhya Temple is the oldest temple is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya. The temple is popular among pilgrims of Tantric worship, more so during the annual Ambubachi Mela Festival. Hajo is another spiritual centre where people from three religions, Buddhist, Hindus and Muslims congregate for pilgrimage.
The mighty river Brahmaputra decors the geography of the state and one can take a Cruise along this river with first class facilities experiencing wildlife, tradition, adventure tourism on its way. “MV Mahabaahu” a Cruise amongst the Top Ten River Cruise of the World, is of great pride for Assam. Assam is blessed with the world’s largest inhabited river island Majuli, which has several satras vaishnavite monasteries, some dating back to the 16th centuries; as well as the world’s smallest riverine island in the world namely Umananda Temple which was built in the 17th Century dedicated to Lord Shiva.