Saturday, July 17, 2010

A day in Likabali

This is probably the least touristic place I've ever visited in my life, but still the experience wasn't bad at all. The article is going be less wordy, for the above reason.

From Tinsukiya, we crossed Dibrugarh to reach Bogibeel on the banks of the mighty Bramhaputra river. Bogibeel, better known as "ferry-ghat" among the locals, is the only place in the eastern Assam where one can cross Bramhaputra river on ferry. While doing so one can also see the gigantic on-going project on the right - a bridge crossing Bramhaputra river, which may take another decade to finish. The ferry ride costs Rs. 50 per person and takes about 45min if you're lucky and you may get stuck indefinitely if you're not so lucky.

An army jeep with a driver, a JCO with an SMC and a soldier with an SLR were waiting for us at the other side of the river and drove us to Silapathar in Dhemaji district of Assam. The roads were terribly bad all the way upto Silapathar. It was raining outside and the day was gloomy, add to that the sight of Silapathar was very disappointing. There was absolutely nothing interesting and aesthetic in the town; we had to check into the one and only hotel in town, Nova Palace. Likabali is located 8km ahead of Silapathar.

MES officer Maj. Sudarshan was very kind to send his driver Sooraj, a very young and energetic chap, who drove us around Likabali. In the evening we went to the famous Malinithan archeological site in Likabali, though it was drizzling and windy. We took few photographs of the site and head to the picnic spot of the town, the Gaai river. It's an idyllic place with a calm shallow river, surrounded by verdant mountains. The uniqueness of the place was the colourful stones that were found on the banks. Knowing my photography lust, Sooraj drove us to the village which gave me few shots of the people and Bihu celebrations that were happening. We met Maj. Sudarshan for the tea and reached the hotel by twilight. The dinner consisted of delicious roti, dhal and biriyani.

The following day, we visited a view point and the Malinithan archeological museum, both located on mountain top that overlooks the Malinithan temple, after which we were given a grand ceremonial lunch by Col. Harish of Bengal Sappers. The same JCO accompanied by same jawans dropped us back to the banks of Bramhaputra. This time the weather was very pleasant and we took seat on the top most part of the boat, enjoying sublime views of the river.

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