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Assam “The best connecting SISTER”

Assam is a picturesque place boasting of exotic and distinct flora and fauna .If one wants to experience a riveting travel experience far from the maddening crowd, Assam is just the place you need to head to …. This North eastern state, the gateway to Northeast India has been the top pick destination for travellers recently. Tourists return home with fond and cozy memories of the hospitality of the locals, the exotic food as well as the lush greenery of the land. One can have a bird’s eye view of Assam by taking a virtual peek here…

Wildlife, Flora and Fauna:-

Out of 29 states and 7 union territories of India, Assam holds a distinguished position in terms of  wildlife. The region has around 18 wildlife sanctuaries within its boundaries. Assam boasts of five national parks rich in flora and fauna. They are famous for the wide range of wild animals like elephants, deer  and water buffalos.  They are  also home to the magnificent tiger and if one is lucky, he can spot them on their wonderful trails. The most popular national parks are

Kaziranga: – Famous for preserving world famous one -horned Rhinoceroses and Manas.

Nameri:-This is called a bird watcher’s paradise with over 400  species of birds like great pied Hornbill ,black stork and wildlife like tiger, leopard, sambar, dhole (the Asiatic wild dog), pygmy hog, Indian wild bison, clouded leopard, leopard cat, muntjac, gaur, wild boar, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, capped langur

Orang National Park:-This National Park has similar landscape as that of Kaziranga and recognized as a significant sanctuary for one horned rhinos as well as royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephant, pygmy hog, hog deer and wild boar. Orang also is home to rare species of turtle and Tortoise along with pythons and Cobras.

Hoolongapar Gibbon Wildlife sanctuary: – This sanctuary is set amidst breathtaking lush locales surrounded by tea gardens .It is the only sanctuary in India named after Gibbon, as they are foremost in preserving the gibbon population-the hoolock Gibbons. They are also home to North east India’s nocturnal Primate:-Bengal Loris

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park:- This Park is famous for the White-winged Duck, a large duck species which is endangered and found in Assam. One can also find many other bird species and other mammals like clouded leopard, feral horses etc.

Vibrant and Diverse Culture

The culture of Assam is a beautiful fusion of Indo -Burmese, Mongolian and Aryan influences. The natives are called Asamiya, which is also the state language of Assam. The state has a large number of tribes, each unique in its tradition, culture, dress and exotic way of life.

Various  tribes like Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Miri, Mishimi, Rabha, etc co-exist in Assam; most tribes have their own languages but Assamese is the principal language of the state. A majority of the Assamese are Vaishnavites (a sect of Hinduism). The Vaishnavites do not believe in idol worshiping. They perform “Naamkirtana”, to appease Lord Vishnu .

Unique Cultural Symbols

The “Gamucha” is one of the most distinct cultural symbols of the Assamese and is an indispensable part of every socio-religious ceremonies. It is considered as an honorary piece of cloth commonly used for felicitation in Assam.

It is used in multiple contexts and scenarios .Sometimes it is used as a towel, waistcloth, loin-cloth .A Bihu dancer wraps it around the head in a knot..It is also hung around the neck at the prayer hall and thrown over the shoulder to signify social status or respect. Everyone, irrespective of religious and ethnic backgrounds, use the “Gamucha”.

Tamul Paan

“Tamul Paan” (the areca nut and betel leaves) or Guapan is considered as symbol of devotional respect and friendship. Guests are offered “Tamul Paan” in a traditional bell metal serving “Bota” as a mark of honour. “Tamul Paan” is integral part of all social and religious ceremonies of the Assamese people.


The “Jaapi” is a traditional conical hat made from tightly woven bamboo and/or cane and “Tokoupaat”, a type of large palm leaf.

Jaapi is used and adorned in multitude ways. While plain “Jaapi” was used by farmers as a protection from the sun and rain while working in the fields, ornamental “Jaapi” was worn as a status symbol by Assamese royalty and nobility.
“Jaapi” is also worn in a style of Bihu dance, offered as a sign of respect in ceremonies, and placed as a decorative item around the house.


“Xorai” is a traditional symbol of Assam. It is manufactured from bell metal and is revered as an article of great respect by the people of Assam. There are “Xorai”s” with or without a cover on the top…

Rich Silk Heritage

Assam is the abode of silks varying from the prominent “Muga” silks to the natural golden silk  which is the trademark of Assam. Two other varieties are” Paata creamy-bright-silver coloured silk and “Eri”, a variety used for manufacturing warm clothes during winter. Almost all the rural folk are engaged in weaving silk  along with various ethnic patterns. Assam also boasts of different types of cotton garments with unique woven designs and wonderful colour combinations.

Traditional Mekhela Chadors have been made from Cotton, Muga, Paat Silk or Eri Silk.

Assamese men wear Dhoti Gamosa. Dhoti is a piece of garment worn in the lower part of the body. Assamese women wear Mekhela Chador, which is a two-piece garment worn both by young and old, but not by children. It is draped from the waist   downward, which is later tucked into the waist with a triangular fold. Although it looks like a saree,   it is different from a saree as it has two parts -Mekhela and Chador.

Weaving, is the traditional craft of the Assamese. Women especially take pride in their handloom possessions. The worms which produce Muga silk is Antehra. These worms can only survive in  the northeatern climate. Sualkuchi, popularly known as the ‘Manchester of the East’ is the centre of handloom in Assam. More than 3000 weavers work regularly in the looms of Sualkuchi. The designs on these Muga clothes are fine creations, birds, animals and other designs. Muga is the finest of India’s wild silk, produced only in Assam.

A Riha still adorns  part of the Assamese bridal trousseau and  other indigenous traditional events like Bihu etc.

Exquisite Art and Crafts

Assamese are naturally gifted artisans of handloom and handicraft. Different types of arts and craft, handloom and handicraft items, wooden items, metal items, paintings and jewelry of the state sets them apart from all other cultures of India. The exquisite silk, bamboo and cane products of Assam help it to stand out among the northeastern states.  Several small-scale cottage industries have mushroomed all over Assam and most of the people are prominently  engaged in different types of handicraft making .

Assamese Jewellery

Assamese Ornaments are the epitome of exquisite artisanship and they depict important aspect of their culture. It is generally made of gold termed as “Kesha Xoon” or raw gold. Their jewellery designs depict the flora and fauna  of Assam. They hold special importance in the heart of the Assamese women and are worn during cultural and religious events. Nature and Natural aspects like bird, grain and animals; musical instruments like drums; Assamese stuffs like japi etc are designed in their unique jewellery.

Some of the popular traditional Assamese jewellery include earrings with exquisite Lokaparo, Keru, Thuriya, Jangphai, Long Keru, Sona or Makori; an array of necklaces including Golpata, Satsori, Joon biri, Bena, Gejera, Dholbiri, Doogdoogi, Biri Moni, Mukuta Moni, Poalmoni, Silikha Moni and Magardana, and diversified rings including Senpata, Horinsakua

Cane and Bamboo Products of Assam

Making   bamboo products is one of the prime occupations of the people of Assam. Cane and bamboo products like different furniture, accessories, musical instruments, bags, utensils and decorative items are made in Assam These products of Assam have now gained immense recognition not only in the national market but also in the international market .In short Assam is a shoppers delight and you can unearth many treasure here!!

The toys of Assam have been categorized based on the material of their making. There are wooden toys, toys made from clay and cloth or cloth-and-mud toys. The toys are made in different shapes of Gods, Goddesses, mythological figures, variety of animal forms and many other forms .The Assamese people are also skilled at making masks out of wood, bamboo, terracotta, metal and clay. These masks are widely used in Bhaonas (play) and folk theatres, which are staged across the state.

Multitude of Festivals

The national festival of Assam is the Bihu, which is celebrated thrice during a year with great pomp and grandeur by all Assamese, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

The Assamese also observe all Indian religious festivals such as Durga Puja, Dol-jatra or Fakuwa, Janmastami, and the Eids.


This is one of the most important festivals of the Ahom community of Assam. It is an ancestor worship festival where the people show reverence to departed ancestors and reminiscence their contributions

Jonbeel Mela

This Mela is held near Jagiroad every year for 3 days during winter in the weekend of Magh Bihu. They perform fire worship before the fair starts and the fair is culminated by traditional dance and music performances.


The Bodos and Kacharis celebrate this festival during the middle of April

Brahmaputra Beach festival

This festival is held in the beautiful sandy beaches of the mighty river Brahmaputra every year during the month of January .There is a beautiful blend of traditional contests like elephant race, kite flying and modern activities like rafting, canoeing, para-gliding etc

Ambubachi Mela

The Ambubachi Mela is one of the most important fair and festival celebrated at the Kamakhya temple in Assamheld in the month of June every year.  According to legends goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during this time. During this period, the temple doors are closed for three days and no puja is performed in the temple.

Biswakarma Puja

The God of architecture, Lord Biswakarma is worshipped during this Puja. Workers, artisans, carpenters, industrialists, mechanics, industry workers, factory workers and all other types of workers worship Lord Biswakarma.


This Vaishnavite festival is celebrated to mark the birth and life of Lord Krishna. In this festival, different events and essence of the life of Lord Krishna is depicted through clay figures in Mela.

Ali- ai Ligang Festival

Mising tribe people of Assam celebrate this festival in the spring season. This festival lasts for five days and is a harvest festival. The ceremony starts with sowing of paddy fields and then followed by dance performances by the youths. The ceremony culminates with a feast where dried fish, pork and rice beer is served.

Rongker & Chomangkan Festivals

The Karbi people celebrate these festivals for good health and prosperity for the New Year. In the Rongker festival, the elderly men of the village pray to the Gods and Goddesses for the wellbeing of the village and the people. One of the special characteristic of this festival is that the womenfolk of the village are not allowed to enter the area of worship. The Chomangkan festival is a compulsory death festival for the Karbis

Rajini Gabra and Harni Gabra Festival

The Dimasa tribe people of Assam celebrate these agricultural festivals. It is celebrated at the onset of new cultivation .In the Rajini Gabra festival, the village chief prays to the  family deity and during the night the puja is performed for the prosperity of the village and its villagers.

Plethora of Dance Forms

Assam has a varied and rich culture . Ojapali, Devdasi, and Satriya are the major dance styles of Assam.

Satriya dance form is a performance art form that was recently recognized as a ‘classical’ dance form and it is now counted among the finest of the classical dances of India. The Satra style was evolved early in the 15th century, when the great Vaishanava saint composed his dance dramas and songs..

It has its structural grammar, which is known as MatiAkhora. They are a combination of dance and acrobatic poses. There are 64 types of MatiAkhora.

Dance drama in Assam

The Oja-Pali:

The Oja-Pali is the most distinctive form of folk dance drama in Assam. The dance is a combination of chorus singers and dancers as the  ‘Oja’; and ‘Pali’ – his assistants.

The Oja-Pali troupes can be divided into two – the one connected to the Vaishanava tradition and other to the Manasa cult.


The performance of Dhuliyas (drummers) on marriage or other festivals is one of the liveliest folk-dramas that we can  witness in Assam. There are a minimum of twenty persons in a Dhuliya group


This is another form of ‘Bhaona’, which came into being when there was a decline in the standards of the ‘AnkiyaBhaona’. There are several persons in the troupe and the chief is called the ‘Oja’. He conducts the entire performance with a whisk in his hand.

The PutalaNach:

PutalaNachis a puppet dance played in Assam. The team comprises  of four or five persons and the  most important is the ‘Sutradhar’ (holder of the thread) who  remains behind the curtain and manipulates the puppets made of ‘Kuhila’ (cork-wood)

The Kushan-gan:

This is a popular form of folk dance-drama specific to the Goalpara district of Assam. It is an open-air theatre with music, dance and other ingredients of folk drama.  The troupe consists of fifteen to sixteen persons.

The Bhari-gan:

This form of the dance drama is restricted to the Southern part of Goalpara only, and is  based on the Ramayana.

Bagurumba Dance

Bagurumba dance is one of the folk dances of Assam performed by the Bodo community of Assam. It is a dance performed by women and girls  in colourful attire. The Bodo women wear their ethnic dress dokhna, jwmgra and aronai  and dance to the tune of the traditional musical instruments of the tribe with slow steps and stretched hands. It is performed during the Bwishagu festival.

Jhumur Dance

Jhumur dance is a traditional folk dance form of Assam. This form of dance is performed by the tea tribes of Assam. The dance form is locally known as ‘Chah Baganor Jhumur Nach’ or the Jhumur dance of the tea garden. This dance is performed by both girls and boys and sometimes by girls alone. This dance recital  has good footwork while holding each other’s waist tightly.

Ali Ai Ligang Dance

The Mising community of Assam performs this dance. This dance is performed while making offerings to the deities during the Ali Ai Ligang festival.

Deodhani dance

The Deodhani dance form is a dance associated with worship. It is related to the worship of snake God Manasa. A girl in a trance like inspired state dances to the beats of the Ciphung (flute) and the Kham (drum) .

Folk Music

Assam is home to diverse ethnic groups and myriad of culture that it has a rich heritage of folk Music

“Dhol” like instruments are found in almost every culture of the world. However, the Assamese “Dhol”or “PatiDhol” is distinguished by its small size and it relatively produces a loud sound. These are extensively used in Bihu Geet, dances, and have become  part of modern-day music. The “Gogona” is a type of jaw harp, a vibrating reed instrument that is used primarily in the traditional Bihu music by the women folk. It is made of a piece of bamboo/horn that has a bifurcation on one end.

Adventure Traveller’s Paradise

Guwahati is an ideal city that offers all adventure lovers scope for mountaineering and trekking. The preferred locations for trekking and adventure in Assam are places like North Cachar Hills, Karbi Hills etc. One can enjoy trekking and other adventure activities while en route to these places and also enjoy the rocky hills in Morigaon district known as ‘Elephant rocks’.

Hiking through the famed Kaziranga, Manas and Dibru-Saikhowa national parks also offers an  enthralling experience. Mountaineering,,fishing in the Bhoroli is just an  hour’s drive from Tezpur through the Bahpara.

Trekking: Assam State Zoo has trekking .The most convenient trek is from Kaziranga National Park to Kukurakata Hills that allows a panoramic view of the park. The trek is within an area of 4.5 sq km.

Horse-riding tours: Private operators organise casual hack ride through tea gardens or a gallop on the banks of river Brahmaputra in eastern Assam districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia

Mountain biking: The hilly terrain offers a very good challenge to mountains bikers. Assam Tourism Department in collaboration with ATDC Ltd and other adventure organizations have organized several bicycle and motorbike rallies in and outside the state.

Motorcycling tours: One can explore Assam and adjoining states in the Northeast through motorcycling tours that can take riders to awesome rural settings and villages

Parasailing: Travellers can enjoy Parasailing at Dalibari in North Guwahati. Guwahati and near Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in eastern Assam are ideal spots for this.

Boat racing:.There is scope for kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts, an avid enthusiast can head  straight to Charanbeel in Morigaon district, barely an hour’s drive from Guwahati. The Assam Boat Racing and Rowing Association, together with the Department of Tourism, also organises boat racing during the annual spring-time Brahmaputra Beach Festival.

River Rafting: The Brahmaputra and its turbulent tributaries such as Manas and Kopili dare adventurers with their swift current and fiery rapids.

Camping: Eco Camp situated at the fringes of the Nameri National Park is an avid camper’s ideal getaway.

Mouthwatering Cuisines

Assamese cuisine mostly depends on climate, vegetation and the soil of the land. Rice, being the staple diet of the people of Assam, is used to make variety of sweets and snacks, as well as beer. Fish plays a major role in Assam cuisines .Various ingredients like bamboo shoot, Khar (banana tree ashes) etc. are also used to cook various delicacies of Assam. A traditional Assamese meal begins with Khar and ends with a spicy and tangy Tenga, Betelnut and paan conclude the meal.
They traditionally brew their drinks in the home like Laupani, Xaaj, Paniyo, Jou, joumai, Hot, Apang and are offered on festivals to guests. Assamese dishes are less spicy than any other Indian dishes. Assamese are mostly non-vegetarian, and their staple diet is rice. The traditional Assamese Breakfast comprises of “Jolpaan” and “Pithas”. Some types of “Jolpaan” are Bora Saul (a variety of sticky rice), Komal Saul, Xandoh, Chira, Muri, Akhoi, Sunga Saul etc. eaten in combination with hot milk, curd, jaggery, yogurt or seasonal ripe fruits.Pitha’s and Laru’s or Ladoos are prepared especially during the time of Bihu from rice flour, grated coconut, sugar, jaggery etc.

The Royal Brahmaputra Cruise

Assamese cuisine mostly depends on climate, vegetation and the soil of the land. Rice, being the staple diet of the people of Assam, is used to make variety of sweets and snacks, as well as beer. Fish plays a major role in Assam cuisines .Various ingredients like bamboo shoot, Khar (banana tree ashes) etc. are also used to cook various delicacies of Assam. A traditional Assamese meal begins with Khar and ends with a spicy and tangy Tenga, Betelnut and paan conclude the meal.
They traditionally brew their drinks in the home like Laupani, Xaaj, Paniyo, Jou, joumai, Hot, Apang and are offered on festivals to guests. Assamese dishes are less spicy than any other Indian dishes. Assamese are mostly non-vegetarian, and their staple diet is rice. The traditional Assamese Breakfast comprises of “Jolpaan” and “Pithas”. Some types of “Jolpaan” are Bora Saul (a variety of sticky rice), Komal Saul, Xandoh, Chira, Muri, Akhoi, Sunga Saul etc. eaten in combination with hot milk, curd, jaggery, yogurt or seasonal ripe fruits.Pitha’s and Laru’s or Ladoos are prepared especially during the time of Bihu from rice flour, grated coconut, sugar, jaggery etc.

Tea Trail experience

A tour to Assam is incomplete without stay or visit to lush green tea plantations .One can experience the green landscape with the background of chirping of birds and the hustle and bustle of the workers plucking tealeaves. A soothing aroma engulfs a plantation which is not be missed!!

Tea entwined in the culture and History of Assam

The Singpho tribal people cultivated and drank tea as a herbal rejuvenator for ages. Assam has been synonymous with tea ever since Briton Robert Bruce claimed to have discovered it in 1823

Assam has the world’s largest concentration of tea plantations. Assam tea accounts for 55% of India’s total tea production and 80% of the country’s export. In 1829, India became the first country outside Great Britain to have a golf course; that too in Assam.  Assam’s ‘tea-tees’ – golf courses in tea estates – are   a class of their own. There are some 20 natural “Tea-Tees”.

In 1911, the Tocklai Tea Research Centre, the oldest and largest Tea Research Centre in the world was established at Tocklai in Jorhat for developing more scientific and fruitful methods of cultivating tea plants, applying fertilizer, testing soil, selecting sites for garden and processing tea leaves. The state also produces a small quantity of distinctive organic orthodox tea, which was granted GI status in 2007.

A Tea Auction Centre – Guwahati Tea Auction Centre that was established in 1970, markets the Tea Produced in Assam and entire North Eastern States. The bulk of Assam’s teas are sold through the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. A special logo assigned by Tea Board of India separates Assam Tea from others in the international market

Today, Jorhat is referred to as Assam’s tea capital thanks to some 300-tea estates around. Many tea estates have colonial bungalows, some of which have been refurbished for high-end, niche tourists.

A stay in the tea garden, playing golf and driving through tea country is truly a divine experience.

Best Time to Visit / Cimate

Northeast India is very diverse in terms of its weather. Every time of the year, the wonderland offers something wonderful to experience and see. If you are looking forward to enjoying scenic beauty or watching the glory of waterfalls, months from mid-May to September-October will be the best time.

Access Points: Airports / Railheads :

By Air

Assam is well connected to all major cities of India via national carrier and private airlines. Guwahati’s LokapriyaGopinathBordoloi International Airport is the nearest airport which is only 25 km away from the city.

By Rail

Guwahati is the major railhead to visit destinations across Assam – Meghalaya – Arunachal Pradesh

By Road

You can easily reach Assam via road. Ride through highways are very smooth

Hotels in all Prominent Destinations

Assam is blessed with Perfect tea plantations, elephants, rhinos, blue mountains, rice fields and the red Brahmaputra valley

Choosing the best places to stay in Assam is highly dependent on why you are visiting the region, but choices vary from eco-lodges where you can sleep close to the elephants and rhinos, or beautiful old tea plantation house. Different destinations in Assam have different hotels that one can choose from based on One’s inclination for the experience offered .Here are list of some of the hotels.

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