Land of Beauty: Assam
SANDIPAN K GOSWAMI
Assam, the abode of the mighty Brahmaputra, lush green tea gardens, mystic hills and wild forests is located in the North-eastern part of India. Being the home of many floras and faunas, Assam is full of natural beauty. It is one of the Seven Sisters of North-East. When it comes to wildlife, our Assam has many protected areas for animals and birds including the endangered ones. Kaziranga serves itself as a home for one- horned rhinos and also Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo and swamp deer. These five animals are together called the ‘Big Five’. Kaziranga National Park has the biggest populace of the Wild water buffalo consisting of about 57% of the world population. Moreover, the glory of Kaziranga is its breathtaking array of flowers in the form of an abundant cover of water lilies, lotus and water hyacinth which enrich the beauty and add the rustic look to the ambiance of the park. There are many other national parks that help Assam to protect its wildlife population. Of them are the Manas National Park, Pobitora National Park, Dehing Patkai, and also the Hajo temple. The Hajo temple’s lake is a home to Black SoftShell turtles. It is a unique species and its name was included in the “Extinct in the wild species” list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2002. But from the time they are found in this pond, they have been protected and after years of conservation, their name was added in the critically endangered list. This work was not done by a solo individual. The foremost role was played by the Assam State Zoo.
Endowed with lush greenery, Assam is renowned for Assam tea, silk, petroleum and resources. Assam today consists of more than 100 Tea Estates. The diversity that these estates offer is a sure delight for anyone with a love for melange in frequency. The natural beauty of the tea plantation area is something worth seeing and its magnificence is worth experiencing. It is the largest tea growing region in the world and produces bright and brisk black tea. The lush green gardens appear as an ever spread foliage of carpets over the terrace of terrains. The beauty is surely unparalleled. The tea plants are grown in the lowlands of Assam, unlike Darjeelings and Nilgiris, which are grown in the highlands. It is cultivated in the valley of the Brahmaputra River, an area of clay soil rich in the nutrients of the floodplain. Assam tea is generally harvested twice, in a “first flush” and a “second flush”.
Apart from greenery, Assam has a number of temples. The most famous temples in Assam include the Kamakhya Temple, Shiv Dol, Umananda, Dol Govindo, Dhekiakhuwa Namghar, and Atkhelia Namghar, Ugrotara Mandir, Barpeta Satra and the Poa Mecca Dargah Sharif. Nestled in Nilachal Hills, cladded in clouds is the Kamakhya Temple, protecting the people of Assam from evil eyes. It is a popular pilgrimage centre and one of the 51 Shakti peeths of India. Ambubachi Mela, the main festival of kamakhya serves as an attraction for people all over the world. This is the time when Assam witnesses tourist pilgrims from all over the world. Besides Kamakhya, Siva dol of Sivasagar is another temple that gets added to the religious section of Assam. Siva dol, meaning the temple of the Lord Shiva, is a group of structures comprising three Hindu temples– Sivadol, Vishnudol, Devidol and a museum. Sivasagar Sivadol is located in the heart of the Sivasagar city. Every year, during the Mahashivaratri, a huge mela is organized in the Shiva temple and pilgrims visit from all parts of India to offer puja. During the month of Shravana, chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is conducted all through the day and night and this is a major attraction to the devotees. The Dol Yatra and Rath Yatra are two annual festivals celebrated at Vishnu Dol. The Muslim place of pilgrimage in Hajo is Powa Mecca Mosque. On the top of Garurachal hill, the Powa Mecca mosque stands. This is the tomb of the pioneer of Muslim religion in this area, Pir Ghiyasuddin Auliya. This temple is also a very popular pilgrimage centre in Hajo. All the temples together help Assam to shine and retains its beauty.
Assam also has the world’s largest river island, called Majuli or Majoli. This island is situated on the Brahmaputra River. It became the first island to be made a district in India in 2016. The word Majuli means ‘the land between two parallel rivers’ and, as a matter of fact, this island was formed by the confluence of Brahmaputra and its anabranches. Majuli is one of the popular tourist hotspots because of its vibrant culture. Majuli is set to soon become plastic-free as the district administration has already prohibited the sale, use, and purchase of plastic bags, gutkha, and tobacco leaves. Majuli has also been the cultural capital and the cradle of Assamese civilization for the past 500 years. Huge varieties of Floras and faunas are the prettiest thing that makes Majuli an island with full greenery all around.
But one of the worst times that Assam faces is that when there is heavy rainfall. Damaged trees and flooded roads with animals trying out to help themselves to get out of the water is the most terrible view that the people of Assam have to face.
Assam is full of resources and can be found everywhere. The main festival of the state is Bihu which is celebrated thrice a year, Bohag Bihu, in April, Kati Bihu, in October and Magh Bihu in the month of January. People wear new dresses and dance Bihu on the beats of Dhol and Pepa. Assam is a beautiful mesmerizing cute little state surrounded by lush greeneries and easy going super friendly people of different communities, different tribes and different languages living with each other harmoniously.
SANDIPAN K GOSWAMI
Class: VIII, South Point School