Image Courtesy : Buddha Saikia
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware . ~ Martin Buber
A ten minute ferry ride across the mighty Brahmaputra river from the busy Fancy Bazar ghat of Guwahati will get you to the totally different world of North Guwahati . If you are afraid of taking the ferry , you can always take an about one hour long journey by public transport to reach this place .
Historically the capital of the state of the state of Kamrupa , this part of Assam has great mythological as well as historical significance . The temple of Aswaklanta finds its mention in the Hindu holy text of Mahabharata while Doul Govinda is an auspicious temple for the worshipers of Lord Krishna .
Keeping mythology aside , the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati , one of the most reputed engineering collages of India is also located in North Guwahati . And a multitude of large hospitals and industries also dot this side of the river .
Life in North Guwahati is much slower and serene compared to the south bank of the river . The pollution and population also is quite less thus giving it a sense of calmness . Multiple locations are available for picnics or getting together with family and friends . Easy access by ferries at regular interval and its relatively quieter environment attracts local as well as foreign tourists to come here and enjoy the hospitality of the local people .
So if you can make some time out of your schedule , do give this side of the Brahmaputra a visit .
Travel tip : If you want to go by bus , please confirm beforehand that there is no traffic on the Saraighat bridge and using the waterway might be scary for first timers on a windy day .
Image courtesy : Yathin_sk(Wiki Commons)
True merit , like a river , the deeper it is , the less noise it makes . ~ E F L Wood
The tiny Umananda Island or Peacock Island is the smallest inhabitable river island in the world. With a temple with historical and mythological significance , this island is also the home of beautiful Golden Langurs .
It’s a great place if you want to break free from the hustle – bustle of the Guwahati city even if it’s just for an hour or two. Right in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra, this picturesque rocky island is mythologically said to be created by the Hindu god Shiva for beloved wife Parvati’s pleasure and happiness . It is also the place where he made Kamadeva pay the greatest price for disturbing his meditation .
Mythology aside, one can simply sit on the rocks in the middle of one of the biggest rivers of the world and watch the multitude of boats and ferries criss – cross the seemingly calm waters . Reachable only by boat, this place is definitely not for aqua phobics . A meagre Rs. 10 for both way journey and a journey time of about five minutes for one way , aboard a ferry is definitely a luxury everyone can afford .
Next time you are in Guwahati do take a trip to Umananda island and don’t forget to tell me how it feels.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky .~ Rabindra Nath Tagore
What do you like to do in a lazy holiday afternoon ?when you have no deadline to meet , no call to attend , no pressing issues begging your attention ? Sleep right ? But for me it’s kind of different . I love sitting on the riverbank, my personal slice of heaven .
Let me begin by describing my Guwahati . The first thing anyone notices about my hometown is that it is in the valley of one of the largest rivers of the world . Guwahati is surrounded on all sides by hills and the mighty Brahmaputra flows right through the middle dividing it into two parts . The northern bank houses mainly the IIT Guwahati , few large hospitals and many industries while the southern bank holds the bustling city life in all its glamor , and obviously the pollution with it .
Back to my lazy afternoon, which I like to enjoy sitting by the river and the watch the sun set. The beautiful red sunset by the mighty Brahmaputra brings a great calmness to the human soul. Right from my childhood , even before joining my preschool, I love to spend my evening by the river. Watching the fishermen return to their homes in their tiny boats makes me think how much my life is easier compared so many other people . Perhaps you might consider me a lazy person , but then its this rest that everyone needs to recharge his body and soul . Earphones pouring beautiful music from the Coke Studio series and a beautiful sunset with your legs dipped in the cold flowing water , one of my definitions of peace . Who needs a beach when the river on your doorstep can offer the same feeling (almost!!)
If you ever visit Guwahati , do spend at least one afternoon by the river and enjoy the sunset. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Hope to see you soon.. Till then , Adios!