We started very early on a mist filled morning in freezing temperature from Mon in Nagaland. Bad roads greatly reduced our speed, but we managed to visit Charaideo, Sivasagar and Jorhat.
We then took the first ferry barge on this trip! It was to Majuli, the second largest river island in the world. Crossing the Brahmaputra is like crossing a sea, its wide, deep gushing river. The one hour ferry ride to Majuli was one of the most serene ones.
Upon arrival in Majuli, Bhairavi had to explain to Assam police on what we were doing there, so that our car would not have to be completely unloaded, they heard her and smiled at us and wished us luck!
Destination: Majuli Island, Assam
Distance Covered: 178 kms
States Crossed: Nagaland, Assam
Charaideo was the first capital of the Ahom kingdom established by the first Ahom king Chao Lung Siu-Ka-Pha in 1228. Though the capital of the Ahom kingdom moved many times, Charaideo remained the symbolic center. It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of ancestral Gods of the Ahoms. The tombs of Ahom kings and queens at Charaideo hillocks are comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt and are objects of wonder revealing the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of Assam of the medieval days.
Sivasagar, formerly known as Rangpur, was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788. The Ahoms ruled Assam, virtually without interruption, for six centuries, until their kingdom fell to the Burmese in 1819 and their ruling class was all but wiped out .The province was liberated by the British in 1825 but, owing to the state of anarchy which prevailed, it was completely annexed in 1826.
Jorhat: Met with Prabat Bezbarua, a leading citizen and the biggest tea garden and tea facory owner in Assam. He took us to see The Jorhat Gymkhana Club that has a lot of history. Established by British, the Jorhat Gymkhana Club was built in 1876 by D. Slimmon, then Secretary of the club in Seconidhara village. The club has been a venue for horse races ever since its inauguration. The Governor’s Cup is the major trophy awarded here every year.
It also has a lush green 9-hole golf course circuit vying for a position in the “World Heritage list” as the oldest golf course in Asia and the third oldest in the world. The club offers facilities in lawn tennis grass courts, swimming pool, billiards, polo, gentleman’s bar and cinema theatre. The cricket ground here is known as ‘Jorhat Gymkhana Ground’
The Tea Research Institute, where Prabhat had a complete tour arranged for us to understand the way different teas are produced.