The vast open spaces of Bodoland are full of natural beauty and calm meditative silence. Bodoland holds special appeal for the kind of traveller who is keen to slow down and savour each moment of the journey. Full of lush green vegetation, the region is especially beautiful in the spots where land meets water.
A new era of peace and stability in the region ensures support for the conservation of forests and the natural heritage of Bodoland. With more stability in place, the rich biodiversity of Bodoland is sure to attract nature and wildlife enthusiasts from across the world.
Lakes Of Chakrashila
The twin lakes of Dheer Beel and Dipali Beel are stunning water bodies in the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary. These are oxbow lakes in the Ganga-Brahmaputra floodplains – that is, pools that are formed when a wide meander of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. Together, they harbour a plethora of wildlife. Dheer Beel sprawls across 5.77 sq km and is located partly in Kokrajhar and in Dhubri District in western Assam. This proposed Ramsar site is linked by a narrow channel to River Brahmaputra. To its west, about 5.5 km away, Diplai Beel is another large natural wetland covering about 4.14 sq km. Home to over 100 bird species, these are blue-green bodies of water, with plenty of floating vegetation. With the misty hills of the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary in the backdrop, it’s beautiful to gaze and soak in the sights of the water hyacinth and watch the cormorants drying themselves in the lakes’ islands.
Simple Pleasures In Saralpara
The ‘Saralpara Picnic Spot’, as locals like to call it, is a picturesque place on the banks of a pretty stream that is part of the Sarbhang Khola Chhu river. This is 67 km from Kokrajhar and within hailing distance of the Bhutanese border. With the mountains of Bhutan in view, one can sit on a rock by the stream, dip their feet in its cool shallow waters and take in the lush scenery. Arriving here early in the morning is the perfect time for a blissful communion with nature. For those seeking some additional peace and quiet, the monastery nearby might be of interest. Nearby attractions include the buzzing Saralpara market with its variety of unusual and exotic wares.
White Sands Of Bogamati
Another spot along the Indo-Bhutan border is the gorgeous Bogamati, a veritable paradise for nature lovers. While there are a host of adventure activities including trekking, white water rafting and ziplining, doing nothing is a splendid option too. Deriving its name from the vast deposits of white sand and stone, Bogamati is where one can catch the river Bornadi or ‘the Big River’ gushing through. Descending from the Bhutanese highlands, the river is a big presence indeed! A lounger, and a view of the swift river as it gurgles and tinkles in front is the perfect setting for some healing solitude.
Bhairabkunda–Where The Waters Meet
In the district of Udalguri, Bhairabkunda is located in the tri-junction of Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Interestingly, it is also where three rivers – Dhansiri, Bhairavi and Daifam – meet. Known for a prominent Shiva temple that now lies in Bhutan, this area teems with pilgrims on auspicious days as they come to take a dip in the holy confluence. Reports say that in the past, the Bodo people would perform the holy ceremony of ‘Kherai’ here in praise of Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Bhim, the second of the Pandavas, spent his ‘agyatvas’ or ‘incognito exile’ here. Bhairabkunda is a peaceful place, with the speedy river Dhansiri rolling across the plains. The wooded river banks are ideal for birding, angling and doing nothing too.
In autumn the Bodo countryside, particularly the riverside, transforms into a beautiful landscape of tall, white blooms of wild sugarcane grass or kohua as it is locally known. The sway of the slender perennial grass in the wind evokes strong memories for those who have grown up in the Northeast.
In his famous song Kohua bon, the legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika likens his restless mind, his ‘ashanta mon,’ to the nodding, ever-moving blooms of the kohua. However, the odd thing is that if you sit long enough, listening to the sound of silence, the mind falls quiet too – like the ripples of a pond fading into stillness.
What You Need To Know:
One of the best places to enjoy Diplai Beel is from the Diplai Beel Park, near Kokrajhar. Landscaped over 1.5 hectares on the banks of the lake, this is a beautiful garden overlooking the lake. Pack a picnic, take a flask of tea and sit back, watching the waters lap the shore. Entry fee is on a per vehicle basis, ranging from Rs 50 for a two-wheeler to Rs 400 for a heavy vehicle.
Dheer Beel also has a picnic spot on the shore that is a favourite with visitors.
Saralpara is 65 km away from the town of Kokrajhar and can be managed as a day trip.
Bogamati can be best experienced through Green Trek & Adventure company, located on the banks of the Bornadi river. They facilitate river rafting, trekking and other adventure activities. They also provide meals if notified in advance.
Contact Green Trek & Adventure, Campsite Tapovan, Across Bornadi River, Baksa, Assam 781368. Tel: 9957819726, 9864242842, [email protected]. For more, see https://www.bogamati.in/
For guidance around Bhairabkunda, contact Didom Daimari (8011476599).
- Do be aware that you are venturing into natural spots of great beauty that need preservation.
- Carry your waste and litter back with you for safe disposal.
- Be careful not to play loud music while picnicking.
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