SIVASAGAR, Nov 18 - A retired German couple, Tina and Uwe Griesbach was mesmerised by the cultural heritage of temple town Sivasagar when the septuagenarian wanderers visited the place on November 17 in an impromptu stopover.
Young at heart and full of zeal, the couple is on a tour across the globe on wheels over the last more than one decade.
During their visit to Pohugarh, Tina and Uwe Griesbach revealed that they have already covered over 150 countries driving across myriad terrains for over 6,20,000 kms since 2007.
Uwe Griesbach was a civil engineer posted in Saudi Arabia where he bought his Toyota Land Cruiser exactly 25 years back.
Later, when the couple embarked on their world tour, they modified the vehicle to their requirement, which is now solar powered. The vehicle is equipped with a folding roof top bed and other basic amenities like a refrigerator, a water purifier, a sink and a food processor, among other things. The vehicle has been their constant companion across the globe in all kinds of terrain.
Sivasagar was in fact not in their itinerary during this year�s visit to Assam.
They were in Majuli and enjoying the traditional Raas festival when they came across information about the history and culture of Sivasagar.
Fascinated by what may be in store, they decided to drive down to Sivasagar only to return spellbound.
In their opinion, they were simply bowled over by the rich cultural heritage of the place which was once the proud capital of the erstwhile Ahom kingdom.
Their impression about the archaeological sites of the Ahom regime in Sivasagar was evident in their glittering eyes.
Tina particularly mentioned about the magnificence of the Shiva Doul and Vishnu Doul, which she found �very impressive�.
Uwe Griesbach praised the hospitality offered to them by the officials in particular and the common people in general.
�Everything here is well managed and very tourist friendly,� he said. Particularly the presence and maintenance of clean toilets and drinking water facility was what also impressed Griesbach, which he admitted was missing at many places across the country.
Later in the evening, during an informal sitting with Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Dr MS Lakshmi Priya and a couple of other officials, the German tourist couple offered several suggestions to promote tourism in the district. They requested the district administration to share information about various developments in the tourism sector from time to time which they would happily upload in their website. They suggested that cultural projects can be taken up on a larger platform to increase visibility among global tourists. They also suggested getting information shared through travel magazines and sensitising tour operators in order to rope in more domestic and foreign tourists.
They also assured that they would strongly recommend other tourists across the globe to visit Sivasagar and get blessed by the rich cultural heritage of the place that speaks volumes of a glorious bygone era.
Significantly, the couple lauded the initiative taken under the �Soulful Sivasagar� mission launched recently by the district administration under the stewardship of the Deputy Commissioner.
The German couple also requested the Deputy Commissioner to take special measures to ensure that the archaeological monuments are preserved for posterity.
The Deputy Commissioner also shared her ambitious plans to work for promoting tourism in the district. Dr MS Lakshmi Priya said various schemes under tea tourism, silk tourism, river tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, eco-tourism and the like are on the anvil to catapult Sivasagar onto the global tourism map.
The German couple left Sivasagar this morning en route to Tezpur via the Bogibeel Bridge.