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June - July 2008


Travel

First Sight of Brahmaputra River

by Bajrang Bahadur Mathur


I recently had an opportunity to visit Guwahati, capital of Assam, for some personal work and was pleasantly surprised to find myself staying in a stylish modern house which is situated right on the high banks of the mighty river Brahmaputra. The house overlooks a grand panoramic vista of vast and wide spread of the river with blue hills in the background, scenic small islands and lush green vegetation. This beautiful photogenic postcard picture in front of my eyes appeared like a mystical paradise due to the cloudy and rainy weather. This Wonderful view and my brief encounter with this part of India stirred my mind and kindled imagination.

Assam is famous for many things but foremost thing which comes to every one’s mind is the tea. The tea is grown in the upper regions of the Brahmaputra valley and other fertile districts in Assam. The importance of tea is recognised by the fact that some 51% of the total tea production of India is in Assam which has some 600 tea estates and tea gardens. Natural silk and handicrafts made in other materials are quite unique. Assam also boasts to have a one horned Rhinoceros and many other rare species of wildlife.

City of Guwahati, previously spelled Gauhati in the north eastern India is situated on the banks of mighty and picturesque Brahmaputra River. This turbulent river originates at its source called holy Mount Kailash Mansarover in Tibet and dominates many aspects and life in the State of Assam.


Reaching destination: rain or shine

There are several interesting and lively places in the city. Foremost attraction is the river cruise showing the outstanding natural and built environment along the - Brahmaputra including flora and fauna. In the city many temple exist but the most venerated temple is of Mother Goddess Kamakhya situated at the top of Nilachal Hill. This famous ancient majestic temple is the seat of tantric worship and shakti culture and therefore, very popular with the local people. It is said that Kamakhya is the essence of the female energy and the temple symbolizes the fusion of faiths and practices of devotees.


Sketch of the heavenly abode of the Mother Goddess Kamakhya

The city has a Multi Arts Centre known as Srimanta Sankerdera Kalakshetra. In this Modern cultural complex there is a Central Museum which exhibits life of numerous tribes of Assam through full size models of adults and children dressed in traditional dresses. Background of each display is painted in three dimensional style and the foreground is treated in natural materials with the result that it looks ever so real. The museum also exhibits artefacts used by the ancestors of the region. The complex also has 2000 seats open air theatre which puts on events to celebrate the folk music, dance and drama. Many other cultural activities take place within the centre through out the year. In short, the complex of Kalakshetra is the artistic showcase of the region.

Naturally Assam has much more than this but that is for some times in future and for the time being I can only endorse that the natural beauty of Assam is outstanding.

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