Goalpara district is situated on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra. The district covers an area of 1,824 sq. km. and is bounded by West and East Garo Hill districts of Meghalaya on the south and Kamrup district on the East, Dhubri district on the West and mighty river Brahmaputra all along the North. The climate is moderate in the district during the winter and in summers it is hot. Rain makes its first appearance in the month of April with occasional & irregular light showers. This rain occurs due to the influence of North-Eastern wind. Monsoon rain normally begins from the first part of June and very heavy rains occur in the district till the month of October. The maximum temperature is 33ºC during July & August and the minimum temperature dips down to 7 ºC in January. The district is primarily agrarian, because 90% of the population depends for their livelihood on agriculture.
How to reach Goalpara
Goalpara, situated at a distance of about 140 km west of Guwahati and about 75 km from Bongaigaon and can be reached by road and railway. The College situated in the heart of the town is very near to the ASTC bus stand and is about 5 km from the Goalpara town railway station.
Attractions of Goalpara District
Sri Surya Pahar
Sri Suryapahar (26°5’N, 90° 42′ E), an important archeological site of historical and religious importance located on the southern part of the Brahmaputra River and about 12 km southeast of Goalpara town. Composed of 7 (Seven) peaks, spanning over an area of approx. 1400 acres (583.33 Hec) the site also gets the name of “Hateli”, which is located about 13 Kms away from Goalpara town, on the western side. Because of its archeological importance, Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has protected this site of National Importance. It is also a historical site famous for its terracotta, wonderful and exquisite pieces of rock-cut sculpture depicting deities of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. This combination is a rare phenomenon.
One can get a panoramic view of the Brahmaputra and the confluence of the Dudhnoi and Krishnai rivers near Ujir’s Char village in the northern direction from the Suryapahar. In this site innumerable statues and engraving of idols, Shivalings caressed by streams, Stupas- some as tall as four feet and Caves are found. The ASI started excavation in the site from 1984 and unearthed rock- Votive Stupas on a giant single rock, lord Vishnu with twelve hands, Goddess Durga (Mahisasuramardini), rock cut panel of Vishnu, Hari Hara, Lord Shiva, Jain Tirthankaras, Panchyatna Temple Complex, Water Reservoirs, existence of well constructed pucca structures among others. The excavated sites are believed to be of Post-Gupta Era. As per popular belief, there exist one less than a lakh Shivalingas in total in Surya Pahar, which tragically fails it to claim the place as Kashidham! However Suryapahar may be considered as the second Kashidham.
An ancient Hanuman Temple exists near Surya Pahar and contains ancient idols. A great Mela “Sri Sri Surya Mela” is held every January in the Suryapahar site for three days, starting on Maghi Purnima day. Thousands of devotees and visitors throng there during the period. Visitors from other places including foreigners, visit this famous archeological site. According to tradition, the name Sri Suryapahar was derived from the image of Surya Devata (The Sun-God).It is the only site in the entire North-Eastern region where people and the monarchs of the ages belonging to different faiths had perhaps enjoyed a common platform for worshipping their own Gods and Goddesses and Avatars.
It is also a site of natural and ecological importance as it harbours good number of indeginous flora and fauna. Among the fauna the most prominent one is the Capped langur (mistaken as Golden langur my layman) which is categorized as Schedule-1 by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, 2019. The common flora are Tectona grandis (Segun), Ficus bengalensis (Bor gosh), Careya arborea (Koroi), Tetrameles nudiflora (Bhelu), Terminalia bellerica (Bohera), Bombax ceiba (Simolu), Gmelina arborea (Gamari) etc.
Dadan hill having a Shiva Temple on its top, was established by DADAN, one of the General of King Bana of Sonitpur. There are some mythological stories reflecting various events on the foot hills of Dadan on the bank of river Dariduri.
It is believed that the General, a devotee of Lord Shiva, killed a wild elephant with his sword on this spot which came often and disturbed him in his meditation, now may be witnessed in the form of a stone (resembling an elephant) which is lying on the bank of river Dariduri. Thousands of people specially from the tribal, Rabha community gather on the above mentioned spot to worship Lord Shiva , once a year specially in the month of February. The area is thickly forested with rivers and waterfalls inhabited by people of the Rabha community. Besides the religious aspect the entire area is rich in scenic beauty.
The turbulent rivers, the mystic blue hills, the savage terrains and serene countryside beckon the adventures. The hills of Goalpara district particularly Rakhyashini, Tukreswary are attractive for those who would love trekking and rock climbing. The monkey of Trukreswari hills who are never daunted even by arms and uniforms would offer funny pranks to the visitors to the temple and the hill.One should not be surprised seeing them pose elegantly before a camera. These hills are also unique in structure to provide an idea and experience to the learners of rock climbing.
Majar – Sharif of Pir Saheb
The MAJAR – SHARIF of Sufi Saint Shah Sayed Nasiruddin Kaderi, commonly known as “BAGDADI” is situated at Jaleswar-Katarihara , 60 km away from Goalpara Town by road. The saint is said to have come from Bagdad, capital of Iraq and therefore he was called Bagdadi.
On the 8th day of Assamese calendar month “Magh” coinciding with 21st January, each year, thousands of people cutting across religious faiths from different parts of Assam and West Bengal congregate at this Majar sharif to participate in the “UROS MUBARAK” – death anniversary of the spiritual leader and seek his blessings.
The “MAJHAR” (tomb) of Hazarat Sayed Abul Kasem Kharasani, situated at the heart of Goalpara town, is a place much revered by the people of all religious faiths. It is the practice of both Muslims and Hindus of Goalpara to offer money and candle and pray for fulfilment of desire and seek blessing from the Pir Saheb. Every year the “UROS-MUBARAK” – death anniversary of the Pir is observed at the “MAJHAR-SARIF” on the 21st day of lunar calendar month of “Safar”. People coming across of all religious belief throng in thousands to participate in the “UROS”. It is said that the Pir lived a long life of about 150 years and died at Goalpara in the year 1896 AD.
Sri Sri Shyamrai Satra
The Shyamrai Satra the center of Vaishnavite culture and religion was established in the centre of the town, Goalpara about 366 years ago. Since then, the Satra has been continuing upholding vashnavite culture. Regular “NAM PRASANGA” etc. are held systematically with the observance of the religious festivals every year. One of the very important aspects of the Satra is that the Satra authority has preserved the “ASTHI” (a piece of bone) of Sri Manta Sankardeva which is exhibited in the Satra campus during Sankar Jayanti period i.e., in the month of Sukla Dasami (during September-October).
Sri Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math
Sri Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math was established at Goalpara in the year 1969 in order to protect, preserve and expand Sri Krishna Chaitanya culture in the area on a plot of land at the center of the town. Regular puja Sangkirtan etc. are held in the Math regularly. A large numbers of devotees from different parts visit the Math regularly. During some important annual festival devotees from different part of the country including foreigners attend the Math.
Buraburi Than, Mothertola
BuraBuri Than located on the bank of the River Brahmaputra near Jaleswar is a prominent religious spot. The than, which stands as a symbol of National Integration since people from all groups i.e., Hindu, Muslim etc. participate in the religious function here. Long years ago the Cow boys (Rakhals) used to take “Payas” (Milk made rice) as “PRASAD” regularly which was offered to them by Bura Buri (an Old man and an Old Woman) As the myth goes the said Bura buri turned into stone.
Sri Sri Joybhum Kamakhya
Out of 51 “SAKTI STHAL” of Hinduism covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nepal, Sri Sri Joybhum Kamakhya is one of the Saktisthals located in this district on the bank of the river Brahmaputra at a distance of about 50 Km from Goalpara Town. Originally the area was predominated by tribal population and Puja in tribal custom is offered to the Goddess regularly. Devastating earthquake in the 17th century caused great damage to the temple. However, the Zamindar of Meshpara reconstructed the temple The temple is located at the top of a hillock and its natural scenery of the spot as a whole is matchless. There is a Shiva temple also by the side of the Joybhum Kamakhya Temple. Devotees from different parts of India assemble in the temple during the festival in the month of October every year for offering puja to the Goddess of Power.
Nandeswar Devalaya located on the top of Nandeswar hill by the side of river Dudhnoi, is believed to be established in the 10th or 11th Century AD. It is one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva in the district. Important religious festivals like Dol jatra, Durga Puja and Shivaratri are celebrated in this temple.
The Tukreswari Temple located in Tukura, about 15 Kms from Goalpara Town is a famous place of religious importance in Goalpara district. According to the religious beliefs, a portion (Tukura) of Goddess Sati fell down in this place and hence, the temple is recognized as Tukreswari.. There are two temples on the top of Tukreswari hill. One is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the other is known as Joya- Vijoya temple.
Rangsapara village: Cleanest village in Assam
Rangsapara village is an alluring tourist spot, situated about 16 km from Goalpara town. It was declared Assam’s cleanest village in the year 2016-17 by the Public Health Engineering Department. The thought of cleanliness was imbibed in the year 1990 at the initiative of present village headman Roverth John Momin. The villagers formed a managing committee in 2000 with four resolutions – peace and unity, clean and hygienic toilets, clean drinking water and cleaning the village on Wednesdays by men and on Saturdays by women. They have developed a proper waste management system using bamboo-made dustbins, both for bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste.