Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Monuments and Museums in Assam


ancient writing method in sanchi barks











..........................................steps dating back to history.......................................................

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1)Assam State Museum, Guwahati

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The museum came into existence in 1940 as a non-government body but was taken over by the state government in 1953. It is the biggest museum of the north east region and one of the biggest multipurpose museums in the country.The Assam State Museum has collections of archaeology, sculpture, paintings, metal, ivory and woodwork, costumes and ethnology. There are exhibits of reconstructed huts of Assamese tribes. You can walk right through these village huts. There are also displays of weavings and musical instruments. This wonderful museum is a result of the efforts of a group of researchers who wanted to study the development of the cultural patterns in Assam. Their several collections formed the basic nucleus of this museum. Some of the rarest examples of the Assamese sculptures, paintings and other handicrafts are displayed in this museum in Assam. This museum came into existence in the 20th century. Some of the finest metal works of the earlier days are stored in this place. Apart from these there is also a fantastic collection of the ancient coins, objects made of terracotta and wood, textiles and some fascinating examples of tribal art. Statues of the historically famous Kamarupas form a major attraction of this museum. The Kamarupas were the legendary kings who ruled this land during the 13th century. There are also some bronze items in the museum that attract much attention. The bells and the mukhalinga are the most popular among them. Assam State Museum is a rich repository of antiquities that highlight the diversity of the state’s cultural tradition. On view are a large number of stone sculptures, metal, wood and terracotta objects, textiles, coins, manuscripts and tribal art and crafts. Assam State Museum in Guwahati is a rich repository of antiquities that highlight the diversity of the state s cultural traditions. In the early 1900s, a small dedicated group of antiquarians formed a society to study, document and research the cultural patterns of Assam. The artefacts they collected formed the nucleus of the museum. On view are a large number of stone sculpture, metal, wood and terracotta objects, textiles, coins, manuscripts and tribal artefacts. The rare stone images date to the region's original rulers, the legendary Kamarupas, who were in power till the 13th century.Among the striking bronzes on view are a number of small but perfectly formed images, a mukhalinga, bells and a conch shell. The largest and most beautiful icon depicts Indra, the Vedic war god. The deity is seen riding his vahana, flanked by two female chowri bearers who stand on a padma. Bedecked with Jewels his right hand demonstrates the varadahasta mudra while his left hand is held in the abhaya mudra. Below the pitha is a male deity in the anjalihasta pose while above, an ornate chatra crowns the image. Among the four bronze plates on view is a bust of Mahishasura. Portrayed in high relief, a human head appears to have sprung from the neck of a buffalo. Scholars believe that this plaque symbolically represents the devi. The Assam State Museum has collections of archaeology, sculpture, paintings, metal, ivory and woodwork, costumes and ethnology. There are exhibits of reconstructed huts of Assamese tribes. You can walk right through these village huts. There are also displays of weavings and musical instrumentsThis interesting museum has a good collection of sculptures, musical instruments, terracotta and dioramas of tribal villages in Assam. Open daily except Mon, Sun afternoons and the second and fourth Sat each month from 10 am to 4.30 pm.Archaeological objects. Library, guide service lectures occasionally,school programmes, film shows.You can visit the Assam State Museum between 10:00 am and 4:30 pm during the summer months. During the winters the museum remains open for visitors from 9:30 am to 4 pm. The Assam Museum remains closed on all the Mondays, the second Saturday of every month and on other government holidays.ASSAM STATE MUSEUMGuwahatiAssamGuwahati 781 001Tel: 24193

Closed on Mondays and 2nd Saturdays.Photography allowed with permission. Timings: Summer : 10.00 am to 4.30 pm; Winter: 9.30 am to 4.00 pm Closed on Mondays and second Saturdays. and government holidays

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2)Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra

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To complete one's tour of Guwahati, one must visit the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra. Built in the 1990's, this modern complex at Panjabari provides a one-stop review of the artistic excellence of the region. The Srimanta Sankardeva kalakshetra has been set up as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the greatest integrator of the Assamese society Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra is a multi-Arts complex.It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists' Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park. The Kalakshetra has been chosen as the venue for many cultural activities. It is chosen as the venue for many cultural activities.The Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalashetra has been conceived as a grand exposition of tradition and culture of the people of Assam, of its Many ethnic groups and tribes, the people who have made the cultural mosaic that the Assam of in all its beauty and splendor. Named after the great unifier of Assam and the greatest integrator of the Indian society on the fifteenth century, Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra will attempt to capture and convey the essence of the great seer’s spirit, who preached the message of unity in diversity, sang the song of glorious Bharata- Varsha and the Universal brotherhood of man. The Cultural Complex was conceived by the Cultural Advisory Committee of the Government of Assam in a meeting held on 5th Aug. 1986. It was decided to set up a complex to serve as a centre of activities in the field of dance, drama, music, fine arts, literature etc. with a view to preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the people of Assam. In the same year, a tentative plan for the cultural complex was prepared. At a later stage the same was named as the “ Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra" and on 2nd Feb. 1988 the Foundation was laid.Spread over a sprawling Campus of 10.28 hectares at Panjabari, Guwahati, the Kalakshetra has

1.) a Sahitya and Sangeet Natak Bhavan;

2.) a Lalit Kala Bhavan;

3.) a cultural Museum;

4.) a Heritage Park;

5.) an Open Air Theatre and

6.) an Artists ‘Village ,

all of which is expected will go to make the complex a living nerve centre of cultural excellence of Assam.The Artists village a cluster of small houses of the design of various ethnic groups like, Mishing, Fakiyal etc. Will offer the visitors and the residents and atmosphere of village of Assam. There is well furnished accommodation for 100 person to reside at a time. The Artists’ Village has been set up to accommodate the participants of different workshops, trainees, research scholars etc.It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists' Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park. The Kalakshetra has been chosen as the venue for many cultural activities.The Kalakshetra is the newest addition to the many attractions of Guwahati. Built in the 1990's, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists' Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park. The Kalakshetra has been chosen as the venue for many cultural activities. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the greatest integrator of the Assamese society Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra is a multi-Arts complex.

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3)Assam Forest Museum

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This museum is situated at South Kamrup Division, Guwahati. It has collections of Exotic ferns and plants timber, cane and ivory work, tusks and horns and models of buildings and bridges. Visit : 10am - 4pm weekdays. Saturdays 10am -1.30pm Timber, bamboo,cane and ivory work, elephant tusks, rhino horns, models of bridges and buildings. Timings: 1000 to 1600 hrs. Closed on Sunday. Saturday: 1000 to 1300 hrs. Guide service. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs; Saturdays 1000-1530 hrs. Closed on Sundays.Entry free

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4)Commercial Museum, Guwahati University, arts building, Guwahati

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It is the first museum of its kind set up in an educational complex in the country in 1956. One of the group of the exhibits of the museum is Handicrafts & Cottage Industries which showcases products of bamboo and cane. Commercial Museum, established in 1956 by the Guwahati University, is the first of its kind in the country set up in an educational complex. The museum houses art and crafts, commercial products, minerals and rocks, coins etc. It has specimens of handicraft products made by the people of Assam. The museum is open daily, from 12.30pm to 6.30pm. Closed on Sundays and University holidays. Photography is not allowed inside the museum and entry is free.Commercial Museum, Guwahati University, arts building, GuwahatiContact Address: Guwahati University,Arts Building, Guwahati 781014Phone : 0361-2572147. Arts and crafts, commercial products, minerals and rocks, documents, pictures, models, coins. Timings: 1230-1830 hrs. Closed on Sundays and university holidays.

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5)Anthropological Museum

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Anthropological Museum houses an ethnological collection of the various branches of anthropology and is associated with Department of Anthropology, Guwahati University. The collections in the museum include ethnographic, prehistoric, archeological and anthropological objects, textiles, jewellery, Thankaas, photographs, musical instruments, masks, metal objects, basketry, weapons, pottery etc. Entry is free and the museum remains open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Closed on Sundays and all University holidays. Photography is prohibited inside the museum. on view are: Fishing baskets and basketry (made of cane and bamboo), bamboo crafts, comb (made of bamboo), flint box, smoking pipe, headgear, agricultural implements, hunting implements and musical instruments.

Anthropological Museum :- Department of Anthropology, Guwahati University. An ethnological collection of all branches of anthropology.

Timings: 1000 to 1600 hrs. Closed on University holidays. Contact Address : Department of AnthropologyGuwahati University, Guwahati 781 014Phone : 0361- 2570248

Entry free

Photography not allowed.

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6)Assam Government Cottage Industries Museum

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This small museum, administrated by the Industrial Department of Assam, is located near the Assam State Museum. Established in 1955, the museum displays many colourful items from the Satriya culture and indigenous art and craft. One of the group of the exhibits of the museum is the handicrafts and cottage Industries which showcases products of bamboo and cane works. articles from Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland can be found too. The Museum has two main sections: Textiles& Handicrafts. In the Handicrafts group, specimens of cane and bamboo works too are included.

It is open from 10am to 4.00pm on weekdays and 10am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.Timings: 1000-1600 hrs. Saturdays 1000-1300 hrs. Closed on Sundays.• Cottage Industries Museum, Assam. • Established in Assam in 1955,

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7)Regional Science Center and Museum

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Regional Science Museum, situated at Khanapara in the Kamrup district, was established in 1994. It is one of the favorite places for the kids and learners. The museum has interactive exhibits on science education and pre historic life. Scientific apparatus like magic tap, the fun mirror, the cliff lift, the colamin etc are some among the exhibits. It also houses scientific developments and contributions by Indian scientists and Nobel Laureates. The museum is open from 10:00am to 5:30 hrs on all days except Holi and Diwali.Contact Address : Regional Science Center and MuseumJawahar Nagar, Khanapara, Kamrup District, GuwahatiPhone : 0361-2561699.

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8)Veterinary College Museum

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The museum of animal husbandry and veterinary science is allied with the Assam veterinary college. Established in 1967, the museum exhibits various specimens relating to veterinary science. Films shows and informative lectures on veterinary and related topics are conducted occasionally. The library in the museum houses a rich collection of books. The museum is open from 8.00am to 4.30pm except on Sundays. Entry is free and photography is also allowed. Contact address: Assam Agricultural UniversityCollege of Veterinary Science, Khanapara, Guwahati - 781022.

Specimens of veterinary science. Timings: 0800- 1630 hrs. Closed on Sundays.Entry free

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9)Ethnographic Museum

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Ethnographic Museum situated within the premises of Assam Institute of Research for Tribals and Scheduled Castes was established in 1977. The exhibits here contain a variety of ethnographic objects including ornaments and costumes, agricultural, fishing and hunting implements etc. The museum remains open on all days except Sundays and Government holidays from 10:00am to 5:00p.mContact address: Ethnographic MuseumKamrup, Guwahati - 781022Phone : 0361-2561370

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10)Dept.of Historical and Antiquarian Research

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Ancient and illuminated manuscripts and records. Closed on Sunday. Timings. 1000 to 1600 hrs.DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN RESEARCHGuwahatiAssam

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12)District museum, Barpeta

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It has a collection of the textiles based on the Sathriya Vaishnavite culture.

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13)Purvabharti museum, Nalbari

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It is a Purvabhararti Museum, Assam. Situated in the district of Nalbari, Assam founded by the Nalbari Sahitya Samaj in 1972 under the title “Sanskritic Sangrahalaya”. It contains about 2000 displayable articles and one of the principal sections is Bamboo and Cane Products. This public trust museum holds collection of the tribal costumes.

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14)Sibsagar college museum, Sibsagar

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It has a collection of the traditional Assamese dresses as well as artifacts from Ahom dynasty..

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15)District museum, Tezpur, Sonipur

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16)Auniati Satra museum, North Guwahati

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The Auniati Satra museum in North Guwahati, the only one in the state set up to preserve and perpetuate the satra culture. was inaugurated last September. The museum has a rich collection of articles intrinsic to the satra culture. Its main attractions are a 100-year-old bed and a chair used by Sri Sri Kamaldev Satradhikar, an exponent of Vaishanviate culture, and utensils like waterpots used by Ahom king Gadadhar Singha. Its collection of musical instruments includes kahi, bortal, warrior drums and sankha. The other articles include cane fan, brass plates, metal jars, ornaments made of rudraksha, dola, bota, weapons made of ivory, kharam (sandals), sarai, royal costumes, metal water pots and manuscripts of the Bhagwad Gita and the Purans. It also has a wide collection of sculptures, some 350 years old. Late Bhaven Hazarika’s collection of books are also displayed in the museum.

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Assam State Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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The Zoo and the landscaped Botanical gardens are located about 5km east of the railway station. The zoo mostly has open enclosures with swamp tapirs, tigers, leopards, Assam's famous one horned rhinos and a rich bird life among other species. Open daily except Fridays. Dighalipukhuri, a water body in the heart of the city with boating facilities, cruises on the river Brahmaputra in the 'Jolporee', the famous Balaji Temple of Tirupati,Planetarium, the Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra, the Guwahati Oil Refinery, Lachit Barphukan Park and the Guwahati University are places worth visitingThe zoo spread over 130 hectares of land has a very good collection of wild animals in their natural habitat, some of which are very rare and extinct species. Swamp tapirs, whiter tigers, leopards, Assam's famous one horned rhinos are some among them. It also has a rich and rare species of bird life. The botanical garden within the zoo was established in 1982. Spreading over an area of 82 hectares, the garden houses various types of palm, shrub, herbs, conifers and broad leaved plants. It also contains an orchid house packed with 44 varieties of rare orchids of the North East region. Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden is open on all days except Fridays.It has an orchid house packed with 44 varieties of rare orchids of the North East region. The garden has various types of palm, shrubs, herbs, conifers and broad leaved plants.The zoo has Indian and African rhinos, a white tiger, leopards and some birdlife that is mainly only found in the Northeast states.

The zoo is mainly wide-open enclosed areas and has nice gardens. Open daily except Fri 8 am to 4 pm. Admission Rs 4.

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Accoland Park

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A children's entertainment park on the way to tje GNB International Airport location amidst the scenic hills of Meghalaya.

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Guwahati Planetarium

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This is situated nearest Guwahati High Court 7 Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok,it is a popular attraction for people of all age-groups. Guwahati Planetarium located on MG Road is the finest and most sophisticated one in India after the one at Patna.

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Nehru Park

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The most popular park of Guwahati has been renovated & given a major facelift. There are various recreational facilities as well as cultural theme parks within the main park. One could see a number of cultural performances here during the evening. It is an ideal place to relax. It is situated near Judges Field.Guwahati Zoo, which is the largest natural zoo of the country. The various museums-the State Museum, Anthropological Museum, Forest Museum, and Cottage Industries Museum-are treasure houses of Assam's rich cultural past. The Guwahati planetarium, located on MG Road, is one of the finest in the country.

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Sibsagar Tank and Temples :

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The tank comprising 120 acres of water, dug ever 200 years age, is above town level although situated down town. fed by natural springs, the tank is surrounded by deep ditches and earthen moats. Three temples are built on itsbanks - Siva temple, Vishnu temple and Devidol temple.

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Talatal Ghar :

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Built in 1699 by king Rudra Singha about 6 kms from Sibsagar it is an underground garrison having three stories the lowest connected with Dikhow river by tunnel.

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Kereng Ghar :

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9 kms from Sibsagar, this is a seven storied castle-four above and three below the ground containing two underground pathways to Dikhow river and Garden palace.

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Rang Ghar :

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The Ahom Kings watched elephant fights and other sporting events from this two- storied oval-shaped pavilion built by king Pramutta singha.

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Joysagar Tank and Temple :

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Historical records reveal that the tank was constructed in 45 days at Rangpur in 1697. The tank stands on the area of 318 acres half of which is under water and on its banks stand the Jeydol (Vishnu) temple, Shiva temple and Devi Ghar and Ghanashyam (Nati Gosain) temple.

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Gaurisagar Group :

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16 kms south of Sibsagar on the Assam Trunk Road, Gaurisagar is one of the historical tanks constructed by Queen Phuleswari in the year 1723. This springfed tanks is 150 acres under water and on its banks stand three temples dedicated to Devi, Shiva and Vishnu.

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Gargaon Palace :

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The principal town of the Ahom Kings, constructed by the 15th Ahom King Suklemnung in 1540 lies in 13 kms east of Sibsagar. The present seven storied palace was built by King Rajesshar Singha in about 1762. All the underground stories and passages were blocked by the East India Company. The magazine made of bricks is within the palace compound and further eastward are two old stone bridges constructed by King Gadadhar Singha.

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Charaideo :

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28 kms east of Sibsagar, was the original capital of the Ahom Kings built by Sukhapa the founder of the dynasty in about 1229. Charaideo is famous for its numerous maidams (vaults) of the kings and members of the royal family resembling the pyramids of egypt. Most of them were build of stones and bricks and are in ruins now.

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Other Places :

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A great number of old Sastras of the Vaishava cult Muslim Dargahs, Budhist and Sakta shrines are to be found around Sibsagar, Besides, there are more than 500 tanks, vaults, earthen forts and castles belonging to the Ahom, Manipuri, Jaintia Shan and Kachari kings in this sub-Division.

1 comment:

Poonam Gupta said...

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