Tezpur - A Tete a Tete with the City :
Originally Known As : Sonitpur
Location : Northeastern India, Sonitpur District, Assam
Best Time to Visit : May to October
Places to see : Agnigarh, Bamuni Hills and Da Parbatia temple
Souvenirs : Assam handicrafts
Tezpur - The Tale of the City :
Dating back to ancient times, Tezpur or Sonitpur has a lot of legend behind it. Sonit means blood and pur means city. There are tales of romance between Aniruddha and Usha. There are tales of fights between Hara and Hari. Darang of old times is what Sonitpur of today is. Sonitpur was the headquarters of the district. King Banasura ruled Darang. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva in the form of Bhairavnath. He had a daughter Usha. Legend has it that once she saw the man of her dreams and she described him to her friend Chitralekha. Chitralekha in return painted the description and the person turned out to be Aniruddha. Aniruddha was Lord Krishna’s grandson. Aniruddha was located and Aniruddha and Usha got married in the Gandharva style. When King Bana came to know of this, he got ired and had Aniruddha sent to prison. Lord Krishna came to save his grandson. Lord Bana invoked Lord Shiva to help him. Lord Krishna requested Bana to leave his grandson, but Bana refused. This resulted in the great bloodshed between Lord Krishna or Hari and Lord Shiva in Bana’s form or Hara. Thus Sonitpur got its name which means the town which is stained with blood. Bana was thrown out of his kingdom and Aniruddha and Usha lived happily ever after on a hill called Bamuni. Bamuni is around 5 kms from Tezpur. Agnigarh is the place where the romance between the two occurred and the remnants and ruins of this place still exist.
Tezpur - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Tezpur, the blood stained region has come to be the centre of a lot of culture, tradition and legend. With many lyricists, dramatists, literature persona , the city was witness to the hoisting of the first Indian flag during the struggle for independence in the year 1942. Gahpur was the place where the flag was hoisted and it came in the district of Sonitpur. The story of Kanaklata who fought against the British. She is still remembered for the way she died with the National Flag flying high. Besides this Tezpur also salutes Rup Konwar Jyoti Prasad who was a famous art and literature person, and a brave freedom fighter.
Tezpur - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with Tezpur, the historical city, reveals a lot of greenery, embankments, military areas and the River Brahmaputra beautifying the city further. It lies around 181 km away from the city of Guwahati. Very pleasant and very idyllic, the surroundings in Tezpur keep a tourist enthralled till he sees the lovely valleys around. The lakes dotting the area with the hills from Arunachal Pradesh forming the background, the city of Tezpur exudes the ultimate kind of ambience for a tourist. The majestic Himalayas which occupy the background too add beauty to the vast expanse of tea estates which are so common in the State of Assam. Archaeologists have found Tezpur a haven due to the ruins of so many tales of ancient Tezpur. A tourist certainly goes back happy and satisfied and longs for more.
Tezpur - Travel Kitty :
Tezpur, the cultural hub is a treasure house for a traveler. He could keep filling his travel kitty with every breath he takes here and every action he does. Culturally Tezpur has a lot of things to offer for history lovers. The literature of the freedom struggle era has entrenched Tezpur in the annals of the Assam history. Thus a collection of art and literature is the ideal travel kitty for a tourist searching for memoirs in Tezpur.
Tezpur - Joie de Vivre in the City :
The joie de vivre in Tezpur, is to understand the way the city has grown from a mythological beauty to a cultural hub to a progressive tourist spot. The ancientness of the city gives it the authentic look and the city certainly metes out the best that could be had for a tourist. One who comes here can see the following :
This is a beautiful specimen of Assamese sculpture work. One of the finest and the most ancient , the carving on the doorframe at Da-Parbatia is in the form of the art of the Guptas. Dating back to as far as 600AD, the tourist is completely taken away by the beautiful figures that are here of the Goddesses Yamuna and Ganga. They are located on the door frame jambs.
Bamuni Hills :
Tezpur is a place where there are lot of ruins and remains. These remains belong to the 9th century AD. There are brackets shaped like a cross with panels decorating it. These depict in panel form of the Kirtimukha kind , the ten avatars or incarnations of the Hindu God Lord Vishnu.
Stone Inscriptions :
There are stone inscriptions in Bhomoraguri where Kalia Bhomara Barphukan, the general of Ahoms have got inscriptions made. Besides the 9 line Harjjar Varman inscription is also popular.
Gardens and Parks :
Chitralekha Udyan :
Here too there are invaluable inscriptions which depict a lot of history of the past. Stone pillars, verdant expanse and hills, lakes and gardens adorn this beautiful spot and today there are facilities for water sports also here. The lovely expanse of green walkways make this place worth visiting.
Nameri National Park :
This lies around 40kms from the city of Tezpur. The Deo Hanh or the white winged wood duck comes here. Besides this we also have the elephants, deer , black bear etc living here. There are environment related camps here and the angling and rafting activities attract a tourist. Jiyabharali is the place where tourists can go rafting and angling. Nature lovers, adventure seekers, outdoor fans can come here and enjoy to have the time of their lives.
Agnigarh Hill :
This is the very famous historic hill where Usha, King Bana’s daughter and Aniruddha, Lord Krishna’s grandson had their romance. This is the hill where King Bana hid Usha surrounded by fire. The lovely sculptures, the beautiful background, the waterfalls all make this a perfect romantic spot even today. Atop the hill, and a tourist can have a panoramic view of the Kalia Bhomora Bridge and the Brahmaputra River.
Ouguri Hill :
This is a place which is perfect for an adventure lover and a rock climber. With the view of Tezpur from the top, this hill also gives a beautiful view of the River Brahmaputra. Tired and weary tourists come here and love to rest and relax in the lazy surroundings.
Padum Pukhuri :
In Assamese, Padam means lotus and Pukhuri means pond. With a beautifully formed central island, this pond also today has a fountain with music , a mini train to cart tourists round the pond. Certainly these are attractive to the tourists and they enjoy the place.
Ancestral Homes :
TEzpur has a collection of a lot of Assamese Culture. All these are stored in ancestral homes of yesteryear cultural literati like Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Nata Surya Phani Sharma etc. Poki is a place where all such memoirs are stored and made access to tourists who are interested to see them.
Mahabhairab Temple :
This place was earlier ruled by King Bana. He was a devotee of Bhairavnath, the other form of Lord Shiva. This temple has a Shivalinga which is amongst the oldest and biggest. The festival of Shivarathri is celebrated here in great gusto and devotees throng to have a glimpse of the Shivalinga in this temple.
Besides the Mahabhairab Temple we also have the temples of Bhairavi, Holleshwar, and Rudrapada etc.
Tea Gardens :
This is the biggest tea garden in Asia. The feel of the erstwhile Raj era is seen here and the district of Sonitpur boasts of having around 73 estates of tea. A tourist here comes, enjoys, and understands the making of tea and one can feel the flavor of the past, mingling with the present and go back intrigued, enthralled and happy.
Kolia Bhomora Bridge :
This is a magnificent piece of construction and is amongst the longest in India. It connects Nagaon and Tezpur on either banks of the River Brahmaputra. Spreading over 3 km this bridge today is incomparable with any kind of such construction.
Tezpur - Entertainment Factor :
The Tezpur Festival :
This is a festival which showcases culture and tradition in this region. There are amphitheatres at Chitralekha Udyan and Agnigarh which help to reach out completely to the tourists. Assamese dances like Jhumur, Bihu, Sattriya, and the Bagrumba enthralls the tourist. The Assamese culture is embedded in this area and the festival is a history lover’ delight. Besides all this, the festival also has mouth watering Assamese cuisine, which fills a gourmet’s curiosity. Sports enthusiasts also have a lot to do with a lot of activities like archery, marathons, Dhop the traditional Assamese game and Golf.
Thus with all endowments of a perfect tourist spot Tezpur is certainly a traveller’s delight.