(Asom, Axom) is located in the north-eastern part of India surrounded by states like Arunachal Pradesh in the North, Nagaland in the east, Mizoram and Tripura in the south and West Bengal in the west. The countries viz. China and Bangladesh form international borders with Assam. Assam is surrounded by a ring of blue hills. It is an amalgamation of plains and river valleys. The capital of Assam is Dispur. A ring of blue hills surrounds Assam and it has the two valleys, the Brahmaputra and Barak Valley. In ancient times Assam was known as Kamrup, where the Hindu God of love was reborn.
Assam does not have the normal Indian hot, dry season. The climate of Assam is characterised by its extreme humidity. The temperature of Assam is moderate, about 84 degrees F in the hottest month of August. The average temperature in January is 61 degrees F.Rainfall is highest in Assam. Annual rainfall varies from 70 inches in the west and 120 inches per year in the east. Assam experiences heavy rainfall between March and September, with very high humidity in the summer months.
Rice is the staple food of Assamese cuisine supplemented by lentils, herbs, vegetables and non-vegetarian items. Assamese cuisine is characterized by very little use of spices but strong flavors due mainly to the use of endemic exotic herbs, fruits and vegetables that are either fresh, dried or fermented. Fish is widely used, and birds like duck, pigeon etc. are very popular. Preparations are rarely elaborate the practice of Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients so common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar (alkali), a class of dish named after the main ingredient, and ends with a tenga(sour curry). Traditionally, the food is served in bell metal utensils. Tamul-Pan (betel nut-betel leaf) is offered at the end of the meal which is an honor to the guest as well as a digestive mouth freshener. Assamese sweet dish is incomplete without pitha. There are diferent variations of pitha made of rice powder. Besides pitha, other sweet items like payas, roskora etc. are also prepared.
Tourist Attractions :
The State of Assam is one of the most beautiful regions of India. There is hardly any other state which has greater variety and colour in its natural scenery and in the cultural treasures of the people that inhabit it.>AssamÂ is a beautiful and diverse state with an incredible range of cultures and landscapes located in the northeast of India. Assam, as a destination corresponds to a world of contrasts and excitement with each place of the state having something amazing to offer. Some people call it a magic land while others call it a green paradise. Important tourist centres of the state are Guwahati, Majuli, Sibsagar,Haflong, Digboi, Tezpur, Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Nameri National Park, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary etc.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS:
The most notable festival here is the Bohag Bihu which marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and falls sometime in mid-April.The Durga Puja, celebrated in the month of October, is another major festival. In the months of June-July, there is the famous Ambubashi Mela at Kamakhya temple that attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country.Other important events are Dehing Patkai Festival . This festival in eastern Assam derives its name from the lofty Patkai range and the playful Dehing river. It is a heady cocktail of ethnic fairs, golfing, tea heritage tours,adventures sports, wildlife excursion and down-mwmory-lane trips to World War II cemeteries and the Stilwell Road, once the passage to the golden land of Myanmar. It is organized in the month of January every year.
Tea Festival :
Celebrated every year in Jorhat, this festival is all about tea, music and merriment. A world of festivity with traditional hospitality, jungle safaris, tea garden visits, golf, local cuisine, rafting in turbulent rivers, angling, shopping and cultural extravaganza. A harmonious blend of business and pleasure. Come and meet the warm hearted people of Assam and savour Assam’s beauty and cultural diversity.
The Majuli Festival of Assam offers you a lot of scopes to make you a part of this festival. Special events are being organised during the festivals days round the clock. Cultural programmes takes place with the participation of various traditional and classical cultural troupes of Assam and troupes from rest of the country, in addition to rich cultural heritage of Majuli.Exhibition are also organised with the presentation of various Assamese items, specially designed and prepared by expert artists displaying traditional glory of Majuli too. Assamese and tribal dishes of Majuli are also available and food festival is also organised during this period. The Majuli festival of Assam includes a number of amazing combined activities covering various aspects of the life. Seminars are also being organised on multiple topics. Altogether, the festival makes you reach a desired destination for adventure and spiritual tourism.
For conservation and protection of Asiatic elephant a festival is organized every year at Kaziranga National Park jointly by the Forest Department and Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam. The festival includes many activities by domestic elephants and various cultural programmes
The Brahmaputra Beach Festival of Assam is organised by the Assam Boat Racing & Rowing Association, Guwahati to encourage tourists to visit Assam. The festival is celebrated every year on the sandy beach of the mighty river Brahmaputra in association with Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam. The Brahmaputra Beach Festival of Assam presents various colourful cultural activities and adventure sports every year.
Best time to Visit :
Assam has four well defined seasons in a year,summer, monsoon, winter and spring which present Assam in different moods.October to April is considered the best time to visit Assam as these months offer a mild and moderate climate with pleasant and sunny days and cool nights. Assam is never extremely cold or hot though during December and January night time temperatures may fall to around 15 degree C.
How To Reach :
By Air : Assam is well connected to the major cities of India. Several domestic airlines fly to Assam. The Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is well connected by air to most of the metros in the country.
By Rail : The state of Assam has a convenient railway network both within the state and with the rest of the country. There are train services from Kolkata, New Delhi, , Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum. Major towns within the state are also connected by the railway network. By Road : Guwahati, the largest city in Northeast India, is the hub of the road network to the north eastern region. A good network of National Highways and other roads connect Assam to all the prime cities of India. Several private travel companies as well as the Assam State Transport Corporation operate a large network of buses around the state.