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Basistha Ashram was built in 1764 and is based in south eastern part of Guwahati, Assam.An important pilgrimage spot, Basistha Ashram is famed for its scenic beauty. Located on the banks of Basistha river, this ashram is a must see!
Situated in north eastern part of India, Assam is known for its verdant valleys and blue hills. Spread across 30,285 sq meters of land, Assam is based at the foothills of Himalayas. The state includes Barak Valley, Brahmaputra Valley, Dima Hasao districts and Karbi Anglong. One of the seven sisters of the north east India, Assam is one of the vibrant states famed for its spectacular landscape and exotic culture!
Assam is popularly called ‘the gateway of north east’ because of its strategic geographic location and excellent accessibility to other north east states! It has thousands of lands under tea cultivation making it an impressive green state. One-horned rhinos are an important specialty of this state. With five national parks of world repute, Assam is a hotspot for any wildlife enthusiast! Dispur is the capital city and Guwahati is one of the largest cities in Assam.
Assam silk is a famous indigenous wild silk of this state. This is the state where the first oil well was drilled in whole of Asia. A treasure trove with charming hills, misty weather, melting pot of different culture and a great conservation ground for the endangered animals, Assam is an ethereal land and a must-visit destination in one’s lifetime!
Rice is the staple food of Assam along with fish, chicken and lamb. Traditional Assamese do not prefer spicy curries. Having rice with side dishes or pickle is a common trend in this state. They often combine ‘bhaat’ or rice with ‘dal’ or pulses, vegetables and herbs along with meat or fish curry. A typical Assamese curry is garnished with cardamom, ginger, lot of garlic and onions, and lemon, if required.
Khar is a unique preparation of Assam. Made of rohu fish, this signature recipe has raw papaya lentils, dry jute leaf and alkali as additional ingredient. Assamese are fond of different snacks like Bora Saul, Chira, Suji, and Komul Saul. Jolpan is a famous breakfast item of local Assamese people, that includes various forms of puffed, flattened, roasted and glutinous sweet rice served with curd and jaggery.
Pitha or the rice cake is a common sweet dish of Assam made of rice paste. These pan cakes are made of sweet coconut paste and are generally prepared during special festivals and occasions. Til Pitha, Xutuli Pitha, Bhapotdiya Pitha, Ghila Pitha and Sunga Pitha are the commonly and widely prepared sweet dishes of Assam. Here people are in love with pickles, salads and chutneys. Rice beer is quite famous among different ethnic communities in Assam.
Assamese cuisine would be incomplete if we don’t mention tea, the indispensable drink of this region! Tea is available in the form black tea, green tea etc. that can be had with or without milk. Lemon tea, spice tea, ginger tea and cardamom tea are common too.
Land of different traditional festivals and occasions, Assam celebrates their culture of togetherness with great pomp and show every year! Bihu is the national festival of this state occurring thrice a year in the months of January, April and October.
The mesmerizing and passionate spirit of Assam’s culture and tradition is also reflected on other festivals like Baikho, Baishagu, Rongker, Ambubachi Mela, Harni Gabra etc. Besides, Durga puja, Holi, Kali Puja, Diwali and Muharram are observed in equal flair.
The tribals like the Bodos, Mishing tribe, Rabhas and the Tiwas of Assam have their unique way of celebrating festivals, marking the true spirit of the state.
Oriental and occidental races with diverse languages and traditions pour in Assam making it a true melting pot of the nation! A hybrid cultural state, Assam is a land of Bihu, the major festival of north east. This was the state where many eastern and south eastern Asian communities have taken shelter time and again. If we look at Assamese films, we can understand their background and social structure. In every occasion, be it birth, death, wedding or harvest ‘lokogeeti’ or folk song plays an integral part in Assamese culture. Bhupen Hazarika, a distinguished singer was born in Assam and swayed the nation by his golden voice for decades.
Weaving is a traditional industry of Assam with pottery, sculpting, masonry, architecture and craftsmanship being equally famous. In every household in Assam, handloom is a common possession of many. Not to forget that famous quote of Gandhiji which says “Assamese women weave fairy tales in their clothes”. Warm Eri silk, golden Muga and white Pat silk of Assam are the native silk products of this land which cannot be prepared anywhere else as the silkworms are particularly grown in this climate. World known for its softness, this silk is also used in making shawls, quilts and other items that keeps warm.
The ethnic tribes in Assam constitute an important cultural element with their unique cultural traditions and observances. Bodo, Karbi, Tiwa, Mising, Garo and few other ethnic tribes form a significant part of Assamese culture.
Besides the famous Assam silks that are a prized possession for any woman, Assam is equally known for its cane and bamboo works. Starting from different household items, musical instruments, and furniture, bamboo and cane have been used in Assam from a long time. Jappi is a significant bamboo made sunshade used from the time of Hiuen Tsang in welcoming visitors in Assam.
It’s majorly a forest covered state and the wood craft of Assam is as impressive as bamboo! It’s generally considered that a true blue Assamese can identify a wood quality even in closed eyes. Various decorative items of monasteries and satras, replicas of temples, animals and different items of commercial value in Assam are made of wood.
Metal crafts of bell metal and brass, tribal masks of different shapes and colors, terracotta figurines of different mythological characters, toys and gold and jewelry making are the other prominent art and handicraft of Assam.
One can buy different handloom and traditional handicrafts from emporiums and shopping centers across the state. Fancy Bazaar and Paltan Bazaar are the main hub spots for shopping in Assam. In addition, there are plenty of malls and shopping centers in Guwahati for fancy clothes and shopping items.
Majority of people in Assam speak Assamese and Bodo as their second language. People residing in the Barak Valley majorly speak Bengali. Apart from this, there are other languages like Karbi, Mishing Dimasa, Bru, Garo etc. spoken by various ethnic groups in Assam. People in Guwahati and Silchar mainly speak Bengali as the two cities have huge concentration of Bengali population. Urban people in Assam also speak Marwari, Punjabi, Gujarati and other regional languages. Most of the paper works are done in Assamese and British English. Major companies, brands, streets and commercial places display their names in English and Assamese to the public while in Barak valley Bengali is also added to it.
By Road: The ashram can be easily reached from Guwahati via different ISBT bus services from Paltan Bazar. One can reach this place via taxis as well.
By Train: Guwahati is the nearest rail head with trains to Dhubri, Dimapur, Kamakhya, Barmer, Rangiya and other places.
By Air: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport is the nearest airport to this place. It’s well connected to Delhi, Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other cities.GET DIRECTION
There are roadside sweet and snack shops in and around the ashram area. Besides, Guwahati has plenty of eateries and restaurants to splurge on!
From November till March are the ideal months to explore this place!
The ashram was once the home of rishi Basistha. The cave where the rishi mediated lies just five kilometers away from the ashram. The waterfall lying close to the ashram makes the visit even more fascinating for any traveler!
Navagraha temple: This temple is one of the oldest centers for astronomy and astrology.