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Umananda Island Tourism And Travel Guide
27° C / 80.5° F
October to April
1 to 1 Days
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
One of the smallest inhabited river islands in the world, Umananda is also known as Peacock Island, a name given by the British owing to the way it is shaped. It’s a site with an abundance of legends to go along with it at the heart of the Brahmaputra River, pristine and untouched. The island is also home to an endangered species of Golden Langurs who are believed to be quite sacred according to the Himalayan people. Here’s a travel guide to help you get around Umananda Island and enjoy the tourism of its adjoining areas.
How to Reach
Given its closeness to Guwahati, it is best to reach Umananda Island by taking a flight to Guwahati Aiport which is accessible by nearly all the major airports in the country and then take a cab to a ghat nearest to the island and then make the onward journey aboard a ferry. Ferries are usually operational till sunset for the island. Indigo, GoAir, Air India and Vistara are some flights operating on this route.
Guwahati’s also easily accessible by its train network from the rest of the country, alternatively, you can take a train to the Kamakhya Junction. From New Delhi, there are at least 2 trains operational every day to Guwahati from the New Delhi Railway Station and take about 28 hours on an average to reach Guwahati and then you can take a bus/ferry to the Island.
The National Waterway.2 connects towns like Kaziranga, Dibrugarh and Tezpur to Guwahati and you can travel to this part of the state via a luxury ferry. Since the island and Umananda Temple lie in the midst of the River Brahmaputra, it is best to take a ferry in less than 10 minutes from Kachari Ghat. Typically the ferries operate between the hours of 7 am and 5pm
Weather and Best Time to Visit
One of the best times to visit the Umananda Island is October through April when the Island has a humid subtropical climate. June through August is rather hot and the maximum temperature is usually 34°C. From a tourism perspective, the island’s crowded in July, May & November the most.
Humidity and temperature together make the period of March through May quite warm and the temperature usually stays at 33°C, with the latter months getting warmer. There’s rainfall every 3 to 12 days in a month, making spring the second busiest time of the year to visit this part of the town and an opportune time to enjoy activities outdoors.
Summers at the Island are usually comfortable with temperature on the high, with rainfall ranging between 11-15 days each month. This slows down the incoming tourist traffic quite a bit and hence you can avail lucrative deals on travel and hotel fares. Summertime is also when the popular Bohag Bihu Festival happens, marking the beginning of the New Year in Assam, so it’d be a memorable experience to witness the celebrations.
September through November is fall time, when the temperature varies at an average of 33°C to 28°C, making the weather mildly pleasant, despite the humidity. Rainfall’s restricted to a day or 9 days each month. The town is quite busy, tourism-wise during fall, as it is also the time when Bihu celebrations are ongoing and Kangali Bihu is observed. So you may find hotel stays and flights slightly expensive.
Winters in this part of town may not be ideal or warm for those who detest the cold. The average temperature from December through February oscillates between 29°C-23°C with minimal rainfalls. Tourism’s rather dull this time of the year and temperatures may come down to as low as 5°C.
Things To Do
Umananda Island is closely connected to a number of tourist attractions in Guwahati, which makes it easier for visitors to enjoy some outdoor activities and indulge in adventure sports. The Assam Zoo is not only renowned for its wildlife, and botanical garden, but also for rock climbing. 6km from the Island, it gives its visitors an opportunity to explore rock climbing. Then about a couple of hours from the Island is the Nagaon District, where you can enjoy Waterfall Rappelling in Amsoi, the perfect place to revel in nature’s beauty and experience the thrill of a water sport. For tourists who enjoy mountaineering and trekking, Joomering is yet another adventure sport that is performed with a rope and clamp, on the ascent to a mountain top or a treetop.
Nature & Wildlife:
Enjoy nature’s glory, wildlife reserves and flora and fauna at the Garbhanga Forest Reserve that spans 1,880 hectares and is a magnificent landscape with tribal villages. It is one of the best forest reserves, that’s renowned as one the 7th largest in housing a numerous variety of butterflies across the world. You can go on treks here, enjoy the water cascades on the way, and take an elephant ride as well, which is also a popular tourist activity in this part of the world, as not only do you get to meet animals and watch varied bird species up close and personal but also explore every nook and cranny of the dense green forest with expert guides to show you around.
Sightseeing Across the Brahmaputra:
From exploring various tourist spots during an evening cruise aboard a luxury boat, enjoy the beautiful setting sun, some live music and dance performances and feasting on delicious fares to experiencing Water Zorbing, indulging in a little outdoor activity across the river Brahmaputra is no less of a delight, not to forget ample photo opportunities to capture amazing landscapes, flora and fauna, wildlife and bird species to take back home.
Assam’s cultural heritage is as vibrant as it is rich. From building a memorial for one of the finest singers in the Indian Music Industry, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika that celebrates his life and his musical journey with a number of his distinct compositions, a dome-shaped library, a life-size sculpture and a microphone sized statue, to observing a 12-day festival on a grand scale, the Brahmaputra Pushkaram, Guwahati’s quite a crowd puller. With over 50,000 sages, monks and over 2-3 lakh visitors who come from all over the country to seek blessings and pay their respects, this festival’s all about honoring the 12 significant rivers in India.
Where To Eat
North-East is popular for its food and considered a hot favorite in most parts of the country. The Umananda Island is a small place, however, you’d find a delicious assortment of Bengali and Assamese cuisine close by in Guwahati. Some noteworthy eateries you can explore near the island include the Naga Kitchen, Cracklin Mustard, Terra Maya and Paradise. Naga Kitchen is popular for its Naga cuisine primarily and is quite pocket-friendly. Their pork cooked with bamboo shoots comes highly recommended, is flavored strongly and served with Naga Fried Rice. Terra Maya serves a blend of Indian, Continental and Pan Asian dishes with a full bar and scenic views to enjoy your meals by!
Where To Shop
A gateway to Eastern India and being the capital city of Assam, Guwahati’s a shopper’s paradise, that boasts of multiplex movie halls, business centres and large shopping arcades, that have the choicest selection of handicrafts, bamboo items, Assamese delicacies, Tea and Apparel on offer. The Fancy Bazaar is one such popular haunt, which is also ideal for budget shopping, more specifically in the domain of tribal jewelry, wooden gifts and soft toys. The Paan Bazaar is best for book lovers, with a variety of publishing houses and book stores for rare finds, fiction and academic books. The market’s also renowned for selling Mekhla Chador made of Pat/Muga Silk. Some other worth a shop places include the Ganesh Gudi Market, GS Road Market, Paltan Bazaar and Maligaon Market.