Friday, March 12, 2010

Prospects of Ecotourism in Lakhimpur District

Subansiri River
Lakhimpur District is located in the northern part of upper Assam. The geographical location, bio-diversity of this area and also the colorful culture of the different indigenous groups supplement the area to make it a unique site for the tourist from India and as well as from abroad.

Journey to the upstream of Subansiri River
Till now there are many remote and unexplored areas which may provide an immense pleasure to some one coming from over crowded technically noised world.

Kakoi Reserve Forest
Lakhimpur is the home of several snow fed rivers, wet lands and reserve forests such as Pabha Reserve, Kakoi Reserve, Dullung Reserve, Subansiri Reserve; to name a few.

Upstream of River Subansiri

These reserve and their skirting snow fed rivers were once the home of divers fauna like the Asiatic Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Tigers, Slow Loris, Clouded Leopard, Wild dog(Dhole),Himalayan Black Bear,Sloth Bear, Marval cat, Swamp Deer, White winged wood duck, Bengal Florican, python, Fresh water dolphin, Golden Mahseer etc.But in the last two decades time all that has changed due to the large scale deforestation, population explosion, construction of big river dams and so on. Under this circumstance a properly channelized ecotourism policy and multifaceted approach for conservation of natural heritage is urgently needed.

Kohua bon on bloom
Yet despite the long history of habitat loss and degradation, the eco region still harbors an impressive biological diversity in the small fragments of habitat that lie scattered throughout the district. For instance the reserve forests in the district bears immense significance as far as biodiversity is concerned.

Dolphin Survey organised by "GREEN HERITAGE"

A huge numbers of medicinal, ornamentals and valuable timbers, bamboos and canes etc. are available in the hills and forests of Lakhimpur. Nature camps and trekkings can be organized in these reserve forest with the help of local forest dwelling people. In these forest rare species like climbing bamboo (Bambusa stractus) and Sia Nahar (Kayea assimea) is found widely. Apart from this more than 80 species of eye catching wild orchid varieties are scattered in these tropical evergreen forest.

Angling at Subansiri
River Subansiri, locally called “Tharichu” originates from Tibat in the central Himalaya. After traversing for a stretch of 208 Km through Arunachal Pradesh debouches near dullungmukh in Assam. Subansiri is famous for the mighty Golden Mahseer.

Ranganadi at Johing

Every winter lots of angler from different part of North East India and U.K. coms for angling. The downstream of river Subansiri is one of the very ideal habitate for Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica). But all that has changed due to the ongoing construction of 2000 M.W. mega dam in the river Subansiri.Experts say that in the near future the population of this Asia’s largest game fish and river dolphin will dwindle alarmingly.

Clouds over Kakoi Reserve Forest

On the other hand river Ranganadi is one of the sub-basin of the river Subansiri. The river originates from an elevation of 3440m bordering east kamang and lower Subansiri districts. In the upstream of this river there is some good potentialities of rafting and angling.

Satajan Wetland

Moreover the Bordoibam Bilmukh bird Sanctuary,Knowarbari doloni,Khabalu, Satajan wetland etc are some of the fascinating sites for migratory as well as residential bird watching in Lakhimpur. Bordoibam Bilmukh bird sanctuary is an ideal sanctuary shared shared between the Lakhimpur and Dhemaji District-diverse natural heritage and picturesque surrounding of green and sleepy mising village can easily attract any nature lover.

A Group of Assamese women going for Traditional fishing

This ideal birding site was formed after a massive earthquake that occurred in the year 1950. Apart from several endangered aquatic birds like adjutant stork and fishing eagles, some most endangered migratory water bird seek refuge amidst its cozy sanctum during the freezing Siberian, Tibetan and European winters. The eminent biodiversity zone of Bordoibam Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary is located about 50 km from the Lakhimpur town.

Tea Garden

There are nine tea gardens and tea estate in Lakhimpur district. Almost all tea garden in lakhimpur is situated in the fringe of thickly forested foot hills of Eastern Himalaya. This eastern Himalayan region is also one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world. In the recent times tea tourism, which can be called one part of ecotourism has become quite popular. People all over the world know Assam as the land of ‘two leaves and a bud’.

Tree top house inside the forest

These tea estates, their beautiful ambience, colorful people, the old heritage bunglows of the Managers, some of which were setup by the British, may blend memories of the past to make Assam a nostalgic destination for many tourist of Europe, Japan and U.S.A. One permanent eco camp can be constructed in the vicinity of Ananda T.G. and Subansiri river.

Crops field at Majuli

This will provide good opportunity for those who are interested in Angling, Trekking and nature study.

Basudev Tample

Apart from these the district of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji and Majuli have also some historical place and monuments like lateku pukhuri, podumoni than, Basudev than, Malinithan , Rajgarh road and vaisnav satras etc.These are some ancient and important centers of Pilgrimage and cultural Tourism.

People crossing Subansiri in a country boat.
(All Photographs by : Bhaskar Bora)

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