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Tourist Places To Visit In Umananda Island
Also known as the Peacock Island, renamed by the British, Umananda Island has earned its repute owing its locale that connects Guwahati and the River Brahmaputra. One of the smallest islands that’s been inhabited in the world, Umananda Island also houses a namesake temple that’s built-in honor of Lord Shiva. The temple’s old-style rock figurines of Lord Ganesha, the Sun Lord and Lord Shiva reveal the local artisans’ craftsmanship and talent as well as their spiritual beliefs. The serenity, the echo of temple bells and the glorious river makes it all Divine and peacefully welcome for locals and tourists alike. Here’s a list of tourist places to visit in and around Umananda Island.
A Shiva Temple located on the Peacock Island, facing the Kamrup’s Deputy Commissioner’s Office or the Kachari Ghat, the Umananda Temple was built by King Gadhadhar Singha from the Ahom Dynasty, who was a devout Shaivite. The temple is situated atop the Bhasmcala Mountain and you can take a country boat on the banks of the river to reach the Island. As per the Kalika Purana, Lord Shiva’s believed to have stayed as Bhayananda. When he was in meditation, Kamadeva disrupted his concentration, Lord Shiva burnt him to ashes with his anger, as a result of which the mountain is known as Bhasmacala.
A picturesque and landscaped garden, the Nehru Park features a number of sculptures and flower gardens as well as ample playgrounds for the kids. A significant tourist spot, it is a public park in the heart of the city located right opposite the Cotton College and is ideal for recreation as well as refreshing strolls. In the ancient days, this area was a part of an Old Church which was later urbanized by the State Government. Of the noteworthy attractions in the park, there are about 45 magnificent figurines styled into various Assamese dance forms that include Ojapali, Bihu, Deodhani, Jhumur and Bor Taal, an open-air theatre, a jogging track, a rock garden, a musical fountain that comes alive in the evenings and lush green trees.
Ugro Tara Temple
The Ugro Tara Temple is a shrine built in honor of Goddess Tara, located on the western side of the JorPukhuri Tanks, Guwahati. As per religious beliefs, Lord Shiva’s first wife, Sati’s navel is connected with the temple. Established by King Siva Singha in 1725 AD, the current temple was built after the tank was excavated. In the temple, there really isn’t an icon of her, just a small well filled with water in her honor. The temple is beautiful and small with a Shivalaya beside the Ugra Tara Shrine and a pond located between both temples.
Constructed in the honor of the British Viceroy Lord Northbrook, the Northbrook Gate was established in 1874, near the Sukreswar Ghat where the Viceroy moored his ship. A monument, that’s one of its kind and the lone brick architectural structure from the colonial era, the gate has been a mute spectator of Guwahati’s progression through the last 140 years. Assamese Government is currently working on restoring the Northbrook Gate which is also known as the Gateway of Assam. The Gate’s rectangular built includes 12 arches, 5 each on the 2 longer ends, with one each of its breadth. Constructed of white limestone and brick, the gate’s simplicity was enhanced with its distinct design and lack of decorated etchings on the arches. The arches are inspired by Indian Temple Designs on the spires, while the arches come with Gothic Designs.
Situated in Uzan Bazar, Maati Centre’s a creditable initiative that was started by a former World Bank Employee, Pabritra Sarmah and her Husband Rishi Raj, set up with the intention to promote the handcrafted items made by the local artisans and showcase their talents from NGOs like Dastakar, Ranthambore or Tihar Jail, bringing about an excellent blend of regional arts and local culture. With that thought in mind, Maati Centre provides young & talented artists a much-needed platform for recognition, as well as secure, document and chart out the tribal, local and oral art forms in a bid to restore the lost Assamese culture.
Located in Guwahati, the Nilachal or Kamagiri Hills comes with a rich historical, spiritual and archeological background and is believed to have set a number of ancient shrines on the summit, one of them being the Kamakhya temple, one of the oldest and most revered shrines for Shakti Adulation that led to the expansion of the Tantric Hinduism Sect. There’s no image or idol of Shakti here, except for a sculpted picture of the Goddess Yoni that’s used for her reverence. There’s a natural spring that keeps the sculpted stone wet. There are other temples on the Nilachal Hills that include shrines for Bhuvaneswari, Ghantakarna, Tara and Bhairavi.
The Guwahati War Cemetery
The Guwahati War Cemetery is located about 2.5 km from the Guwahati Railway Station in Silpukhuri and is one of the most frequent tourist attractions in Assam with historic relevance. Established during World War II for funerals as intended by numerous Military Hospitals in the area, the tombs were later transported by the Army Graves Service. The Mausoleum holds the remains of over 486 commonwealth servicemen from World War II, of which 25 remain unidentified. It also includes 24 Chinese Tombs and 2 Non-War Cemeteries.
One of the most renowned yet new constructs, Shraddhanjali Kanan is quite popular, located on the R. G Baruah Road facing the Assam State Zoo spanning 23 Bighas. Given its repute and green environment, it is labeled as one of the best parks in Guwahati and its design fits the style of some leisure parks based abroad. Styled for family and group outings, Shraddhanjali Kanan has progressed well and led to the development of numerous entertainment options for the children.
Constructed during 1744 AD by King Pramatta Singh, the Sukreswar Temple was set up with a huge contribution by the King as a pilgrimage site that’s become popular and significant recently. Open for public all days of the week, the temple gates are open from 6 am to 7 pm and is located by river banks, atop the Hasti Hill. The place is frequented by devotees from all over the world and known for its Divine Aura and scenic locale. Since there are many ferries plying from the Sukreswar Ghat to the opposite bank, visitors can enjoy boat rides after visiting the temple and the beautiful setting sun from the top of the hill. Bathing on the Ghat’s considered quite auspicious along with other religious rituals.
An archeological site, Madan Kamdev is dated back to the 9th and 10th century AD, with remains and excavations offering the might and abundance of Kamarupa’s Pala Dynasty. With Madan Kamdev’s ruins scattered far and wide in a remote place, spanning 500 meters, there are other temples in different sizes encompassing this main temple. It is believed that excavations may lead to the discovery of 12 more temples. While the Kamdev Temple could be a reconstruction, you will find Uma Maheshwar’s idols, carved on the stones from the medieval era with the most significant idols being that of Lord Ganesha, Vidyadhara and the Sun God.