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Tourist Places To Visit In Orang National Park
Although Orang National Park is obviously popular for its wilderness and flora, with little to venture about, there are neighboring areas that have a number of tourist places to visit. For instance, located about 75km from the Park is the ruins of the Madan Kamdev Temple, with other shrines worth a visit in the Sualkuchi Village, a Divine mosque in Hajo, another few National Parks and Sanctuaries and of course the scenic Tawang. All these places are accessible by road, however, it is best to travel with a local guide and in a private vehicle like a jeep or taxi. Even though buses are available too, it can get exhausting traveling by public transport.
Patharughat Swaheed Minar
A tourist spot of historical significance, Patharughat Swaheed Minar is a minar which was constructed in the honor of victims of the Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy for those of Assamese origin. A visit here signifies a mark of respect to those who are etched in the memories of the Indian History. The minar’s architecture is remarkable and reflects the excellent craftsmanship of the local engineers from olden days and its glory is magnified amidst the lush greens that encompass the site.
Darrang is brimming with Satras and is just an hour’s drive from Orang National Park. Here, you can experience the rich and distinct Assamese culture that’s akin to the monasteries in the architectural style and were essentially built by Sankardeva, and carried forward by his disciples. Bhagawatee Baishnav is an important practice followed here, in addition to a variety of other artistic rituals, with Satriyaa Art being one of them. Of the innumerable Satras here, Khatara and Dihing Satras are two of the oldest Satras.
Madan Kamdev Temple
An archeological ruin, the Madan Kamdev Temple or Khajuraho of Kamrup, as its popularly known, dates back to the 9th century AD, where excavations highlighted the glory and abundance of Kamarupa’s Pala Dynasty. Although, the remnants of Madan Kamdev are widely scattered, spanning nearly 500 meters, the temple is a reconstruct where idols of Uma Maheshwar, engraved on the medieval temple’s stones can be witnessed with prominent idols of Lord Vidyadhara, Sun and Ganesha. Near this temple, there’s another historic temple built to honor Lord Shiva, called the Gopeshwar Temple, with a large cave called the Parvati Guha.
Known for its silk weaves, the village of Sualkuchi is a name that stands a class apart from the rest. A block of district Kamrup, with over 53,000 people residing there, silk weaving is a major occupation in the area and for this reason, the village is also called Manchester of the East. The craft of weaving silk goes way back to the 11th century when Pala Dynasty’s King Dharma Pal sponsored the artistry and brought over 26 families skilled in the craft to this little hamlet. The textile hub of Assam, different varieties of silk like Muga, Pat, Eri and Endi are popular for their quality here, while the Gamosas and Mekhela Chadors are much in demand throughout the state and in the rest of the country, trademarked in Sualkuchi.
Khaling Neoli Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the smallest naturally preserved sanctuaries in Bhutan, about 31km from Orang National Park, Khaling Neoli Wildlife Sanctuary spans over 300 sq. km and is brimming with lush greenery & picturesque views, unflustered by the rivers flowing by it. Home to the endangered Pygmy Hog, Elephants, Gaur, Hispid Hare and other tropical flora and fauna, this reserve is known as a significant bird preservation spot where endangered bird species like Rufous-necked hornbill & the chestnut breasted Patridge can be sighted. The encompassing vegetation includes rainforests, grasslands, sub-tropical forests and evergreens.
Sakteng Wildlife Reserve
Further ahead, at 56km from Orang is the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the newly natural reserves where the deciduous forests are known to shelter the mythical and monstrous snowman, Yeti, while the roaming local tribes are conflicted with associated legends. It is also known to host a variety of other animals like the Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopards, Red Fox, the hoary-bellied Himalayan Squirrel, Blood Pheasant, Grey Backed Shrike and the Assamese Macaw amongst others. Popular as a Paradise of Rhododendrons, the sanctuary has an expansive stretch of Red Rhododendrons spanning the forestry, with an assortment of blue poppy, gentian, primulas, alpine fields, broadleaf woods and temperate forests.
Also called Cole Park, the Chitralekha Udyan in Tezpur, which is just 65km from Orang National Park is a scenic spot, named after a renowned personality in Agnigarh’s Love Story. With a long drawn ritual of hosting painting contests for neighboring schools, the Park holds a replica of the popular Bhomoraguri inscription and also has varied facilities for paddle boating, bumping car amusement rides, primary viewing of a jet fighter model which is Indian Air Force’s first supersonic aircraft and a large concrete map of the country.
In Sonitpur district, the Bamuni Hills has a variety of ancient relics that attract a huge tourist crowd, on the right bank of the majestic River Brahmaputra. Bamuni Hills exhibits an assortment of mesmerizing stone carvings and figurines of the bygone era, dated back to the 10th-12th centuries AD. The artistry hints craftsmanship of the Gupta era, with a general assumption that this was actually a temple built in honor of Lord Vishnu and designed as a North Indian Nagara Style Shrine. The beautiful stone sculpts and rock figurines are what attract visitors to this site, with detailed designs that showcase the skills and hard work put in by the artisans of the bygone era.