What an odd name, isn’t it? Blood city! “Tezpur, The City of Blood”
Well, Tezpur may be called the Blood city for its mythical legendary battle between Hara and Hari centuries ago, however, today it is far from any sort of violence or mayhem. Surrounded by hillocks and sprawled comfortably along the banks of the Brahmaputra, Tezpur is a great destination, not only for its own merits, but also, for its easy connectivity and access to other venues of tourist and natural attractions in Arunachal Pradesh and the North East.
The second largest city after Guwahati in Assam, Tezpur is acknowledged for its serene and untouched beauty, its large green parks, and its solid historical legacies.
A little bit more about its unusual name.
Legend has it that Bana, a devoted disciple of Shiva was the ruler of Tezpur. He was an ‘asura’ feared by all. His daughter happened to fall in love with Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna. Bana angered by this captured Anirudha and what ensued was a long deadly battle between the armies of Bana and Lord Krishna, where the entire city was covered in blood. In the end, Krishna triumphed and the two lovers were united. It is the bloody battle that gave its name to the city.
Places to visit
Also called Sonitpur, ‘sonit’ and ‘tez’ both meaning blood in Sanskrit, Tezpur today is also known as the Cultural Capital of Assam. Home to renowned artists, such as Bhupen Hazarika and Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Tezpur seeped in its legends and folklore, has a deep connection with many things past, yet does not thrive on history alone. The Bamuni Hills and Mahabhairab Temple date back centuries and are one of the main attractions of the city. The Agnigarh is the legendary hill where Usha, the daughter of Bana was banished and surrounded by fire to prevent escape. The views from the hill of the city and the river are mesmerising and splendid.
Cole Park or Chitralekha Udyan is undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction of Tezpur. The stone pillars and remains of sculptures from the Bamuni Hills are added attractions in the park which boasts of beautiful landscapes and activities such as, boating and paddling in its lakes. It is one of the best places to relax and unwind.
A walk or drive along the Kalia Bhomora Setu, the bridge that connects Sonitpur with the Nagaon District, is worth your time. There is something almost magical watching the massive river flowing with unmatched peace and silence.
Padam Pukhuri, is one of the most popular lakes in town, with an island in the middle converted to a park, with fountains and a toy train. You can also try out water sports, such as rowing and paddling in the lake.
Situated at the banks of the Brahamputra the Ouguri Hills are a treat for climbers and adventure enthusiasts. And why not! The climb to the top is rewarded with extraordinary views of the surrounding city and its terrain. With the city on one side and the river on the other, be sure to keep your camera ready.
For nature and animal lovers, there is the Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctury and the Nameri National Park, both situated at about 35kms away from the city. Home to species of all kinds, a trek into either or both of the wildlife havens, will definitely be worth a visit.
Tezpur is also renowned for its temples. The Da-Parbatia is an excellent example of a temple with astounding architecture. The Nag Sankar temple and Ketakeshwar Dewal, are revered by devotees and tourist alike.
Tezpur, strangely holds an air of the ancient world that is hard to shake off. Though one of the oldest cities of Assam, Tezpur seems unfazed by its long existence and flaunts its green valleys, dazzling waters and pristine tea gardens with as much dexterity and poise as its temples and ruins.