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Old 27th April 2014, 18:55   #1
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Default Weekend Trips in the North East

There have been numerous trips over weekends during the last One Year or so that we have been at Jorhat. Therefore, instead of putting up a separate t-log for each of these short trips, I shall be putting them up under a single tlog with different destinations. All trips here have been made over the weekend, while extended weekend trips shall be put up as a separate tlog. Some of the trips being highlighted in the first segment are:
1. Chikarihat


2. Tejpur


3. Shibsagar


4. Majauli.
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Old 27th April 2014, 19:57   #2
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I. Majauli: Over the Christmas Holidays in 2013 we decided to visit Majauli. The largest riverine Island in the world and the home to the Vaishnav Sect of Hinduism. Its about 30 kms from Jorhat and during the time I ahve been here, there were persistent queries as to have I been to Majauli or not. The plans were finalised and I was told that we shall have to take a ferry to the island from Nimati Ghat. Since its a small ferry we needed to book our place well in advance as not more than 3 cars can be taken across in the single trip. Then came a damper. About 3 days before our scheduled trip the ferry guys managed to put a mini bus overboard!
Though the office assured me that the ferry guy would be told to take care with my car I decided to take the easier way out and opted for 2 wheeler. Now Majauli has "Shatras" or the different houses of the Vaishnav Sect which are home to not only prayers but also elaborate song and dance acts called as "Rass" based on Shankar Devs creations. Prominent of these Shatras are the Annuity Shatra, Gormour Shatra and the DakinPan Shatara.
The characteristic of these shatras are the elaborately painted doorways at the entrance, peaceful environment and long halls with various musical instruments for the Rass Ceremony and the prayer hall.
Apart from these the Majauli Island is also the home to the Mishing Tribes who are agriculturists and build houses on stilts. One of the major attraction for us city dwellers was the opportunity to sit by the banks of the Mighty Brahmaputra and watch the sun go down. It was an enjoyable 2 day trip though driving the bike across the exposed sand banks of the river was a pain. The ferrys are also not that confidence inspiring. There is a flat bed to park about 3-4 cars and the passengers go down to sitting on the benches in the hull. The roof over the passenger compartment is used for parking two wheelers and the assorted goods. It takes about 40 minutes for the ferry to cross the river downstream to Majauli while it takes about an hour upstream to Nimati. Per head fare is 10 Rs, 50 Rs for the twowheeler and 500-600 rs for a car/Jeep.

Here is the island and the life in Pictures. Note that at one place high up in the branches of a tall tree we spotted several Cranes at their nests.
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Old 27th April 2014, 20:06   #3
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Majuli Continued: The entire island resembles a flood plain and thus prompting the need for the houses on stilts. there are depressions everywhere holding water from the previous years floods.
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Old 27th April 2014, 20:23   #4
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Final Set: Majauli: Though not an island in the literal sense it has a road connecting it to the North Lakimpur District of Assam. Its only during monsoons when the mighty river swells up that it gets surrounded by water to get named as an Island.
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Old 5th May 2014, 20:19   #5
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

2. TEJPUR

A substantial town in the Sonitpur District, it is also the gateway to Arunachal Pradesh and lies just on the northern bank of the Mighty Brahmaputra. The route log:

Jorhat: 1200 hrs: 79330 kms.
Deragaon: 1235 hrs: 79350 kms.
Numaligarh: 1300 hrs: 79379 kms.
Bokakhat: 1315 hrs: 79392 kms.
Lunch @ Iora Kaziranga: 1330-1515 hrs: 79413 kms.
Jakhalbandha: 1600 hrs: 79458 kms.
Kaliabor: 1615 hrs: 79467 kms: Turn off NH 37 towards Tejpur.
Tejpur circuit house: 1640 hrs: 79494 kms.

Enroute had a sweet encounter with a pair of domesticated elephants. DSC09271.JPG

Lunch at Iora was great as usual but the service takes its own sweet time. A major pain if you are really hungry.

Places to see: Maha Bhairav Temple, Anirudh Park, Kole Park.
Eating places: KRC Palace at Triveni Junction is the place to go and eat.

Tejpur is also famous for the Chinese reached the banks before their advance was halted by Sam Bahadur. Had they crossed the Brahamaputra here, they would have been unstoppable. They have a somber war memorial along the banks of the river by the circuit house. Now the pictures.
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Old 5th May 2014, 20:26   #6
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

The town itself was not huge but the traffic in the main market was chaotic and lots of routes were made one way. Overall a nice place to spend a leisurely day. We started back on Sunday at 1425 hours and stopped at Wild Grass Kaziranga on the way back. Jorhat was reached at 1820 hrs with Odo reading as 79676 kms.

On the way back saw some Rhinos munching away in fading light by the road side after crossing the Burrapahar Range of the KNP.
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Old 5th May 2014, 20:54   #7
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

3. SHIBSAGAR.

The erstwhile capital of the Ahom Kings is just a short way from Jorhat and one breezy Sunday we drove off to visit the ancient capital of the bygone glorious era of the Assam Rulers. The trip log is as follows:

Jorhat: 1220 Hrs: 79816 Kms.
Teok: 1250: 79844 kms. The road was blocked here by KMSS activists protesting against the arrest of Nikhil Gogoi. The police came and picked them off the road. The time was spent having lunch.
Shibsagar: 1400 hrs: 79889 kms.
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Old 5th May 2014, 20:57   #8
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Shibsagar is also the transit MT for ONGC assets in Upper Assam and guess what did they have in their MT parks, see for yourself:
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Old 8th May 2014, 20:55   #9
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Default re: Weekend Trips in the North East

4. Chikarihat:

One thing that amused me is the enthusiasm with which the people take the ritual of annual picnic. Every year during winters especially during January, you can see large throngs of people flock to the exposed sand banks of the Brahmaputra for a day of fun and frolic in the sand. During spring and the monsoon the mighty river flows and overflows its banks, but during the winters as the water level goes down, entire vast spaces of sand filled earth get exposed. It is to these sand banks that people in droves rush to. Some popular spots around Jorhat are Kokilamukh and Spur no. 8 while Chikarihat near to Deragaon is yet another.
In Rome do as the Romans do. Well that's exactly what we did. Chikarihat is about 20 kms from Deragaon and is reached through a sleepy village path that takes you right upto the river bank. You cross over a small rivulet to enter the vast sand banks and pitch your chairs, your cooking stove and well, have fun.
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Old 9th May 2014, 14:52   #10
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Default Re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th May 2014, 00:05   #11
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Another Unique destination is the Butterfly Valley inside the Numaligarh Refinery Township. Its basically an attempt to create a small ecopark to attract butterflies in hordes. The first impression that you get once the valley is reached is that of a mini jurrasic park. A large iron girdle structure with wire mesh rises out of the greenery. Indside it are the walkways and small openings here and there to let the butterflies flit in and out. But we were warned that there is a constant threat of wild elephants and since we had kids with us, we were told to be extra careful. And indeed during our entire one hour or so of walking around this pristine stretch of woods we could hear loud rumblings of the elephants quite clearly that came from the direction of a thickly forested hill to the north and west of our location. Here are the pictures:
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Old 10th May 2014, 00:15   #12
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Default Re: Weekend Trips in the North East

The road generally taken is Jorhat- Deragaon-Golaghat-Numaligarh-Deragaon_Jorhat. Its a complete loop where you leave the NH 37 at deragaon and rejoin the same at Numaligarh. After crossing Golaghat you turn right to Numaligarh while the left takes you to Dimapur. Another fascinating place just before Numaligarh is the DEVPAHAR. Its a small but slighlty steep hill with an ancient temple at its top. The beautifully carved stones lie scattered all over the place with the inner sanctum surrounded by a stony circular path. It is still used as a place of worship, apparent from the amount of incense sticks and oil lamps lit up there, though when we wnet we found no one up there. Its an ASI protected monument.
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Old 13th May 2014, 17:05   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Nice thread there Wandernomad. Having originated in the north east myself (Manipur to be specific) I feel sad that I have not explored any of the wonderful northeast except perhaps a little of Sikkim and some of Assam and Nagaland. Thanks for sharing this with all of us - almost makes me homesick!!
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Old 14th May 2014, 00:13   #14
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Default Re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtonsing View Post
(Manipur to be specific) !
That is next on cards. Infact I intend to cover Manipur during the rains this time or will try to make it for the Shikoh ( hope that's the correct name) lilly to bloom.
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Old 14th May 2014, 13:08   #15
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Default Re: Weekend Trips in the North East

Waiting for the second, third, fourth, fifth ...... segments ! By the way, you surely didn't let those gangplanks to the ferry deter you from taking the car to Majauli.

You whetted our appetite with Assam. Now Arunachal & Nagaland beckon.
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