Established as the new capital in the closing years of the 18th century by the decaying and declining Tunkhungia Ahom Dynasty. Jorhat as the name signifies, was just a couple(Jor) of marts (Hut). From these two parallel marts namely Chowkihut and Macharhut, which lay on the eastern and the western banks of the river Bhogdoi. Jorhat today has grown into a thriving cosmopolitan town with a strong sense of character and identity. It is the best laid out town in Upper Assam with broad roads, cutting each other at right angles. The variety of heterogeneity of the town population, specially its business community – comprising of Punjabis, Biharis, Marwaries, Bengalis and even odd South Indian is something commendable. Yet each person, irrespective of his place of origin, who has made Jorhat his home is staunchly loyal to his adopted home and fully identifies with it. Urban, polite and polished behaviour is the distinguishing features of an average Jorhat man.
Jorhat is located between the Brahmaputra on the north and Nagaland on the south at 26 degree 46 minute’s north latitude and 96 degree 16 minute’s longitude in the central part of Brahmaputra Valley. “JORHAT” or “JOREHAUT” means two hats or mandis-“Macharhat” and “Chowkihat” which existed on the two different banks of the river Bhogdoi during the 18th Century, Jorhat was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. In the year 1794 the Ahom king Gaurinath shifted the capital from Sibsagar (erst-while ”Rangpur”) to Jorhat. This town was a flourishing and commercial metropolis but completely destroyed after a series of the Burmese invasions since 1817 till the arrival of the British force in the year 1824 under the Stewardship of David Scott and Captain Richard.
The British Rule, though, was not free from rebellions and revolutions, contributed to reemergence of this historical town. From the very first decade of the British rule, the great revolutionists who emerged were Gomdhar Konwar, Jeuram and Piyali, British system of administration, came into vouge in the year 1839 with an established Police Thana. During the great “Sepoy Mutiny” and Piyali Barua was sabotaged and these leader were hanged in public at this very place in 1858.
In 1885,a narrow gauge train services (Jorhat Provincial Railway)had come into operation and ultimately became instrumental in rapid growth of Tea Industry.
Though, the Civil Sub-division under Sibsagar district at Jorhat was formed in 1869,this great place was declared as administration head quarter of the undivided Sibsagar district in 1911 which comprised of the present Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat and parts of Karbi-Anglong district with Major A. Playfare as the first Deputy Commissioner.
Today Jorhat with its favourable geographical location is a must visit place which can offer you both gimps to the history and heritage of Assam with immense scope to visit some famous tourist destinations like Kaziranga National Park, Majuli, Sivasagar and hill town Mokokchung in Nagaland making Jorhat a base camp!!
The town can be reached using road, rail and flights. The road connectivity to Jorhat from nearby towns and cities is also good.
Jorhat By Air
Jorhat has an airport that is located nearby and it is called the Rowraih Airport. The place is connected to some of the main cities in the country such as Bangalore, Guwahati and Kolkata. It has flights to places such as Shillong and Dibrugarh as well. Taxis are available and if you are landing at the airport, these can be used to reach the town.
Jorhat By Train
The town of Jorhat has a railway station that receives two trains from Guwahati. The nearest major railhead is the Mariani Junction that is located around 17 km from the town itself. The frequency of trains passing through this place is higher. Taxis are available at both Jorhat Junction and Mariani Junction to the town center.
Jorhat By Road
The city of Jorhat is about 308 km from Guwahati, a distance that is covered in about 6 hours by regular buses connecting both the cities. There are state as well as private bus services that are used for transportation to and from the place. Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) runs buses to Guwahati, Tezpur, Sibsagar, Tinsukia, Dimapur, Itanagar and to Kaziranga.
Lachit Barphukan Maidam: Lachit Borphukan’s Maidam was constructed in memory of Lachit Borphukan, an Ahom general. The General is remembered for his bravery and for commanding the army against the Mughals at Saraighat in 1672. The vault was constructed in order to honour this warrior of the 16th century, who helped the Ahom rulers in defeating the Mughals.
Dhekiakhowa Bor Namghar: If you visit Assam as a pilgrim’s place or you want to see top religious places in Assam than Dhekiahkowa Bor Namghar is a must see in Jorhat District in Assam. Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar actually needs no description for those who belive in the spiritual gurus of Assam Shankardev and Madhavdev. This legendary Namghar was established in 1461 A.D. by Sri Sri Madhabdev, the disciple of Sri Sri Sankardev (the preacher & propounder of Vaishnavism in Assam & the father figure of Assamese culture). Sri Madhabdev came by a boat through the river that flows beside the Namghar (Assamese place of worship) and alighted in this place. A very poor family used to live in this place. They offered Sri Madhabdev Dhekia Sak (an edible green leafy plant) to eat which he thoroughly liked. So this Namghar came to be known as Dhekia (the plant) khowa (eaten) Namghar.
Kokilamukh & Shanti Ashrama: Situated only few kilometres away from Jorhat town on the banks of mighty Brahmaputra, Kokilamukh also has a historical background. It was here that Chandra Kanta Singha, one of the last of the Ahom kings was defeated by the Burmese. Another Ahom king Pratap Singha constructed a road along the Brahmaputra known as Bar-Ali from Dergaon to Garhgaon and Kokilamukh was an important place which touched this route. Later,the British first started their ferry service from Kokilamukh Ghat, and it was in 1912, that Nigamanda Param Shankha established the Shanti Ashram here. Purchasing an 80 bighas plot at Kumarveti Chapri village of Kokilamukh , the Math was instituted by Shri Shri Thakura Nigamananda with the asan of Gurubrhama in the propitious occasion of Akshay Tritiya on 7th Baisakh 1319 B.S. and named “Shanti Ashram”. Many species of migratory birds come to the water bodies lies across Kokilamukh and nearing Janjimukh from all over the world every winter. Around 200 species of birds throng the water bodies, and occupy about 2,108 hectares of land along the Brahamaputra from Kokilamukh to Janjimukh every winter. Among these there are many species of pelicans, swans and several species of ducks including greater adjutant storks, swamp partridge and Siberian cranes. Every winter, thousands of migratory birds of different species, including grey and white pelicans, flock to this area.
Nimati Ghat & Mou Chapori River Resort: Situated near Nimatighat on a small island of mighty Brahmaputra, Mou Chapori River Resort is a nice place at Jorhat. Its a small river island (on mighty Brahmaputra) and an ideal place for family outings. Cottages are pretty decent and available at affordable prices. The sunrise and sunset view over the river Brahmaputra is amazing. It has a wonderful children’s park.
Mariani: Mariani is a neighbourhood railway town of Jorhat City. It is about 17.5 km for Jorhat. Mariani is in the border of Nagaland. Mariani is famous for the diamonds Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located on the road side on the way to Nakachari from Mariani at a distance of 5 km, and also for its foreign goods market and that tasty Dhosa prepared by a railway vendor inside railway platform. This small town is surrounded by some of the largest tea gardens in India. It is also well connected with the rest of the country for it is an important railway junctions.
Ayur Sanjeeva Ayurvedic Resort: Situated at around seven kelometers away from main town amidst the greenery of the tea garden and having the vast open land Malow Pathar behind it and with the perpetual cool breeze coming from the nearby Brahamaputra, this resort is going to be the dreamland for nature lovers. The outsiders who have the curiosity for Assamese tea gardens can easily access the beauty and knowledge about it. Another centre of attraction in Ayur Sanjeeva is the Santhigiri Ayurveda Village. It is a division of Santhigiri Healthcare and Research Organisation. In this healthcare centre some chronic diseases are treated with Kerala’s age-old Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments and specialised Ayurveda and Siddha medicines. Among these diseases paralysis, arthritis, spondylities, rheumatism, muscular pains, sprains, dislocation, hypertension, sinusitis, migraine, diabetes, asthma, psoriasis, piles, fistula, obesity, jaundice, kidney disorders are remarkable.
Shyam Gaon, Titabor: Titabor Shyam Gaon, located around 20 km away from Jorhat town, is the picturesque village has an enticing old-world charm. It is very much similar to Naam Phakial Gaon in Tinsukia which trace their ancestry to the great Tai race. The village folk here speak a dialect similar to the language in Thailand and still follow the traditional customs and dress code of the great Tai race, which is found across South Asia, Southeast Asia and China. They are Buddhist in religion. They have their own separate scripts and has also preserved in a few manuscripts, which are mainly religious scriptures. These manuscripts are written in Tai-scripts, which are preserved in their village Vihars.
(The article is solely the opinion of the author. The views expressed here are solely personal and not in any way connected to any organisation or any political party ).