Posted 07 November 2022

Everything to do when you travel to Jorhat, the cultural capital of Assam

In the northeastern state of India, Assam, lies Jorhat, a small city with a beautiful landscape. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state and is renowned as the cultural capital of Assam. It stands in the fourth position among the biggest cities in the state after Guwahati, Dibrugarh, and Silchar.

Jorhat is derived from ‘jor,’ meaning twin, and ‘hat,’ referring to a market. In the past, two mandis – ‘Masorhaat’ and ‘Sowkihat’, existed on the opposite banks of the River Bhogdoi, a tributary of the Brahmaputra. Jorhat was the last capital and a planned town in the Ahom Kingdom. It was flourishing until the Burmese invaded Assam in 1817, and then the British forces arrived in the state in 1824.

Places to visit in Jorhat

  • Nimati Ghat: It is one of the prominent places in the city that offersa view of the stunning landscape. It is also an important port city in the state and a means for locals and tourists to catch a ferry ride to Kamalabari, Majuli Island, and Auniati. People also come here to spend some time near the water body, click pictures, and enjoy the panoramic view of the stretch. 
  • Sukapha Samannay Kshetra: This building was constructed to commemorate the memory of the first Ahom King of Assam, Sukapha. It is a perfect site for historians looking to study the Ahom Kingdom. Excavation is under wayto find the remains of the old civilisation so that experts can study them.
  • Raja Maidam: This beautiful park has a vault preserving the ashes of the former King,Purandar Sinha. The place came into existence after the death of the king in 1894. Boasting lush greenery and a clean terrain, locals and tourists come here to unwind their thoughts and enjoy some time with friends, family and kids.
  • DhekiakhowaBorNamghar: Established in 1461 by the reformer and saint Madhadev, it is an Assamese temple located near the centre of the city. The saint started the centre to preach Vaishnavism to people. It features a vast premise and is also a venue for organising social programs and cultural events in Jorhat.
  • Cinnamora Tea Estate: Established in 1850, the tea estate belongs to theSirastadar of an assistant commissioner, Maniram Dewan. It is the first tea estate in Assam, and the owner initially worked under the British Government. Tourists can visit the estate, click amazing pictures, and learn about the varieties of tea cultivated here.
  • Thengal Bhavan: It is the official sitefor the release of the first Assamese newspaper, in 1929, in the local language. It was called The Assamese Weekly. Thengal Bhavan was built in 1880 by Rai Bahadur Siva Prasad It is now one of the most famous tourist spots in Jorhat. Barooha was also the owner of the newspaper, which holds a special place in the history of Assam.
  • Burigosain Devalay: It is a temple in Jorhat dedicated to a Burigosain deity. One can also find the deity of a priest here. These deities were brought from Jayantiya. These were initially established in Rangpur and were shifted to Burigosain Devalay later.
  • Lachit Borphukan’s Maidam: Named after the famous Ahom general, Lachit Borphukan’s Maidam features a memorial stone constructed in his memory. He was a 16th-century warrior of Jorhat. Locals often visit the attraction to pay their tributes to the warrior soul. He fought and defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Guwahati at Saraighat in 1671. Today, the park is a well-maintained spot that locals often visit to experience serenity.
  • Bangalpukhuri: Created in 1739, Bangalpukhari is a celebrated water tank that remains unexplored by the natives. People believe that whoever comes intocontact with the tank will also invite bad omens. The myth dates back to the times when the Ahom Governor, Badan Barphukan, was slaughtered by Rupali Singh Bhangal. The governor was infamous for torturing Burmese and Assamese soldiers for no reason. After receiving money for killing the governor, Bhangal created this tank, and since then, it is famous for being built by the ‘blood of a man.’ 
  • Tocklai Tea Centre: Also called theTocklai Tea Research Centre, it is a research institute and laboratory located beside the Tocklai River. It is one of the oldest and largest tea stations in the world. Established in 1911, the centre aims to conduct research to find new methodologies to improve the range of dietary drinks.

    It boasts ten important research departments – agronomy, plant protection, engineering, botany, statistics, soil, biochemistry, agricultural economics, tea tasting, and manufacturing technology. 

  • Jorhat Gymkhana Club: It is a sports venue in Jorhatwhere you can enjoy billiards, horse racing, a gentleman’s bar, polo, lawn tennis, swimming pools, and a cinema theatre. Built in 1876, it had no recreational activities to enjoy for Britishers. Later, a nine circuit golf course was developed, making it the oldest golf course in Asia.

Things to do in Jorhat

  • Go for awildlife safari: Kaziranga National Park lies in close proximity to Jorhat, and hence, it is one of the most-visited places near the city. It spreads across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra and is heavily protected to preserve the exquisite flora and fauna that call it home. It stands first in the list of national parks in the world, boasting the largest population of one-horned rhinoceros. It is the abode of elephants, tigers, and bison. You can also visit it for birdwatching.
  • Go for a day outing in Sivasagar: Sivasagar witnesses the magnificent beauty of mother nature. There are plenty of heritage sites to discover in the area. Tourists can explore the Rang Ghar Pavilion, Charaideo Maidan, Joysagar Lake, Tai-Ahom Museum, Talatal Ghar,and Sivadol Temple. You can click beautiful pictures and spend some time alongside the river. 
  • Take a trip to Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary: Located around 20 km from Jorhat, the sanctuary is a beautiful site for nature lovers. It is flanked by tea gardens on one side and the Brahmaputra River on the other. It is home to at least 40 species of hoolock gibbon and other animals like stump-tailed macaque, Assamese macaque, langur, pigtail macaque,and elephants.
  • Explore tribal culture at Majuli Island: A visit to Majuli Island offers tourists an insight into the cultural and traditional practices of the tribal communities. It is the biggest river island in this region, and travellers can take a cruise onthe Brahmaputra River. There are traditional cottages where you can stay and enjoy your time on the island. You can visit various villages, monasteries and other heritage sites here.

Culture of Jorhat

Jorhat boasts monuments that speak of several tales of Assamese culture. Carved out of the Sibsagar District in 1983, the Brahmaputra River forms the largest riverine island, Majuli, making it a pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites. It has always been a land of cultural diversity that gave birth to exemplary and creative musicians, artists, actors, and writers.

The city has a healthy educational environment, a vast cultural life, and publishes five daily newspapers. The language spoken here is Assamese; however, many people also speak Bengali, Hindi, English, and Aiton, from the Burmese script. Among the many festivals celebrated in Jorhat, Bihu is the most important one. Given the ethnic diversity here, people also celebrate Holi, Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Rakhi, and Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Jorhat is renowned for organising the Tea Festival annually. One can witness varieties of tea and take part in music and festivities, including a stroll in the tea gardens, shopping, eating delicious food, safaris to the jungles, and adventurous activities.

What and where to eat in Jorhat?

The cuisine of Jorhat is inspired by the traditional styles of cooking in Assam. Their traditional platter consists of meat, rice, dal, a vegetable dish, masor tenga, curd, khar, aloo pitika, and pickle. ‘Aloo pitika’ is a delicious recipe of mashed potatoes, while ‘khar’ is the signature dish of the state. ‘Pithas’ is another dish made of rice, sugar, and salt. Jorhat is also one of the best places to try fish curry.

A few restaurants that travellers must try while in Jorhat include:

  • Crazy Hut Restaurant
  • Taari di Hatti
  • Sagar Restaurant
  • Atul Anthony’s Pork
  • Food Hut Restaurant
  • Kalpana Restaurant
  • Beegee Inn
  • Aahar Restaurant
  • Newpark Hotel
  • Swagatam Hotel
  • Hotel Paradise

Shopping in Jorhat

Jorhat is a beautiful place to shop for handloom items like ‘pat’, ‘endi’ and ‘muga’. You can also buy souvenirs, including ‘xorai’, ‘gamosa’ and ‘japi’. The markets of the city are also flooded with traditional clothes and jewellery from Assam. Travellers can visit the local markets, complexes, and shopping areas.

Tips to consider before travelling to Jorhat

  • Take care of social distancing in public places and wear a mask.
  • Wear comfortable footwear while touring the city.
  • Make bookings in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.
  • Explore Majuli island and enjoy delicious local food in Jorhat.
  • Take lots of pictures and follow the rules while visiting wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
  • Research about places to visit and things to do while preparing an itinerary.

How to reach Jorhat?

  • Air: An IndiGo flights to Jorhat from Guwahati, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune or other cities in India to Rowriah Airport is the best option to reach Jorhat. You can choose from many direct and connecting flights. To get more information about the timings and duration of the journey, visit goIndiGo.in
  • Rail: Jorhat railway station connects the city to nearby states and other major cities in Assam. It carries passengers from all over the country. Travelling via train is one of the best ways to capture the beauty of the state.
  • Road: From the nearby cities, travellers can book a seat on a bus run by Assam State Road Transport Corporation or private services. You can also reach the city via cab service available in the origin city.

How to get around Jorhat

Hiring cabs is a hassle-free way to travel around Jorhat. Locals and travellers choose to take a ferry ride to reach Majuli Island. Other local transport options are also available to reach the tourist destinations in the city.

Climate of Jorhat

Jorhat experiences moderate temperatures throughout the year. It ranges between 10°C and 35°C. The summers here witness heavy rainfall, while the winters remain dry and pleasant.

The best time to visit Jorhat

The months between October and March are the best to plan a trip to Jorhat. The weather is pleasant enough to tour the city without facing inconvenience.

Conclusion

Jorhat is an important city in Assam to get acquainted with the history and heritage of the Ahom Kingdom. It also boasts a breathtaking landscape with tea gardens and clean water bodies. Book your IndiGo flight tickets now to enjoy this beautiful destination.

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