National Parks in Assam: Manas National Park

Situated at the foothills of the mighty Eastern Himalayas, Manas National Park is a densely forested area at an average elevation of 85m above sea-level. It got its name from the Manas River, which, in turn, is a great tributary of the river Brahmaputra that passes through the park. It is interesting to note that in 1992, UNESCO had declared this national park as a world heritage site in danger, owing to heavy poaching and terrorist activities. Manas National Park is flooded by tourists from all over the world who visit to catch glimpses of many wildlife species such as the Golden Langur, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare, Assam Roofed Turtle, Wild Water Buffaloes, etc.

If you are planning to visit Assam, you must include the Manas National Park in your itinerary. The Manas National Park area is located between two districts of Assam- Chirang and Baksa. The nearest airport to Manas National Park is Guwahati, which is around 5 hours drive away. Bansbari is the entry point to Manas National Park where Musa Jungle Retreat is located. Hotels are quite scarce in Manas National Park but one can find a host of comfortable lodges offering decent accommodation and they arrange safaris too.

Manas National Park tourism offers a wide range of activities for tourists to enjoy. Jeep Safari: Being home to over 20 endangered species of birds and animals, Manas National Park promises sightings of exotic wildlife and an excellent Elephant safari. Being home to local Bodo villages, the sanctuary has several small indigenous communities of Ghatigaon and Ragu Bil living peacefully together. The best time to visit the Manas National Park is between November and April. Note that Manas National Park is partially open in the months of May and October. On the other hand, Manas National Park remains closed from June to September due to monsoons. 

Pack your bags and head to Manas National Park today!

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Guwahati to Shillong

Heading to Guwahati for your next vacation? Then add the scenic city of Shillong to your trip as well which is about a 3-4 hours drive. Clubbing these two cities offers a wonderful contrast to tourists. The bustling port city of Guwahati is popularly known for its temples and river cruises and its hustle and bustle. Whereas Shillong, also called the ‘Scotland of the East’ has a serene landscape of rolling highlands, picturesque vistas and pleasant weather year round

Here is our recommendation to make the most of this route on a holiday. Start at Guwahati. If you are travelling from outside, enjoy the evening at leisure over a candle-light dinner atop a cruise on the Brahmaputra. Spend the next day covering major tourist spots here like the Kamakhya temple (one of the 51 shakti pithas), then head to Peacock Island to see Umananda Temple located on the famous Kachari Ghat in Guwahati. There are many other temples to visit here too if you wish to. Otherwise indulge in shopping at Paltan Bazaar. You can spend another day visiting the Assam State Zoo, the Guwahati Planetarium, enjoy a picnic at Nehru Park and pick up curios from the Maati Centre and Paan Bazaar.

The next day drive down to Shillong, enjoy the scenic route and watch the sun glisten over the Umiam Lake just outside town. Enjoy the evening at leisure. The next day start the day by visiting the stunning blue colored Don Bosco church and museum, the Butterfly Museum, the Ward lake and the Japanese themed Lady Hydari Park. The following day can be enjoyed visiting the Elephant Falls, Air Force Museum, Shillong Peak. Enjoy a boat ride at Umiam lake or enjoy evening shopping at Police and Bara Bazaar for local handicrafts. On your way back to Guwahati on the final day, Visit Sankardev Kalakshetra, a cultural institution near Guwahati and enjoy one last cruise before you head back.

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Guwahati- the Gateway to Northeast: Tourist places in Assam

Guwahati’s graph of interest started rising after the capital was shifted from Shillong to Dispur (part of the city) in 1972. Assam is fondly called the “Gateway to the Northeast” as it is connected to the 8 states in this region as well as neighbouring countries such as Bhutan and Burma. Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi International Airport is one of the busiest in India connecting to most of the major cities and towns as well as international destinations such as Bangkok (Thailand) and Paro (Bhutan). This kind of connectivity makes Guwahati a leading tourist destination. Guwahati, Assam, is not only a place but has a large heart too, catalysing the process of assimilation of various South Asian cultures and offering the best of hospitality. From fabulous viewpoints and bird-watching spots to theme parks and river cruises, the tourist city of Guwahati, Assam, offers almost everything for every type of tourist.

Apart from connectivity, Guwahati is also a treasure trove of culture, feature and history. Kamakhya, Guwahati has many ancient and medieval temples, 19th century mosques, churches, and gurudwaras. One of the modern additions is the Balaji Temple, the showpiece of South Indian cultural influence in Assam. Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra on the southern edge of Guwahati is a microcosm of Assam’s cultural diversity of various communities that have shaped Assam. At Guwahati’s heart is an epic tank named Dighalipukhuri, named after its elongated (dighal) shape. Then there is Guwahati Planetarium, Assam State Zoo, and Botanical Garden housing 200 species of captive and resident mammals. Again, luxury liners offer more meals with fabulous accommodation and trips to popular tourist destinations such as the silk town of Sualkuchi and Kaziranga.

Other tourist places to visit in Guwahati are the Assam State Museum, Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden, the Guwahati Planetarium, the Guwahati War Cemetery, Nehru Park etc.  Apart from Guwahati, there are many tourist places in Assam that are worth visiting. Like Nameri National Park, Padam Pukhuri in Tezpur, Majuli Island, Hoollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Kakochang Waterfalls, Tocklai Tea Research Centre in Jorhat and Haflong Hill, Haflong Lake, Panimoor Falls in Haflong

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