Assam is located at the heart of the North Eastern States. It is one of the largest and most accessible among the seven states in the North East. The most important city of Assam- Guwahati is a growing hub, and one of the fastest developing cities in India. It also serves as the base for travelling to many other towns in Assam, as well as in other North East state. It is more like a gateway to the North East of India.
Assam is most popular for its tea, and it produces over 60% of the world’s tea.
Its culture dates back to the Ahom kings, who came from Thailand and ruled over Assam for about 600 years. Most of the Assamese culture is thus, derived from the Ahoms.
Assam was also an important province for the British since it was strategically located.
The Kaziranga National Park is also located in Assam and an extremely popular tourist destination.
Majuli Islands in Assam is also a beautiful place to visit and highly recommended.
Assam is known for its mouthwatering and soothing tea. This was the hub for the Britishers to cultivate the finest tea gardens which produced some excellent cup of tea. Assam tea gardens are a must visit destination Green fields of tea plants spread over acres and acres of land with a cool breeze continuously blowing makes the place magical. One of the tea fields can be found in between Guwahati and Kaziranga. It is a lovely pit stop which can be taken when travelling between the two places. One can just sit back and try the different teas as the dedicated tea workers efficiently pluck the best leaves. The vast blanket of lush greenery is a treat to the sore eyes.
This pagan temple is dedicated to Sati to Parvati and just like its history, its architecture is fascinating too. Located in Guwahati, this temple was formed after the eccentric Tandav by Lord Shiva after the death of his wife Sati. Lord Shiva had perched Sati’s dead body on top of his shoulders and danced with such intensity and Sati’s body parts had flung and landed in different parts of India. In all these places a temple was erected and one such place is the Kamakhya Temple. The temple is located atop a wonderful hill and the view is absolutely mesmerising. There comes a time when one is literally above the clouds. It is that ah! a moment, as one sees the city disappearing under the thick layer of fluffy white clouds.
The structure of the temple is interesting. The middle chamber of the temple opens up to a cave which has a natural hot spring. No one till date knows how that hot spring came into being
The sun bids its adieu and colours the sky in a hue of red-orange and yellow. The boat sails effortlessly under this vibrant sky. This feeling itself is too good to be true. The river cruise over the soul of Assam- Brahmaputra river is one of the most relaxing things to do in Assam. Just sitting on the boat which floats across this legendary river is a dream. The dining experience on the cruise is an absolute joy. One can savour delicious dishes as soothing background music is played by the musicians on the cruise. This activity radiates pure joy and promises a great time.
This little village is about 5 hours drive for Guwahati. It is a great place to unwind and relax while also engaging in some adventurous activities.
It is a neat Eco Park which is the perfect place to set up camp, dine and hum to the harmonies of the guitar, with a bonfire roaring in the midst.
For the adventure seekers, there is a dense jungle that one can attempt to trek in this place. The forest is covered with a huge expanse of trees and is blessed with diverse flora and fauna. The trek is about 16km through rough terrain. There is something mystical about roaming around in the forest with large trees to give shade. It is refreshing and adventurous at the same time.
An ancient pilgrimage center, it is located at the banks of the Brahmaputra river. This place serves as a pilgrimage center for not just one single religion, but for three different religions. It also serves as a testimony to the diversity that is so prevalent in Assam and in India overall. This town is started with temples and other places of worship, making it really popular among the devotees. One of the famous temples is called Hayagriva Madhava Temple. It was constructed about 400 years ago and has managed to survive this long to tell the tales. The architecture of the temple is beautiful, and the innumerable elephants painted on the body of the temple is an ode to the rich Assamese art and culture. The temple is worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists alike, which makes it quite fascinating.
Hajo is also the residence of the Muslim pilgrimage center Powa Mecca, which is said to be made from the same soil found in Mecca.
This is the only hill station in Assam, and its beauty is resplendent. It has amazing landscapes which are littered with mountains, river, valleys, and pollution free atmosphere. It has been called “The land of Blue Hills” and “ The Scotland Of The East”.
There are plenty of adventure sports that one can try their hands at. Trekking and paragliding are the two most popular adventurous activity that one can do here.
There is also a really beautiful orchid garden which one cannot miss.
The Haflong Lake is situated at the heart of the city, and enchanting. The calm river water serves the perfect medium to just sail a boat on and enjoy a majestic view of the giant and the intimidating Himalayas.
The Ahom culture of Assam itself is extremely rich. The yesteryear kingdom was even bigger at that time and stretched over a lot of provinces than what we see today. This ancient town serves as a predicament to this rich Ahom history. Most of the monuments are dedicated to the Ahom rulers and the history is painted all over this town through various museums and sculptures. The most fascinating monuments are Rang Ghar, Talatal Ghar, and Kareng Ghar. These monuments speak volumes about the Ahom culture.
Assam has a very distinct cuisine. It is marked with tangy and citrusy food and with really less spice. It doesn’t have the typical Indian spices and is pretty different for the other state’s cuisines. One of the most popular Assamese dishes is Maasor Tenga- which is a fish gravy with a dash of lime, tomato and elephant apples. All these ingredients add a zing to the dish. This gravy is usually accompanied by rice or raw papayas.
Assam is known for its handicrafts and handmade goods. The most sought after souvenirs are all handmade and extremely intricate detailed. The souvenirs are usually made of wood, brass or bamboo which are beautifully carved with precise and minute detailing.
The Assamese Mekhla, which is a 3 piece saree, is a traditional dress attire and a popular item to take home. Another popular item to buy is Assamese Gamosa, which is a hand-woven towel.
One should travel to Assam in between November and March. The monsoon months are best avoided, since It receives a lot of rainfall, and tends to flood.