Celebration Of World Tourism Day on the 27th of Sept,02 at 'Roja Mayong' Morigao

Mayong, hitherto known only for its traditional association with the occult, can very well become a tourist paradise if adequate attention is paid to tap its immense potential. Few other spots offer such a wide range of attractions – wildlife, archaeology, river tourism, cultural, heritage and pilgrimage tourism, etc. – confined within the same area as Mayong does. It was, therefore, in the fitness of things that TOURFED, in association with the North East Regional Office of India Tourism and the Roja Mayong Unnali Samiti, chose to observe the World Tourism Day at Mayong yesterday. The aim was to showcase the rich heritage and tourism potential of the area to the world outside.

Situated on the bank of the Brahmaputra at a distance of just 58 km from the city, Mayong is a tiny area with a most beautiful landscape. Forests, hills, rivers, wildlife, temples and other archaeological sites add to the splendour of the place. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary which has the highest concentration of the one-horned rhino with a population of around 70, is right at the centre of Mayong. Often called the mini Kaziranga because of its Kaziranga-like ambience, Pobitora is not getting the recognition it deserves due to lack of publicity. Mayong is an archaeologist’s delight and not many people are aware that the longest stone inscription in India is at Burhamayong. This 3.85-metre-long inscription dating back to several hundred centuries is yet to be deciphered. One can also see the historic fort built by Ahom king Pratap Singha in 1527 AD at Hatibagara here. A huge cave nearby is another attraction. Burhamayong abounds in sculptures of various types, and ancient weaponry like varieties of swords, shields, spears, bows and arrows, etc, have been preserved in the famous Kesaikhaity shrine here.

The best prospect that Mayong offers is for development of river tourism. In order to harness this great potential, TOURFED plans to operate river cruises from the city to Mayong from November 1. TOURFED chairman Amar Bora said the all-expense day-long trip would cover to and fro ride on a delux cruiser, sight-seeing at Mayong, and a visit to the Pobitora. “A tourist will be able to enjoy so many things at the same time – a few hours of river ride, sight-seeing and wildlife,” Bora said, adding “and all these things at a place so near to the city.” The Brahmaputra offers tremendous prospects for developing river tourism in the State. However very little has been done in this regard, he said.
The Regional Director of India Tourism SL Khyriem who was the chief guest of the day, was all praise for tourism prospects of Mayong and assured all possible help in turning it into a tourist destination. The highlights of the day’s programmes were a colourful cultural procession comprising Bihu dance, Karbi dance, Bodo dance, gosain yatra, rath yatra, biya naam, ai naam, pasoti naam, etc. besides an exhibition displaying ancient sculptures, manuscripts of scriptures and mantras and age-old weaponry, among others.

Despite the fact that Mayong is a virtual treasure-trove for the tourist, the sheer apathy of the Government in promoting the area is evident from the communication bottlenecks. The condition of the roads is pathetic and during the floods, the place remains cut-off from the city. A major bridge linking the Pobitora was washed away by the last floods and it is yet to be restored. Because of the abundance of ancient relics here, the people had urged the Government umpteen times to construct a museum to preserve these, but without any avail. It is heartening that private parties are now coming forward to promote Mayong as a tourist destination. With the increase in tourist flow, the local economy too is expected to receive a boost.

A unique feature of Mayong has been the presence of so many temples in so small an area. Apart from the Kesaikhaity temple, other shrines include Narasingha ashram, Ganesh temple of Hatimuria, Kacha Shila, Bhagavati and Lakshmi temple, Shildubi naamghar, Daipara Misamari Satra, Garabandha and Gauranga temple, Roja/Mayong Harimandir, Thargaon Shivamandir, etc.

From The above event is a clear example ‘How Poverty Can Be Eliminated Through The Development Of Sustainable tourism’.

Amar Bora/Chairman /TOURFED./Guwahati, Assam(INDIA)
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E-mail: aatoak71@yahoo.co.in