The mighty Brahmaputra River has crisscrossed Assam for a millennium and more, turning the land fertile and enabling a host of unparalleled flora and fauna. When in spate during the monsoon and glacier-melt duration, the river also sweeps across the landscape it nurtures and lays it to waste for land-based habitation. The large deposition of silt that is a consequence of the ebbing and incoming of the gigantic river forms high sand bars. Some are even big and high enough to be called islands, and it is on one of these humongous sand bars that the Brahmaputra Carnival 2023, on since 1st January, has pitched its tents for the next three months of winter.
Feasts And Festivities
Organised by Assam Tourism, the carnival showcases Assam's culture, customs, handicrafts, and cuisine. The warm sand and a view of the serene waters of the Brahmaputra River create an ambience for strolling around the sand bar, which has stalls for the various items on sale, such as food and handicrafts. There are stalls from the other northeast states, such as Nagaland and Manipur, and even from far-off Rajasthan.
For those with more adventure on their mind, there are rides in hot air balloons, ziplining, Aqua zorbing, water skiing, water surfing, kayaking, beach cricket and volleyball, ATV rides, High Rope activities, traditional sports, and a daily dose of music, via concerts and performances. Many tourists coming in from other parts of the country count this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time in Guwahati and the banks of the Brahmaputra. You will be glad to know that the entire festival arena is a plastic-free zone, and also, no Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) is allowed to be sold in the area.
Take advantage of being in Guwahati, an ancient city, down the ages, has been the capital of various powerful kingdoms of the region. Being on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, the city has retained its historical importance as a port and is also called the gateway to the northeast. When looking out onto the river, you will see mid-river, on a concrete pillar, the sculpture depicting the Ahom commander Lachit Borphukan, in attack posture against the invading Mughal army, during the Battle of Saraighat . Being home to several temples, the most well-known one being the Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati is also called the city of temples. You can also choose to visit several of Assam's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries or hop on a cruise down the Brahmaputra river. For shopping, head straight to Fancy Bazar, and those not into loading their bags, can head to Assam State Zoo Cum Botanical Garden or the Guwahati Planetarium.
When 1st January onwards for three months.
Timing Every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
How to get there
To the carnival Daily and regular ferry services have been provided from Rajaduar Ghat, MG Road, and Fancy Bazar.
By air The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is at Borjar, 20 kilometres from Guwahati. Helicopter services are operational from Guwahati to Shillong, Tura, Naharlagun, and Tawang. There are regular flights to other cities in Assam, such as Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Tezpur, and Dibrugarh also. Guwahati is connected with the major cities of India by different airlines.
By railway North Eastern Railway zone of the Indian Railways is the railway connection between Guwahati and the rest of the country. Guwahati Junction is the headquarter of the zone.
By road The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) located on the outskirts of Guwahati, provides connectivity with other regions of the northeast and the country. National Highway 31 and 37 are the two primary road connections to Guwahati. You can also avail of private transport systems.