About Jorhat ...
Welcome to Jorhat- the tea capital as well as knowledge capital of Assam!
A Brief History ...
Jorhat is one of Assam’s largest cities and derives its name from two haats or bazaars – Macharhat and Chowkihat – on either bank of river Bhogdoi, a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. It was the last capital of the 600 years long Ahom dynasty and home to many historical monuments of Assamese culture.
Today, Jorhat is referred to as Assam’s tea capital thanks to some 300 tea gardens around.
Recently, Jorhat has also been coined as the knowledge capital of Assam due the presence of a plethora of educational institutes like medical and engineering colleges, agricultural university as well as an exclusive women university. Jorhat also has 11 research institutes, including Tocklai Experimental Station, oldest and largest institution in the world dedicated to tea research established in 1911, the CSIR- North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST), the Rain Forest Research Institute and the Regional Sericulture Research Centre.
Places to visit in and around Jorhat ...
GIBBON WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
The Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is located at Hollongapar, 20 km from Jorhat town. It derives its name from the tall hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus), the State Tree, and the hoolock gibbon, India’s only ape. It has the largest and most vulnerable number of hoolock gibbons besides the Bengal slow Loris, the only nocturnal primate in Northeast India.
Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island, has been declared as an island district on 24 May 2016.
Spanning an area of 400 sq. km. amidst the river Brahmaputra, it is home to several satras – Vaishnavite monasteries, some dating back to the 16th century established by the 15th century saint and fountain head of Assamese culture, Sankardeva.
Today, Majuli is the principal seat of Vaishnavite faith, culture and practice.
Devotees and visitors can take part in worship of Vishnu and Krishna, but also watch traditional bhaona performances. Some of the satras worth visiting are Auniati, Kamalabari, Dakhinpat, Garamur, Samaguri, Bengena-ati and Natun Kamalabari.
The best time to visit Majuli is during the Raas festival in November. Auniati, famous for Paalnaam and Apsara dance, has an assortment of ancient Assamese artifacts, utensils, jewellery and handicraft. Dakhinpat is the prime venue for Rasleela while Samaguri is famous for mask-making. These Satras are the treasure houses of the songs and dances initiated by Shri. Sankardeva like “Bongeet” Matiakhara, Jumora dance, Chali dance, Motua dance, Nande Bringee, Sutradhar, Ozapali, Apsara dance, Satria Krishna dance, Dasavatar dance etc.
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK : World Heritage Site.
Located at one and half hour’s drive from Jorhat, Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s two thirds of the remaining one horned rhinoceros- the iconic poster boy of Kaziranga!
Kaziranga is a unique habitat which is a mix of wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, cane breaks and highlands. The mystic swamps of Kaziranga have the largest number of wild Asiatic buffalo, the swamp deer, the majestic Asiatic elephant and an exotic collection of flora and fauna. It has the highest density of tigers in the world, being declared as tiger reserve in 2006. The water bodies have a wide variety of turtles- roofed, tented and soft shell etc. It also boasts of a variety of other avifauna like hog deer, sambar, wild boar, hog badger, porcupine, red jungle fowl etc. The skies are often filled with eagles, hornbills and cranes in flight.
Kaziranga is the traveller’s paradise! The best time to visit is between November and April. Elephant safari and jeep safari into the heart of Kaziranga draws thousands of tourists from the country and abroad.
Accommodation ranges from world class luxury hotels to ethnic eco-cottages and resorts in the lap of nature.
The historical town of Sivasagar, situated 48 km from Jorhat, is a living testimony to the erstwhile 600 year long Ahom rule. The important tourist attractions of the town includes -
Sivasagar Tank :
It is a massive man made water body spread over 130 acres in the heart of the town- a feat of medieval hydrology. Its water level remains constant throughout the year and is higher that the surrounding ground level.
Shiva Dole : 'Dole' means temple in Assamese. Located at the banks of the Sivasagar Tank, the iconic Shiva Dole is one of the tallest Shiva temples in the world. Built in 1734 AD, the top of the temple has a seven feet high dome of pure gold.
Joysagar Tank : It is the largest man made water body in the world spreading across 318 acres. Its bank’s has three beautiful temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Goddess Durga.
Rang Ghar :
It is a unique amphitheatre of the royal era resembling the Roman ‘ colosseum’. It is a double storied pavilion used for watching sports and games like animal fights. The entire structure is an engineering marvel as only indigenous materials like sticky rice and duck eggs were used in the construction.
Talatal Ghar :
It is the largest monumental structure built during the Ahom dynasty. The building comprised of four stories above the ground and three stories underground! It is a maze of intricate passages connecting one room to another.
Kareng Ghar : It was the royal palace of the royal dynasty. It is a four storied building with gradually receding tiers.
Charaideo : Located 30 km from Sivasagar town, Charaideo has 42 tombs (maidams) of the Ahom kings and queens. Even though smaller than the Pyramids of Egypt, it represents the excellent architectural skills of medieval Assam.
LOCAL SIGHT SEEING …
JORHAT GYMKHANA CLUB
It is the oldest golf course in Asia and the third oldest in the world. Established by the British in 1876, the club has been a venue for horse races as well a lush green 9 hole golf course circuit.
It is one of the sacrosanct places of Assamese culture and the seat of Vaishnavite religion that draws of thousands of devotees every year.
It was established by Sri Madhavadeva, the astute disciple of the Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankaradeva, in the year 1461. The name is derived from ‘dhekia’, an edible fern that grows abundantly in the area. An earthen lamp lit by Madhavadeva here continues to burn even today.
LACHIT BORPHUKAN’S MAIDAM
This is the maidam of great Lachit Borphukan. He was the gr eatest ever Ahom General who defeated the mighty Mughals at Saraighat in 1672. He died a year later and his remains were laid in this maidam by Swa rgadeo Udayaditya Singha. It is located at Gohain gaon of Meleng-Hulungapar. It is located 8 km from the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mulai Kathoni or Mulai Forest, a 550 acre man made forest located at Kokilamukh, a village of Jorhat. Jadav Mulai Payeng, “the forest man of India”,
who is behind this exceptional work, upgraded a chapori of the river Brahmaputra to this forest. He was awarded the Padmashri for his efforts in nature conservation.
SUKAPHA SAMANNAY KSHETRA
Located at Mohbondha, this mega cultural project is named in memory of the founder king of Ahom dynasty, Sukapha. It showcases the historical, political, social, cultural and religious heritage of the state.
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