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Things To Do In Goalpara
An excellent holiday destination, Goalpara has an assortment of incredible landscapes, ancient shrines and a rich cultural heritage to boast of. With a variety of tourist attractions that include pilgrim spots, wildlife and nature retreats to indulging in a number of outdoor or cultural activities, there’s ample for all kinds of visitors here. Besides the historical monuments and stupas being the popular attractions here, Goalpara also offers a number of outdoor activities like rock climbing, trekking and other adventure sports. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect when you explore things to do in Goalpara.
Cultural Events & Festivals
Just like the rest of India, Assamese people too, celebrate the traditional festivals of Durga Puja and Diwali with great enthusiasm and excitement. Another elaborate and much-revered festival in this part of the world is the festival of Bihu, of which there are 3 main celebratory events, namely the Rongali, Magh and Kati Bihu, each dependent on the crop cycle. The Rongali Bihu’s connected with the farming process and the locals enjoy the festivities by performing the Bihy Dance, which celebrates the unity and brotherhood. Observed in April, the first day of the festival witnesses women preparing sweets made of rice and coconut, cows being bathed and worshipped and then 14 days after Rongali, the other two Bihu festivals are celebrated.
White Water Rafting in River Manas
White water rafting in the beautiful azure waters of the Manas River is a captivating & memorable experience you ought to cash in on when in Goalpara. Being the largest water body in the Bhutanese region, the Manas River lies between India and Bhutan in the Himalayan Foothills spanning roughly 367km. The river flows from Bhutan to Assam, meeting the glorious Brahmaputra at Jogighopa. You can also enjoy jungle safaris at the two reserve forests in the vicinity, which focus on a tiger reserve project and the elephant biosphere. A raft ride on the river will take you around the white sand river bed, spotted deer and wild buffalos roaming amidst the elephant grassland.
The chief bird watching spots can be enjoyed at Kokilabari and Alabari, home to one of the largest populace of the Bengal Floricans and other 500 bird species, including the Falcons, Mergansers, Grey Hornbills, Serpent Eagles, Herons, Ospreys, Harriers, Bulbul, Magpie Robins and more. One of the biggest lakes in the Lower Assam region - Urpad Beel Lake, which is just 9km from Goalpara has a variety of natural resources, which not only serve as a means of livelihood for the locals there but are also renowned for their natural offerings like water plants, a lake full of fish and a number of migratory birds visiting here during October through March.
A tour of the Summer Palace of Bhutanese King
If you enjoy historic sightseeing, then you must visit the Bhutanese King’s summer palace that lies beyond the Manas River on the Bhutanese end of the Manas National Park. It’d take a boat ride to cross over with prior official approval and then a walk of a kilometer to the palace, which is now guarded by a lone watchman. The palace holds a gorgeous treasure of the rich & royal Bhutanese history that will take you back in time to an amazing and peaceful cultural legacy.
Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society
Renowned for its rich textile culture, handlooms and music, the Bodo Tribe is an Assamese tribe, who’ve set up their own Ecotourism community in the Manas National Park and to entertain the visiting tourists, perform a variety of their popular and traditional dances and music at the Eco-Tourist Camp. From being introduced to the local textiles and handlooms woven by the tribal women to becoming familiar with daily lifestyle, you’d be guided through a village walk or on foot safaris, with a rare stay in the forest. You can also look forward to some delectable food with rich and fresh local produce, with poultry, seafood, pork fares as common dishes, with a popular Bodo drink called the Zu Mai, a rice wine.
Enjoying walking or take a jeep safari through one of the most popular tourist spots in Kokrajhar, just 2 hours away from Goalpara, the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary. Spanning over 46 sq. km and renowned for housing some of the most exotic and second protected habitats in India of the Golden Langur, the sanctuary also houses Rhesus Macaques, Leopard Cats, Asiatic Jackals and Porcupines. The diverse eco-system of the sanctuary is residence to over 250 rare bird species as well as 23 varied varieties of amphibians with 40 butterfly species and over 60 insects. The Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary gives way to wildlife photography and is ideal for treks as well. It also has an incredible fauna with tall trees and serene wild forests.
If you are devoted to religious activities, then visiting the myriad temples and shrines on your visit to Goalpara and its neighboring towns would be quite a Divine experience. The renowned Hanuman Temple in Kokrajhar is a must-visit for not only its exquisite architecture but also the tranquility and divinity that’s felt among all those visiting the temple. The Brahma Temple has been built in reverence of Lord Brahma, open for visitors from 5 am to 8 pm every day, free for entry. The shrine allows a pure and pious atmosphere, where you will find the perfect ambiance for quiet reflection and the gateway to your connection with the Divine.
Namghars are known as an integral organization for reverence under the Vaishnavite culture with nearly all houses with one in Assam. Known to be a house of prayers, a Namghar’s essentially an assembly hall where people together chant Lord Krishna’s Name and are also known for its construction and architectural achievements with a unique laikhuta/ ghaaikhuta, an oversized column at the Mandap. Of the most popular namghars in the vicinity, Bharali Namgarh in Hatbar, and the Bordowa Namghar in Nagaon are most well-known.
Scenic & Tranquil Nature Spots
If you are a nature enthusiast then, don’t forget to include some of these most beautiful and scenic tourist attractions in your list of places to go and activities to indulge in when you visit Goalpara – the Champawati Kunda is a renowned water cascade near Chapanala, while Silghat’s a quaint river port on the Brahmaputra’s southern banks and also known for a number of temples and shrines. The Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, spanning 70 sq.km is home to some of the most exquisite animal species that include the One-horned Rhino, Civet Cat, Asiatic Buffalo, Hog Deer, Wild Boar and more.
The significant and scenic river port on the southern bank of the mighty River Brahmaputra, Silghat has numerous shrines that captivate tourists with their exquisite architecture and beauty, of them, the Narowa Satra and the Salaguri Satra from Nagaon are most renowned, founded by the Srimanta Sankardeva in 1494, post his first pilgrimage. These religious sites are best visited during the winter/autumn seasons, given the pleasant weather conditions.