Nartiang Durga Temple -A 500 Year Old Shakti Peetha in Meghalaya State

Nartiang Durga Temple is a 500 year old temple and a  Shakti Peetha, located in West Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya, India. Huge monolith deity of Durga devi (Goddess Durga)  is the main deity at this temple. Ruins of a bygone era can be seen here in and around the temple premises.

A painting depicting how Shakti peethas like Nartiang Durga Temple originated
A painting depicting the story of how Shakti peethas like Nartiang Durga Temple were established.

Nartiang Durga Temple is one among the 52 Shakti peethas (or 108 Shakti peethas by another account).  Shakti peethas are situated in India and some of the other neighboring countries.  Shakti peethas are  significant shrines and pilgrimage destinations as per  Shaktism, the goddess-focused Hindu tradition.

It is believed that Lord Shiva carried the dead body of Goddess Sati or Durga Devi (first consort of Lord Shiva). God Shiva roamed around the universe with his consort’s body in grief. Using Sudarshana Chakra, Lord Vishnu cut her body into 52 parts. (Sudarshana Chakra  is a  flying wheel or discus like weapon, seen on the right rear hand of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu has four hands.) The places where the body of Sati devi or Durga Devi fell are known as Shakti peethas. These Shakti peetha sites are very sacred pilgrimage places for the Hindus.

Goddess Sati was the first consort of Lord Shiva. The second consort of Lord Shiva is Goddess  Parvati, who is believed to be the reincarnation of Goddess Sati.

The temple  complex is beautifully preserved and is a unique blend of Shakti Hinduism and Khasi-Jaintia (Assamese and Meghalaya traditions)  to revere Goddess Durga.

How Do I Go to Nartiang Durga Temple?

The nearest railway station is situated at Guwahati in the nearby state of Assam, at around 176 kilometers distance. the nearest major airport is also at Guwahati.

It takes around two hours of traveling to reach Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya state, from Nartiang Durga Temple. Imphal, the capital city of the nearby state of Manipur, is situated at around 425 kilometers away from this ancient temple.

What are the Timings of Nartiang Durga Temple?

NartiangDurga temple is open from 7 am to 8 pm, on all days.

Keibul Lamjao National Park – The Lone Floating Park in the World

Keibul Lamjao National Park is the lone floating park in the world, situated inside the Loktak lake in North East India. Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake among the Seven Northeastern states in Manipur state. Floating islands called Phumdis are the specialty of this lake.
Floating Islands in Loktak Lake
Floating Islands in Loktak Lake

Phumdis occupies a large portion of this lake. Phumdis is the combination of masses of soil , vegetation and organic matter in various stages of decay.

The largest of such Phumdis  in Loktak Lake is spread over an area of 40 square kilometers.  This island was declared as a National Park of India in 1977 . Its called Keibul Lamjao National Park. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only Floating National Park in the world.

="Brow-antlered
Brow-antlered deer or Sangai at Keibul Lamjao National Park in Loktak Lake

Keibul Lamjao National Park is habitat to  the endangered species of animal called  brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi) or Sangai (as per IUCN). It is  also called dancing deer. It is subspecies of Eld’s deer and is indigenous to Southeast Asia.

Loktak Lake is spread over an area of nearly 287 square kilometers. It is at an altitude of 2,521 feet (768.5 meters).  Sandra and Phubala are two other major islands. All the islands can be visited by tourists.

Loktak Lake was declared as a Ramsar site. “Ramsar Convention” was held in 1971, at Ramsar (Iran). An International treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands was signed at this convention.

Indian National Army  (INA) Museum

Moirang town is situated close to the lake. Indian National Army  (INA) Museum is situated here. Indian National Army  was founded in 1942, by  Indian Prisoners of War, who were captured by Japan. INA was disbanded in the same year. In 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose revived INA.  A bronze statue of Subash Chandra Bose in full uniform is there in front of the museum here.

How Do I Go to Loktak Lake?

Loktak Lake  is well connected by roads to Imphal. It is at around 40 kilometers from Imphal, the capital of Manipur state.

Loktak Lake Hotels and Resorts

Sendra Tourist Home is on the Sandra island. Phubala resort is situated on the Phubala island.

 

Nameri National Park & Tiger Reserve

Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve is  is situated at Sonitpur District, Assam, India. It is also a habitat for Indian elephants.

Wild Elephant inside Nameri National Park
A Wild Elephant inside Nameri National Park

This wildlife park is spread over 200 square kilometers. Nameri National Park is contiguous to  Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary on the northern side.

Jia Bhoroli river  passes through Nameri Tiger reserve.  Angling (fishing using fishing rods) is a famous activity in this river. Golden mahseer is found in large numbers in this river. This river is called Kameng River in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.  This river was earlier known as Bhareli River. Jia Bhoroli  is the name of the river in the state of Assam.

The dense forests of Nameri National Park are rich in flora. There are  around 600 species of plants here in this wildlife sanctuary. Many varieties of orchid plants  are also found here.

This wildlife park is also rich in fauna. This is a ‘project tiger’ reserve. This project is aimed at saving Bengali Tigers or Benal Tigers, a  species of tiger found mainly in the Indian sub-continent.

This reserve forests are habitat to a large number of Elephants.  A large number of other species of wild animals are also found here in these forests. Around 300 bird species are also found in this wildlife park.

Cattle grazing is major cause of human-animal conflict in this forest.

How Do I Go to Nameri National Park?


Nameri National Park is at a distance of 9 kilometers from Chariduar, the nearest village.

Tezpur, river Brahmaputra,  is the nearest city, at a distance of around 38 kilometer from this wildlife sanctuary. the railway station code for Tezpur railway station is TZTB.  Salonibari Airport or Tezpur Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of around 32 kilometers. This small airport is connected to Guwahati and  Kolkata. Guwahati  is at around 220 kilometers away from this protected forests.

The Greater Indian One-horned Rhinos at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Pobitora wildlife sanctuary  is a wildlife reserve which is home to The Greater Indian one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis),  a vulnerable species on the The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, in Morigaon district, Assam, India.
The greater one-horned rhinoceros or The Indian rhinoceros at Pobitora wildlife sanctuary
The greater one-horned rhinoceros or The Indian rhinoceros at Pobitora wildlife sanctuary

Pobitora wildlife sanctuary is spread over 38.6 square kilometers in the  flood plains of River Brahmaputra. The greater one-horned rhinoceros  or The Indian rhinoceros habitat inside this wildlife sanctuary is limited to just 16 square kilometers area.

The horn is seen in both males and females. Cubs does not have the horn; it is seen when they grow up to around 6 years. The single horn normally has a length of around 25 centimeters. The largest recorded weight of The Indian rhinoceros is 4,000 kilograms.

It is the second largest land mammal native to Asia, after Asian elephants. Total number of Indian Rhinos is estimated to be 3,555 as per 2015 count.

Pobitora sanctuary has the highest density of rhinos in the world whereas Kaziranga National Park is home to around 70% of the The Indian rhinoceros (highest concentration of rhinos). Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is another sanctuary in the same state, where you can find  the greater one-horned rhinoceros or The Indian rhinoceros.

This wild life sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. This wildlife sanctuary is also home to 375 species of birds, both migratory and resident birds.  14 of them are listed in the Indian red book (vulnerable species). It is also home to many a wild animals like Leopard, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Wild pigs, Feral Buffalo, Chinese pangolins, etc.  27 reptile species and 9 amphibians species are also found in this wildlife sanctuary.

Activities at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Elephant ride, River cruise on Country boat and Jeep safari are available in this wildlife sanctuary. Pobitora wildlife sanctuary elephant ride booking charges are INR Rs 800 per person. River cruise for 1.5 hours costs INR 3500 per person.  Jeep safari costs Rs 2000 per Jeep, which can accommodate 6 persons.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary Accommodation

Different type of Pobitora wildlife sanctuary accommodation are available.  Luxury accommodation ranges from mud huts costing INR 4720 per night, to suits costing INR 15,360 per night. Luxury Dormitory charges are INR 1000 per bed. Deluxe Cottage costs INR 3500 per night. Standard accommodation costs INR 1575 per night. Standard cottage costs INR 2200, for 5 people.

Food is also available here, on extra payment.

How Do I Go to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary?

Pobitora wildlife sanctuary is at a distance of around 48 kilometers from Guwahati by road. It takes around one hour’s drive to cover this distance. Guwahati is well connected by road to other parts of India. There is a major railway station at Guwahati. There is also an international airport at Guwahati.

Pobitora wildlife sanctuary contact phone number is 098540 40004.

Pobitora wildlife sanctuary opens at 10 am and closes by 5 pm.

Largest Tai Ahom Monuments – Talatal Ghar and Kareng Ghar

Talatal Ghar is the ruins of a magnificent 17th century structure and is the largest of all Tai Ahom monuments situated  in Rangpur, Assam state of India. Talatal Structures was built by the most powerful ruler of the Ahom kingdom (1228–1826), King Swargadeo Rudra Singha. He shifted the capital of Ahom dynasty from Garhgaon to Rangpur in AD 1702-1703, and remained as the capital for another 100 years or so.
Talatal GharTalatal Ghar’s has four floors above ground and is called Kareng Ghar.

The three underground floors  are called Talatal Ghar. It was constructed in AD 1698 and was used for military purpose. There seems to be two secret tunnels in the underground portion, which were used as exit route during emergency, it is yet to be confirmed.

Talatal Ghar
A Portion of Kareng Ghar

After the capital was shifted to Rangpur, four floors were added to Talatal Ghar, above the ground level. The four top floors are called Kareng Ghar.

The whole structure, i.e Talatal Ghar and Kareng Ghar, is known as Rangpur Palace. The palace is surrounded by a fort built of bricks. There is an also an earthen fort with dikes, which was filled with water during those days. There is also an ammunition and gunpowder store near the palace.

After King Swargadeo Rudra Singha’s death (reigned from 1696–1714), the Rangpur Palace saw many architectural alterations.

Tourists can view the top four floors. Underground floors are sealed.

How Do I Go to Talatal Ghar Ruins?

The ruins are located at a small town, at around 8 kilometers from Sivasagar.

The nearest railway station is at Sibsagar. Sibnagar is at around 8 kilometers distance from these magnificent Tai Ahom Monuments.

The nearest MAJOR railway station is at Guwahati, around 363 kilometers away. It is connected to all major Indian cities. There is an international airport also at Guwahati City.