Sunday, 8 January 2012

Tezpur, Assam

Tezpur is an important city of Assam and also serves as the administrative headquarters of the Sonitpur district. Situated on the banks of river Brahmaputra, this ancient city is known for its mythology, folklore and legends. The place derives its name from the Sanskrit words, 'Teza' meaning blood and 'Pura' meaning city or town. This is because it is believed that a battle between Lord Krishna and the Asura king Banasura, known as the Sonitpur, was fought in Tezpur only. Since thousands of people were killed in the battle and the whole city was flooded with human blood, the place came to be known as Tezpur.

This age old city of Tezpur, known for its splendid natural beauty and archeological ruins, is an absolute delight for every tourist as well as nature lover. The urban center of Guwahati is only about 180 kms from this place and the entire city is set amidst snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, lush tea gardens and the innumerous hillocks of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Some of the major tourist attractions in and around Tezpur are Nehru Maiden, Chitralekha Udyan, Mahabhairav Temple, Agnigarh, Da-Parbatia, Bamuni Hills, the Hazara Pukhuri, Cole Park, Bhalukpong, Eco Camp, Bhomoraguri, Nameri Tiger Reserve, and Orang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tezpur is regarded as the cultural capital of Assam. The city is, in fact, renowned for being the birthplace of many renowned artists, such as Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (1903-51), Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha (1909-69), Phani Sarma (1909-70), Ananda Chandra Agarwala (1874-1939). It is also the birth Place of former speaker of Indian Parliament, Somnath Chatterjee. Presently, Tezpur also serves as a commercial, administrative and educational centre of Assam, apart from housing a major base of the Indian Army and Airforce (Salonibari). Last, but not the least, it is known for housing some of the best tea gardens in Assam.

Places to see in Tezpur

Agnigarh is one of the most important tourist destinations of Tezpur. A circular stairway leads to the peak of the hill and offers a good trekking option. In fact, people often come here for picnic or simply to enjoy the scenes and sights. There is a very famous legendary story behind this place.

Located in one of the most beautiful and legendary places of Assam, the Cole Park attracts a host of travelers and nature lovers every year. This park was established by Mr. Cole, a Commissioner of Assam under British rule. It was later renovated by Mr. M.G.V.K. Bhanu, the deputy Commissioner of Tezpur, in 1996.

Mahabhairab Temple, located atop a small hill in the northern part of Tezpur, is considered as a major landmark of this ancient city and contributes a lot to the magnetic charm and beauty of the place. It is believed that the original temple was made of stone, constructed by Banasura, the demon king who had his capital at Tezpur.

Ketakeshwar Dewal is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the northeast zone of India. The entire temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and enshrines one of the biggest Shiva lingams in the entire world. Over the years, the temple has emerged as the most important pilgrimage centre in the state of Assam.

Hazara Pukhuri

Hazara Pukhuri is a very large tank, spreading across 70 acres (280,000 sq m), situated in the Tezpur city of Assam. It dates back to 19th century tank and was built by the famous king of the Ahom Dynasty, Harjjar Varma.

Bamuni Hills

To the east of Tezpur city are the remnants of Bamuni Hill, are renowned for their excellent artistic finesse. The structural remains present here date back to the 9th and 10th century and attract historians and art lovers from all over the world. A group of seven shrines is located here and figures of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are carved over the horned Kirtimukha panels that adorn the cross-shaped bracket lintel.

Nag Sankar Temple

East of Tezpur, at Jamuguri, we can find a very well-known temple, which is known as Nag Sankar. It is said that King Narasankar of Nagakha built the shrine, sometime around the 4th century. The place has now become a very famous pilgrimage centre of not only Tezpur, but the whole of Assam.

Padum Pukhuri

Padum Pukhuri (padum means lotus) is a well-known lake, with an island situated inside. This island has been converted into a park, with a musical fountain and it is connected with the mainland by means of an iron bridge. The main attractions within the park are the water sports, like rowing and paddling. It also has a toy train.


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