If you plan for a quiet holiday far away from the hectic world and surrounded by beautiful hills, deep valleys and lush greenery adding an ancient touch to take you back to an era you would have only read about, you need to visit Tezpur in Assam. On the northern banks of Brahmaputra lies Tezpur, the fifth largest city of the state of Assam. Called as the ‘Cultural Capital of Assam‘, the ancient city has various myths associated with it. Ruins dating back to 4th century are found in this town, which is Assam’s oldest inhabited city. The picturesque landscape with snow clad Himalayan ranges and tea gardens make Tezpur an all time favorite for tourists. No wonder, it was favored by the British who ruled India.
The term Tezpur means town of blood. The city acquired its name owing to a myth involving one of the rulers of Tezpur. Sonitpur district for which Tezpur is the headquarters, has 73 tea gardens and that includes the biggest tea garden in the world. Enjoy the essence of culture and the flavor of tea while you are in Tezpur. Here are the top 12 places to visit in Tezpur.
1. Nameri National Park
The location of Nameri National Park in itself is amazing. Lying on the Himalayan foothills, this 200-sq.km park opens the door for you to view some of the rarest species of plants and animals. Nameri National Park is 35 km away from Tezpur. The park boasts of dense elephant population. Other animals that the park is home to include tiger, sambar, leopard, Bengal fox, mouse deer and jungle cat. Some of the rare Himalayan plant varieties are seen here. Yet another attractive feature of the park is that you could go swimming, river rafting and sunbathing here. No wonder, Nameri National Park remains in the top list of tourist attractions here. The park is popularly referred to as ‘The Last House of White Winged Wood Duck’.
Agnigarh refers to fire fort or a residence amidst fire. Agnigarh, the big fortress on hilltop, was constructed to isolate King Bana’s daughter Usha, from Lord Krishna’s grandson Anirudha. As it was surrounded by fire on all sides, it was named Agnigarh. To reach the fortress, you need to climb the circular staircase. From the hilltop, you could have splendid views of Tezpur and the River Brahmaputra.
3. Bamuni Hills
Bamuni Hills is a popular tourist destination in Tezpur with sculptural ruins dating back to 9th and 10th centuries. The influence of Gupta style of architecture is seen here. The stone carvings depicted on the walls of Bamuni Hills are fine specimen of architectural brilliance of the ancient age. You can find Lord Vishnu’s 10 incarnations depicted in the bracket lintel hat is cross-shaped. Once you are here, you could visit Bhairabi temple and Mahabhairab temple nearby.
4. Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated 30 kms away from Tezpur and on the banks of River Brahmaputra, Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most frequented tourist destinations. Covering an area of 44.06 sq.km, the sanctuary has a wide range of flora and fauna. Some of the wildlife present here includes tiger, wild buffalo, wild pig, one horned rhino and elephants. The sanctuary is home to a wide range of birds and it is a favored spot for migratory birds as well. Some of the birds here include Bengal florican, woodcock and swamp partridge. The wildlife safari tour lets you have an in depth study of the sanctuary’s best features.
5. Chitralekha Udyan
Popularly known as Cole Park, Chitralekha Udyan is one of the famous tourist destinations in Tezpur. IT was established in 1906 and later renovated in the year 1996. The scenic park is set in a stunning landscape with many hillocks and lakes adding beauty to the atmosphere. Rowing and paddling facilities along with other water sports are available in the lakes in the park. The important attractions of the park include two huge decorated stone pillars and sculptural ruins of Bamuni hills belonging to the 9th and 10th centuries. The walkway in the path encourages you to have a relaxed walk in the serene atmosphere.
Da-Parbatia stands proof of the architectural excellence of the ancient Assam. The doorframe of the temple belonging to 600 AD, is the most ancient specimen that reflects the sculptural skills possessed in the olden days. It depicts Gupta style of sculpture. The site is now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
7. District Museum
District Museum of Tezpur was established in the year 1986. The museum provides an insight into the culture of the land. Some of the collections on display here include traditional textiles of Assamese, silver coins, copper coins, inscriptions, manuscripts and stone sculptures.
8. Ouguri Hill
Ouguri Hill is a popular tourist destination in Tezpur. Posing tough challenges to climbers with its giant monoliths, the hill is situated on River Brahmaputra’s banks. The view from the hilltop is breathtaking with Tezpur lying on one side and River Brahmaputra on the other. On top of the hill, statue of Kanaklata, a martyr during Quit India Movement, is seen.
9. Padum Pukhuri
Padum Pukhuri refers to lotus pond and it is a scenic lake with an island in it. This island turned park has a musical fountain. One of the attractions of the park is the toy train. The water sports available here include rowing and paddling. An iron bridge connects the park to the main land.
10. Kalia Bhomora Setu
Kalia Bhomora Setu, the pre-stressed concrete bridge over River Brahmaputra connects Sonitpur and Nagaon districts. The 3015-meter long bridge took 6 years to be completed. The work commenced in the year 1981 and completed in 1987. The bridge was named after Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan. American Concrete Institute had recognized this construction as the most outstanding concrete structure in 1988 and had awarded Hindustan Construction Company, which constructed the bridge.
11. Nag-Sankar Temple
Nag-Sankar temple belongs to 4th century AD and it is considered to be constructed by King Nagsankar of Lohitya dynasty. The temple was renovated in 1480 by Ahom King Su-sen-pha. Yet another theory is that the temple was constructed by King Nagmatta. The large pond in the temple is home to varieties of fish and turtles. Some of the turtles are said to be over 100 years of age. The campus of the park houses deer, peacock and pythons.
12. Ketakeshwar Dewal
Ketakeshwar Dewal is a famous temple devoted to Lord Shiva and is unique as the Shivalingam in the temple is one of the biggest in the world. It is considered a holy site and frequented by pilgrims. The temple comprises of two parts. Legend has it that this Shivalingam was uprooted during an earthquake of severe gravity and got fixed in the current position.
Tezpur is a great holiday destination that is a perfect combination of everything you would seek on your holiday. There are a few more tourist places in and around Tezpur to keep your spirits soaring. Whether you travel to different tourist attractions in Tezpur or prefer to just relax, Tezpur gives you great company. After all, what could be more appealing than the beauty of nature?
Other Interesting Places To Visit In Assam:
- Top 7 Places To Visit In Bongaigaon
- Top 10 Places To Visit In Jorhat
- Top 12 Places To Visit In Tinsukia