About Goalpara District :
The present Goalpara district was created in the year 1983 with two sub-divisions viz Goalpara Sadar sub-division and North Salmara Civil sub-division, carved out from erstwhile Goalpara district. However, the same was again reconstituted in the year 1989 with only Sadar sub-division of Goalpara and the Civil sub-division of North Salmara was taken away in that year and merged with newly created Bongaigaon district. At present the district of Goalpara is situated entirely on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra.The district covers an area of 1,911 sq. km. and is bounded by West and East Garo Hill districts of the state of Meghalaya on the south and Kamrup district on the East, Dhubri district on the West and mighty river Brahmaputra all along the North. In the district, 90% of the population depend their livelihood on agricultureThe principal agriculture produce are Paddy, Jute, Green and Black Gram and Potato etc. Located on the foot hills of Meghalaya and on the Bank of the mighty river Brahmaputra , Goalpara district is endowed with its scenic beautyThe evergreen forests on low hills with its undulating landscape, if harnessed properly, will attract tourists of all hue to this district.
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Tourist Places :
Surya Pahar :Sri Suryapahar (26o 5/ N , 90 o 42/ E ), a site famous for archeological remains, lies in the Goalpara district. 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.
Dadan Hillock :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.
Pir Majhar :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 “RAKHAL” (Cow boys) 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 :Nandeswar Devalaya is one of the oldest devalayas (Shiva Temple) established on the top of Nandeswar hill which stands by the side of river Dudhnoi. There is reason to believe that the temple was established in the 10th or 11th century AD. Shivaratri, Durga Puja and Dol jatra festivals are celebrated in the temple.
Tukreswari :Tukreswari Temple is also a famous religious spot located by the side of National Highways 37 at Tukura about 15 KM from Goalpara Town. As per religious faith a portion of (TUKURA) the Goddess Sati fell in this place and therefore the temple is known as Tukreswari. Two temples are there at the top of Tukreswari hill , one is a Shiva Temple and the other is known as JOYA- VIJOYA. Temple.