In January 2010, I went to Guwahati to attend a winter workshop in IIT Guwahati. IIT Guwahati (IITG) is located on the northern banks of Brahmaputra and has a series of hills and vast open spaces on others. The workshop-days I cherished the beauty of the campus and later, visited significant places in the city.
IITG has the academic buildings in the centre of the campus, the staff quarters at the north separated by a magnificent lake and the student hostels on another flank. I used to stay at one of the Boy’s hostel. One can view the distant mountains as a backdrop of the campus building from here.
The first rays of the Sun offers a mystic morning full of fog.
Due to winter and the presence of the lake nearby, the campus becomes temporary abode for various migratory birds.
The campus got a viewpoint from where one can view the whole campus and surrounding places. A morning-walk to the viewpoint would be a paradise to nature-lovers and bird-watchers.
On the final day of our workshop, the organizing committee took us for a river-cruise on Bramhaputra. Just before sunset, we reached the bank of the river. The river with the Sun in the background, the fisherman’s boat in it and the people in its bank cast a story we were living for a long time.
Soon we all embarked upon the cruise to move towards the estuary. The delta, being on the west, created a nice sunset silhouette for us.
After a long journey, we came back a the shore by evening. The next day, we had our train by afternoon. Hence, we hired a car to visit the famous Kamakhya temple in the morning.
Kamakhya temple is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Piths. It has four chambers known as Garbhagriho, Calanta, Pancharatno and Nrityo-mandapa.
One has to enter the temple via the chamber, Calanta. It houses small idols of Hindu Goddess along with some other sculptures of gate-keepers.
The garbhagriho panels have delightful sculptures of various Hindu gods and goddesses.
We took around 2-3 hours to visit the Kamakhya temple, being one of the popular destination at Guwahati. Afterwards, we moved to the station for departure. But, our train was late by 10 hours due to fog. Hence, we spent the time visiting nearby attractions: Assam State Museum and Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden. The museum comprises of numerous historical or anthropological testimonies in form of sculptures, journals, collectables, weapons and crafts. The testimonies, dated back to 7th to 11th AD, speaks for the dynastic and cultural changes Kamrup (now, Assam) faced over these periods.
I had a nice time visiting the collectables at the deserted museum.
Finally, we visited the zoo. The zoo is one of the biggest zoological gardens in the North-eastern region.
After visiting the zoo, we reached Guwahati station once again by late evening and left for our alma mater.