PLACES OF INTEREST
Diphu : A decade ago, it was a tiny village railway station on the North-East -Frontier Railways. With the establishment of headquarters of the District Administration as well as of the District Council Karbi in 1951, it has gradually developed into a town. The present population of the town is about 5,000 . It is a centre of various educational institutions like Govt. College, three High Schools including one Govt. High School, Hindi Teachers' Training Schools and Industrial centre of the district . There is a plywood factory . Besides, there are saw mills, rice mills, Atta Chakis in and around the town. It is also an important commercial centre of the district. Timber, coal, cotton, makai etc., are the chief exports, of the town. A weekly bazar is held on Wednesday. The town is well connected with Manipur-Road , Nowgong, Lumding and Lanka by motorable roads.
Howraghat : Howraghat area is known as the granary of Karbi . The weekly market of Howraghat is the biggest market of the district . The main arrivals of the market are paddy, rice, jute, cotton, mustard and til seeds. Besides, the headquarters of Howraghat Community Development Block, there is a Police Station . Howraghat is situated on the bank of the Jamuna river which makes the natural boundary between the district of Nowgong and Karbi. It is nearly at a distance of 108 km. from Diphu , the district headquarters. There is regular bus service from Diphu to Howraghat. It is also connected with Nowgong and Hojai, the nearest railway station, by motorable road.
Bokajan : Bokajan , a railway station on the North-East -Frontier Railways is another important marketing centre of the district . Bokajan area is famous for tea and sugar cane cultivation. The sugar cane is mainly exported to the Assam Co-operative Sugar Mill, Dergaon in Sibsagar district . The other exports are paddy , mustard and til seeds etc. It is also the headquarters of the Bokajan Community Development Block and Bokajan Police Station. It is linked with Diphu and Manipur- Road by road. There is one rice mill and one plywood factory. The construction of cement factory by the Cement Corporation of India has brought the place into prominence. The estimated cost of the factory will be Rs.10.71 crores and will produce 600 tonnes of cement daily. Thee will be a small township near the factory for the workers and employees of the factory.
Nij-Rongkhang : Nij-Rongkhang otheraise known as Rongbonghom is atypical Karbi village situated on a hillock about 48 kms. from Baithalangso. It is the seat of Karbi culture and traditions where the traditional Karbi Pimpos are supposed to reside round their chief Lindokpo. The village is divided into various artus (Suburi in Assamese). In Rongkhang Artu, there are thirty Pimpos, and Rongkhang Lindok is thehead of that Artu. In Rongchecho Artu there are fifteen Pimpos and Rongcecho is the head. The Killing Artu consists of three Pimpos and Rongpi Lindok is the head. Ronghang Lindok is the head of all and is called Karbi-Recho (King of Karbis). Traditionally the village maintains all the paraphernalia of the Karbi customs and the inhabitants of the village still adhere strictly to traditional code of life. The place is connected only with bridle paths.
Socheng : Socheng is another village about 16 kms. away from Nij-Rongkhang which according to tradition was established by the legendary Karbi king Rongbonghom. It is now as deserted place covered with thick forest and infested with bears. Some snake figures cut-out of the stones blocks, tow of which are known as Bilai Thenlon and Bilai Lindo. There are also many other statues of stones representing heroes of the Karbis. One such represents the Thong Nokbe, the great legendary figure who fought the Kacharis and the Khasis. The Pimpos once worshipped these snake figures. Besides the historical and other important places mentioned above, Karbi contains enormous ruins of temples and buildings which may be placed between 600 and 1200 A.D. The remains in the area show that the shrines were dedicated to different deities and some of the specimen indicates strong non-Aryan influence. The following areas reveal the architectural remains :
Tarabasa : Situating at about 41 kilometres from Diphu , the place is connected by P.W.D. Road with the head quarters of Karbi . There were discovered the ruins of an old temple. Among the ruins broken pillars and decorated stone - pieces were found. All these are now covered with jungle near which a new village with 1,020 inhabitants has sprung up. There is a weekly hat at Tarabasa which sits every Saturday. All the necessities of every day life can be purchased in this hat. No survey of these ruins to ascertain the time and school of architect of the temple has yet been done. Some such architectural remains also have been discovered at PHULANI, DIGHALPANI, MOUDANGA, and DEOPANI. In Deopani area there are remains of old temples and brick-built edifices of different gods like Siva and Vishnu, which according to scholars belong to 9th to 12th century A.D1. Phulani situates at about 56 kilometres distance from Hojai of Nowgong district and the P.W.D. Road from Hojai to Diphu just passes by it. There is a weekly hat which is held every Thursday at Phulani. Position of Dighalpani is 20 kilometre from Hojai. A Kachha road links it with Hojai-Diphu P.W.D. Road . Nearest town to Deopani is Golaghat (Sibsagar district ) which situates at about 33 kilometre from it . Many things of archaeological interest including figures and floral designs are found scattered around it . At present Deopani is a village inhabited by about 1,050 souls as per the 1971 Census. A kachha road and also a pucca P.W.D. Road join this place with P.W.D. Road from Golaghat. There is a Post and Telegraph Office at Deopani. Public Health Department has constructed both ring wells tube wells in the village for providing drinking water to the inhabitants. Nearest weekly hat is Holow Khowa village , sits on every Thursday and its distance from Deopani is only 3 kilometres on foot. Moudanga situates near Mathanguri Tea Estate which is about 28 kilometre by kachha road from Golaghat. The nearest available weekly hat is that of Bogijan T.E. which sits weekly on Thusday.
Nabhanga : On Mahamaya Pahar which is about 78 kilometres from Diphu and 12 kilometres from Teteliguri, there are extensive ruins of brick edifice which surrounded a temple in the ancient times. The remains of the is still there. There are also remains of tanks, earthen garh and stone engravings well decorated with different figures and motiffs. Its door lintel depicts scenes similar to those from Tezpur and Dah-Parbatia. The date ascribed to these archaeological finds by Dr. P.C. Choudhury , is 9th century A.D. or earlier.2
Asalu : It is a Zemi Naga village . From 1853, it was the Sub-divisional head-quarters of the North Cachar Hills which was then under the district of Nowgong. In 1880, the Subdivisional headquarters were shifted to Gunjung. There is still one old broken fort of stones. There is an Inspection Bungalow of Public Works Department. It is about eleven kms. east of Mahur on the Mahur_Laisong Road.
Garampani : It is situated on the right bank of the Kopili river at abot 122 Kms on the Shillong- Silchar Road. It is a good place for holiday makers. Apart from its beautiful sceneries there is a hot spring where a kund named Anunsuya Kund has been recently constructed . The Kund was donated by the then Governor of Assam, Shri Shri Prakasha, in memory of his wife. The visitors can enjoy both hot and cold bath and fishing in the river Kopili. A few miles away towards the east there is reserved forest where wild animals abound in. It is therefore, a very good place for hunting too. The Kopili Hydro-electric Project when completed will have an added beauty to the place.
Haflong : Haflong is situate on the spur of the Borail range about 3,117 feet above sea level having a population of 3,265 persons. The town is prettily laid out with shady paths and artificial water. From Missionary Hill, the Lovers Leap and various other points, magnificant changing views can be had of the thickly covered valleys of the Ruby and Diyung rivers lying far below with the dark back- ground of the Borail rising to 6,000 feet in the cloud capped peaks of Mahadeo. haflong is rapidly becoming a popular sanitarium for the tea planting community of Assam. As a centre for tourists of sport in the North Cachar Hills , it is ideally situated as its good bridle paths lead to all parts of the Subdivision. Excellent fishing can be had in the Jatinga, Diyung and Kopili rivers and big game shooting can be obtained by those who have time at their disposal and are adventurous.
The Subdivisional Magistrates' Court was transferred to this place from Gunjung in 1896, and since then it is the Subdivisional headquarters of the North Cachar Hills subdivision. The offices of the District Council of the North Cachar Hills autonomous District are also located here. There is a Degree College, a Government High Schools . and civil Hospital. It is also an important trading centre of North Cachar Hills and a weekly bazar is also held here. The place is an important railway station on the N.F. Railway between Lumding and Badarpur railway Stations. It is connected with Shillong and Silchar by jeepable road.
Khorongma : In Dimasa Kachari khorong means barrier and ma means big. It therefore means a big strong fence or fort. It is said that a strong garrison of the Kachari Kings used to be kept at Khorongma during the time of Gobinde Chandra and Tularam.
The place is also called Bill Sagai in Synteng or Pnar. One Synteng or Pnar Chief named Sajar Nangli is said to have been living here for long time before the Kachari rule. He is said to have constructed the 3 artificial lakes which are still in existence and one is of considerable size almost like the lake of the Haflong town. The whole area is encircled by the two parrallel deep trenches and with the exceptions of few connecting points there are many trenches between these lakes which are still difficult to penetrate. It is on Shillong-Silchar Road at 144.84 kms. and at a distance of 132 kms from Haflong by motorable road.
Maibong : Maibong is an important railway station on the N.F. Railway between Lumding and Badarpur railway stations. It is now th project headquarters of the Diyung Valley Community Development Block. It is big marketing centre of the district . The main arrivals to the weekly market are cotton, mustard , till seed , rice, ginger, etc. Besides , there is one hospital, one leprosy colony and one M.E. School. The place is situated at a distance of 39 kms from Lower Haflong and connected with it by a jeepable road.
'Maibong' is a Kachari word, Mai means paddy or rice and Bang or Gabang means plenty i.e. a place where there is a plenty of paddy or rice . It was the second capital of the Kachari Kings. After abandoning Dimapur the Kachari king moved his capital south east to Maibong on the Mahur river. In 1706, to escape the Ahoms , the Kacharis fled southwards to Khaspur in Cachar district and discarded Maibong. The remains of brick ruins and rock sculptures at Maibong show that Maibong must once have been a thriving place . The ruins are probably the remains of the palace of the Raja, but the walls have been almost entirely demolished and it is hardly possible to trace even the out line of the building . Two rock cut inscriptions were also discovered in Maibong. There are also some fifteen rock sculptures in different states of preservation, eleven of which represent foot and one a horse soldier, one a horse, one a tiger, and one a tortoise3. There is a specimen of a rock-cut temple of the Kachari king on the bank of the Mahur river. It is curved out of a huge rock of black stand stone with a fairly commodious plinth area of rectangular dimension. The temple was designed to house the tutelar war goddess Ranchandi or Mahamaya of the Kachari King.
Remains of Bolson, Kharitong, Kobak and Derabara : There are ancient monolithic groups at Bolson, Kharitong, Kobak and near Derabara. The monolithic group at Bolson are grave-yards of some clans (Syntengs or Pnars) of the Khasi tribe who used to live in the region before the Kacharis advent to the North Cachar Hills . Bolson is about 19kms. and Kobak is about 32 kms. north of Harangajoa by village foot - path and Derabara is 32 kms. north-west of Haflong by bridle path.
Shemkor : It is considered to be the biggest Kachari village of North Cachar Hills . Shemkar is a Kachari word. Shem means salt and kar mans hole i.e. a place where there is salt. Salt used to be made here during the time of old Kachari Kings when Maibong was the capital. It is about 28 kms. east of Maibong.