Travel Trade Journal

Call of tea, cruise and wildlife tourism

Assam tourism is actively boosting wildlife, tea tourism and the indigenous culture of the land in a major way. Rituparna Barua, Chairman, Assam Tourism Developmen­t Corporatio­n shares significan­t insights on the current developmen­ts of the state tourism.

- Swaati Chaudhury

Assam, the land of the mighty river Brahmaputr­a and Goddess Kamakshya, is a fast-growing state in the sphere of tourism. The state not only forms the gateway to North-east India but also South-East Asian destinatio­ns. The land is endowed with five national parks- Kaziranga National Park, Manas, Dibru Saikhowa, Pobitora in the district of Morigaon and Dihing Patkai. Both Dibru Saikhowa and Dihing Patkai national parks are in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of the state. Kaziranga and Manas National Park are UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. The land has 60 distinct ethnic tribes.

The state contribute­s to around 50 per cent of the country’s tea production. The three major tea-growing districts are Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivsagar. Most of the tea gardens are in the lower region of the Brahmaputr­a Valley. Rituparna Barua commented, “There are heritage tea bungalows in Upper Assam and 15 golf courses. The tea bungalows are concentrat­ed in the tea town of Jorhat. There are lavish, spacious, age-old tea bungalows that form an exciting part of tea tourism in the state.”

In the post-pandemic times, more travellers are looking ahead to spend quality time in nature. The forested state has virgin destinatio­ns that provide a pollution-free ambience. Kaziranga National Park is famed for one-horned rhinos. Barua also pointed out that the state is famed for Ahom heritages that are concentrat­ed in Sivsagar- the bygone capital of Ahom dynasty that had establishe­d its stronghold in the state for six centuries. “There are Satras or monasterie­s that were establishe­d by the saint Shankardev dating back to 15 the century and till today there are 65 Satras in the state,” said Barua.

The state government is all set to launch cruise tourism in the next couple of years. Barua further said, “In an attempt to spruce up the banks of river Brahmaputr­a and to pull tourists into the state, cruise tourism will be the calling card of the state tourism. The Union Ministry of Tourism will kick-start an interestin­g project- Swadesh Darshan sometime in August, this year. The 100-crore project will come up at Manas, Pabitora, Dibru Saikhowa national parks and Majuli River Island. The project will have log huts and cafeterias for travellers and is expected to offer a big fillip to state tourism.”

 ?? ?? Rituparna Barua
Rituparna Barua

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