1. Namphake Village
Namphake – A village nestled beside the Buridihing River in Naharkatia under Dibrugarh district of Assam, Namphake has a cultural charm of its own. Inhabited by the Tai Phake or Phakial ethnic group, the village is characterized by beautiful Chang-ghars (houses), a Buddhist monastery established in 1850, and greenery all around. Their unique traditional attires, tai-language, food habits, village lifestyle, and the river landscape have attracted many tourists in this part of Assam.
A family picnic by the Burhidihing River; swimming; visiting the Buddhist Monastery and its attractions like Musulinda Tank, Ashoka Pillar, Buddhist Pagoda; and bird-watching are a few activities one can go for. To gain an insight into the Tai-Phake culture – a village tour and tasting delicious Tai cuisines are a must. Chang-ghar and guest cottages are available for stay.
• Nearest town: Naharakatia- 6 km from the village
• Nearest airport: Dibrugarh/Mohanbari Airport located about 51 km from the village
• Best time to visit: October to December as most of their colorful festivals are celebrated during this time
Buddhist monastery at Namphake Village
2. Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary
Also known as the Amazon of the east, the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is partly in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam. Dirok rainforest, upper Dihing River, and Jeypore are its three divisions. The Dehing Patkai Rainforest extends up to the bordering Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Highly rich in flora and fauna, some rare animals like Chinese Pangolin, Flying Fox, Wild Pig, Sambar, Barking Deer, Gaur, Serow, Hoolock Gibbon, Slow Loris, Asian Elephant, Himalayan Black Bear, and Malayan Giant Squirrels are found here. It is the only sanctuary in India with seven different species of wild cats. It is also home to Assamese Macaque, which is included in the red list of near-threatened species. With 293 species of birds, 30 species of butterflies, 47 species of reptiles, 24 species of amphibians, and more than 100 species of orchids, Dehing Patkai is a paradise for wildlife lovers. Dehing Patkai has immense scope for tourism and is often under-rated. Jeypore Rainforest Festival is organised every year in February to promote tourism.
• Nearest towns: Naharkatia (Jeypore Division), Bhadoi Panchali (Saraipung Division), Digboi (Digboi Division), and Margherita (Wildlife Sanctuary)
• Nearest airport: Dibrugarh Airport
• By rail: Naharkatia, Duliajan, Digboi, and Ledo
• Best time to visit: September to March
Road leading to Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary
3. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
Declared as a national park in 1999, Dibru Saikhowa is one of the 19 biodiversity hotspots in the world. The Brahmaputra River and the hills of Arunachal Pradesh lie to its north bounded by the Dibru River and Patkai Hills in the south. It is considered as one of the largest Salix swamp forests in northeast India. Hoolock gibbon, capped langur, slow loris, water buffalo, tiger, elephant, Gangetic river dolphin etc. are some of the rare endangered animals found here. It is also famous for rare white-winged wood duck and feral horses.
Popular among birdwatchers, Dibru Saikhowa is also an emerging adventure destination for hikes and camping. One has to cross the Dibru River by boat or ferry to start the forest exploration. Banashree Eco Camp and Dibru Saikhowa Eco Camp are available for stay.
• Best time to visit: November to April
• Nearest towns: Tinsukia. The Guijan and Dhola entry point of the park are located 10 km and 50 km away from the town, respectively
Feral horses at Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
4. Paradise Lake- Nagaon
In Kathalguri village under Samaguri Circle of Nagaon district, Paradise Lake or Neelapani is a newly explored tourist attraction. It is located 15 km from its nearest town Amoni. Private vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, can go to the lake.
Paradise Lake- Nagaon (Photo credit: Dhritika Saikia)
5. Panimur Waterfall
Formed on the Kopili River, Panimur Waterfall is in Dima Hasao district of Assam. It is about 120 km from the district headquarter – Haflong. Panimur is worshiped as a sacred place by the Dimasa people. The community performs a holy bath in Panimur every year. There is a beautiful story between Dishrudi Haflongbar- a Dimasa Princess and Panimur, often narrated by the Dimasas. The rocks surrounding the waterfalls add extra beauty to it.
Dimasa, Karbi, and the Nepalese live in the neighboring villages. The waterfall is at a walking distance of 100 meters from the main road. Shops are also available. Tourists can stay in the newly built Forest Inspection Bungalow in the area.
Boating facilities are available in the regular season. You can also camp by the bank of Panimur River.
• Nearest railway station: Lanka (about 40 km from Panimur)
• By road: Regular buses and Sumos ply to Umrangso from Lanka. Rented cars are also available from Lanka, which is 38 km from Panimur
• Nearest towns: Umrangso (25 km) and Diyungbra (15 km)
• Best time to visit: Winter (November - February)
6. Bheloghat Waterfall
Also known as Paklongkum or Dikrutpi, Bheloghat Waterfall is located about 50 km from Diphu, the district headquarter of Karbi Anglong, Assam. It is one of the highest waterfalls in Assam. The nearest town is Dokomoka, about 17 km from the waterfall.
• Best time to visit: November - February
7. Garbhanga Forest Hike
On the outskirts of Guwahati, along the Assam-Meghalaya border, the Garbhanga forest hike is a popular trail among adventure enthusiasts. The hike starts from Basistha Temple, along the river stream, and takes about 2 hrs till the waterfall. Climbing, monkey crawling, and camping can be done with the required equipment. Buses and shared taxis ply to the temple regularly.
• Best season: October - April