Thursday, January 31, 2008

Places to visit in Western Assam --Dhubri District


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DHUBRI
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People & Culture


Dhubri posseses a rich Archaeological and Cultural heritage from the ancient time. This region came in contact with the foreign invaders earlier than the rest of Assam. As Dhubri is called the gateway of Assam, people of diverse ethnic identity came to this region with different aims and a major portion of whom settled in this region. As a result of which Dhubri District witnesses the growth of blended culture, particularly in case of language, art and religion due to the continuous process of assimilation of various races, castes and creed of local people , invaders and migrated people.


The main local language of this district isGoalporia, popularly known as "Desi Bhasha". Other than this, Assamese and Benglai language are simultaneously spoken in the urban area.
Regarding dress, Sari is commonly used by both urban and rural women folk. In earlier days the rural women wore a piece of unsewn cloth which was called "Patani". This style of clothing is still seen in some rural areas. Male hindus generally wear Dhuti and Lungi is used by muslims.
The most important ingredient of the cultural built-up of this district is its rich and indigenous folksongs and dances which are very popular from ancient time.The themes of these songs and dances are mainly based on religion and love affairs. Goalporia folk song is the soul of every people of this district.


The material evidences of rich cultural heritage of Dhubri Dist. are marked by the existence of heritage buildings including temples, shrines and some archaeological reins and various crafts which are scattered all over the District :


Sikh Gurudwara

Inthe heart of the Dhubri town,the famous Gurudwara is situated. The Ninth Sikh Guru Tegbahadurji established this Gurudwara during seventeenth century.


Panchpir Dargaha

It is a mazar sharif of five Sufi saints who accompanied Raja Ram Singha during his invasion to Assam in seventeenth century. This shrine is the best example of religious harmony where all section of people irrespective of their religion pay a visit with great respect.


The Mosque of Rangamati

It is the oldest masjid in Assam which is situated at Rangamati near Panbari of DhubriDistrict,errected by HussainShah, Governor of Bengal.This masjid belongs to Pre-Mughal period which can be recognised from its typical architectural design.


Mahamaya Dham

The famous Mahamaya Dham of Bogribari is regarded as the greatest Shaktipith of Western Assam, which is located on a beautiful hillock surrounded by thick jungles.
Ramraikuti SatraIt is situated atIndo-Bangladesh and West Bengal border at Satrasal of Dhubri Dist.It is a holy place where the marriage ceremony of Chilarai and Bhubaneshwari (daughter of Ramrai, cousin of Sri Sankardev) took place.Paramguru Sri Sankardeva established this satra in order to promote propagate the Satriya Culture in this region.A brass made historical RATHA (Chariot) is preserved here.


Terracotta of Asharikandi

This craft is practised among the kumbhakara or Kumara (potter) community of Asharikandi village near Gauripur. Terracotta (means burnt clay)craft was previously confined to their families & neighbourhood areas.But at present it occupies a prominent position through out the country and abroad.


Pith Craft

This is a living folk art of Kuhila practised by the Malakar or Bhuimali communities of Dhubri Dist. residing at Gauripur, Golokganj and Bilasipara area. It is locally known as "Sola" or Kuhila which are available in the marshy land.


Tourist Sites
Dhubri District is bestowed with attractive scenic beauties by the mother nature. Both the banks of river Brahmaputra with its lush green fields, blue hills and hillock is a feast to the eyes of the onlookers. The Chakrasila wild- life sanctuary, the Tegbahadur Gurudwara, the Rangamati Mosque, Mahamaya Dham and the royal palaces attract the people for their unique structures, religious sanctity and mythological importance. Some attractive spots with salient features and pictorial views are depicted below :


Mahamaya Dham

Mahamaya Dham of Bogribari, about 30-35 Km.east from Dhubri town is next to Kamakhya Than (Guwahati) and Madan-Mohan (Cooch Behar) in its attraction to the pilgrims and tourists. Originaly the famous mother Goddess Mahamaya of Parvatjowar was worshipped by the local people like Kacharies, Koches and Nath etc. It was the presiding deity of the Jaminder of Parvatjowar. Now-a-days the mother Mahamaya is worshipped by all Hindus.Rangamati MosqueThe very famous Rangamati Mosque was built during 17th century by Hussain Shah, the Governor of Bengal.This Mosque belongs to pre-Mughal period which can be recognised from its typical architectural design. It is about 25Kms away from Dhubri Town. It may be mentioned that Rangamati area was once a very prosperous during thereign of the Koch rulers.It was also frontier post of the Koch rulers. During Mughal regime Rangamati was a great fort of the invading Mughal Army. This unique Mosque was used as a prayer place by the Mohmmedan Soldiers. There is also a Idgah and a deep Well which were also constructed during the same period. Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegbahadur SahibjiIn the heart of the Dhubri Town and on the bank of the river mighty Brahmaputra, this famous Gurudwara is situated. Sikh Guru Nanaka visited this place in 1505 A.D. & met Sri Sankardeva during Nanaka's way from Dhaka to Assam. Thereafter the 9th Guru Tegbahadur came to this place and established this Gurudwara during 17th century. Sikh devotees from all over India and abroad assembled in this Gurudwara pevery year in the month of December to mark the Martydom of Sri Guru Tegbahadur with due solemnity and ceremony. Sikh devotees called this festival as Sahidee-Guru-Parav.


Panchpeer Dargaha

It is Mazar Sharif of five Sufi Saints who accompanied Raja Ram Singh during his time of invassion to Assam.This Dargaha is the best example of religious harmony where all section of people irrespective of their religion pay visit with great respect.


Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary

In the year 1994, Chakrasila Hill Reserve Forest was declared as Chakrasila Hill Wildlife Sanctuary by the Govt.of India covering an area of 4558.7 hectares of land. The distribution of varities of plant species in Chakrasila provides diverse niches for many Wild Life. The Significant Golden Langur exists in Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary in addition to other mammals plike Leopard, Leopard cat, Porcupine, Pangoline, Flying Squirrel, Civet cat etc.Adjutants Stork, Indian Owl, Myna, Parrakit, Dove, Hornbil, Jungle Fowl, Kingfisher, Harren, Darter, Snipe, Teal etc. are the birds commonly found. Python, Monitor, Crait, Cobra, Turtle, Tead and frog are some reptiles and amphibia that are also found.


On the 14th of July,1994, a unique virgin forest patch of Dhubri District of Assam had been declared as Wildlife Sanctuary by the gazette notification of the assam Government.This Sanctuary has been named as "Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary". This is the youngest sanctuary of the North East India having an area of 11260.00 acres.Chakrasila is unique because of the presence of Golden Langur ( Presbytis geei ) which is nowhere found except along the Assam and Bhutan border.Besides, the virgin forest of Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is endowed with rare specimens of tress, shrubs, medicinal plants, mammals, reptiles and exquisite birds and insects.
Geographical location of the Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is in the latitute 26° 15' to 26° 26' N and logitude 90° 15' to 90 ° 20' E. It is in the District of Dhubri, the western most region of Assam. It is 68 Km from the District headquarter Dhubri and 219 Km from the Borjhar Airport of Guwahati City.
There are several small springs for quenching the thirst of the wild animals of this Hilly forest.But the two major perennial springs in the Sanctuary are howhowi Jhora and Bamuni Jhora, which flow over the rocks, sparkling and spattering throughout the year, adding to the scenic beauty of the Sanctuary.
Climatic conditions of Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is like that of temperate zone with dry winder and hot summer followed by heavey rains.Annual rainfall is between 200 to 400 cm.Soil is azonal, forestlike and hilly. temperature throughout the year generally varies between 8° C to 30° C.
The diverse eco-systems of Chakrasila present a model habitat diversity and support various mammlian spicies like Tiger, leopard, Golden Langur, Leopard Cat, Gaur, Mongoose, Porcupine, Pangoline, Flying Squirrel, Civet Cat etc. Along with all these prolific gifts of the nature Chakrasila has a wide variety of avifauna.
It is to be noted that the two internationally recognized wetlands namely Dhir and Deeplai has not been yet taken inside the declared boundary of the Sanctuary. But they are very a part of the Chakrasila eco-system. It is expected that in due course they will be included within the Sanctuary.
Other Significant featuresTwo world famous Wetlands - Dheer Beel and Diplai Beel adjoins Chakrasila W.L. Sanctuary. These two Beels are home of a large number of fishes, turtles, prawn and birds both indigenous and migratory.It is about 70 Km away from Dhubri Town. This sanctuary provides facilities / activities such as : (i) Bird Watching (ii) Forest Trecking (iii) Wildlife & Nature Photography (iv) Local guide available on payment (v) Site for errecting tent (vi) Free of cost accommodation for a group of 15 / 20 person with hygenic dringking water in the camp Tapoban provided by the local NGO, the Natures Beckon.
Florican GardenA newly setup garden cum natural park located at Bilasipara about 50 Km from Dhubri Town. It is a very attractive tourist place.


Other important placesThere are many other important places in this District. There are Matiabag Palace at Gauripur,

Netai Dhubuni Ghat at Dhubri Town,

Chandardinga Hillock and

Dudhnath Mondir at Salkocha,

Ramraikuti at Satrasal,

Airport of IInd World War and

Soreswar beel at Rupshi etc.

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