Tezpur is an important city of Assam and also serves as the administrative headquarters of the Sonitpur district. Situated on the banks of river Brahmaputra, this ancient city is known for its mythology, folklore and legends. The place derives its name from the Sanskrit words, 'Teza' meaning blood and 'Pura' meaning city or town.
The legend revolves around Banasura, the great Asura king who was the devotee of Lord Shiva, his beautiful daughter Usha and her friend Chitralekha. The ancient Sonitpur was the capital of the Asura dynasty. The princess Usha saw a handsome prince in her dreams and fell in love with him. Chitralekha, a talented artist, not only painted his portrait from Usha's description but also recognised him to be Aniruddha, the grandson of Lord Krishna and ruler of Dwarka. Using her magical powers, Chitralekha spirited Aniruddha away to the princess' boudoir where the two married each other according to Gandharva rites, without the knowledge of the king. When Banasura learnt of the clandestine romance, he imprisoned Aniruddha, which led to the arrival of Lord Krishna to Sonitpur to rescue his grandson. A fierce battle followed and the entire city was drenched in human blood. Since thousands of people were killed in the battle and the whole city was flooded with human blood, the place came to be known as Tezpur.
Agnigarh is a circular stairway that reaches the hilltop, which is mostly visited for activities like trekking, picnic and viewing the surrounding scenery. Bamuni Hills, located at the east of Tezpur city, are the remnants of Bamuni Hill and known for artistic design. The structural remains here belong to the 9th and 10th century, representing the Gupta period art.
Ketakeshwar Dewal, located in the northeast zone, is recognised as an important and sacred shrine of Hindus. The temple, an important pilgrimage centre in the state, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and enshrines one of the biggest Shiva lingams.
Apart from these two famous temples, there is another temple named Nag Sankar, which is dedicated to Shiva and is famous for the Shivaratri festival. The other tourist attractions like Cole Park, Hazara Pukhuri and Padum Pukhuri.
The Hazara Pukhuri is a large tank preserves the name of Hazara Varman in Tezpur. It was excavated in the early part of the 19th century. This is the third largest tank covering an area of 70 acres.
Bhomoraguri is a mammoth stone inscription made by the Ahom General Kalia Bhomora Phukan, who planned to construct a bridge over Brahmaputra could be seen here. About two centuries later, a bridge over Brahmaputra at the same place has now been constructed. The 3.05 km. bridge is named after the great Ahom general; connecting Nagaon district with Tezpur which started to function on 3rd April 1987.
The ruin of the Bamuni Hill is famous for its aesthetic beauty. The sculptural ruins, dating back to the 9th and 10th century A.D. now lies in the Cole Park and Missionary compound.
Cole Park is one of the most interesting places in the Tezpur. The park is the perfect place for peace lovers. This is the place, where the two impressively ornamented stone pillars and the sculptural remains of the famous Bamuni hill can be seen.