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Things To Do In Assam
Assam, the jewel of India'a Northeast, is a beautiful holiday destination for those looking for nature, culture and mountains from a different time. From wildlife sanctuaries to lush green tea plantations, from Sakti Peetha to river cruises, from heart-warming cultural practices to historical sites, Assam has plenty for its travellers. You may be spoilt for choice by the list of things to do once in Assam and time becomes the deciding factor. Here is a comprehensive list of activities you can indulge in while in the state.
Sight One-Horned Rhinos in Kaziranga
The sole natural habitat of the rare one-horned Rhinoceros in the world, the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in Golaghat district of Assam is a stunner. Located in the Golaghat district of Assam, the sanctuary has a mind-blowing range of wildlife that includes tigers, deer, migratory birds, rhinos, reptiles etc. The show stealer is undoubtedly the one-horned rhino and spotting one would make your day.
Celebrate the Spirit of Unity with Bihu
The primary festival of Assamese people, celebrated to welcome different seasons, is Bihu. They are celebrated with much pomp and show and must feature in your to-do list while in Assam. The colourful attires, food, songs and traditional dance fill the air with merriment and happiness, and the celebration is a definite mood lifter.
Surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra and spreading across 1250 sq.km, Majuli is the world’s largest river island in the world. It is home to vibrant traditions and cultures. Over the years, global warming has posed a threat to this beautiful creation of nature and it has been affected by soil erosion.
Watch Sunrise on Brahmaputra
It is said that nothing is more mesmerizing and captivating than watching the sun rising on the mighty Brahmaputra River during the wee hours of morning. It can make a poet out of a lay man, such is this beauty. Flowing through the entire state, the river is ideal for cruises. This can be a remarkable experience to cherish for a lifetime.
Attend Tea Festival in Jorhat
Assam is one of the finest and largest producers of tea in the world. Assam’s existence and identity is intimately woven with tea production. You can catch a glimpse of this special bonding if you attend the Jorhat Tea Festival during November – January. It is an opportunity to know more about the tradition of tea production and tea making and also sample some of the finest black tea.
Visit the Silk Town of Sualkuchi
Also known as ‘Manchester of Assam’, Sualkuchi produces some of the finest silks in the country. The traditional and the beautifully coloured Assamese attires, especially their sarees, popularly known as ‘Mekhela,’ are majorly woven from Sualkuchi silks. A visit to the silk city can be a good way to learn more about the art of weaving silk.
Stroll through Tea Gardens in Dibrugarh
70% of the finest quality tea consumed across the world is blended in Dibrugarh. The ‘Tea City of India’ is known for its premier quality blends of tea and also holds the distinction of being the largest tea producing town in the world. Thus any trip of Assam will remain incomplete without a visit to the plush green tea gardens of Dibrugarh.
Pay Homage to Goddess Kamakhya
The Kamakhya Temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya is one of the 51 Shakti Pithas of the country. Sitting atop Nilachal Hill, this 8th century temple is a major tourist attraction drawing millions of devotees every year. As per the legends the main temple was built by Lord Vishwakarma which faced demolition in the hands of successive intruders. This final temple was constructed in the 17th century. Even for the less spiritual, a visit to the temple can be a rejuvenating experience.
River Rafting in Nameri National Park
For adventure lovers, Nameri National Park should get your adrenaline pumping. The national park has River Jia Bhorali flowing through it and it is tailor made for adventure sports like rafting and fishing for Golden Mahsheer it is renowned for.
A Taste of Assamese Cuisine
No trip is complete without a taste of the local cuisine. Like all states of India, Assam has its own cuisine and flavour which is unique and must be explored. Bearing strong influences of Bengali cuisine, Assam has some special dishes which are a gastronomic delight. Primary among them are Masoor Tenga, a tangy fish curry, Aloo Pitika which is their comfort food, duck meat curry, Ou Khatta, a type of sour chutney to tingle the taste buds, Paro Manxho or pigeon meat which is considered a delicacy, smoked pork with bamboo shoot, Pitha, the traditional sweet dish and several others. A rendezvous with a traditional Assamese thali is a must during your trip to Assam.
Shopping in Assam
Like food, no trip is complete without some retail therapy. Shopping for artefacts that have strong local flavour and influences is a delight. Assam has lots to offer its shoppers. While their traditional silk sarees, the ‘Mekhela Chaddor’ and Assam tea are world famous, there are other items that Assam is popular for. Bamboo is a craze here and you can carry back some wonderfully crafted bamboo items. You can also pick up a ‘Jhapi’ i.e. the traditional hat worn by the farmers.