Landscape of Assam

Places to Take Scenic Drives in Assam

Author: Michelle Tirkey
Date: 2020-06-11

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Assam, famous for its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage is a state in the North Eastern part of India that you cannot afford to miss if you want to experience the best of India. Boasting of wetlands, tropical and deciduous forests, historical sites, lush green tea gardens, famous temples, incredible wildlife sanctuaries, and river valleys of Brahmaputra and Barak, Assam is indeed a treasure that is yet to be explored to its fullest. Also home to the one-horned rhino, Assam is not frequented by travellers as compared to the other sought-after destinations in the country but is slowly gaining popularity for its uniqueness. And that is one of the main reasons why you should keep it on your priority list when planning your next trip.

Assam, adorned with gorgeous landscapes of lush paddy fields, river islands, and tea plantations offers scenic views, which are experienced best on a road trip. It not only gives you the opportunity to take halts at random scenic spots but also to travel slow and soak the beauty of out-of-the-world landscapes to their fullest and rawest forms. In this article, I intend to bring to you a few of the many places in Assam where you can take a scenic drive.

Majuli

             Scenic landscape of Majuli


Majuli, the world’s largest river island enclosed by the Brahmaputra River, literally means a land in the midst of two rivers. Majuli is a home to many tribal communities like Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, and Misings. It is also a hotspot for art and culture. One can reach Majuli by starting a drive from Guwahati and then taking a ferry service from Neemati Ghat to Majuli. The other route is via Lakhimpur, though it is usually less opted for because it is time-consuming. Panoramic views of the river island and the reflection of boats, trees, and grey clouds on the water look no less than an artist’s canvas. Make sure you visit this incredible spot to experience its true splendor before it gets engulfed in commercialization. A scenic drive coupled with a ferry ride is the kind of adventure you’d definitely want to add to your checklist. 


Chandubi Lake

Boats lined up to ferry people at Chandubi Lake


     Known as an ecotourism hotspot in Asssam, Chandubi Lake was formed by the devastating earthquake of 1897 when the forests disappeared and the lake emerged. This marvellous creation of nature located at the base of Garo Hills is about 65 kms from Guwahati and is surrounded by tea gardens, quaint villages and deep forests. A natural lagoon is one of the main attractions of this place. During winters, a large number of migratory birds arrive here, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. One can opt for a ferry ride in the lake or choose to relax by the lake while appreciating the magnificent sunsets. The golden paddy fields on both sides of the road and hues of the sky are sure to take your breath away. Due to its convenient distance from the capital city of Guwahati, Chandubi Lake is slowly emerging as one of the popular attractions for a drive or as a place for retreat.


     Jorhat


A drive to Jorhat, the “tea capital of India,” is a scenic retreat in Assam that you would not want to miss visiting. It was the last capital of the Ahom dynasty, which reigned supreme in Assam for more than six centuries. Jorhat is a unique amalgamation of nature, culture, and intriguing history. Jorhat is also the gateway to upper Assam and Nagaland and holds about 135 tea gardens in and around the area. With its mesmerising green landscapes, beautiful tea gardens, and wildlife sanctuaries, a drive to Jorhat is sure to give birth to the vlogger inside you. Cinnamara Tea Estate, Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, and Thengal Bhawan are a few places you could visit on your drive to Jorhat.

     

     Namrei National Park

Kameng River, Nameri National Park

Located at a distance of about 180 km from Guwahati and 40 km from Tezpur, Nameri National Park lies at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas and marks the border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Nameri National park is one of the most scenic wildlife sanctuaries of Assam and also home to quite a few endangered species like white-winged wood duck, sloth bear, clouded leopard, sambar, gaur, Indian wild dog, varieties of hornbill, and many other winged species. The rich flora of the entire area adds up to the experience of the visitors. Take a drive to Nameri National Park in Assam and who knows you may even come back with stories of your encounter with herds of elephants during your drive. 


Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Bar Headed Goose, spotted in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

   Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of only about 48 km from Guwahati, on the flood plains of Brahmaputra River. Being smaller in size as compared to the other national parks in Assam, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is the least explored, but due to the density of the one-horned rhino that counts to 102 as per 2018 data and other species of animals that include water buffalo, golden jackal, wild boars, and Gangetic river dolphins, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is on the verge of gaining popularity. It also boasts of 375 species of birds, which has earned it the title of “Bharatpur of the East.” An hour-long drive through a road, which passes by the River Brahmaputra, and a small portion of the village of Mayong is all you need to take to reach this sanctuary and the thrill will follow.


     Deepor Beel

Birds in Deepor Beel during winters


Deepor Beel is a perfect destination for a short drive from Guwahati. It is a freshwater lake located about 20 km from Guwahati. Home to about 219 bird species, Deepor Beel was announced as a bird sanctuary by Assam Government in 1989. A large number of migratory birds can also be spotted here during winters. It is a great place for bird watchers and photographers to spot endangered species like the Greater Adjutant Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork, and Spot Billed Pelican. Drive through NH37 to escape to this magnificent location and witness the best sunset of your life.

Assam is a destination that needs to be experienced with all your senses. Be it the dense grasslands or the splendid tea gardens, one needs to stop at random spots to soak the energy and the freshness of the place. Drive to a few of these places and you will take back a plethora of memories. Get your wheels ready and you’re game!


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