Assam is nothing less than a gem in the crown of Northeastern India. The Seven Sisters is the name that is collectively given to the states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya along with Assam. It is also called the land of green valleys, red rivers, and blue hills. The state has been divided into four divisions’ namely upper Assam, central Assam hills, Southern Assam and Lower Assam. Assam tourism is extremely interesting and offers an enthralling experience for those who love nature.
Assam is the better-connected state of those in Northeastern India. It is also a gateway to its sister states. The three most important and easiest ways to get there are given below.
Guwahati in Assam is well connected to the rest of India as well as few international cities. Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport is connected to the international cities of Bangkok and Paro. By means of private airlines and national carriers, the state is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and other major cities within India.
One can easily get to Assam using India’s vast interconnected rail services. Assam’s capital, Guwahati, has train services directly from the major states of India i.e. Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Cochin and Bangalore.
Buses are available to get to Assam from nearby states. You can also opt to go on a road trip or keep a cab or taxi service on hire.
Assam Tourism: Things to do
1. Kaziranga National Park
Assam is famed for its national park that houses the one-horned rhino amongst several other animals. Kaziranga National Park is the place to spot these majestic creatures. You can also see various species of birds and deer, elephants and wild cats.
You can take a jeep safari or an elephant safari. The elephant safaris help you get closer to the animals as they see the elephant as a part of the jungle, unlike the alien sounding jeeps. Elephant safaris are usually done early in the morning (2 timeslots) and jeep safaris are available once in the morning and once in the noon.
Do not create noise in the forest while you go on any of the safaris.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Kaziranga is from November to April. The park is generally closed for visitors from May 1 to Oct 31, hence check your dates before proceeding or you might miss out on some amazing safaris.
2. Manas National Park
Royal Bengal Tigers, this elusive cat is what most people go looking for in Manas National Park. You will spot one based on your luck and timing. The bird Manas is the special bird in this park. If you go well into the jungle you can see the Manas river that separates India from Bhutan. You can get off your vehicles here for a while to enjoy the sound of the river gushing and see another country’s border almost within touching distance – with no border patrol!
Best time to visit: November to April is the best time to visit. Safaris at the park might be closed to the public during other months.
3. Nameri National Park
Resting in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, the Nameri National Park is especially a treat for ornithologists and bird lovers. This park is home to over 300 species of bids. But this doesn’t mean you can’t spot any animals. The park is home to several species of deer, primates, boars, bears etc. The Wildcats like leopards, panthers, and tigers can also be spotted here.
You should be careful about its other inhabitants – the reptiles. This park has several venomous species of snakes such as the King cobra, pit viper and Russell’s viper. You might also come across pythons and rat snakes. You can also find several species of turtles namely the Assam Roof Turtle, Indian soft Shelled Turtle, Asian Leaf Turtle, Keeled Box turtle, Narrow Headed soft Shelled Turtle, and Malayan Box Turtle.
You can also go river rafting on the Jia-Bhoroli river. The rapids here aren’t too strong so it can be enjoyed leisurely, with plenty of opportunities to spot birds. The rafting usually takes about 3 hrs to complete as it begins nearly 13 km upstream.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit this park is from November to April.
4. Orang National Park
Also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, it is yet another tiger reserve as well as a park to host the one-horned rhinoceros on the north bank of the mighty Brahmaputra river. However, this park requires advanced authorisation from the Divisional Forest Official for a visit. It is also open during just 2 slots in a day 7:30 – 9:30 am and 2 – 3 pm. October to April is the best season to visit.
Assam Tourism: Places to see
While the national parks are definitely some of Assam’s highlights, there are a lot more places to see as part of Assam tourism.
Guwahati is your main connection to other places in Assam or to any of its neighbouring states. Nonetheless, Guwahati has its own things to see and do. Such as:
- Seek into the Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati for a blessing of the God that is wonderful tourist place in Guwahati.
- Spend at least one evening in the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati.
- Visit Nehru Park, Assam State Museum, and Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden
This beautiful lake, located at the foothill of Garo has always attracted visitors from near and far. It is a natural sightseeing and picnic spot. The lake offers fishing, bird watching and boating.
It is known for the largest river island in the entire world and known for its great tradition and vivacious culture. Plan your trip according to ferry timings as one has to cross the mighty Brahmaputra to get here.
Digboi the “old city of Assam” is a great tourist place in Assam, where one must visit as it is the home for a prior oil refinery.
It is known as “The tea city of India”. One must visit the tea gardens of this area as it is the largest producer of tea around the world.
Assam Tourism: Culture, Local Customs and Festivals
Assam is a state which has a great culture and mixed traditions. Bihu is the main dance form and the biggest festival of this state. The people of the state still believe in the customs started by their forefathers for Assamese weddings, deaths, festivals and birth. Jaapi is used as a welcome device. Ambubashi, Majuli, Dehing Patkai, Tea, Ras Lila, Karam Puja and Baishagu are amongst the main festivals.
Best time to visit and why
The most preferred time for visiting Assam is from November to March. Although these are the winter months in Assam, it can get cold sometimes but is also more enjoyable. However, the summer months in Assam are pleasant and revitalizing. Avoid visiting Assam in the monsoons as that can be inconvenient – the national parks are mainly closed during this time due to the chance of the Brahmaputra river flooding.
Nature lovers should backpack for Assam tourism where they can enjoy the rich traditional culture, wonderful natural spots and experience the extreme beauty of Assam. Wish you a safe and pleased travelling!
Read more: Travel guides to the northeastern states of India