|Elevation||35 m (115 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
The name Goalpara is said to have originated from "Gwaltippika" meaning Guwali village, or the village of the milk men. In the local dialect, "para" means village.
Goalpara is endowed with scenic beauty. Hulukanda Hill, located at the heart of Goalpara on the bank of the Brahmaputra river, is one of the natural scenic views in the town, with various kinds of waterfowl and monkeys. There are some other bodies of water such as Hashila beel and Kumri beel. The evergreen forests on low hills create an undulating landscape. People of goalpara speak rajbongshi language, it is also known as goalpariya language.
Goalpara district consists of 8 blocks:
As of 2001[update] India census, Goalpara had a population of 48,911. Males constituted 52% of the population and females 48%. Goalpara had an average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy rate is 73% and female literacy rate is 64%. In Goalpara, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Goalpariya Hindus and Muslims constitute the majority of population in Goalpara, and there is controversy as to whether they should be considered as Asssamese or Bengali, with some claiming a third category of Koch Rajbongshi to describe them. Most residents of Goalpara refer to themselves as "deshi" (of the local region) in order to avoid addressing this issue directly. Goalpariya dialect is widely spoken by the residents and the most spoken language in the area. It was once a princely state ruled by the Rajbongshi/Koch Rajbongshi kings.
The widely spoken language is Goalpariya. Other languages spoken here include Assamese, Bengali, Rabha, Hindi, Garo, etc. But most of the people use Goalpariya as a common language for daily communication.
Places to visit
The notable places to visit in and around Goalpara are:
- Shyamrai Sattra: Shyamrai Sattra, the center of Vaishnavite culture of Srimanta Sankardeva, was established in Goalpara about 366 years ago. In the preliminary stages, the Sattra was managed by two brothers named Late Raghu Medhi and Late Kush Medhi. Subsequently, the people of Goalpara assembled there and decided to permanently establish the Sattra. They approached the Meshpara Estate Zamindar, who in turn, allotted 8 bighas of land in the center of the town for the establishment of the Sattra. Since then, the Sattra has continuously observed all formalities and aspects of Vaishnav culture. Regular 'Nam Prasanga', etc. are held in coordination with the observance of the yearly religious festivals. 'Thiyo Naam / Paal Naam Competition' is organised every year and groups come from all over Assam come to participate. One of the most important aspects of the Sattra is that the Sattra authority has preserved the 'Asthi' of Srimanta Sankardeva, which is exhibited in the Sattra campus during Sankar Jayanti period i.e., in the month of Sukla Dasami (during September–October).
- Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math: It was established at Goalpara in 1969 in order to protect, preserve and expand Sri Krishna Chaitanya culture in the area on a donated plot of land in the center of the town. Regular 'Puja Sangkirtan', etc. are held in the Math in addition to the observance of the religious festivals, as per the Sri Chaitanya Calendar. A large number of devotees from different parts of Assam visit the Math regularly. During important annual festivals, devotees from different parts of the country, including foreigners, visit the Math.
- Pir Majhar": The 'Majhar' (tomb) of Hazarat Sayed Abul Kasem Kharasani is situated at the heart of Goalpara. The Muslim graveyard grew around the "MAJHAR". Every year, 'Uros-Mubarak' is observed here which marks the anniversary of the death of the Pir which is attended by thousands of people from across different religions. The saint Sayed Abul Kasem was a resident of Kherasan and he was born at a place called Fatima Killa. He had set off on a spiritual journey to India and eventually reached Rangpur, which is now in Bangladesh. He used to visit Goalpara frequently to spread his spiritual teachings.
- Hulukanda Pahar: It is a hill located on the bank of the Brahmaputra.
- Sri Surya Pahar: Sri Surya Pahar, located about 12 km southeast of Goalpara town and about 136 km northwest of Guwahati, is a significant but relatively unknown archaeological site in Assam, India. The site is centered on the hills (Pahar) of Sri Surya, which is profusely filled up with Shiva Lingas Lingam. The popular belief is that 99,999 Shiva Lingas were engraved here by Vyasa in order to build up a second Kashi (where there were 100,000 Shiva Lingas), and once it was one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the region. The site has the distinction of possessing valuable cultural remains of three important religions of India, i.e. Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
- Paglatek Shiv Mandir: This is a renowned Shiva Temple situated at Barbhita, near Pancharatna, about 7 km from Goalpara Town. Many devotes visit this temple during the 'Mela'.
Some of the major educational institutions are:
- Goalpara College, Goalpara
- Government B. T. College, Goalpara
- Junior Technical School, Goalpara
- Goalpara English School,Goalpara
- Dudhnoi college
- Sainik School, Goalpara
- Goalpara Law collage
- Goalpara Science Academy
- Kendriya Vidyalaya
- Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
- P.R.Government H.S.& M.P School
- New Goalpara High School
- Goalpara Jatiya Vidyalaya
- S.B.P.Memorial H.S.School,Mornai,Goalpara.
Goalpara district consists of four assembly constituencies which are Goalpara East, Goalpara West, Jaleshwar and Dudhnoi. The first three are part of Dhubri (Lok Sabha constituency). Following are the present MLA's of Goalpara -
- Goalpara East: Advocate Monowar Hussain.(AIUDF)
- Goalpara West: Shiekh Shah Alam.(AIUDF)
- Jaleswar : Moin Uddin Ahmed.(AIUDF)
- Dudhnoi : Sib Charan Basumatary.(INC).
- Brief history of Goalpara
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Goalpara
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "List of Parliamentary & Assembly Constituencies". Assam. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- "Goalpara boy hits the big time". The Times of India. Mar 23, 2012.
- Speaking Tree Spiritual Masters