It is simply awe-inspiring how many times the Himalayas have figured in the list of places I have ever visited. It is almost like I have grown up with the Himalayas as a constant presence in all the fun trips I have taken with my family when I was a kid, a silent spectator, an unceasing protector. And then, when I was done growing up, I have gone back, time and again, to soak in some of the memories that I had made and left behind in those places. The Himalayas are mysterious, to say the least. I, for one, have always been a fan of that strangely reserved demeanour of those mountains, how they shroud themselves in white and stand in silent prayer to some unseen deity. That, along with the rich diversity in culture makes the Himalayas and their foothills a place out of our dreams.
In this post I’ll talk about the 5 best places to visit when you’re in Assam, the beauty of the hills of Assam, which are a direct offshoot of the Himalayas.
- Umrangshu: Umrangshu is a picturesque little town just a few hours away from the Haflong Hills which is untouched by the rigours of modernity. The place is serene and quiet and seems like a forgotten little bit of heaven on Earth tucked away amongst lush rolling hills. The Kopili Hydel-Power plant is situated near the border and attracts a significant number or tourists annually.
- Haflong Lake: The Halflong Lake is situated bang in the middle of the Haflong Hills. The place boasts of two major lakes, Haflong Lake being the more famous. It is situated at a height of 1683 feet above sea level so don’t be surprised if your cheeks are gently grazed by a clouds and mist. The landscape is dotted with waterfalls, blue hills and orange and pineapple trees grow in abundance here.
- Kaziranga National Park: This national park cum World Heritage Site is spread over 430 sq. km. and is the home to various wild species such as elephants, tiger, rhinoceros, Indian bison, deer and sambar. The park is a delight to bird-lovers during winter as migratory birds from all over the world come here. Some of the notable migratory birds include pelicans, herons and migratory storks such as the black-necked stork and the Asian open-bill. Tourists can take a spin around the park in jeeps and for the more brave-hearted there are always elephant-back rides.
- Kamakhya Temple: The Kamakhya Temple is situated atop the Nilachal Hill in Guwahati at a height of about 800 feet above sea level. The temple itself is dedicated to the mother Goddess Kamakhya and is one of the oldest among the 51 Shakti Pithas- 2200 years old to be exact. The Brahmaputra flows north to the hill and the temple provides a breathtaking view of the river. The divinity of the place is palpable in the beauty and peacefulness of the temple.
- Agnigarh Hill: Agnigarh Hill is located in Tezpur in Assam. Legend has it that the fortress was built by the King Banasura to keep his daughter Usha isolated from civilization. The fortress always had fire burning around it to restrict the movement of people in and out of it and that is how it found it’s present name.
Image Credits: Umrangshu: assamtouristspots.wordpress.com
Haflong Lake: hoparoundindia.com
Kaziranga National Park: Flickr
Kamakhya Temple: Flickr
Agnigarh Hill: Flickr
Featured Image: Flickr