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Agnigarh Hill, Tezpur
|Nickname(s): City of Eternal Romance|
|Elevation||48 m (157 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Tezpur (Pron: tezˈpʊə) (Assamese: তেজপুৰ) is a city and the administrative headquarters and municipal board of Sonitpur district in the state of Assam in northeastern India. Tezpur is an ancient city on the banks of the river Brahmaputra and is the largest of the north bank towns with a population exceeding 100,000. It is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) north east of Guwahati, the fifth largest city of Assam, considered to be the "Cultural Capital of Assam".
The rivers in and around Tezpur are very fast flowing ones, especially from the Himalayas foothills. The town is situated beside the river Brahmaputra. Tezpur has a number of small hillocks, so that flooding doesn't occur during the monsoons.
The name Tezpur is derived from the Sanskrit words 'Teza' (meaning blood) and 'Pura' (meaning town or city). Legend has it that the original name of this place was 'Sonitpur' ("sonit" in Sanskrit also means blood!) but when the battle between Krishna's army and Banasura's army fought for the rescue of Aniruddha (who was the grandson of Lord Krishna, according to legend) there was so much bloodshed that the whole place was stained in red. This led to the name of the place becoming Tezpur.It is the Fifth largest city of Assam after Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh, and Jorhat, with a population of 100,477.
Historical ruins from the 8th and 9th centuries dot the surrounding areas of the city. The ruins of Bamuni Hills are the most famous. They bear resemblance to the Gupta period art. Accordingly there are plenty of myths as well. The ruins of Da Parbatia are an example of the architecture around the 4th Century AD.
Edward Gait discovered a copper inscription in Tezpur the deciphering of which provided vital information regarding the Ahom rulers.
Modern Tezpur was founded by the British colonial administration in 1835 as the headquarters of Darrang district. During World War II, Tezpur received large numbers of refugees fleeing from Burma, particularly the corps of Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian nurses. After independence of India in 1947, it remained the headquarters of Darrang district. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962 the Chinese army came up to the Tawang city, which is located at Arunachal Pradesh and for that purpose the town had to be evacuated. All jail gates were opened and prisoners were released. In 1983 a part of the district was carved out to form a separate district, named Darrang. Tezpur was made the headquarters of the new district of Sonitpur.
Tezpur Balipara Light Railway : The existing MG rail line is the oldest on the North Bank, descending from the Tezpur Balipara Light Railway built in 1885 to carry tea from upcountry estates to the then riverport of Tezpur.
Rock inscriptions 829 A.D.: Sir Edward A. Gait ( 1897) had made reference to the nine line inscription of Harjjar Varma in his ‘’A History of Assam’’. The inscription, dating to 829 A.D., is the first historical record of Assam. The inscription was found engraved on a massive stone some two km away from Tezpur town situated near a temple called Rudrapad.
Hazara Pukhuri : A king of the dynasty Harjjar Varma excavated a large pond in 70 acres (280,000 m2) of land, later came to be known as Hajara Pukhuri (Harjjara Pukhuri).
Christian cemetery : The cemetery is very old and it houses the graveyard of Alexander Bruce founder of the Tea Industry in INDIA and also of various Europeans who died here before independence.
Power station:The Electric first power station in this part of India was established at Tezpur by the Britishers at 1913
Jonaki :The First Cinema Hall of North East India established by JYOTI PRASAD AGAWALLA in 1935.
Chitraban :The First film studio of North East India established by JYOTI PRASAD AGAWALLA in 1934.
The Twin lakes BAR PUKHURI and the PADUM PUKHURI found in the heart of the city still preserve the memory of King BANA and his daughter USHA.
Tezpur is considered to be the cultural capital of Assamese culture. Being from the core Assamese cultural region, the town has produced many stalwarts such as Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (1903–51), Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha (1909–69), Phani Sarma (1909–70) and Ananda Chandra Agarwala (1874–1939).
Kalaguru Bishnuprasad Rabha (1909–69): Bishnuprasad Rabha was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 31, 1909. His father Gopal Chandra Rabha was in the British Police and the family was financially sound. Bishnu Rabha spent his childhood in Dhaka and started his primary education in Bengali medium there. After the primary schooling his family shifted permanatly to Tezpur, Assam. Bishnu Rabha started his high school education in Tezpur Government High School. From the same school he passed in flying colors and went to Calcutta for higher education. He completed the ISC exam successfully from St. Paul's Mission College and joined prestigious Ripon College in Calcutta for BSc.
Bishnu Rabha was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and others in 1930. He actively participated in the freedom movement and this affected his education. He wrote many slogans and hoisted Indian tricolour flags in many government buildings in Calcutta. This forced the British police to issue a non-bailable warrant against him. Bishnu Rabha fled from Calcutta to Tezpur and started his activities from there. He led Assam in the freedom movement while expressing his inborn artistic talents. He donated all his inherited 2500 bighas of land to the poor farmers. Popularly known as Kala Guru ( Assamese: কলা গুৰু) he himself used to write his name as "BISHNU PRASAD RAVA". He was a multifaceted artist and revolutionary singer of Assam. A doyen of the Arts, from an early stage, he played an active role in the struggle for Indian independence. However, he never joined Indian National Congress. He believed - the Congress is a party of the bourgeoisie and so its struggle against British imperialism is fraught with compromises. He came to be influenced by left wing ideas and came close to the Communist Party of India. However, when Germany attacked Soviet Union during World War II and the Indian Communists decided to work with the British government, a section of the party favoured a different approach - to oppose British imperialism and Fascism simultaneously. So a split happened in the Communist party and in 1945 he finally joined the Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI). In 1951, after the death of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, he became the president of the Assam branch of Indian Peoples' Theatre Association (IPTA). Rabha was elected as a Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Tezpur for the term 1967-72 but untimely he passed away on the 20th June 1969.
Bishnu Rabha always worked for the upliftment of his own society. All his writings, songs, arts are just a by-product of that.[original research?] The books written by him such as Axomiya Kristir Somu Abhax (An outline of the Assamese culture), Axomiya Kristi (The Assamese culture), and Mukti Deol (The temple of freedom) are reflections of his socialistic notions.[original research?] His residence is still a cultural hub consisting of a recording studio.
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala(1903–51): Known as Rupkonwar (Prince of Beauty) to the Assamese, Agarwala's main artistic and political journey begins in the 1930s. He dedicated himself fully to the freedom movement.[original research?] He was even jailed for 15 months and fined 500 rupees for his active involvement in the struggle for independence. Meanwhile he kept on working for the artistic and cultural upliftment of the Assamese society.
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala started writing since the age of 14 years only. At that time he wrote down the famous play Sonit-Konwari. For next few years during his student days he wrote many short stories. Agarwala was focused on studying child psychology. He wrote many stories for children. Some other plays written by him are Rupalim, Karengar Ligiri, and Lobhita. Agarwala wrote more than 300 poems and set music to most of them. This song collection is known as Jyoti Sangeet. It became a new genre of music itself in Assam in later days.
Agarwala is considered the father of Assamese film.[by whom?] He invested a huge amount of time and his own money into it. He had a studio called 'Chitrban' set up at the Bholaguri tea estate in Tezpur in 1934. The film Joymati was shot there and released in 1935, starring Phani Sarma (1909–70). In 1939 Agarwala made the second Assamese movie 'Indramalati'. He also built a cinema hall called 'Junaki' opened in Tezpur in 1937. Another contribution of Agarwala is the publication of the newspaper Axomiya from 1944 and onwards. He also established an Assamese music school in Tezpur. The Assamese poet Chandra Kumar Agarwala was his uncle. While Agarwala was in the charge of Tamulbari tea estate of Dibrugarh, the same place where he was born, he suffered from cancer and died merely 48 years old on 17 June 1951. His death anniversary is calebrated as 'Jyoti Divas' in Assam on June 17 every year.
- Bihu dance: It is a group dance of both males and females.
- Jhumur: It is performed by the Adivasis to the rhythm of drums and flutes.
- Bagurumba: It is a Bodo folk dance.
- Sattriya: It is one of the famous dances among the eight principal classical dance traditions of India. It was created 500 years ago by the great Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva.
Climate and Economy
Tezpur has mild winters and extremely hot summers. Due to high humidity the summer can be highly uncomfortable. Rainfall is typically high.
The economy of Tezpur is dependent on its Tea Gardens. There are many tea gardens surrounding the town of Tezpur. The surrounding tea gardens and agriculture contribute to the local economy. Presently Tezpur is a commercial, administrative and educational centre. It also houses a major base of the Indian Army and Airforce (Salonibari). The population is largely heterogeneous. Assamese, Bengali, Nepali, Bihari, Marwari communities form the majority. People from various tribes such as the tea-tribes (brought in by the colonial planters as indentured labourers from the Chhotanagpur plateau region), Bodos, Mishings etc. have also made it their home. Like other places in Assam, the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh adds religious spice to the regular political debates and name-calling.[original research?] Passing through Tezpur, at Dadhara the Jyoti-Bishnu khelpathar is an important attraction. The fields are used for various cultural events.
Education and Research
Tezpur University is a Central university offering courses in mathematics, humanities, sciences, nano technology, food technology, bioelectronics, information technology, engineering, business and tourism. Tezpur also has Indian statistical institute. The Assam Valley School, situated at around 15 km from Tezpur is a very high standard residential school established by Williamson Magor Group. The school was ranked as the 7th best boarding-school in the country in a survey by an independent magazine.
Other schools viz. Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Kendriya Vidyalaya No.2, Army Public School, Don Bosco High School, Sacred Heart High School, St. Joseph's Convent High School, Govt Boys Higher Secondary School, Govt Girls Higher Secondary School, Bengali Boys' H S School, Bengali Girls' High School, Guru Nanak Model School, Tezpur Academy, Tezpur Gurukul, Children's Paradise School, Maharishi high School, Asom Jatiya Vidyalaya and Carmel Residential School are the leading institutes of education in the town of Tezpur.
- Tezpur University
- KKH State Open University (Study Centre)
- Indira Gandhi National Open University (Study Centre)
- Darrang College
- Law College, Tezpur
- Tezpur College
- Tezpur Government Higher Secondary School (one of the oldest in the state)
- Tezpur Government Girls' Multipurpose Higher Secondary School
- Kendriya Vidyalaya No.2, Air Force Stn, Tezpur
- Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Solmara, Tezpur
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Central University, Tezpur
- Army Public School, Tezpur
- St. Joseph's Convent High School, Tezpur
- Don Bosco High School, Tezpur
- Guru Nanak English School, Tezpur
- Sacred Heart School, Tezpur
- Children's Paradise School, Tezpur
- LGBRIMH (Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health)
- Tezpur Medical College
- NERIWALM (North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management)
- North East Education (an authorized study center of Mahatma Gandhi University)
- Third Eye College (Study centre of Sikkim Manipal University)
- DOEACC Centre (Formerly CEDTI)
- DRL (Defence Research Laboratory)
- ISI ( Indian Statistical Institute)
- New NIIT Mission Chariali Centre, Tezpur
- JKTI (Joshi's Kohinoor Technical Institute)
Local areas/sites of interest
- Agnigarh - Also Usha-Aniruddha Udyan
- Bhairabi Temple - Durga shrine also known as Maithan or Bhairabi Devalaya
- Hanuman Mandir - temple of hanuman near the Bhairabi Temple
- Cole Park - Also known as Chitralekha Udyan
- Kolia Bhomora Setu - The 3.015 km long road bridge across the Brahmaputra
- Ketakeshwar Dewal - Shiva shrine
- Mahabhairav Temple - Shiva shrine
- Padum Pukhuri - Central lake with an island in the middle
- Rudrapath - Shiva shrine
- Bamuni Pahar
- Da Parbatia Gate of Gupta period
- Hazara pukhuri- Pond of gupta period
- Nag Shankar- Temple of lord Shiva
- Kanaklata Udyan
- Ganesh Ghat temple( For the temple as well the beautiful sunset of the Brahmaputra)
Nearby areas of interest
- From Tezpur by road Tawang (12 Hrs) / Bomdila (5 Hrs) / Kaziranga National Park (40 km) / Orang National Park (1hr)/ Nameri National Park (35 km) are very easily accessible.
- For Orchid lovers the Orchid sanctuary nearby i.e. Bhalukpong will be a bonus point for the hundreds of orchid varieties that are cultivated there.
- Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 40 km from Tezpur.
- Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, its about 52 km from Tezpur.
- PAKKE (a Tiger sanctuary) and EAGLENEST (a birding point) are also nearby.
- Moreover the Jiya Bharali River is an anglers' delight as angling / water rafting are allowed during winter seasons.
- Chariduar also hosts a number of Tourist Lodges amidst the tea gardens.
- ECO camps are also present in Bhalukpung / Nameri .Bhalukpong is a coveted place for picnics since it offers waterfalls and river rafting is also available in the nearby areas
- Also Episode 7 of Season 10th of Popular Reality Show MTV Roadies featured Tezpur.
- Kaziranga National Park ( Famous for One horn Indian Rhino ) is 70 km away.
Tezpur is located 190 kilometres (120 mi) from Dispur, the capital of Assam, and is well connected by both air and road transport. There are direct flights from Kolkata three times a week to Saloni, 8 kilometres (5 mi) from the city centre, and there is a daily bus service from Guwahati, 180 kilometres (110 mi) away, operated by both government and tourist buses. From Tezpur, tourist vehicles are available for hire for the nearby destinations of Bhalukpong and the Kaziranga National Park.
In 1987 the Kolia Bhomora Setu, over the Brahmaputra, was inaugurated connecting Tezpur to the southern district of Nagaon. The bridge is the longest over the river, spans a total length of 3,015 metres (3,297 yd), and has become a tourist attraction.
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