Jorhat district located in the upper part of Assam is popularly known as the cultural capital of Assam. Not only is this district known for its cultural values but also offers a mesmerizing natural beauty. Located in the valley of the Brahmaputra river, this district offers a picture perfect beauty to lay your eyes on.
With a total area of 2852 sq. kms. And the population of 109125 (according to 2011 census, this district also has the most educated population in the whole of Assam with a literacy rate of 89.42%. Jorhat district was carved out of Sivasagar and made a separate district in 1983.
Jorhat district was the last capital of the mighty Ahom kingdom. The Ahom king Gaurinath Singha shifted the capital from Sivasagar to Jorhat in 1794. During the Ahom rule, this district flourished and became a commercial metropolis but lost its fame following a series of Burmese invasion.
After the arrival of the British force in 1824, this district once again started re-emerging as a historical town. It was in this very place Maniram Dewan and Piyali Barua were hanged in public. They lost their lives for the love of our motherland.
2. How Jorhat got its name
‘Jor’ means a couple and ‘hat’ means joint market. In the 18th century, there were two parallel markets namely Chowkihat and Macharhat on the banks of the river Bhogdoi. Chowkihat lies on the eastern bank and Macharhat is located on the western bank, so, it is believed that this district derived its name from these two parallel markets.
3. Cultural diversity in Jorhat district
Being the cultural hub of Assam, people belonging to different ethnicity and communities reside in this district. Majorly Ahoms dominate the demography followed by Mishing tribe.
Also Sutiya, Deori , Sonowal Kacharis and Tea tribes(Adivasi) are among the other lot.
Even a small portion of North and South Indians have made this district their dwelling place. The cultural environment which prevails in this district is because of the untiring efforts of the people trying to preserve their culture.
There are mainly two types of festivals which are very famous in this district, Tea festival and Majuli festival.
This festival is all about tea, music and gaiety which include a visit to tea gardens, playing golf, safaris into the jungle, tasting delicious food, shopping and cultural entertainment. Adventure lovers can also lay their hands on angling and rafting in turbulent rivers. This festival is a perfect blend of a pleasure trip and business trip.
This festival is held on the bank of river Luit which is just 1.5 kms away from newly formed district Majuli Island, Garampur.
In this festival, you will get to see Assamese products that are specially designed and prepared by the artists that draw attention to the traditional grandeur of Majuli. Food festivals and seminars are also organized so that the visitors can relish the ethnic cuisine and get to know the indigenous people of Majuli.
4. Tourist attractions in Jorhat district
The district of Jorhat offers quite an extravagant scenic beauty for the nature lovers. Some of the places where tourists can enjoy the natural beauty are as follows
The world’s largest inhabited river island Majuli (now a separate district) is located near Jorhat on the mighty river Brahmaputra. This island is the prime seat of Vaishnavites and the religion of Vaishnavism. There are all-together 22 satras across the island of Majuli.
It is located 20 kms from the main town. Majuli is a natural and a cultural heritage site. With water bodies covering most of the areas Majuli attracts plenty of local and migratory birds.
People from around the world visit this place to experience the beauty and culture offered by this island.
Lachit Borphukan Maidam
This is the burial ground of the great warrior Lachit Borphukan. He was the greatest ever Ahom General who defeated the Mighty Mughals at the Battle of Saraighat in 1672. This maidam is located at Gohain gaon of Meleng-Hoollongapur. It is 8 km from the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary.
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
The Hollongapur Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is popularly known as the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary named after Hoolock Gibbon. This sanctuary covers an area of 20.98 sq km in Jorhat district in Assam. It was earlier known as the Hoolongapur Forest during the British period. The sanctuary is approximately 19 km from the Jorhat town centre.
Kaziranga National Park
The home to Assam’s pride- Rhino, Kaziranga national Park is just 74 Km away from heart of Jorhat. Elephant safari and wild life sight seeing can be experienced majestically in the park. Further night stay at the resort in this park will certainly make your trip complete.
This tank is located at the southern side fo the Jorhat town, near Na-ali. Badan Borphukan was murdered near this tank by Rupsingha Bangal for which he received some money and with that money he excavated this tank. But the local people does not use this water as the money used in the construction came from killing someone.
Siukapha Samanwaya Kshetra
It is a Cultural Complex placed on a 80 Acre land consisting the Grand Memorial building of King Siu-Ka-Pha. Plus it has a auditoriums, museums and guest houses. Handicraft Market along with Shopping Arcade and Amusement park bring amazing ambiance to it.
A small island located in a river at Neemaghat in Jorhat and an ideal place to spend some quality time with your family. The beauty of the mother nature and the quiet atmosphere with picture perfect scenery makes this place very famous among the local people.
Enthusiast who are into stars and Planet can certainly find their hearts wish fulfilled in Jorhat planetarium.
It is a huge embankment that was built with the aim to protect the Ahoms from enemy attacks. The historic place was constructed during the war that prevailed between the Ahoms and Moamarias. Garh Ali stretches from Seoni Ali and goes up to Naga Hills. A beautiful temple within its premises is another of its attractions. A unique bridge carved out of a single stone can still be admired there.
The oldest golf club in Asai and the third oldest in the world, Jorhat’s Gymkhana Club was established in the year 1876 by D. Slimmon. Its main attraction is the lush green a-hole golf course.
Gymkhana Club also has a cricket ground which is known as Jorhat Gymkhana Ground. It hosted the C.K.Naidu Under-19 Indian Cricket tournament matches. It is well connected with the city centre via Club Road built by the Britishers.
5. Religious Places
This district has a number of religious places like satras, namghars, temples, gurudwaras, churches and mosque where people from all over the country come to offer their prayers and seek the blessings.
This namghar was established by a saint-reformer Madhabdev in 1461. It is located at Dhekiakhowa village of Jorhat. Almost 461 years old, this namghar has been playing a very important role exercising the Vaishnav religion and unity for the people of Assam.
Auni Aati Satra
It is the main and larget satra of Majuli and the main atrraction of all.
Uttar Kamla Bari Satra
Burigosani Than or Devalaya
This Devalaya is located in Jorhat town and is a popular shakti Shrine. The deity of this temple is Burgosani and there is also an idol of a priest which was brought from Jayantiya. It was first established in the Rangpur but later shifted to the present Jorhat town.
Bilvesvar or Shiva Temple
This temple is located at the south trunk road of Jorhat towards the northern part of the Jorhat district. This temple has a holy tank near it which was built by Ruchinath Boragohain. It is located at a distance of 35 km from the main town on the NH 37.
This Satra was founded by Vaishnavite Saint Banamalidev and the center regularly holds important Rasleela festivals.
This Satra was founded by Saint Lakshimikanta Deva houses ancient weapons of Ahom rule which are known as “Bartops” or cannons.
This satra has many cultural and historically significant antiques. This satra is a centre of performing arts and houses the royal raiment belonging to Ahom king Swargadeo Gadadhar Singha. This raiment is made of pure gold and there is a golden royal umbrella in the satra.
Jorhat district has a number of mosques situated in the district. Bura Masjid, Tarajan Mosque, Bhogdoi Mosque, Garali Mosque, Station Chariali Masjid are some famous mosques situated in the district.
This district also has a number of churches like the Jorhat Baptist Church, St. Mary Mother of Church and Believer Church in Jorhat.
6. Economy of Jorhat district
The majority of the population in Jorhat district are dependent on agriculture and tea industry. Tea is one of the major sources of revenue in Jorhat district which acts as both agricultural and industrial resource bringing in huge revenue to the region.
Direct connections to the major cities in India, a river port at Nimati and various financial institutions have also contributed to the economic development of this district.
Also known as the “tea capital of the world”, tea is one of the largest industries in this district. There are as many as 135 tea gardens in Jorhat, producing huge quantity and premium quality of tea.
The majority of the population in this district are engaged in agriculture. The principal crops grown in this region are paddy, wheat, gram, pea, lentil, mustard, potato, sugarcane and pumpkin. Other than agriculture people are also engaged in livestock, poultry farming and fisheries.
Rather than tea and agriculture, tourism industry also contributes to the economic development of this district. Majuli is the most sought after tourist destination in the district of Jorhat. With the growth of tourism industry, the district has also seen a vibrant increase in the number of malls, hotels and restaurants.
7. Educational institutions
This district offers some of the best educational institutions in the state and is considered one of the best places for modern education. Some of them are:
Assam Agricultural University
It is the first institution of its kind in the whole of North-East India. The main goal of the institution is to produce globally competitive human resources in the farming sector and to carry out research in both conventional and frontier areas for production optimization.
Jorhat Engineering College
This college came into existence on 7th January 1959 at H.R.H.P.O.W. This college was established in 1960 and is located at a distance of 3 kms on the east of Jorhat town and 8 kms to the east of Jorhat airport. The college is affiliated to Dibrugarh University and is also recognized by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education).
Jorhat Medical College and Hospital
Jorhat Medical College and medical research public university was established on 12th October 2009 and is located about 3km west from the heart of the Jorhat town. The college operates under the State Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Assam.
The Prince of Wales Institute of Engineering and Technology
This institute was established in the year 1927 and is located in the heart of the town Jorhat. The institute has 31 acres of beautiful campus with a congenial academic atmosphere. This institute is funded by the government and affiliated to State Council for Technical Education, Assam and under the control of Directorate of Technical Education.
Jagannath Barooah College (JB College)
It is a premier institute of higher education located in Jorhat. Since its inception in 1930, the college has already marched a long way and completed its 85 years of service to the society.
D C B Girls College
This is the first women’s college in Upper Assam and second of its kind in the whole of the state. It was established in the year 1955 and since then it has been striving sincerely to spread women education in Assam. This college was established by the generous contribution made by the four sons of Late Rai Bahadur Devicharan Barua viz Heramba Prasad Barua, Umacharan Barua, Deba Prasad Barua and Bishnu Prasad Barua.
Jorhat Institute of Science and Technology (JIST)
Jorhat Institute of Science and Technology or JIST is one of Assam’s premier institutes of Assam, located in Sotai, Jorhat. Established in 1971, JIST was formerly known as Science College. This degree science college offers courses in Major Science subjects : Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Other than these educational institutions, there are other research centres and laboratories which provide the people of the district with a variety of option to choose from. Some of them are Tocklai Tea Research Centre, Regional Research Laboratory (RRL) and Rainforest Research Institute.
8. Medical Facilities in Jorhat District
There are quite a few good medical institutions in and around Jorhat. It includes government hospitals as well as private hospitals along with several clinical chambers.
Jorhat Medical College & Hospital is a public medical college and medical research university of this district. On 12th October, 2009, then Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi inaugurated this medical institution giving a new life to this district. It includes up-to date medical facility plus Emergency Services, Various Laboratory Services as well as Radiological Investigations.
Among the private institutions, Sanjevani hospital, AG Nursing home, Medicure and Chandraprava Eye hospitals are the prime.
9. Eminent Personalities of Jorhat District
Maniram Dutta Barua (Maniram Dewan)
He was born on 17th April 1806 in the undivided Sivasagar which is the present day Jorhat and is popularly known as Maniram Dewan. He was the first person to establish tea gardens in Assam. He was an Assamese nobleman in British India. It was him who informed the British about Assam’s tea grew by the Singpho people, which was unknown to the rest of the world.
Rai Bahadur Jagannath Barooah
This great man was born on 29th October 1851, at Rajhauli, Jorhat. He was the first graduate from Upper Assam and was brilliant in studies and further went on to successfully appear for the Native Civil Services in 1875 but some spark of an independent spirit made him pass up a coveted career in favour of tea cultivation. The Britishers conferred him the title of “Rai Bahadur” in 1902. He died in the year 1907.
Krishna Kanta Handique
He was born in Jorhat on 20th July 1898. He obtained B.A. from Calcutta Sanskrit College with a gold medal in 1917. After completing his Master’s degree, he went to France for learning modern languages. He has written various important essays and books and also translated many books from Sanskrit. He was elected the President of Asam Sahitya Sabha in 1937 along with various Indian organizations of the Govt. of India. He received the “Padmashri” in the year 1955 and “Padmabhushan” in 1967. He died on 7th June 1982.
Krishnanath Sarma was a true “Gandhiite” and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He was a great social reformer. From his childhood, he was against the caste distinction and with the help of Mahatma Gandhi he successfully opened a door of Namghar to the Harijans on 18th April 1934. He was the secretary of the Jorhat district Congress and was elected a member of Assam Provincial Congress Committee in 1921.
Born on 1st April 1936 at Rangajan Tea Estate, erstwhile Sivasagar district which now falls under the district of Jorhat, Tarun Gogoi was the previous Chief Minister of Assam and also a member of the Indian National Congress and has led the party to a record 3 consecutive electoral victories in Assam. He was elected the Chief Minister of Assam and was on that post since the year 2001.
Pushpa Bhuyan hailing from Jorhat is internationally renowned icon and the first Assamese Danseuse to be honoured with the Padmashri Award ( one of the Nation’s highest civilian honours). Her role is instrumental in the upgradation of Sattriya Nrtiya to the Eigth Clasdical Dance of India . She was on 9th Feb 2016 awarded the Kamal Kumari National Award posthumously in Jorhat .
Above names are just few among scores of them. Jorhat has also produced eminent personalities like Nilmoni Phukan, Chandradhar Barooah, Hem Barooah, Nakul Chandra Bhuyan, Jatindra Nath Goswami, Ananda Chandra Barooah and many many more more.
10. How to reach Jorhat
Jorhat district has its own airport named Rowraih Airport, Jorhat and is few minutes away from the centre of the city. This airport is well connected to major cities of the country such as Bangalore, Kolkata and Guwahati.
Jorhat has its own railway station named Jorhat Railway Station which is connected to the major cities of Assam. It is linked with cities like Guwahati, Kamakhya and Mariani through JTTN Inter City, Janashatabdi Express and Guwahati Inter City
Jorhat is at a distance of305 kms from Guwahati and is well connected through Assam State Road Transport Corporation (ASRTC) and other private travel services.
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