1. The green life
For nature lovers, Assam is the home of the exotic and the endangered. Assam shelters the very famous species of rhinoceros – The Indian rhinoceros, also called the great one-horned rhinoceros or great Indian rhinoceros which is considered to be in decline due to human threat and invasion. The elephant rides through the wild grass in Kaziranga where you can spot these rhinos, wild Asiatic buffaloes, sambar, gaur (also called the Indian bison) are a visual treat for the eye!
2. The yummilicious pithas!
For those with a sweet tooth, I’m sure you can’t resist this one. Pitha is a type of cake, dimsum or bread which comes in all shapes and sizes with different degrees of sweetness. Trying just one kind of pitha would be an injustice to the rest. Varieties include narikol pitha, ghila pitha, til pitha, tekeli pitha, sunga pitha, and the list goes on. Make sure you try them all!
3. The divine cup of tea
When was the last time you had a nice cup of tea? Today morning, last evening, or the day before? Well, the tea plantation in Assam, or, the tea itself in Assam will change your definition of a good cup of tea. Assam tea is a black tea which is named after its region of production. Assam is one of the world’s largest tea growing region. The rich loamy soil, ample rainfall and the exclusive climate gives rise to some of the fine tea leaves which makes its way into your tea cup!
4. The rich and affluent history
The history of this place comprising of the indomitable Ahom dynasty is worth a mention. Landmarks like the Rang Ghar (“House of Entertainment”) present in Sivasagar is said to be one of the oldest surviving amphitheaters in Asia which was a royal sports pavillion constructed for the sole purpose of entertainment comprising of cultural programmes and traditional games like cock fight, bull fight, etc. Apart from this, the Kareng Ghar (royal palace) and the Talatal Ghar (which has secret underground tunnels) are fine examples of Ahom architecture.
Oh, the Bihu! The Bihu festival and the Bihu dance can instantly pump you up for the day! The festival comes three times in a year. The main festival which is celebrated in mid-April, known as the “Rongali Bihu”, marks the time of harvest. The Bihu dance again is a joyous dance full of life and spirit which is performed both by the males and females with traditional Bihu music.
6. The mouth watering Assamese cuisine
The Assamese cuisine with rice as a staple ingredient is a perfect blend of the cooking habits of the hills, the fresh herbs and veggies from the plains, and fishes from its many rivers and ponds. It consists of dishes made of khar(made by filtering water through the ashes of a banana tree), maasor tenga, aloo pitika, paatot diya maas, bor…*gulp*
You definitely don’t want to miss this scrumptious meal!
7. Folk songs of Assam
The Assamese folk songs has a rich blend of musical instruments like the dhol, gogona, pepa, taal, khol, dogor etc. Although the Bihu geet and husori are a part of the folk songs, the Goalporiya lokageet and tokari geet are presents of joy that you can take along with you after your journey to Assam!
8. The traditional mekhela chaddar
The mekhela chaddar (mekhela saador) worn by women which is a two piece garment, rich in floral motifs is sure to give you a rich Assamese feeling. It is traditionally made from muga, pat or eri which are the major types of indigenous wild silk produced in Assam.
9. Incredible handicrafts
Handicrafts are the life and soul of the indigenous people of Assam. Various materials like bamboo, cane and terracotta goes into making these fine pieces of art. Handicrafts include bamboo and cane products, pottery, jewellery, traditional paintings, toys and hand loom products.
10. Temples of Assam
The exotic temples are another reason to visit Assam. They are not just a place of pilgrimage, but examples of fine architecture and rich cultural history as well. Temples include the Devi Dol situated at Gaurisagar near Sivasagar, Siva Dol situated on the banks of Sivasagar tank, and of course the Kamakhya temple located in the Nilachal Hill in Western part of Guwahati city which is the major attraction of Assam.
Assam is a perfect cocktail of fine arts, mouthwatering dishes, rich cultural and regional histories and spectacular dance and music! For the people holding a taste for a plethora of opportunities to explore every bit and aspect of a region, Assam has a lot to offer. Needless to say, you will enjoy every bit of your stay in Assam!