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Rivers of India: The Brahmaputra

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Brahmaputra River
| Pasighat | Dibrugarh | Tejpur | Guwahati |

The Legend: Brahmaputra is regarded as the son of Lord Brahma. Legend has it that Lord Brahama was so impressed by the piety of sage Shantanu and his wife Amogha that he felt Amogha was the right person to bring forth his own son. Amogha bore Brahma's son. Shantanu then placed him in the midst of four mountains, the Kailash, Gandhamadana, Jarudhi, and Sambaka. The son assumed the form of a large mass of water where the Gods could have their bath. Deriving from this legend, the Brahmaputra is considered a male river even today.

Brahmaputra River map

The holy Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet is the source of the Brahmaputra.  The river covers a length of 2,850 km and meanders its way through three nations. The river traverses the entire Tibetan plateau, and then makes way into India, cutting into the Himalaya. It then enters Bangladesh before merging into the Bay of Bengal. The main tributaries of the Brahmaputra are the Amochu, Sankosh, Mans, Raidak, Bhareli, Dibang and Lohit.

The Brahmaputra traverses through the dry and flat region of southern Tibet before it breaks through the Himalayas near the Namcha Barwa peak at about 7,755 meters. The Brahmaputra in Tibet is known as the Tsang-po. The river is known by the name of Lohit in Assam and Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.

As the rivers Dibang and Lohit join the Siang, it is known by the name of Brahmaputra and flows into Assam. Brahmaputra is considered as the Ganga of Assam. Coming down from a place called Sadiya, south of Arunachal Pradesh, the Brahmaputra passes through Dibrugarh, Neamati, Tezpur, Guwahati, and finally joins Padma in Bangladesh. The river then joins the Meghna (in Bangladesh) before flowing into the Bay of Bangal.

Here are some important places on the banks of the Brahmaputra in India.


Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh is a lovely town situated on the banks of the Siang. The Brahmaputra is known by the name of Siang in Arunachal Pradesh. Pasighat is the headquarters of East Siang district and is situated at an altitude of 155 meters. Pasighat is Arunachal's oldest town.

Pasighat is known for the Lali Wildlife Sanctuary, which is popular for its population of wild buffalo, tiger, samber and deer. On a visit of the Pasightat, one can also get a glimpse of the famous Ponnung Dance of the tribals. The best time to visit Pasighat is from October to April. Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, 13 km from Pasighat is another important place of tourist interest. This sanctuary is located on an island and one needs to cruise through the Siang to reach the sanctuary. September to February is the ideal time to visit the sanctuary. Cranes, wild ducks, storks, water fowls and hornbills are common birds that one can see here.

Pasighat is a great place for adventure lovers too. River rafting and trekking are exciting adventure options that one can opt for. The Siang is ideal for river rafting both for the amateurs and professionals. One can raft from Gelling at Indo-China border to Pasighat. Trekking through the dense woods and forests from Pasighat to Yinkiong to Komsing is an unforgettable experience for the trekkers.

ccommodation in Pasighat is available at Circuit House and Inspection Bungalows. One can also opt to stay in various hotels located there.

Reaching Pasighat: Mohanbari near Dibrugarh is the nearest airport. Helicopter service from Guwahati is also available. The nearest railway station is Murkong Selek, 35 km from Pasighat. Travellers can reach Pasighat by hiring a taxi or taking a bus from Itanagar and Lakhimpur


Dibrugarh in Assam is an important town on the banks of the Brahmaputra. Dibrugarh is the headquarters of the Dibrugarh district. The town is considered the gateway to the three tea producing districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Jorhat. These three areas account for approximately 50% of India's Assam tea crop.

‘Dibrugarh’ is a made of two words - ‘Dibru’ once a tributary of the Bramhaputra and ‘Garh’ meaning fort. The old town of Dibrugarh was situated on the banks of River Dibru. During the great earthquake of 1950, the Bramhaputra changed its course and most of the old town was engulfed by it.

The major highlight of Dibrugarh is its Tea Gardens. One can stroll through various tea estates in Dibrugarh. A large number of tea estates are located along National Highway-37.

Reaching Dibrugarh: Mohanbari is the nearest airport, located 13 km from the heart of the town. Dibrugarh town is well connected by train with the rest of the country. There are train services that link Dibrugarh to Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and other parts of the country.

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Situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, Tezpur is approximately 200 km from Guwahati. Earlier known as Sonitpur, Tezpur is a city steeped in history and mythology. Tezpur reminds one of the romantic tales of Usha and Anirudha. Legend has it that Aniruddha, grandson of Lord Krishna fell in love with Usha, daughter of Banasura. When the Demon king came to know about the affair he threw Aniruddha into prison. Then Lord Krishna came to this place and a fierce battle ensued in which the whole area was drenched in blood. Hence the name Sonitpur - the city of blood emerged. Bana was killed and the lovers were united for ever.

Tezpur is known for its natural beauty and fascinating archaeological ruins. Cole Park is an important landmark in Tezpur. The park was established by British Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Cole. The park has two massive ornamented stone pillars, and the sculptural remnants of the famous Bamuni Hills. Orang Wildlife Sanctuary is 65 km from Tezpur. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 72 sq. km and is home to one-horned rhinoceros, buffalo, leopard, barking deer and tiger. Other places of tourist interest around Tezpur include Bhalukpung, Agnigarh and Nameri National Park.

Reaching Tezpur: Tezpur is well connected by air and rail transport. Tezpur is 4-hrs journey from Guwahati.


Well known for the famous Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati is the largest industrial and educational center on the banks of the Brahmaputra. Guwahati is also an ideal place to shop for handicraft items. State Government's department store, Pragjyotika at Ambari is a good place to shop for. There are several private shops in Pan Bazaar and Fancy Bazaar that one can visit for good buys.

There are many places of tourist interest in Guwahati. Kamakhya Temple is the main landmark in Guwahati. The temple is located on the Nilachal hill, where Goddess Kamakhya is worshipped. The temple commands a wonderful view of the city and the mighty Brahmaputra. The ponds here are the home of some giant turtles.

Assam State Museum is another important place of tourist interest in Guwahati. The museum is the biggest museum of the north-east region. Botanical Garden spread over 82 hectares of land is a must visit in Guwahati. It has an orchid house packed with 44 varieties of rare orchids. The garden has various types of palm, shrubs, herbs, conifers and broad leaved plants. Hajo, 25 km from Guwahati is another important place that one can visit.

Reaching Guwahati: The town has its own airport, which is connected with major cities of the country. Guwahati’s Paltan Bazaar Railway Station is an important terminus on the North-East Frontier Railway.

Read more on Kamakhya Temple and Guwahati

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