Overlooking the mighty Brahmaputra River, the newly inaugurated Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Center in Guwahati’s Pan Bazar area near the Shukreswar Temple provides a majestic, calm and peaceful environment for its visitors.
The beautifully made pedestrian-only heritage center has many amenities inside, like an Art Garden, a 170-year-old Heritage Bungalow, an open-air Amphitheatre, along with an under-construction glass building that will serve as a Café. The environment, with open grass amidst trees with art installations, activity space, and kids play area and viewing decks providing a breathtaking view of the majestic river Brahmaputra.
Lore has it that this was the place where the legendary Lachit BorPhukan surveyed the battle with the Mughal army, and despite being unwell, led his men against the Mughals, driving them away. Proposed expansion plans have a memorial dedicated to him in future expansions.
The Central Hall based on the theme ‘Life along the River’, showcases a collection of traditional fishing equipment. The walls have pictorial representation along with information on the theme. It displays paintings along with many other items, part of the traditional lifestyle of the people along the banks of the river.
A visitor who came for the first time said she was influenced by the pictures of the place that she saw on the internet. She said, “One of the things that really caught my eyes was the human-size chess and ‘snakes and ladders’ board in the play area. The place is very quiet and peaceful. I would recommend this place to my friends and family because it is a very nice place in Guwahati that we all should visit as we will get to know about our heritage and culture which the youth should know about.”
The project was undertaken by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) which included restoring of the old Deputy Commissioner’s Bungalow and beautification of the nearby area to make it a heritage center. It was inaugurated on October 3, by the Honorable Vice President Dr. M. Venkaiah Naidu on his visit to the state, in presence of the Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister Ashok Singhal, Queen Oja, Member of Parliament and Siddhartha Bhattacharya, MLA.
An official, maintaining anonymity, mentioned that on average around 80-100 people visit the place on weekdays and the number increases on weekends. The place is open for visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm while the heritage bungalow is open from 10 am to 8 pm on the same days.
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