Hurjyudoy Borah

Winter is here and the weather has been very pleasant. Kobo (my dog) and I planned to travel to some of the well-known places of Assam. The places on our bucket list were the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Tezpur, the Kaziranga National Park, Jorhat, and Sivasagar.

Our first destination was the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Around an hour’s drive from Guwahati, we started early. Pobitora spans over an area of 1500 sq miles and was declared as a sanctuary in 1987. The grasslands serve as a habitat and grazing land for the Indian one-horned rhino. Other mammals that can be found here are wild boars, golden jackals, feral water buffaloes, barking deer, Indian leopards, and rhesus macaqueares.

Kobo hopped onto the safari jeep and we went inside the sanctuary. As soon as we entered the sanctuary, we saw a barking deer! Much to my surprise, we saw a rhino right in front of our jeep. Kobo had never seen such an animal and started barking. We saw many animals there – the rhino, various migratory birds, barking deer, and we even saw a water snake on our way. We had a blast, but we had to say goodbye to Pobitora as our safari was to end.

The next day, we started for Tezpur. Tezpur lies on the banks of the Brahmaputra and has a population of over 100,000. Around 190 kms from Guwahati, it took us around four½hours to reach Tezpur. Kobo was really excited as he was fond of open roads. The road to Tezpur was excellent, excluding some stretches, and we were continuously cruising at a 100 kms. After reaching our hotel, we went to bed. The next day, we went to take a look around the city. At first, we went to Cole Park, also known as Chitralekha Udyan. It has big stone pillars and other spectacular sculptures. Kobo enjoyed his walk around the park. Then, we headed to a place called Agnigarh to look at the mighty Brahmaputra. We also visited Podum Pukhuri, a lake with an island. Tezpur is really beautiful and historical at the same time.

Our next destination was the Kaziranga National Park which was  around 50 kms from Tezpur. The road was very scenic, and we managed to spot two rhinos on our way. The National Park is spread across Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, and Nagaon districts. It hosts two-thirds of the endangered one-horned rhinoceroses of the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of Kaziranga is interesting, as it was set up by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon after his wife (Mary Curzon) failed to see a single rhino in the area. This disappointed her and she urged her husband to take urgent measures to protect the one-horned rhino. On June 1, 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 sq km.

Upon reaching the park, we freshened up and went to take a look around the area. We had a quick dinner and went to sleep. Next morning, we booked our tickets for the jeep safari. We entered Kaziranga’s Kohora range where we saw many barking deer. Off in the distance, we managed to spot a tiger near a tree. We were awestruck! We also managed to spot many rhinos. At last, we stopped to take a look at the astounding view. The view from the top was mesmerising. Kobo was enjoying the wind in his face!

The next day, we headed for Sivasagar. After a very tiring and bumpy ride, we finally reached Sivasagar. Sivasagar means ‘Ocean of Shiva’. As per the name, the city has a big lake called Sivasagar Lake situated in the heart of the city. The lake was commissioned by the Ahom King Siva Singha. Siva Dol is also a historical monument here. It is a group of structures comprising three Hindu temples built in 1734. Sivasagar served as the capital city of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788. After taking a jog around the Siva Dol, we went to take a look at the famous Rang Ghar – a two-storeyed building which served as the sports-pavilion for the Ahom kings and nobles. Rang Ghar is one of the oldest amphitheatres in Asia.

Soon, we headed to Jorhat. It is one of the major cities of Assam. It is also home to renowned historical monuments. After a tour around the city, we packed our bags and started on our journey back. The roads passing through Kaziranga were mesmerising, there was thick vegetation, tea plantations, flowers, etc.

It was such an amazing quest, we learned a lot about Assam, Kobo also enjoyed the trip a lot!