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Old 30th August 2010, 20:31   #106
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Default The last Assamese in Bodoland

The Vaishnavite movement in Assam was started by Shankardev which had the power to unite all the tribes of the land and establish a strong Assamese society.

However the Vasinavites failed in these areas as the Bodo tribe stayed away. The Bodos are fast embrasing Christianity and so getting even further away from the Assamese people & culture.

The Catholic Church is being alleged to have been funding the Bodo militancy to make it easier for them to convert the compleate Bodo population into Christianity.

As the Bodos take control of these pockest of former Assam, the Assamese are on the run in a sense.

Here comes the crumbling pictures of a Vaisnavite prayer house in Tamulpur which portrays the sad story of a dyeing society.

In the near future there will be a place called Assam, but no Assamese.

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Last edited by San Phrangmung : 30th August 2010 at 20:45.
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Old 30th August 2010, 20:55   #107
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Default On the road: Tamulpur - Kumarikata

The roads are bad still except a portion between Kumarikata and Darranga.

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Old 30th August 2010, 21:00   #108
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Default Kumarikata '0' km

Check these shots in Panoramio later for location.

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Old 30th August 2010, 21:14   #109
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Default On the road: Kumarikata to Darranga

The Bhutan getaway series has helped me to discover more of my own land actually. So i will be adding information on all the Bhutan bordering regions of Assam here as well.

From Kumarikata onwards the surrounding changes and one could feel that the hills are not far, which is a nice feeling!

You will cross a few bridges with wide rivers and see something interesting in this remoteness.

Yeah all of a sudden there were beautiful smartly dressed girls along the streets in Darranga. Don't know where they'r from.


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Sorry could not take any girl shots.
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Old 30th August 2010, 21:25   #110
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Default Ahoy: Bhutia ahead

So that's the narrow entrance to Bhutia jungles.

Yes' that's the gate ahead, no forts here, just walls and you say what about skirt clad men. Well coming up.

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Old 30th August 2010, 22:52   #111
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@HvK Yes roads were empty in the morning, but had to drive very very slow given the road condition.

Forces were not deployed on the roads but a group of boys were collecting money for Eid.
I however was not stopped as they were busy with two commercial vehicles.

If you don't mind would you please elaborate on the only bad experience in Bhutan that happened in Samdrup exit point.

And would love to see some snaps of the road between Tashigang and Samdrup which it seems i won't be able to visit.
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Old 30th August 2010, 23:36   #112
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Thanks San, You are 100% right when you are telling us the story of bodoland. IMHO, if Bodoland happens, then they should take back all bodos from Assam. But I know that won't happen, just because the politician's are so engrossed among themselves (and are tied to one another) that they don't care about the common people. This is India and we have to live with it.

I think we at TBHP, can start a whole new chapter.

Last edited by Joy : 30th August 2010 at 23:37. Reason: typos
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Old 31st August 2010, 00:11   #113
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I have seen a family devasted by the Bodoland movement. The person the Bodos shot dead at his official residence in Kokrajhar one unforgetable night of 1990 was like our family and we used to call him Chakravarty uncle.

Our familys stayed in the same building and we grew up playing with his three children.

The two familys were close also because both my dad and Chakravarty uncle worked outside Guwahati and had to stay away from home most of the time, living the two familys to help each other out.

I was in class 8 then when we got the news that Bodo militants have shot dead an Assamese engineer working for the state government in Kokrajhar.

It was hard for me to believe that the Bodos would kill an Assamese, kidnapping or demanding money was another thing.

Then as we learnt that the person shot dead was none other than our very own Chakravarty uncle, i could not stop wondering why on earth the Bodos had to kill such a quiet and good person. Why him?

I still don't find an answer.

Unfortunately the killing continues to this day even though 20 long years have passed since and they even got autonomy.

Joy Assam has but only a black future ahead given Bodos, Karbis, Dimasas etc going seperate ways.
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Old 31st August 2010, 00:53   #114
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Some photos from Trashigang and the Trashigang-Samdrup Jhonkar road

River Manas, near Trashigang
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Trasgigang Town, main square, with the giant prayer wheel. My Scorpio is half hidden on the front right side of the mini-bus. The local RTO turned up and scolded me for wrong parking, but we became friends and he let me park it that way.
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Trashigang town square - another view
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The hotel in Trashigang where we stayed a night
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The Gompa/Dzong at Trashigang
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Sherbtse College, the first university in Bhutan, at Kanglang, on the road to Samdrup
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Typical Bhutan village home, en route Samdrup Jhonkar
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Narphu Check post, before Deothang
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Pinchinang Check Post, 4 kms from Samdrup Jhonkar towards Deothang/Trashigang
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Samdrup Jhonkar, the exit from Bhutan into India, Darranga in India beyond the ornamental gate
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All photos are courtesy my co-pax KS, April 2009

Last edited by hvkumar : 31st August 2010 at 00:58.
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Old 31st August 2010, 01:11   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
@HvK Yes roads were empty in the morning, but had to drive very very slow given the road condition.

Forces were not deployed on the roads but a group of boys were collecting money for Eid.
I however was not stopped as they were busy with two commercial vehicles.

If you don't mind would you please elaborate on the only bad experience in Bhutan that happened in Samdrup exit point.

And would love to see some snaps of the road between Tashigang and Samdrup which it seems i won't be able to visit.
I can't say that it was really a bad incident. But a little abrupt considering the politeness and friendliness one generally encounters in Bhutan.

Behind the friendliness, I could sometimes sense a contempt for Indians and things Indian mainly because of our poor civic sense, bad road manners and attitude of getting away with anything, especially corruption. Plus, Indian labourers who toil on construction projects are looked down upon, and that rubs off on tourists like us.

In Trashigang, I arrived and we were looking around for acommodation. I was double parked and standing by the car when a gentlemen walked up and loudly reprimanded me saying that this was not India, I could not park my car in any way I wanted despite my saying that I would probably take only a few more minutes to confirm the hotel room and unload the baggage. He claimed to be the local RSTA chief (RTO is RSTA in BHutan) and insisted that I move my car and I had to drive away and park it somewhere 500 metres down the road. Nothing wrong with that, but his overall approach was that we Indians are rule-breakers all the time (not untrue!). Later on, as I sauntered back, we became good friends as we chatted about everything in Bhutan and Bollywood. He had also driven extensively in India. He later gave me a parking spot next to the hotel - as you saw in the picture - and was the epitome of friendliness!

The permit check post at Pinchinang was unfriendly, but the border gatekeepers at Samdrup Jhonkar were outright rude and made condescending remarks as I showed them my papers and exited into India. Considering the manners of Indian cops, I think they were far far better, but contrasted with the warmth and hospitality elsewhere in Bhutan.

San, you were stopped by boys collecting "donations" for Eid. I was stopped every km between Darranga and Tamulpur by boys collecting for the Bihu festival - looks like life in these parts is one long festival season, so that money can be extorted from passer-bys. Even the Army Stallions were being stopped - who can refuse them!

And from Darranga to Tamulpur, the roads were non-existent, merely mud tracks, happily I was driving a Scorpio! And all Bhutan vehicles were lined up waiting to travel in a convoy under Indian Army escort, such was the tense situation last year.

Last edited by hvkumar : 31st August 2010 at 01:13.
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Old 31st August 2010, 11:31   #116
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Important links for future Indian visitors to Bhutan

Information for Regional Tourists - Tourism Council of Bhutan - Official Website

Indian Embassy

Last edited by San Phrangmung : 31st August 2010 at 11:32.
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Old 31st August 2010, 17:27   #117
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Default On the road: Kumarikata - Darranga

Tea gardens are here as well. Population is a mix. The Bodos got areas under their control or BTC even with less than 50% Bodo population in them. Still they want more so the killings, kidnapping & extortion continue after sunset.

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Old 31st August 2010, 17:52   #118
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Default Tulsibari

Tulsibari is a junction between Tamulpur and Rangiya. Few shops are here apart from a shaded village market.


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Old 31st August 2010, 17:58   #119
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San, we are getting some lovely tabelaus from rural and small-town India like never before! Despite the veneer of modernity - Airtel mobile ads, etc - I think life seems to have remained the same, except that I can see more unemployed youth loitering around and less people working the fields.

In Bengal and Assam, bicycles remain the primary form of transport for most unlike many other more prosperous parts of India where they have been overtaken by mobikes.

Last edited by hvkumar : 31st August 2010 at 17:59.
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Old 31st August 2010, 18:01   #120
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Default Refuelling

The first & last petrol pump inside India on the road. @ Tamulpur.

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Almost 99 per cent petrol pump in Assam belongs to Marwaris. This one is an exception.
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