Assam – The Crucible of Culture

Experience gives skill; several skills yield capacity; skills raised by capacity is talent; and ability is the capability to change the skills from one field to another. Efficiency is to achieve more with less. Academic training gives education. Memory of information gives General Knowledge. Capacity to produce results in work is wealth. Power and wealth combines to give status. Caste is by birth. Culture is not any of these, but includes all of them and is more. Because of its rich cultural heritage, Assam in India is considered the ‘cultural crucible of India’.

Assam is the confluence of South Asian and South East Asian cultures. The Assamese language is a hybrid of many groups of languages such as Indian, Iranian, Tibetan, Burman and Tai. There are number of ethno-cultural groups in Assam that have diverse features with regard to language, dialects, art, architecture, dance, music, faith traditions, dialects, food habits, textile designs and pattern of settlement. These groups are Bodo, Dimasa, Garo, Bru, Singphow, Rabhs, Hasong, Karbi.

Besides its cultural diversity, Assam draws tourist attraction because of its verdant tea gardens, the grandeur and might of the river Brahmaputra, abundance of nature, scintillating tropical forests, incredible bio-diversity, traditional tribal handicrafts, facilities for adventure sports activities, bamboo orchards, national parks and reserve forests.

The Kaziranga National Park is home to the rare horned rhinoceros. This, along with Manas is declzred UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tourists get the rare opportunity of witnessing a number of endangered species like white-winged wood duck, black-breasted parrot bill, hispid hare, Hoolock gibbon, Jerdon’s babler and many more. Manas National Park, situated at 150 km west of Guwahati is primarily a tiger reserve. Dibru-Saikhwa National Park and Numeri National park attract bird watchers.

Assam has global recognition for its oil wells that started operations as far back as 1901. Digboi, is known as the ‘Oil City of Assam’ which every tourist would like to have view of. Various golf courses and clubs, established by the British provide amusement to high profile tourists.

Nature has bestowed its abundance on Guwahati and is therefore considered the haven for nature lovers, with some unexplored hill stations. Kamakhya temple, aBhubaneswari temple, Vasistha temple and Nawagarh temple attract devotees for offering their prayers. The Guwahati Zoo brings the tourists closer to a number of never-seen animals.

For witnessing a unique communal harmony, tourists never miss to pay a visit to the heritage town, Hajo which is just 24 km away from Guwahati. Besides a number of ancient temples, the Poa Mecca mosque stands witness to this.

Other urban areas in Assam are Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Silchar, Tezpur, Tinsukia, Shibsagar, Nagaon and Bongaigaon, Golagjhat, Goalpara, Dhubri, Nalbari, Mangaldoi, Barpeta, KOkrajhar, Jogighopa and Numaligarh.

Those having archeological interest have a lot to find lot in Assam. Guwahati has a number of archaeological sites with temples, tanks including Dighali Pukhuri. ajo has the remains of the ancient city of Apurnabhaba. Other archaeological sites can be visited at Sibsagar, Surya Pahar Goalpara, Tezpur, Kapili, Dhansiri and Maibong.

Tourists get back every penny spent for the visits made to Assam after witnessing its cultural, natural, historical and archeological richness.

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