Located in Assam’s Sonitpur district, Tezpur is a town with impressive past and many attractions for tourists. Its location on banks of mighty Brahmaputra River has resulted in the city getting zones of natural beauty and serenity. Apart from its natural splendor, Tezpur is also known for its role in development of culture and literature in Assam. Presently, Tezpur serves as a major army base and hub for education, commercial and administrative activities.
How to reach
Tezpur is very well connected to major cities in Assam and other parts of the country, in general. It has a Domestic Airport called Salonibari Airport. This is linked with Kolkata and Silchar. This airport is also connected with Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.
Tezpur railway station is also connected to major rail stations in Assam. The buses run by Assam State Transport Corporation run between Tezpur and major cities in Assam like Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh. Private bus services are also available to reach Tezpur.
As far as accommodation is concerned, tourists get plenty of options in Tezpur. From budget lodges to lavish hotels, you can find nearly all types of accommodations in the city. Some of the popular hotels are The Fern Residency, Hotel Royal Regency, Heritage Tezpur, Luit Hotel and hotel Kalash.
Places to explore
Tezpur has plenty of sightseeing options for tourists. As it is, you may need more than a day to cover all the sightseeing in and around the city. The major attractions are:
- Agnigarh- the mythological story of two star crossed lovers has made Agnigarh a popular tourist destination. The place, on a hilltop near the banks of Brahmaputra River is well maintained and has serene natural beauty. It also serves as a nice spot for photography and you get amazing views of the surrounding low lying zones. You may even like to have picnic at the area.
- Cole Park- When the British ruled India, they set up several prominent establishments in the North East. Cole Park is one such example. Also known as Chitralekha Udyan, it has options for boating in an adjacent lake. The spot is known for its awesome natural beauty.
- District Museum- Tezpur’s district museum is ideal if you wish to have a glimpse at the rich heritage and cultural past of the city and Assam as well. Set up in 1986, this museum has plenty of exhibits like traditional Assamese textile, coins of various metals and sculptures.
- Padum Pukhuri- Tourists with kids should not miss the beautiful lake with an island called Padam Pukhuri. The island has been made into park and the attraction is a musical fountain. There is a toy train in the Island as well and options for boating are also there. A bridge links the island with main land.
- Nag-Sankar Temple- The origins of Nag-Sankar Temple of Tezpur can be traced back to 4th century AD. This ancient temple was built by Lohitya dynasty’s King Nag sankar. But there is a theory that it was built by King Nagmatta. Ahom ruler Su-sen-pha renovated it in the 15th century. The temple has an adjacent large pond where several turtles and fish can be seen. The park in the campus is home to deer, pythons and peacocks.
- Ketakeshwar Dewal- Religiously inclined tourists visiting Tezpur should not miss the Ketakeshwar Dewal. It is an eminent temple for worshipping Lord Shiva. Supposedly, the temple has one of the largest shiva lingas in the world.
- Bhairabi Temple- Located close to the border of Tezpur, the Bhairabi Temple is one of ancient temples in Assam and it is a major destination for pilgrims. Built to worship Goddess Durga, the temple is famous for its intricate carvings which were carved way back in the 9th century. From one side of the temple, you can see the eminent Kolia Bhomora Setu. It is one of the temples where animal sacrifice is done as ritual to worship the deity.
- Bamuni Hills- Tourists with a keen interest in archeology and sculpture should go to the Bamuni Hills, located on eastern fringes of Tezpur. Here you will find ruins of a temple built in ancient times. The location on Brahmaputra river banks is beautiful. The stone sculptures are amazing. There is a myth associated with this place. As per the view of Archeological Survey of India, the origins of Bamuni hills can be traced back to 10th century AD though some historians disagree. There are traces of Gupta dynasty art style in the sculptures.
- Da Parbatia ruins- The ruins of ancient Da Parbatia temple also attract plenty of tourists visiting Tezpur. Reminiscent of Gupta Dynasty architecture, the doorframe has carvings depicting goddesses Yamuna and Ganga. The place is protected by ASI.
- Other attractions- Other major tourist draws in Tezpur include the ancient Hazara Pukhuri, Kolia Bhomora Setu- considered an architectural marvel, Mahabhairav Temple and Rudrapada Temple-two major pilgrimage spots.
Major events and festivals
In Tezpur, a number of festivals are held every year and you can enjoy the festive spirit in case you happen to visit the city during those times.
- Behdeinkhlam Festival- It is held in July every year and this colorful festival lasts for three days. The festival is intended to eradicate evil by wooden sticks. It involves a number of age old religious rituals. Music is an intricate part of this festival.
- Bihu and Laho Dance- Bihu is a major Assamese festival and Tezpur also takes part in the celebration each year. Marked by traditional dance and folk songs- it takes place after annual harvest- mostly during April.
The Laho Dance festival is something Tezpur residents are very passionate about though its origins lie in Meghalaya. In this dance, two men dance on either side of a female dancer.
There are no swanky and large shopping malls in this historic city of Assam. However, shopaholic tourists head to Tezpur’s Chowk Bazaar- the main shopping zone. It is situated at the central area of the city. You can buy traditional handcrafts, shoes, bamboo toys and Assamese silk garments as souvenirs.