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A Walk in Medieval Past: Caves in Assam

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Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 14:52 [IST]
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Our mind goes to the One Horned Rhinoceros when we think of Assam, isn't it! Of course, not just the bounty of nature but vivid culture attracts travellers across the country. This beautiful state has everything that a traveller can vouch for! Amidst such beauty, finding age-old architectures is more interesting. Though these heritage structures are not very popular, they are worth exploring. Let us make a voyage around some beautiful caves in Assam!

Caves in Assam

Nilachal (Umachal Hills) is famous for Kamakhya Temple
Photo Courtesy: Vikramjit Kakati

Umachal Rock Cave

Some kids playing around in the woods found an interesting place. Yes, that is how the 5th century Umachal Rock Cave was discovered in Assam recently. It is also the oldest epigraphic heritage which has been found in this state. Umachal Rock Cave is located at Nilachal Hills near Guwahati.

Nilachal Hills is also called as Umachal Hills which is famous for the Kamakhya Temple. Umachal Caves is said to built by Surendra Varman (Mahendra Varman) of Varman Kingdom. The rock inscriptions which is in the Gupta Script mention the Surendra Varman as the patron. Umachal Rock Cave is a temple dedicated to Balabhadra, a form of Vishnu. However, it is interesting to see a Vaishnavaite Temple in a place which is known for a Shakti Peetha.

How to Reach Nilachal Hills

Nilachal Hills is around 7km from the city of Guwahati. First travel to Guwahati which is well-connected with all other major cities and then take a private vehicle to Nilachal Hills. Umachal Caves is still an unexplored destination.

Caves in Assam

Jogighopha Bridge

Jogighopha

Jogighopha is one of the simple yet exotic rock-cut structures in Assam. It is a group of five rock-cut caves belonging to the Salasthambha dynasty. Though, it can't be compared to the excellence of Ajanta and Ellora, these architectures have their own uniqueness. These are plain rooms carved out of grey rocks.

Jogighopha belongs to 655-900 AD and is one of the exquiste cave structures in Assam. It is located in a village named Jogighopha in Bongaigoan district on the banks of river Brahmaputra.

These structures are the reminders of a culturally rich era of Assam. They may not be well-known but these caves are some of the important rock-cut cave architectures of Medieval India.

How to Reach Bongaigaon District

Bongaigaon is around 185km from the city of Guwahati. It is well connected by road and rail transport. State-run and private buses from Guwahati goes Bongaigaon on a regular basis. Borjhar Airport (175km) is the nearest airport to Bongaigaon.

Read more about: caves, heritage, assam
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