- Guwahati is a city that has grown up with the Brahmaputra. Situated
beside the ocean-like vastness of the river, the capital of Assam, is a gateway
to its sister north-eastern states. A lively city with a rich cultural mix,
it is a religious center for Hindus and revered for its ancient temples. Guwahati
is also famed as the service center for the oil industry and tea plantations;
the world's largest tea auctions are held here.
Originally inhabited by several tribal groups, Assam was ruled by the Ahoms,
a north-Burmese tribe, for 600 years from 13th century onwards. Aurangzeb, the
Mughal Emperor who held sway over north India around the sixteenth century,
tried to conquer Assam 17 times, but failed, because of the mighty Ahoms and
the rigours of the humid climate. In one such attack, the dashing hero, Lachit
Borphukan, even chopped off his maternal uncle's head when found lacking on
the battlefield. Today, the spot is known as the 'Mumai kata gar' loosely meaning
the place where Borphukan beheaded his uncle.
By the late 19th century, the British were well entrenched in the area. In 1900,
the English set up Cotton College in Pan Bazaar, till date a premier college
in north-eastern India. When Meghalaya was carved out of the erstwhile Assam
in the seventies, the capital of Assam was set up in Dispur, the twin-city of
Guwahati. The river Brahmaputra splits Guwahati into two parts. The Saraighat
Bridge joins its two banks. North Guwahati is nothing more than a small township;
all the commercial 'action' is in the south.
- National Park
in the northeastern Indian state of Assam was first established
in 1908, as a reserve forest with only about a dozen rhinos. It was declared
a national park in 1974 and has the largest concentration of one-horn rhinos
in the entire sub-continent. The park lies on the south bank of the Brahmaputra
river. Its boundary for the most part follows the Mora Diphlu river and runs
parallel to National Highway No 37.
Elephant grass, semi-evergreen forests and shallow swamps mark the area. In
addition to the highest numbers of rhinos, it is also famous for a tiger population
of 80. Other wildlife includes the wild buffalo (1,000), swamp deer (526), elephants
(945), hog deer, wild boar, Hoolok gibbon, capped langur and ratel (badger).
A wide variety of snakes, including the rock python and the monitor lizard,
too are in abundance.
But the prized sight is that of the one-horned rhino, once mistaken for the
mythological unicorn. With an estimated 1,200 rhinos, Kaziranga is home to the
largest concentration of rhinos in the entire subcontinent. The rhinos are best
seen from the back of an elephant in the early morning hours. The commonly seen
birds here include the commonly found crested serpent eagle, gray headed fishing
eagle, storks, egrets, herons, cranes, bengal floricab, bar-headed goose, whistling
teal and grey pelican colonies settled among the red cotton trees.
- Gwalior is in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is associated with
warrior kings, poets, musicians
. It was the capital
of the princely state of Gwalior till 1948 and the summer capital of the Madhya
Bharat State from 1948 to 1956. In 1956, Madhya Bharat became part of the state
of Madhya Pradesh. A city rich in history, Gwalior owes its cultural diversity
due to the multitude of dynasties that reigned here.
Gwalior was founded by Suraj Sen, a Rajput chieftain. He named the city Gwalior
as a gesture of gratitude to a hermit called Gwalipa who cured him of leprosy.
The Rajput clans of the Pratiharas, Kachwahas and Tomars were among the first
dynasties to rule the city. The Lodhis of Delhi, the Mughals and the Marathas
were subsequent rulers. Later, it was taken over by the British; during the
revolt of 1857, Gwalior was a hotbed of revolutionary intrigue. Tatiya Tope
and the Rani of Jhansi laid their lives in their attempt to capture the Gwalior
Fort under British control. Even today, the fort looms large over the city and
is its most prominent feature -- a vision of enduring greatness.
|Tour Programmes That Include : GWALIOR