Want to explore the wildly spectacular Seven Sisters of Northeastern India? If yes, then you might want to consider starting off your exciting exploration tour from the state of Assam. Tucked away in the eastern corner of the country and resting in the embrace of the mighty Himalayas, Assam enjoys a vital position on the map of India.
Not only is it one of the liveliest and most happening places, but it is also well endowed with tranquil villages, pristine wilderness, verdant tea estates, and gorgeous rivers. This member of the Seven Sisters beckons every adventurous tourist to immerse themselves in its picturesque appeal. From cruising down the Brahmaputra River, tasting the famous Assamese duck roast to celebrating the vibrant festivals of Assam, here’s a list of 10 things to do in Assam.
Located about 360 km away from Guwahati, the historic city of Sivasagar used to be the capital city of the ancient Ahom dynasty. Formerly known as Rangpur, the kingdom of Ahom was established by the founder of the dynasty, Sukhapa. This renowned destination that has witnessed the heroic acts of Sati Joymati and terrible things done by Swargadeo Sulikphaa attracts visitors of all kinds.
Many of Assam’s most prominent temples including Devidol, Sivadol, Joy Dole, and Vishnu Dole are scattered all across the area of Sivasagar. Many travelers like to roam around the Joysagar tank which was built by the late King Rudra in honor of his mother Sati Joymati who gave up her life just to save the kingdom of Ahom from the clutches of a tyrannical king.
Rang Ghar (the amphitheater), Siva Tai Museum, and Kareng Ghar which is one of the grandest palaces built by the Ahom rulers are some of the main attractions of Sivasagar. Those interested in bird-watching also get the chance to catch a glimpse of a variety of birds at the Panidihing Bird Sanctuary.
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Popular for being the world’s largest fresh-water river island, Majuli in Assam is blessed with the most spellbinding landscapes. Located just 20 km away from the city of Jorhat, this pollution-free island covered in green carpets ends up attracting tourists from all over. Majuli’s culture is distinct and intriguing, owing to the fact that it is mostly populated by tribals. Being one of the most fascinating sites in India, Majuli is a strong competitor for a spot on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
The island is dotted with Satras (monasteries) that are an integral part of the culture of Assam. Founded by followers of Sankaradeva who were the advocates of the Eksarana Dharma, these monasteries are the heart of the authentic Assamese, music, theatre, and dance styles. The Gurus (teachers) who live in these Satras devote their entire lives to the advancement of the Assamese performing arts styles like Borgeet, Bhaona, and Ankiya Naat.
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Decorating the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River, Hajo is just a 30-minute drive away from the city of Guwahati. The ancient pilgrimage site of Hajo is remarkable and incredibly interesting because people from three religions, namely, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Visiting Hajo will let you experience the peaceful harmony between three religious beliefs like never before.
Studded with shrines dedicated to various deities like Vishnu, Durga, Buddha, Shiva, and numerous Muslim saints, this gem of a place emits positive vibes thrice as strong. Hayagriva Mahadev is the most famous temple in Hajo. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s man-lion avatar (incarnation), it is also revered by Buddhists because it happens to be a place where Lord Buddha is believed to have attained Nirvana.
Meanwhile, Muslims flock to the Hajo Poa Mecca that is said to have a similar significance as Mecca. Don’t forget to offer your prayers at other temples of Hajo like the Madan Kamdev Temple and the Kedareswar Temple.
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Adoring the floodplains of the great Brahmaputra River, Kaziranga National Park is covered in every shade of green imaginable. Blessed with a large amount of rainfall every year, the Kaziranga landscape is typically adorned with marshes, thick elephant grass, and tall evergreen forests.
However, what distinguishes it from other national parks is the fact that it is home to one-horned rhinoceros which is one of the most exotic species of rhinos. Its presence in Kaziranga has put this national park on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Kaziranga is said to be the greatest place in north-eastern India to witness the beautiful Royal Bengal Tiger. Apart from that, this national park is also the dwelling ground of a large number of Asiatic elephants, wild buffaloes, and the Eastern swamp deer, a species of deer that is solely found in Kaziranga.
To add to that, bird lovers get a chance to witness some of the notable bird species like the Great Indian hornbill. If this wasn’t enough, the park comprises 150 perennial water bodies that house a diverse aquatic ecosystem with animals like turtles (7 species!), and tortoises.
The handloom industry is almost inseparable from Assamese culture. As it is, the northeast has had hand-weaving as a part of its traditions (exclusively done by women) and Assamese culture is nothing more different. In order to witness hand-weaving in its truest form, visit the Sualkachi village located 35 km away from Guwahati.
Dubbed the ‘Manchester of Assam’, Sualkuchi is a commercial weaving hamlet. The Ahomiya Kings introduced handloom weaving here in the 11th century and the village developed over time. Back then, the talented weavers would make exquisite silk attires that were patronized by the royal families of Assam. Today, this village is home to many weaver families that work together to produce some of the finest silk clothes in Assam.
You should know that the weavers in Sualkuchi hail from both tribal as well as non-tribal communities and both women and men work together on the looms here. Walk down the streets of the village and you will hear the sounds of the traditional wooden weaving machine. Interact with the locals and you will realize that this village actually produces some of the world-renowned silk cloth varieties like the Muga Silk, Eri Silk, and the Pat Silk.
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What is the true essence of being an Indian? Chai is synonymous with comfort for you and once you have a hot cup of tea in the morning, you are good to go for the rest of the day! Almost half of the tea production in India comes from Assam and that’s why it would be a shame if you don’t spend some time in the beautiful tea estates of Assam. Although the entire state is covered with tea plantations, be it dense or light, we would suggest that you go to Jorhat which has some of the coolest tea estates in the state.
Located just a few kilometers away from Majuli, the charming town of Jorhat strikes the right balance between the modern age and the feel of the olden British times. The city certainly captivates all those who look at its lush green hill slopes decorated with tea plantations. You can appreciate the overall tranquility and peacefulness of this region as you tour various tea estates like the Cinnamon Tea Estate.
You can also find the Tocklai Tea Research Institute in Jorhat which focuses on experimenting with and creating newer flavors of tea. In case you end up visiting Assam from November to January, you might be lucky enough to be able to partake in the celebrations of the Tea Festival.
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We are sure that you must have read about the Digboi Oil Refinery in your geography textbooks. Nicknamed as the ‘Oil City of Assam’, Digboi emerged as an important town way back in the 19th century. Digboi is said to have derived its name from the phrase ‘dig-boy-dig’ which was popularly used by the British who ordered the native laborers to dig and discover the underground crude oil. Eventually, the refinery was established in 1901 and the town became famous for housing Asia’s first drilled oil well.
There are numerous historic buildings, exclusive mansions, and a particularly well-known golf course (set up during the rule of the British) scattered all across Digboi. Apart from the Digboi Oil Refinery (which is still functional today), do consider visiting other interesting locations around Digboi like the Digboi War Cemetery, Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Digboi Golf Course, and Margherita Tea Gardens.
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Assamese cuisine is quite simple in terms of its ingredients as well as recipes. Although the Assamese don’t employ much technique while cooking and use chilies sparingly, the flavors of their food are unusually good. Assam is a melting pot of several distinct cultures and this has led to significant diversity in the cuisine of Assam. There will be a lot of food items that will need to be tasted when you are in Assam, so don’t waste any time eating something that’s not native to Assam.
The food of Assam consists of a variety of items ranging from boiled to spicy ones. As seafood is an integral element of Assamese cuisine, rice and fish are what most of the locals eat on a daily basis. The Assamese eateries and known for serving delicious food items like Machor Tenga (a sour fish curry), Duck Roast, Laksa (a spicy-sour noodle soup with a fish base), Poitbhat (a rice-based recipe), Pitika (mashed potato), Pura (grilled and roasted food), etc.
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam attracts all those who are religious and the ones who are intrigued by ancient culture and history. Nestled in the Nilachal Hill, this holy temple seats the deity of the powerful goddess Shakti. The Hindu texts believe that there are about 4 Adi Shakti Peethas (temples with the greatest divine energies) scattered across the country, Kamakhya being one of them.
The Kamakhya Temple honors the powerful ability of women to bear children and is considered to be extremely auspicious by those who follow the Tantric sect of Hinduism. In fact, the Brahmaputra turns red during the month of June and this fascinates the ardent followers of Goddess Shakti. They believe that the red water of the river is actually the menstrual blood of Goddess Shakti.
The temple has stood the test of time and it was built and rebuilt several times between the 8th and the 17th centuries. The temple’s main entrance is wonderfully crafted with basic yet exquisite carvings that are adorned with flowers of vibrant colors. The temple features a huge dome that looks out over the picturesque Nilachal Hills. If you visit the temple in June, ensure that you attend the visually delightful Ambubachi Festival that’s organized in this temple.
Looking to unwind after a long tiring day of visiting some of the best places in Assam? Look no further and head towards the majestic Kakochang Waterfall located just 13 km away from Borakhat. After trekking for about 4 km, you will discover this magnificent waterfall tucked away in the very heart of nature.
Situated near the Kaziranga National Park and offering a mesmerizing view of the verdant tea gardens, rubber plantations, and the ruins of Numaligarh, this Kakochang Waterfall in Assam attracts all those who are looking for serene picnic spots. The water gushes down from a great height and creates an illusion of the water directly descending from the heavens. If you want to jazz up your Instagram feed, Kakochang is the perfect place you are looking for.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Assam?
Tucked away in the misty eastern corner of the country, Assam is one of those places that attracts tourists throughout the entire year. However, Assam is said to be at its best from November to March so do consider planning your trip during those months.
Which Is The Dance Of Assam?
Bihu is the most famous dance form of Assam that is traditionally performed during the Bihu festival of Assam. Both men and women dancers wear colorful and traditional attires and participate in the dance celebrations. The Dhol (a native drum-like instrument) is central to the entire performance. All the dancers either form circles or straight lines and dance to the beats of the Dhol.
Curious about Bihu? Find out everything about it here!
What Is Assam Famous For?
Exquisite silk fabrics and premium tea flavors are synonymous with the name Assam. Not only this, but the state is also well renowned for housing the first site for crude oil drilling in Asia. To add to that, Assam is also inhabited by the one-horned rhinoceros, wild water buffaloes, Bengal tigers, a wild variety of birds, and aquatic animals, and it is the last remaining natural habitat of the Asiatic elephant.
Which Tea Is Better, Assam Or Darjeeling?
When you compare the two types of tea, you will notice that there is an extra hint of spice in Darjeeling tea. It is recommended that you drink Darjeeling tea without milk or sugar to get the finest flavors out of it. On the contrary, Assam tea tastes the best when served with milk and sugar. Assam tea is usually stronger than Darjeeling teas, and they also have enhanced nutty and earthy flavors. Which tea is the best completely depends on your taste preferences as both types of teas are perfect in their own sense.
Is Assam A Rich State?
The richness of the state lies in its abundantly available water resources and huge chunks of extremely fertile land. To add to that, the state is also famous for being the country’s 3rd largest producer of natural gas and petroleum, and it also has several lime reserves. Not only this, but the state is the hotspot of biodiversity as it is home to 18 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks.
What Was Assam's Old Name?
Assam was known previously as "Pragjyotisha" and "Kamrupa" as per records in Sanskrit literature.
Which Language Is Spoken In Assam?
Assamese is widely spoken in Assam.
What Is The Climate Of Assam?
Assam is known to have a tropical monsoon rainforest climate, meaning that it has heavy rainfall and high levels of humidity.